Retailers look to the cloud

For years brick and mortar retailers have treated their point of sale system as the heart of their operations, and for good reason. It’s an essential tool for collecting sales, stock and customer information which in turn is critical for informing and influencing key business decisions.

Many retailers are still using Point of Sale systems (PoS) that fail to meet the demands of the modern retail environment. In particular, when it comes to omnichannel, retailers need a system that collects and presents data in real-time, not a stand-alone PoS that only tells part of the story. Putting a unified solution in place will ensure that the customer experience and decision making can continually be improved through better data gathering and reporting.

With that in mind, we’ve identified five must-have EPoS features that retailers need to consider when evaluating current systems and researching new solutions. Not only do they facilitate a better customer experience, but they also enable data-driven decision making, both of which ultimately deliver increased sales and profits.

EPoS from Iconography

Did you know that our Unified Commerce platform mixes eCommerce, RMS, CRM and EPoS?

OMNIS Retail is an award winning EPoS platform linking directly to PDQ machines to allow instore payments. 

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1. CRM (Customer Relationship Management) connection

Many Point of Sale systems do not come with CRM functionality, and if they do it will be limited. This is a problem because being able to collect and access customer data instantly is an essential requirement for tasks such as handling returns, adding loyalty points and providing a high level of customer service.

If your current POS system does not have CRM functionality or requires an integration to a separate CRM platform then this is a warning sign. Although integrations can be useful for connecting legacy systems they are unreliable and when they go down cause endless problems for retailers.

If you’ve identified this as a problem with your current POS set-up it’s time to make a change. A unified solution like OMNIS incorporates EPoS and CRM and works from one central database. With no integrations, you can access customer information instantly and in real-time regardless of till point or store, reducing the time per transaction and increasing instore efficiency.  

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2. Cross sell and upsell product recommendations

According to a recent Retail Gazette article, UK retail footfall fell by 41.9% in March thanks to the impact of Coronavirus. With footfall likely to stay below previous year's figures for the short-mid term due to social distancing restrictions retailers must find ways to make the most from customers that are walking through the door.

Cross-selling and upselling aren’t new, but it’s surprising how many retailers are failing to utilise this tactic, largely due to the systems they have in place. The reality is that it can be difficult to do this at the till, which is why offering Endless Aisle through instore tablets is becoming more popular.

Installing tablets that display an extended product range and supplying store assistants with mobile devices allows you to sell products that are only available online, or through 3rd party sellers helping to increase your average order value instore. Additionally, if this is linked to your POS you can help customers complete their purchase on the shop floor, there and then, without the risk of them buying elsewhere online.

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3. Omnichannel stock visibility and reserving

Not having products in stock can cost retailers more than they think. A Harvard Business Review study suggests retailers lose nearly half of intended purchases when customers encounter stock-outs. Abandoned purchases translate into sales losses of about 4% for a typical retailer, that’s £400,000 of lost sales for every £10m.

A good EPoS system will allow retailers to check stock in multiple locations and even reserve stock for customers to pick up or have sent to their home address. If this is something that you can’t currently offer, it’s likely that you are handling sales straight to your competitors.

Additionally, omnichannel retailers should consider the impact on their online sales too. Customers want to be able to check stock in their local store, online and not run the risk of a wasted trip. Displaying your instore stock online can only be done accurately when your EPoS, inventory management and eCommerce software is updated in real-time from a central source. 

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4. Omnichannel loyalty programme capability

77% of consumers say that a loyalty programme is more likely to make them stay with a brand. So, in a modern retail environment where brand loyalty is the key to success but consumers are fickle, running a successful loyalty programme can be the difference between success and failure.

Because loyalty programmes are so important, it’s not uncommon to find retailers running them, although many are half-baked and poorly designed and don’t work across all of their sales channels. One of the main reasons for this is because they’re running old systems that can’t bridge the online/offline gap. Just because your current POS works with your loyalty programme doesn’t necessarily mean it’s fit for purpose.

In an increasingly omnichannel world, all of your brand touchpoints need to be consistent and accessible, and that includes your loyalty programme. Implementing an EPoS that also works with your other channels needs to be a top priority.

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5. Real time sales reports

A common complaint among retailers is that by the time they have access to sales information it can already be too late to act on it. Reports that come through at the end of the day or week are redundant when it comes to making quick decisions which can cause problems with overstocking and understocking.

In the same way a CRM gives you access to real-time customer data, your EPoS and related systems should be giving you visibility of sales across your whole estate, including online channels. Doing so allows you to see spikes and trends and react quickly by allocating stock to your best-performing stores and channels to maximise full margin sales.

In addition, a back-end system that allows you to automate purchase order creation based on real-time sales figures and stock levels will enhance your retail operations by saving you time and keeping your most popular products in stock when you need them most.

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OMNIS Retail is a unified approach to EPoS

The increasing demands of modern retail are putting a strain on existing retail systems, especially PoS. Retailers are beginning to recognise that these systems are no longer fit for purpose so need to explore the new solutions that are available. In doing so there are some fundamental features that every new system must have to ensure that retailers can provide a coherent customer experience that’s fuelled by data-driven decision making.  

OMNIS was born out of the needs of a leading direct to consumer brand to support their online and instore retailing formats in the UK market. They were facing the same problems and challenges that present obstacles for any retailer.

As a progressive and forwarding thinking brand, our client wanted to remove the limitations, constraints and operational inefficiencies associated with integrating an eCommerce website with offline EPoS and legacy back office retail software.

We quickly saw the vast potential OMNIS possessed. It’s a need we’ve recognised with many other retailers and DTC brands that have similar aspirations and want to remove the restrictions of old retail technology and software.

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OMNIS Retail is a pioneering new retail solution that has been driven by DTC brands & niche retailers looking to the future. A single database eliminates any data integration issues between outdated systems, instead providing a cloud-based omnicommerce retail solution fit for the 21st century.

Online and instore retail

OMNIS Retail is a pioneering new retail solution that has been driven by DTC brands & niche retailers looking to the future. A single database eliminates any data integration issues between outdated systems, instead providing a cloud-based omnicommerce retail solution fit for the 21st century.

Would you like to know more?

19th August 2020