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Avoiding Headaches With Your POS System eBook

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Avoiding Headaches With Your POS System eBook

  1. 1. Bridging The Gap Connecting Your POS & Legacy Systems
  2. 2. About The Author Jared P Shaner A student of the game who believes there are no limits to learning nor humility. I absolutely love staying on top of the emerging trends and technologies for my clients and learning from those far wiser than myself. Ohh and I’m a Makers Mark Ambassador so it’s fair to say I love me some bourbon and the fine smell of mahagony About Plum Tree The Plum Tree Group is an Interactive Marketing and Technology firm, we work to implement enterprise level eCommerce solutions leveraging Magento Commerce. jared@plumtreegroup.net plumtreegroup.net @Jaredism www.linkedin.com/in/jaredshaner/
  3. 3. Bridging The Gap Connecting Your Web and Physical Stores Via POS In the world of online retail, keeping your online inventory in-sync with your retail store is vital to your operational and marketing success. The concept of incorporating a Point of Sales (POS) system with the legacy system running a company’s online store is actually fairly modern technology; at least in respect to how long people have been selling both online and through their brick and mortar locations simultaneously. For companies simply due to the lack of technology, they have often had to manage their online and physical store sales separately through two different systems. If integrated correctly a POS system can be the magic glue that makes your online and physical stores come together as one and reduce a substantial amount of time and effort for those trying to keep a close eye on crucial aspects for the business such as inventory, sales, and consumer buying behavior. 1
  4. 4. The Absolute Need 4 Reasons Why You Need An Integrated eCommerce System As online shopping becomes increasingly crucial for success in the retail world, it is important for retailers to find an integrated eCommerce system. Exactly what benefits will an integrated system provide for a retail company? 1 SAVING TIME AND MONEY: By using just one retail software package instead of multiple, you save money and time (switching from monitoring one system to another really eats hours off the clock). 2 KNOW WHERE YOU STAND: With one combined system, you know where your inventory stands, both in-store and online. You’ll know what you need to restock in because quantities will be automatically adjusted at each data transfer point. 3 MORE REPORTS: Through reports and other management tools, you have the ability to reflect on sales history of your entire business, not just your brick-and-mortar stores. 2
  5. 5. The Absolute Need 4 Reasons Why You Need An Integrated eCommerce System IT’S ALL ABOUT THE CUSTOMERS: There’s no business without customers. Running a successful business means keeping customers happy. An integrated system will give them one more way to shop with you. Additionally, it gives you more opportunities to keep in touch with them via email and promotional discounts (which in turn allows you the opportunity to maintain a relationship with them and make them not just customers, but loyal customers). Basically, think about them and what’s important to them. 4 WAYS IN WHICH YOU CAN DO THIS? o Is account history important to them? Give them the option to view their history online (including in-store purchases). o Do they want the same presence in your store and on your site? Give them the ability to use the same billing options. o Are they social media butterflies? Tweet them! Attach an Instagram photo! Be creative and stay tech savvy. o Know why and how they came into your (virtual or physical) store. This can help you bring more people in in the future! 3
  6. 6. The Problem Integrating the POS with your legacy system The issues associated with integrating your POS system with the existing legacy setup mostly center around DATA … That being deciding what data is stored and reported in which system. The resulting confusion can be the cause of quite a lot headache opposed to the expected clarity of having additional automation. As a company, you must also decide how you want you POS system to communicate with your existing legacy system. One of the major advantages of having both systems connected is lost if your online store is not in constant contact with the system in the brick and mortar location/s. Plum Tree Group suggests having them send data in flat file format for best results. 4
  7. 7. The Problem Integrating the POS with your legacy system One of the biggest dangers to a company’s success is poor communication regarding crucial data between the legacy system and POS. The three pieces of data that should always be flowing freely between a company’s eCommerce backend and POS system are the following: Sales: At all times you should have an overall image of your sales both online and through your brick and mortal locations. This will allow you to properly forecast for total company sales opposed to breaking them up based on location. Customer Data: Whenever possible, gather customer data so that you have visibility into who, what, when, where, and how of your business. This will allow you to more accurately segment your customer base. Inventory: Simple concept. You don’t want to sell a scooter online that you just sold the last one of in your brick and mortar. Communication between systems is key in these types of situations. 5
  8. 8. Marketplaces The Need For Connecting Your POS with Online Marketplaces Sure, you know your POS system does a great job creating purchase orders, receiving and reconciling these goods. However, your POS system also has a hidden gem . . . the collection of other information such as name, description, size, color and especially the UPC code of your products. This is important … Why? 1) On September 22, 2011 Google made a change to their Google Products feed requiring UPC codes. That’s right, if you don’t send a product’s UPC code to Google, your goods will not show up on Google Products. 6
  9. 9. Marketplaces The Need For Connecting Your POS with Online Marketplaces 2) Amazon has similar, if not more extensive, requirements than Google when it comes to selling products on their site. We have found it extremely difficult to send a store’s product catalog to Amazon if it is not integrated with their point of sale system. 3) All the other online marketplaces you are trying to easily get your products listed on!! 7
  10. 10. Tips for Success POS Done Right Like most other things in the retail world, POS is useful…when done right. Need a few pointers on how to use it in your favor…? 1 • • 2 • 3 • • • MANAGE WHAT GETS MEASURED Set up your internal systems so that as much POS data as possible is reported Everything tied to the KPI’s of your business should be watched under a microscope DATA IS KING Really…collect as much as possible. You can never have too much data This will be key in reference to tip #4 INVEST THE TIME AND RESOURCES FROM THE START Make it easier on yourself and start strong It is always better to do something right the first time, investing the time in setting things up right now will save time in the future 4 • • USE IT The data generated from POS reports can help shape company decisions and marketing efforts There are two things that always lead to good decision making…process and data 8
  11. 11. Two POS Offerings That Recently Caught Our Attention… 1) Vend Vend is a beautiful POS software, inventory and customer management system that thousands of retailers all over the world love to use. Vend works just like your current point-of-sale, but, because it is online POS software, and runs in a web browser, it works on any computer, including an iPad, anywhere in the world. It even keeps working in offline mode, if you lose your internet connection. Vend takes the hassle out of running a modern business, by seamlessly integrating your real world shop with your eCommerce store. It also connects with Xero online accounting. 9
  12. 12. Two POS Offerings That Recently Caught Our Attention… 2) Shopify POS Shopify POS offers the ideal offering for small and medium businesses that lack the funding to buy POS and eCommerce software separately and still have cash left to integrate them together. the Shopify POS delivers inventory synchronization, outof-the-box credit card processing, and detailed reporting. The best part is that for merchants that host their online stores on Shopify, they can add POS for just around $50 monthly plus the upfront cost of the hardware 10

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