After what seemed like a never-ending year of lockdowns, social distancing and the closure of all things retail – we’re finally ready to get back to some much-needed entrepreneurship! Opening a retail store is an exciting endeavour and often a little more complicated than you’d think at first sight. It doesn’t simply take a range of quality products and impactful marketing but a dedicated Retail Management system or POS will ensure you’re able to manage your entire business, from your point of sale to your very backend operations seamlessly. Find out what the best software for retail businesses is made of below!
Choosing the best software for your retail business
One thing to keep in mind is that ePOS software differs a whole lot in features and pricing, meaning research is a must. Much like browsing Apple’s latest when choosing your next phone, you’ll be looking at brand new capabilities to introduce to your business and you’ll want to make sure you aren’t opting for features you won’t use and even worse – paying for them! As a start-up, future-proofing is a great idea. This means that your management system is flexible in price, and you can upgrade as demand increases and even downgrade during economic downs. Ensure you opt for a fit-for-purpose solution to suit your business size, sector, products and services offered.
Automate with Stock Management
Your inventory is the very backbone of your company and what promises value to your customers and managing your stock efficiently and safely is vital when opening a retail store. With retail in particular, you’ll often have to account for minor variance amongst a line of products such as size, colour, model etc. The problem? Basic stock functions simply won’t be able to account for these particular differentiations while the alternative of manual stock takes are labour expensive, time-consuming and worst of all – prone to human error.
The advantages of using ePOS are endless; a dedicated system will automate the whole business lifecycle for you, from purchase to point of sale. By keeping track of your stock with a POS system, the process becomes much more than dealing with the ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ of what’s in your cupboard but allows you to see the bigger picture and manage stock more strategically. From what you’ve got in your warehouse, how much, how long it’ll hold to where it’s located and when it was delivered to you. This not only helps your business perform but ensures you can track your digital footprint in cases of error when you’ll have to revisit supplier information or product history.
Sophisticated stock management systems also enable you to forecast stock movements based on the current demand you’re seeing and allow for real-time information as well as automated purchasing.
Access greater insight
Insight, with the help of a dedicated POS can give you access to limitless information. You can run off accurate real-time reports on sales, stock, profits and more, in a flash. This not only gives you a better understanding of how the business is performing at any given time but also ensures that you’re able to make informed decisions based on accurate insights that are instantly accessible to you. Insight isn’t limited to sales however, you can track how your staff is performing, their attendance and even manage your customer insight.
Powerful reporting features will give you a wider range of filters that you can use to zero in on any data sets and help you identify problem areas as well as scope for potential through the generated insight. This will give you crystal clear metrics on just who your customers are, how much they’re spending and what they’re buying and ensure you’ll be able to cater to demand in real-time.
More integrations, more tools
With retail businesses, integrations will come incredibly handy – especially if you’ll be selling via several eCommerce platforms. Goodtill by SumUp for example integrates with both Shopify and WooCommerce to allow you to manage your orders via a single-platform solution without having to juggle a number of different platforms.
If you’ll be relying on any number of eCommerce platforms, make sure your chosen POS integrates with these!
Staying cloud-based and mobile
You’ll want to consider a POS that has an upgraded set of hardware to forgo the chunky, dated hardware of the olden days. As a cloud-based solution, your staff will benefit from the extra mobility on the shop floor too when processing orders and payments.
POS running on modern equipment does a lot for your brand too. With today’s clientele looking for style, comfort and a certain ‘character’ in their chosen venue, an iPad-based POS will not only deliver the slick factor but provide a customisable interface that your staff and customers will have no trouble navigating.
Research your options
There are plenty of contenders for the best software for retail businesses. Knowing your retail store, and being able to define and specify your goals will help you narrow down your search. Not sure how to define your concept? Check out our Starting a new business checklist!