Interior fashion retailers know that maintaining a steady and accurate bead on inventory is crucial to the success of their businesses. Overstocking or under-stocking an item, such as a popular fabric, trim or window treatment, can knock sales—and profits–completely off target.
For this reason, point-of-sale (POS) systems have grown in popularity among independent retailers. The right POS system can be an affordable, easy-to-use solution to help you turn your retail store into an interior designer’s dream by taking care of everyday business tasks.
Not only can a POS system replace your cash register, it also can help better track inventory, sales and customer information, and provide useful reports to manage your business and help you better serve your customers. An all-in-one solution includes must-have retail hardware such as a receipt printer, bar-code scanner, credit card reader and cash drawer—all to help you better compete with Big Box retailers.
SAVE TIME AND MONEY
Inventory management is critical to the success of a small retailer; if you don’t know what’s selling, how can you keep your best-selling items in stock? A POS system can simplify inventory management at the point-of-sale, saving you time and money. For example, when you sell one set of wood shutters, the item will automatically be subtracted from inventory.
Once you’re ready to re-order the shutters, a POS system can help you by automatically generating purchase orders for the item and e-mailing the order directly to your vendor. You’ll never have to print, stuff, address and mail purchase orders again.
BUILD CUSTOMER LOYALTY
Your customers are the reason you’re in business, so in order to keep them coming back you have to understand what they’re buying. The right POS system can help you develop personalized marketing campaigns and deliver better customer service.
You should be able to view customers’ purchase histories and use this information to target them for special events and promotions by creating mailing labels and e-mail lists, filtered from your customer database. For example, in advance of holding a sale on last year’s fabric patterns or colors, you can now send out flyers and discount coupons to those customers who may have purchased similar patterns in the past.
When interacting with customers, it’s essential to be able to ring up sales quickly and easily. The right POS system should be able to handle credit card and PIN-protected debit card transactions, and automatically track commissions for sales associates when ringing up sales.
Additionally, if you have more than one store, you may need a system to help manage inventory across all of your locations, so you should consider a POS system with multi-store capabilities. This will enable you to inform other store locations of inventory changes so they know which items are now on sale or need to be retagged.
Finally, if your inventory includes unique items, a POS system can help you account for special order items. Just in case you do not carry that specific drapery tassel, you should be able to order from the supplier effortlessly via your POS system. Now this item will be tracked in inventory and you won’t have to send your customer to a competitor.
A POS system is more than just the place where money is tracked–with the right equipment, it becomes your strategic service center, the place that will help you grow your business and keep your customers coming back.
Shawna Gwin Krasts is Small Business Group Marketing Leader, Retail Solutions for Intuit.