Few retailers realize that the omnichannel experience actually begins with their POS system. Omnichannel refers to creating a seamless shopping journey for your customers – whether that be via mobile, desktop, social media, in person, or all of the above – and POS systems help make these experiences possible. Very simply, omnichannel enables you to build those relationships by giving customers access to your brand through whichever combination of channels they prefer.
So, just how does your POS system fit into the omnichannel experience?
Through gathering and implementation of consumer data, POS systems can strengthen the consumer buying journey and likewise, a retailer’s success. Through POS, merchants can monitor important consumer data – including when a customer made a purchase to various demographic details to financial spending history and more – that then allows retailers to strengthen their overall merchant efforts. Data gathered through POS can be integrated with your store’s CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solution, as well as used to personalize marketing efforts to provide customers promotions and communications which are relevant to their individual purchase history. Expanding on this, consider the following four reasons on why POS and omnichannel go hand-in-hand.
Reason #1: POS Shares Necessary Information
Companies vary in what level of access employees need to customer data in order to do their jobs effectively. However, once you’ve determined how much customer data you want employees to be able to access through your POS system, you can sync that data throughout your store(s) and back office system. This allows employees at every area of your store to access consumer history — including purchases, returns, buying history and preferences — to provide customers with a seamless shopping experience across departments and store locations. Without this key information, retailers would not be able to support consumers in their buying journeys as effectively as possible.
Reason #2: POS Starts Dialogue
Many POS systems increase interaction at the register by prompting store associates to inform customers of in-store promotions, as well as to ask if they’d like to be added to a store’s email list. Not only can a POS system encourage your associates to interact with customers, but it can create a dialogue between customers and store representatives. This dialogue can be continued through receipts that are customized per store and per purchase, continuing the conversation between merchants and consumers – often even providing customers a way to share feedback or offer suggestions based on their shopping experience. This increases employee accountability, customer engagement and offers retailers a glimpse into what’s happening in their stores since they can’t always be there to see this firsthand.
Reason #3: POS Allows Consistency Across Channels
You’ve heard this before and you’ll hear it again… It’s important that your brand voice is consistent across all channels that you engage with customers. If you advertise a friendly and inviting customer experience online, for example, that’s what your customer expects when they visit your store, as well. Since you can’t be there all the time, your POS system can help you monitor customer experiences by collecting data, leading employees in their store operations, tracking inventory, producing reports and more. Each of these details allows your POS system to deliver a consistent and positive omnichannel experience to your customers – once again proving POS and omnichannel truly do go hand-in-hand.
Reason #4: POS Helps Retailers Never Run Out of Inventory
Nobody likes driving to a store to find they’re out-of-stock on an item they had wanted to get. Keeping this in mind, consider how POS can strengthen your inventory tracking by alerting you to hot selling items that are getting low in inventory, as well as notifying you on other key inventory details that you specify using your POS. Even online and mobile purchases can be updated in real-time through POS, helping retailers to truly track the omnichannel experience they need to deliver for their stores.
Finally, the reality is that omnichannel is the new normal for merchants – and POS is the only way to effectively create an successful omnichannel experience.