Whatever answer you give, it’s going to be hours too many. Beating the cash wrap blues this holiday season can boost your sales, boost your bottom line, and boost your customers shopping experience without much money or much hassle.
Modern Cash Wrap Solutions for Modern Retail
The modern retail store is more than likely a multi-channel retail outlet. Your location retail, your storefront with a physical address, can be standalone, but often can have an eCommerce portal with a platform like Shopify that can sell through Amazon, Etsy, eBay, or your own site.
Sometimes you might have a temporary retail location, maybe at a farmers market, or a pop-up retail location that is seasonal in nature. Integrating all these different channels can be difficult. The traditional cash wrap system centered on a cash register can’t tell you what’s going on with all your channels, or all of your locations.
Beating the cash wrap blues can take a little legwork, some learning, and effort, but the payoff is a lot of time and money saved and a value-rich customer experience for your clientele.
A scalable point-of-sale system based on tablets instead of cash registers or desktop style computers brings mobility to the sales floor and frees you and your staff from the endless reconciliation of receipts to register tape.
Taking a tablet equipped with a credit card reader that fits in the headphone jack onto the floor and to the customer bridges the information gap between location retail and Internet retail. By sending one of your staff onto the floor to provide Internet level product information to the customer, the customer experience is enriched.
Customer service can be taken to a new level by accepting payment on the floor, leaving only bagging or packaging to be done at the cash wrap area. Not only have you broken your staff free from the cash wrap, you have eliminated one of the primary annoyances of location shopping, waiting in line. By speeding the customer through the transaction and on their way with their goods a retailer can offer immediate gratification, which is something even Amazon can’t deliver.
Components of the Modern Point-Of-Sale
With the increasing availability of cloud technology for storage and for software applications, small businesses can now access tools formerly reserved for those with big budgets. Inc. magazine expects that by 2020, 80 percent of small businesses will be using the cloud for their day-to-day business operations such as eCommerce, accounting, and productivity suites.
For the cost of a tablet and some additional components, you can take your store and your customers experience to a new level. For $500-$1500 you can have not only a point-of-sale, but an inventory control system that will keep your business healthy year-round.
You will need:
A tablet such as an iPad, Android, or Windows tablet plus a stand. The stand will need to swivel if you do not have a customer pole.
A receipt is required by law to accompany any transaction in most jurisdictions. Your receipt printer, depending on the make and model, can also double as a check scanner for authorizing and endorsing checks for deposit.
A cash drawer is needed to hold cash, merging copies of credit card receipts, and endorsed checks. It should be made of a sturdy, high impact tolerant material, and be manually lockable.
A credit card scanner can either be a separate piece of equipment, or a simple device that attaches to the tablet via the headphone jack or the USB port.
A barcode scanner and a barcode label printer will help reduce manual entry errors and also offer less chance for tampering with the register tape. By tying sales to barcoded inventory, you will also have a better idea of your profit margins and customer response to promotions.
You may also wish to add a wireless keyboard for entering other information.
Point-of-sale information systems can also benefit your stockroom and showroom by tackling shrinkage. According to the Houston Chronicle, businesses that implement such systems can reduce shrinkage, or in some cases even eliminate it.
In addition, experts at Microsoft state that the time saved on the repetitive tasks centered on counting and recounting inventory, and reconciling register tapes and receipts can be diverted into customer service.
When you think of all those hours that you’ve been spending on just those same tasks day in and day out, then counting the wages expended on those hours, you can even see your bottom line fattening up without a commensurate increase in sales volume.
You will also lose the hours that you spend with your accountant trying to explain just what happened on a given date with a given transaction. The information provided by a point-of-sale system can tie inventory to sales, sales to profit margin, and keep your cash flow and ordering practices on point.
Beat the cash wrap blues this winter and find out what you and your staff really do when you have the right information and the right equipment for the job.