Insight on POS Solution Selection for Independent Merchants
Gift Shop POS Solutions
Gift shops are some of the finest hidden treasures in the retail segment. They come in many shapes, sizes and flavors. Most focus on specific target audiences while others provide gifts of all kinds depending on the location and other factors. Aside from resort and airport locations, most gift shops are independently owned and operated by small business people. Consequently, it is very rare that a gift shop business enjoys the luxury of the budget and/or the technology infrastructure you would find in corporate America.
So, how do gift shops obtain the technology they need to compete and run efficiently like the big box stores do? After all, the owners are faced with the same challenges that larger retailers combat with high-end, expensive technology. Although it may be on a smaller scale, gift shops still need to control inventory, manage cash flow and provide excellent customer service. However, many gift shop owners continue to fight this battle using manual processes due to lack of education on retail technology available and/or lack of funds to implement systems.
Below are just a few of the benefits provided when a solid gift shop POS solution is deployed:
1. Real Time Inventory Control – Gift shops carry extensive inventory. Often times this inventory is made up of thousands of small parts. Gift shop POS solutions provide all the controls necessary to maintain appropriate stock levels and control profit margins.
2. Pricing and Theft Controls – Even the most basic of POS systems can assist a gift shop owner by eliminating pricing errors and reducing theft. Cash registers leave far too much room for operator error and provide limited (if any) reporting power.
3. Superior Customer Service – Although a gift shop is not always the fastest paced environment, customers still appreciate a speedy checkout experience. The right gift shop POS solution will provide 1-3 second transaction times. Further, POS systems often provide robust customer management modules that provide critical information to speed up returns, suggest additional up-sell/add-on items, recognize customers by name, track and reward customer loyalty, etc.
4. Sales and Profit Boosters – A robust gift shop POS solution will provide additional features to assist the gift shop owner in growing the business. Examples are integrated gift cards, customer loyalty programs, integrated online stores and email marketing initiatives based on customer history stored in the POS system.
5. Efficiency of Operations – Gift shop POS solutions eliminate several manual processes for the business owner. When the right POS system is in place, gift shop owners and staff members spend a fraction of the time dealing with tedious activities such as pricing/tagging of items, reconciling cash registers and credit card terminals, placing orders with suppliers, etc. When the POS system eliminates or assists in these activities, more time is available for the staff to focus on customers and other money-making activities that grow the business.
Although the list of benefits provided above is fairly short, it depicts some of the power of implementing a POS solution in a gift shop. So, how does the owner of a small gift shop afford such powerful technology? Surprisingly, POS providers that focus on the gift shop segment often offer solutions that are extremely affordable. Some of these systems are offered on a “pay-as-you-go” basis to eliminate risk and large up-front investments. Typically, the investment pays for itself in the form of controls and gained efficiencies that simply cannot be provided by the most sophisticated of cash registers.
In any case, there is a great deal to consider when selecting the right POS solution for your gift shop business. For more issues to consider on the topic, download our free guide prepared to assist you when seeking the right POS solution for your business.