There was a time when cutting-edge point-of-sale technology meant a cash register. Who could argue that the humble cash register wasn’t an advancement over scrawling out sales or calculating sales tax on a piece of paper?
Today, though, point-of-sale technology is advancing more quickly than ever. It’s allowing store owners to reduce their operating costs — by installing self-service checkout lanes — and send personalized email marketing messages to their steadiest customers. It’s even helping them reduce employee theft.
What does the future hold for point-of-sale technology? And how can it help boost the bottom line of your business? Here’s a look at point-of-sale technologies that can help your business boom.
Jeff Haefner, on the Point of Sale Software Guide site, points to the growing number of self checkouts in grocery stores, department stores and other retail venues as evidence that point-of-sale technology can bring big savings to business owners.
In a self-service checkout, customers do the work of expensive cashiers. They scan their own items using the latest in point-of-sale technology. These systems have built-in safeguards.
Consumers, for instance, must weigh certain produce items, such as apples or broccoli. If they try to trick the system into thinking that they are buying something less expensive, like a tube of lip balm, the checkout system’s scale will immediately sense that something is wrong and won’t allow the transaction to continue.
These systems are also set up to make life as easy as possible for consumers. Shoppers can usually pay for their items with cash, credit cards or debit cards. The benefits to store owners are immense: They can greatly reduce their labor costs by replacing salaried cashiers with un-manned self-checkout lanes.
RetailSystems.com does a good job summarizing the benefits of biometric fingerprint IDs, which the site labels as the future of retail point-of-sale security.
Before accessing important store data, employees must first swipe their finger across a biometric scanner attached to the point-of-sale device. Employees have to repeat this scan every time they try to access a password-protected area of the point-of-sale software.
This offers an important level of protection for business owners. It prevents the wrong employees from accessing sensitive data. It also leaves an evidence trail showing which employees have accessed which areas of their employers’ point-of-sale software.
Advanced Customer Marketing
Haefner points out that retailers can use point-of-sale technology to further cement their relationships with existing customers. This is important; it’s far easier to keep existing customers than it is to find new ones.
Retailers can program their point-of-sale software to automatically send customers email messages after they purchase a product. For instance, if a customer purchases a lawnmower from a hardware store, the store can send an automated message to the customer later that day thanking him for making that purchase. Three days later, the point-of-sale software can send another email message asking the customer if the lawnmower is working properly. The auto responder can even be set up to send the customer regular maintenance reminders.
This does require that cashiers first ask customers for their email addresses. The system should also include an option that allows consumers to opt out of receiving email messages in the future.
These are just three ways in which point-of-sale technology can help business owners boost their profits and reduce their losses.
The best news? Point-of-sale technology continues to improve. And as that happens, it provides even more benefits for savvy business owners.