POS Using Text, Point of Sale Tips, iPad POS, Small Retailer Technology 101, Employee Tips


Retail and POS NewsMobile, emerging technology again tops this weeks roundup of point of sale and retail news. The first article we feature focuses both on a small retailer and his ability to accept mobile payments keeping his customers very happy. The second article we feature has 10 things you should not do when purchasing POS software for your business. Many of these articles exist but few are good enough to be showcased in our weekly round up. The author of this article goes a few steps ahead and points out some commonly overlooked mistakes.

The third article in this weeks round up is an interesting opinion on how the iPad will change the retail industry and I have to agree. The possibilities of endless improvement in customer service are very exciting for both retailers and consumers. The fourth article this week will help small business owners with the basics of technology for thos3eof you who feel out of the loop. Then our last feature this week will give you 8 ways to get overall improvement from your employees.

1. SMB Innovator: Brown Coffee Company Lets You Pay Via Text Message – An innovative way that one small retailer is standing above the crowd and joining the growing fad of convenience. Aaron Blanco, the owner of The Brown Coffee Company allows customers to pay for their coffee using a simple text message and a service called Venmo. Over 200 small retailers across the country have started using this service as an alternative form of payment and convenience amongst its customers.

2. Point-of-sale Software Top Ten Mistakes to Avoid – This article contains some great advice when you are looking to purchase POS software for your small retail business. Things you may not think about are mentioned such as obtaining references or one system fits all. This is an essential read if you’re looking into purchasing a new piece of point of sale software.

3. How iPads are Going to Change the Face of Retail – Although it might still be a while before the iPad and similar tablets are perfected for use of mobile point of sale hardware, the anticipation is exciting. The author of this article points out a few ways that an iPad in the hands of a customer service representative will change the face of the retail industry.

4. Technology Basics for Business – This is a very basic overview for the less technology savvy business person. A wonderfully informative article posted at the Wall Street Journal will help any novice retailer learn the basics of technology.

5. 8 Ways to Develop Your Worker’s Core Competencies – All retailers know that their employees are a reflection of their brand and their establishment. To have the best success at having an employee as a “good” influence for your retail business you should know these 8 easy ways you can help them grow with your business.

Point of Sale History Lessons, POS Enhancement for Pharmacies, Small Retailer’s Customer Service Grows Profits, Free Small Retail Store Signage


Small Retail and POS NewsThis weeks roundup starts off with an interesting history lesson on the creation of POS for the small retail industry. The first article is the actual accounts of how one small business owner took his vision and created the very first cash register which essentially was also the first point of sale machine. Our second article is the history of a company that has been in the POS business since 1955, founded in the garage of a smart, inspiring entrepreneur.

The third article in the roundup this week is good news for pharmacies, RxKey and flexTrax Solutions have integrated to form an interface that will improve productivity and customer support to help small town pharmacies compete with big name drug stores.

The fourth article featured this week is an inspiring story from our sponsor, MerchantOS. In the article, Ivan explains how the company has been able to grow without the using selling techniques such as hiring sales people to answer the phone. The company relies solely on their customer service and their dedication to deliver exactly what the customer needs.

Our last article in this weeks roundup is short but good. It’s a free helping hand for small business owners with small retail shops. Check out the review and find out what you could get for free.

1. History of Cash Registers and Point of Sale Systems – Did you know that the first POS appeared in the late 1800’s? Did you know that the merchant who came up with the idea was aboard a ship at the time? Did you know that the first mechanical cash register that recorded transaction was at a saloon? You can find out these interesting facts in this article that describes the history of the point of sale cash register.

2. The History of Order-Matic’s Point of Sale Systems Technology – Order-Matic announced this week that they will be showcasing their latest POS technology at conventions this fall. The company is a leader in the manufacturing of point of sale and restaurant equipment as well as helping minize operating expenses for major corporations such as Taco Bell. The history of the company is an informative read giving the small retailer a background on a company that has excelled in the POS industry.

3. KeyCentrix Inc. Creates Interface Between RxKey® Software and Point Of Sale System – The additional point of sale option, flexTRAX fir KeyCentrix’s RxKey will provide a seamless solution for pharmacies seeking to access patient data and accounts while being able to make the check out process easy for the clerk and the customer. This helps to increase productivity and enhance customer service keeping your business strong and ahead of the competition.

4. How We Sell Our Software – This is absolute proof from a small business retailer that providing the best customer service can grow your business and drive profits. Ivan at the MerchantOS blog describes how the company has been able to grow without the use of “selling” its service. The company focuses on the real needs of its clients and the support they deserve.

5. A Helping Hand for the Small Retailer – This is a review of a total freebie for small retail businesses. A company called Myshopsigns is giving retail businesses the opportunity to obtain free printable signage for their establishments. You have the choice of sale, clearance, open hours, no smoking and many more check them out at Myshopsigns.com.

New Mobile Tablet POS, Point of Sale Improvement, Over 20 Tips for Small Retail Customer Relations, Lobbying and Low Cost Marketing


POS and Small Retail NewsHP’s announcement of the release of the company’s new tablet PC makes the top article in the weekly roundup. The tablet will only be available to HP’s enterprise customers but it will be another option for small businesses looking for a mobile point of sale solution. The second article in the roundup is good news for the retail and hospitality industry. The newly formed partnership between ScanSource POS & Barcoding and ParTech will bring a variety of new solution to retailers.

Our retail industry news this week is full of tips for small businesses. We start off with our third article with seven must do things that will keep customer loyalty. Then we found an article with seven tips for small retailers to be successful when lobbying a government office. The last article we feature has a few common sense low marketing ideas that will work in any business, small or large.

1. HP Tablet Goes Enterprise, WebOS Tablet Due Too? – The Enterprise tablet will be released by HP in the near future and will be available to enterprise customers only. The tablet will run the Windows 7 operating system and will be able to perform mobile point of sale operations. There is not an official release date but this will offer small retailers another option for a mobile POS.

2. ScanSource POS & Barcoding Enhances Hospitality & Retail Services Offering Through Distribution Agreement With ParTech – This partnership is sure to take off in the businesses in the retail industry using or interested in using PAR’s technology solutions. Here it is straight from the president of ScanSource POS & Barcoding, Jeff Yelton.

“PAR has a laser focus on the hospitality industry, delivering rugged, robust and reliable hardware and peripherals for resellers selling into the industry. We are pleased to be the only distributor offering these high-performing solutions to hospitality resellers.”

3. Seven requirements for becoming customer-centric – As a small retailer you can never read enough tips on customer service. That’s why we feature so many articles from the Retail Customer Experience. Yet again, here’s an information packed article that will help you become more customer-centric.

4. Seven Lobbying Mistakes Small Businesses Make and What to Do Instead – This article is so unique that it makes itself valuable. There might only be a small select few small business owners that benefit from the advice given but it’s advice that hard to find. Learning how to influence your state and local government could be an essential survival skills…read more to find out.

5. 8 Low-Cost Marketing Tips for Small Retailers – This is a clear and concise article that outlines eight great tips on using low cost marketing methods. The number one tips is to develop a budget including the time you spend, after all time is money.

Reward Your Small Retail Customers with Loyalty Programs


Small Retail Loyalty CardsOn Fridays we usually bring you the weekly round up of retail news and point of sale reviews. This week as I was going through the various top news stories nothing stood as out as “Important Retail News” (a good thing?) so instead I decided to write an opinion as a consumer from my point of view.

Why should my opinion count and why should you listen to me as a consumer? The reason being, I shop for a family of four (which was 6 at one point in time), we are on a strict budget as many families throughout the country. Through the years it’s been coupons, discounts and only buying what is on sale. I also favor the local small retailers in my small town and luckily they are all very generous and friendly businesses.

About three months ago I started shopping at more “Big Box” stores such as Walmart and Meijer because the only stores we have in our small town consists of an independently owned very small Kroger grocery store and a Rite Aid Pharmacy. I assumed I would get better value and cheaper prices going to the larger stores…that was UNTIL both my small town Kroger and Rite Aid started ramping up their customer rewards programs.

Kroger has had a long time running customer card that allows for discounted groceries when shopping and presenting the cashier with your “card” at the POS. If you don’t have the “card” you’re in big trouble because you are going to pay extremely over inflated prices. For years we have joked about how Kroger only uses the customer loyalty card to bring people in with great sale prices only to find out they don’t get a discount if they don’t have their card. You always here the all to familiar saying in the checkout line “do you mind if I borrow your Kroger card?” The company did get smart at one point and offered for customers to enter their phone number in the point of sale, if registered with your card it will bring up your reward information.

The last few months Kroger has gone above and beyond my satisfaction as a loyal customer. The Kroger Rewards program now tracks my purchases and sends me specialized coupons at the end of the month for products I actually buy. They also have a fuel rewards program now that allows you to save a certain amount of money off a gallon of gas depending on the amount of money you spent in the store last month.

The specialized coupons (which they double up to $1) combined with the fuel rewards for discounted gas has me shopping at Kroger every week like clockwork. The friendly home town atmosphere combined with the helpful staff and super savings makes for an overall happy shopping experience.

Rite Aid has also implemented a new customer rewards program in which I was not so keen on joining and let me tell you why. For one, who needs another plastic card to add to their key chain you to have find and pull out at the point of sale? Second, Rite Aid named their card “The Wellness Card”, I don’t get my prescriptions there (we have an excellent small town pharmacist that we use) and most of the over the counter medication I purchase at Kroger with double coupons.

The other day, the courteous sale person pointed out to me that the card was valid to give you discounts throughout the store on a number of various items not just “Wellness” items. I told her, they needed to change the name. Regardless, I joined the program and am I excited. The company runs promotions like if you buy this product “x” you will receive the discount price as well as a coupon on your receipt for money off your next purchase in the store. That’s how it works…so I bought a few discounted items and received my coupon for $4 off my next purchase, wow that’s a great deal!

My complaint (a relatively small one to the manager) was that I always forget to bring the coupons back in and use them. Guess what he said….be a smart shopper and buy the things you need on sale, check out get the coupon and go back through the store and purchase the items that weren’t on sale using your coupon immediately for instant satisfaction! Well I’ll be, a nice, generous manager that puts his customer’s needs before the corporations, what a sigh of relief.

The point I’m trying to make is as a small retail business you need to do everything possible to retain and gain the customers of your local area. Every one knows that customer service goes a long way in the retail world and adopting a loyalty program is a sure fire way to get those customers shopping.

As a small business establishment you have many options when it comes to customer rewards or loyalty programs. Companies such as Repeat Rewards will help you implement a fast and easy loyalty program or have a free giveaway day at your store. There are a number of ways you could reward your customers by using your imagination and putting your self in their shoes to bring grand ideas to your store.

Small retailers can start small, print your loyalty card as a business card and stamp it each time the customer makes a purchase then offer them a discount when the card is full. An idea from our local small town pharmacist I mentioned earlier is to have a staff member clip coupons from the local newspaper and place them in a basket at the point of sale for customers to look through as they are checking out.

Start thinking of ways to gather local support from your customers while providing them with the ultimate shopping experience.  Check out some simple to implement rewards programs.

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