Where does value come from at point of sale? Cost, efficiency, reliability and flexibility all matter to SMEs. When choosing a new POS solution, a platform that is quick and simple to set up avoids undue disruption and minimises set up costs. Rapid processing speeds mean transactions are handled efficiently, avoiding unnecessary hold ups for customers.
A straightforward, intuitive interface means staff will pick up how to operate a new system without the need for extensive training. A long operational life with minimal time required for maintenance will ensure maximum value from the investment. For many smaller organisations, it is also important that the system is flexible enough to adapt to changing needs as the enterprise grows.
These might be considered the must-haves for a small business POS. However, POS solutions are more than just cost-effective and efficient. The very best examples can add value far beyond the cash register, helping to streamline operations, improve service and drive growth.
Premium POS For Small Businesses
The very best POS solutions for small businesses offer much more than just processing transactions. They integrate with other systems, they use intelligent reporting tools that provide real-time insight for smarter service and decision-making, and they automate processes to save time and cut costs.
Microsoft’s POS solutions for small enterprises, are features available within Dynamics Retail Management System and the cloud-based Dynamics 365 for Retail that are designed to break down silos between sales, inventory, merchandising, customer service, marketing and more. Integration between POS and back office systems automates time-consuming tasks such as stock-taking and re-ordering. Whenever a sale is processed, Dynamics Retail POS capabilities automatically updates stock lists. By combining inventory for different locations into one central database, it is always clear exactly what is in stock, where.
This integration between POS and inventory also helps staff provide better service and maximise sales opportunities. Because all stock data is accessible via the POS, sales personnel can quickly look up product details to answer customer queries. For example, when a fashion retail assistant is looking up alternative size or colour options on the shop floor; if an item is out of stock in one location, staff can see if it is available elsewhere, ordering or reserving it there and then to save the sale. This real-time access to product data also helps to boost cross- and up-selling opportunities, increasing revenues.
Great POS Solutions Provide Valuable Insight
With modern analytics built into the software, solutions like Dynamics 365 for Retail make in-depth reporting into historic and current sales patterns simple and intuitive. Clear insight into which products are selling in which locations, and who is buying them, helps operators make smart merchandising and replenishment decisions, adjusting stock selection according to recognised trends and responding rapidly to changes in customer behaviour. The result is getting more of the products customers want in the right place at the right time. The same applies to pricing and marketing decisions, with intelligence sifted from the sales data helping to target the right offers at the right people.
With modern POS solution functionality, Dynamics 365 for Retail is a fully compatible addition to your eCommerce processes. This helps to provide a consistent experience for customers online and off, for example by ensuring that the same products are available at the same prices, that the same promotions are available in store and online and so on. It also reduces duplication of effort, allowing the same product listings and details to be used for every channel. Another benefit is it allows organisations to extend the range of shopping opportunities they offer to customers, such as ‘Click and Collect’ and other forms of online pre-ordering. Going back to saving the sale, eCommerce integration means staff can order an out-of-stock item online from their POS on the customer’s behalf, arranging for direct delivery to their home for added convenience.
Finally, cloud-based POS platforms like those available in Dynamics 365 for Retail can add further benefits in their own unique ways. As well as being cost-effective because they don’t need to be run from expensive on-premise servers, they are also highly agile and can be run from any device just through an internet connection. This makes it easy to scale up or scale down the amount of POS hardware on the shop floor to cope with demand, adding endpoints at peak times to reduce queues. It also means devices such as tablets and smartphones can be turned into POS terminals, providing mobility and flexibility. With a mobile POS in hand, staff can take service to the customer, processing sales there and then as they provide assistance without the need to queue at a till. Mobile POS also opens up new opportunities to extend sales opportunities beyond the store, providing a convenient solution for attending shows and events and setting up pop-up stores.
What Makes a Great POS Solution for Small Businesses?
In summary, SMEs should expect more than the bare minimum from POS solutions. A competitive price and running costs, rapid, reliable performance and straightforward set up and operation should be a given these days. The real value from the very best solutions comes from their ability to integrate and streamline operations, to provide meaningful, real-time intelligence that helps to maximise sales opportunities and revenue, and to support better service across all channels that will keep customers coming back.
Interested in learning more about how Dynamics 365 can make sales, retail or the customer experience better? Contact us today for advice from our experts.