As a small retailers, you are probably told that your point of sale is one of the most crucial elements of your business. There are countless articles giving a long list of reasons why we need to improve the in-store experience and at the center of most of them is the technology that you will use. You are probably using one or looking to use one and want better ways to track your success and give that great customer experience. Though these things are important, the truth is this: Your point of sale won't fix anything.
You will end up spending quite a bit of money installing this new point of sale and training your staff and a few months down the road, you will see that little to nothing has improved. Why does this happen? It all comes down to process. If you haven't been able to track your success on paper, it won't be much easier with your new point of sale. A retail business that does not work on pen and paper will not work on a point of sale. Your POS should make what you are already doing easier.
A retail business that does not work on pen and paper will not work on a point of sale. Your POS should make what you are already doing easier
Correcting the Process
This might seem like a crazy idea but if you want to know how many jeans you sell, you might want to make sure you have a product category for jeans. You want to see how much profit you made, you might want to track your cost. Want to see how long products have been in your inventory, you might want to track your purchasing. You read this and it seems obvious but if you've ever been to market and come back with a stack of illegible invoices from vendors who might ship your orders, it can be difficult. In these times, you need to make sure you have a few ways to give your POS the info it needs to be the great solution you want.
There are a few ways to make sure your process is easier, gives you better reporting and provides that customer experience we're all after.
- Have a streamlined inventory process in place that fits your industry. Example: Custom Order > Purchase Order > Customer Invoice.
- Make sure and set aside ample time to create products after you've gone to market or ordered new items.
- Find out if your POS solution allows spreadsheet imports. Creating these on the plane ride home can make things easier.
- Create PO's before the box arrives. It's easier to go back and edit products not received than to create on the fly.
- Have a clear, consistent process for naming and organizing inventory. This will make the process easier and make your reports beautiful.
- Keep track of cost of reorder items. Did your price go up or down? Make sure and track these as you reorder.
Once you have a better process to track inventory, you are freed to offer that customer experience. You'll have hard data to see buying trends and make better decisions for your business.