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With the ever-growing popularity of mobile devices and consumers’ desire to have information at their finger tips, the retail industry has embraced e-commerce as the future of retail. Even so, brick and mortar locations continue to play an important role in the success of retail establishments. Instead of abandoning physical stores, this shift has created a need for a variety of channels that customers can utilize to research and plan prior to making purchases. These channels typically come in the form of brick and mortar establishments, online stores, mobile applications, or any other method of creating a more fluid purchasing process for consumers.
While this transition has been relatively easy to make for big box retailers, small to medium sized retailers might have a much more difficult time making the change. For value-added resellers, the best way to maintain success is to provide solutions that allow clients to meet their goals. In this situation, this means providing retailers with point of sale solutions that integrate online and in-store operations for a consistent and seamless shopping experience.
A Seamless POS Solution
At this point, most retailers – regardless of size – understand the importance of having a point of sale system. However, having an e-commerce store that integrates with the brick and mortar store’s inventory isn’t at the top of mind for most small retailers. VARs that can develop point of sale software that intuitively integrates with an e-commerce website will put their customers in a better position to develop a successful omnichannel plan. Consumers who look at products online before visiting a store should be able to see – in real time – whether something is in stock. Making the trip to a store only to find out that something is out of stock or discontinued is upsetting, and could impact purchasing patterns in the future.
In addition to offering a POS solution that caters to the omnichannel trend, VARs should ensure that smaller retailers can outfit their employees with mobile devices. Whether these devices are tablets, phones, or a mobile computer, the added functionality they offer retailers is unmatched. Mobile devices allow employees to stay informed on which items are still in stock and can act as an information source when customers ask questions. During busier hours, mobile POS solutions allow retailers to employ line busting strategies that shorten wait times.
As important as it is to allow consumers to have access to as much store/product information as possible, it is just as important to ensure that retailers gather information about consumers. Clienteling, which is when retailers gather information on the purchases, preferences, and behaviors of customers, is a great way to stay competitive in a world dominated by big box stores. VARs should ensure their point of sale solutions give retailers the power to record information on consumers. Providing tailored shopping experiences to groups of shoppers – or even individuals – can lead to increased sales and more loyal customers.
Staying ahead of the game can be difficult for small and medium sized retailers, especially now that omnichannel retail is becoming so important. In order to have more success with smaller retailers, value-added resellers must offer a seamless POS solution that caters to the more recent trends in the retail industry.