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Is Retail POS Software the Key to Bolstering Repeat Business?

Smiling customer at Point of Sale

Retail point of sale (POS) software offers two big benefits for retailers — improved customer service and more repeat business.

But in order to improve something, it must be measurable. Determining whether repeat business is on the upswing requires more than the observations of a store associate seeing the same customers and concluding that a trend is occurring. After all, that’s only one person’s opinion. If you really want to measure your repeat business, you must tie each sales transaction to a customer.

Here’s how a retail POS solution could accomplish this task. When a customer purchases items at checkout, a store associate could input the customer’s phone number into the retail POS system, which helps to identify repeat business.

At higher-end retailers, the checkout procedure usually entails associating every sale with a customer. The sales associate typically asks the customer if he or she is in the store’s retail POS system before processing the sale. A high-end retailer is trying to develop a relationship with a customer and will stress this sales transaction approach.

But for retailers like grocery stores or those that don’t have time to gather customer information with every sale, that’s when loyalty or member programs work best. At checkout, a store associate scans the customer’s loyalty card, quickly associating the sale with a specific customer.

A retail POS solution is the key to measuring if what you are doing is bringing in repeat business. It is also a tool for retailers to improve customer service and bolster repeat business.

Retail POS software retains customer information with each transaction. So when a customer in your store’s loyalty program returns a product, your retail POS system scans the receipt and brings up that customer’s information. This allows a store associate to take a personalized approach in handling the return, such as using the customer’s name during the transaction.

Another function of your retail POS system could be to track buying trends and keep in stock the products customers want, which can help in generating repeat business. If customers know you stock the items they’re most interested in, they’ll continue to shop at your store.

When it comes to in-store promotions, be sure your retail POS system is up-to-date and can smoothly process transactions associated with special discounts or coupons. When a customer tries to purchase a product, you don’t want an error to occur at checkout because the retail POS system isn’t registering the 50 percent off sale price. In the time it takes for a manager to override the transaction to correct the issue, the customer might grow irritated enough to think twice before returning to your store. If you are going to promote a sale, make sure your retail POS software knows about it.

Other retail POS facets to consider are gift cards or in-store credits; make sure these are easy for the customer to redeem. If you have more than one store and your policy is to accept in-store credits at all stores, make sure you have a process to check in real time as to the validity of the in-store credit. Otherwise, a customer could use the same in-store credit in more than one place, thereby doubling the amount of store credit.

Improving your delivery logistics is another way to improve customer service and repeat business. For example, make online orders available for in-store pickup or offer expedited shipping to loyalty program customers. In the store, you could offer free shipping if a customer wants to order a product in a different color.

Again, your retail POS system can manage the complexity of associating a sale to a specific customer while processing your promotions, customer returns, deliveries and overall operations. A retail POS solution can make a big difference in improving your customer service and bolstering repeat business.