Tablet based point of sale is becoming the predominate solution for retail brick and mortar locations. And with good reason! Mobile point of sale hardware is relatively cheap when compared to fixed, proprietary hardware and allows for delightfully designed apps which can be up and running in minutes.
The speed of deployment and ease of use means that you can take your point of sale beyond your shop doors, and take your business to events like pop-up shops, trade shows or even into the hands of your field sales reps.
Let’s take a look at some key steps for mobilizing your sales and customer service through a mobile point of sale:
Step 1: Understand your event
It is important to understand the type of event that will require a mobile point of sale. Here are a few considerations to make:
- Customers - Will these be wholesale or retail customers? Do you need to take payment on the spot, or send invoices?
- Products - Are you selling any specialty or new products that aren’t in your system? Do you have similar looking items in your catalog? Would barcodes help or hinder your team? Is knowing inventory levels at your other locations important?
- Order type - Will your customers leave immediately with your product in their hands, or will you need to ship or reserve items for delivery?
- Location - Will there be internet? And how about adequate power?
- Payments - Will you take cash, and therefore should be prepared with change? Will you accept credit cards? Do you need a cash drawer?
These are just a few considerations to make when taking your business outside. Identify your most common event types, and create a written playbook per event which briefs your team on what they need to bring. This ensures that they are focused on driving sales instead of driving back to your store to grab a cash drawer or pick up a charger.
Step 2: Avoid wifi dependence
In 2017, almost anywhere you sell will likely have wifi, so a wifi dependent point of sale will be just fine, right? Tell that to someone who has had their wifi drop at a pop-up shop event in front of a line of customers. Or to someone who has been fumbling with a pen and paper in front of a huge queue of customers at a trade show. From first hand experience, nothing kills a demonstration faster than an ‘Are you connected’ webpage.
Given that access to the internet is not always a given in the field (and even sometimes in your shop!), it is important to develop an “offline” plan for taking orders or better yet, adopt a point of sale with an offline mode.
Step 3: Stop fumbling with cords; bluetooth is your friend
If you are selling in the field but still need to print receipts, scan barcodes or process credit cards; corded devices look messy, and will likely hinder your ability to use your point of sale. Bluetooth hardware will help you become a mobile unit that your team can quickly pack and unpack at any event, allowing them to focus on other logistics of hosting a stand or pop-up shop, instead of fighting with cords and connections. The easier that you can make taking your system on the road, the less likely your team will be to grab pen and paper over your point of sale.
Step 4: Educate your staff on the benefits of using the point of sale
Without understanding the benefits that a fully connected point of sale can bring, it is easier to opt for a basic card reader, a spreadsheet and/or pen and paper for trade shows and pop-ups. In the moment, taking sales are quick and your customers and team will likely be pleased with the experience. The problems will surface when your team works to reconcile the inventory sold vs. remaining; check payments taken and report on overall performance. A mobile point of sale will provide a similar checkout experience but with the benefit of a management platform tracking all sales, customers and payments.
Step 5: Train your staff in a low pressure setting
Even the simplest systems have a learning curve and a busy pop-up is not the time to try and figure out workflows for the first time. Before an event, review your playbook and identify which workflows will be most common. Take some time with your team to walkthrough making a sale, processing a return, granting store credit, putting a sale on a customer’s account and any other specialized workflows the event might require. This will allow your team to focus on providing a great customer experience instead of fighting your system.
Step 6: Capture contact information
Events outside your store are a great opportunity to reach customers that would not otherwise walk into your store or find your website. Making a sale at an event is a great opportunity to capture the new customer’s contact information for marketing to in the future, using a tool like MailChimp. It is important to ensure that the process of capturing details is short and simple to avoid negatively affecting the customer’s experience.
A mobile point of sale will allow you to efficiently make sales out in the field and ultimately save your team time by reducing errors and inaccuracies that are typically associated with events. Brightpearl and it’s iPad based point of sale are the perfect combination for mobilizing your in-store experience. Find out more by watching this POS demo video!