The rate of technological change is even more daunting than ever and has even greater repercussions on the way businesses operate and interact with their customers. With each year comes a host of new services, new tools, and new disruptions to the market. With our experience helping translate technology into practical business solutions, here are our predictions for how new technology will shape 2016 for enterprise.
Adaption to and implementation of mobile point of sale (MPOS) systems is on the rise. MPOS sales are forecasted to be growing 380% between 2013 and 2017, with it being predicted that by 2019 mobile systems will account for 46% of the overall POS sector.
And this growth is spurred with good cause. Integration of the MPOS system with back-end merchandise, inventory and CRM systems arm sales associates with the capabilities and information they need to drive sales and improve customer service.
So you’ve taken the plunge or are about to. You are about to become or already are a bar owner. You have that great location and space and are ready to serve eager patrons.
But do you really know what it takes to succeed as a bar owner and operator? There are many courses for would-be bartenders but less for bar owners.
Here we go over what you should watch out for in order to run your own bar and maybe even see it grow to multiple locations.
There is more competition for every sale in today’s shopping environment.
The squeeze on after-tax wages for the youth, middle class and family demographics has continued to depress consumer spending. Add to this the fact that online retailers such as Amazon provide highly competitive pricing, fully stocked inventory and convenient delivery and it is evident that making that sale is getting harder and harder.
To address this your organization probably has a deep understanding of your customers’ demographics. The impulse to know your brand’s customer, their gender, geographic location, marital status etc to understand how to target and market to them is the right one.
But there is another factor your marketing department need to consider to really understand your customers. That is psychographics.
According to Harvard Business School, increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.
Remember W. Edwards Deming’s assertion that, “Profit in business comes from repeat customers, customers that boast about your project or service, and that bring friends with them”.
In fact most of a brand’s revenue comes from its loyal, repeat customers. This is as your loyal top 10% customers spend 3x more per order than the lower 90%. Also note that if you can get a customer to come back and make a second and third purchase they have a 54% chance of making subsequent purchases.
As such customer retention is important and necessary. But how should your company keep your customers?
Here we go over key points your brand should be checking off;
Many big businesses owners are now moving to cloud POS to simplify their business operations, get better data and increase efficiencies. In fact 35% of operators named it as a priority for their next POS upgrade.
Here we go over why and how cloud POS can work for you.
All business owners alike need to know the latest technology, business developments, and trends to make the best decisions for their businesses.
Keeping ahead of industry changes and developments is a smart move as it also keeps you ahead of your competitors.
Now the latest change to watch out for is in regards to your POS.
As you may already know your POS is at the heart of your business, where the sales are and at the point of customer contact.
But now you should see your POS as more than a piece of hardware at the till or a limited-capability app on an un-secure tablet.
Instead for maximum profitability and operational efficiency you should see your POS as a platform, one which works seamlessly to get you the information and capabilities that really matter. Think of your POS as a platform of different applications and components working together to grow your business.
The threat to credit card and other information stored on a POS is always present and always evolving.
Know that your POS is an especially attractive target for cyber thieves. Stolen credit card info has a limited shelf life as credit card companies quickly identify suspicious spending. As such, thieves are always on the lookout for new numbers and a POS is an optimal place for them to mine.
In fact a 2015 report stated that the estimated financial loss from 700 million compromised records was $400 million.
The next business hit by a POS malware could very likely be yours. Don't think you are immune — small, medium and large businesses have all been targeted in the past.
For large businesses there is a huge loss of reputation and loss of sales, while many small businesses do not recover from the cost of this type of hack and can even go out of business. Remember that it's a business owner’s responsibility to ensure that they provide their customers with a secure shopping environment.
Have these concerns in mind when you buy or upgrade your POS. A legacy system with no or very little inventory control puts you at a distinct disadvantage in handling costs of operations and rise of omni-channel shopping.
One of the key benefits to an advanced POS system, such as Vexilor, is that it automatically tracks sales and inventory data. To maximize your POS investment you should learn how to use that data to improve your store operations and make more profit.
Here are some key tips.
Your POS is an integral and extremely important part of your business. It doesn’t matter how savvy your advertising or well-trained your staff if your POS lets you down in the areas of security, innovation and integration with sales enhancing tools such as gift cards. The POS has evolved and you should know about POS innovations for the benefit of your business and sales.
It might be easy and cost effective to go with apps or a given to choose more established (and expensive) legacy systems – but this is not the right approach to take when choosing your POS provider.
Below we go over the key things to look for in a POS provider, why these are important and what mistakes you may be making in conceptualizing a POS provider.
You’ve signed up to attend a really promising or even famous trade show. You’ve got your business cards ready and the date marked.
But it’s not enough to just show up.
To get the most out of the trade show experience for yourself, your company and even your personal brand you have to try and stand out from the crowd and employ some effective trade show optimization strategies.
Restaurateurs are well aware that patrons want more than just food when they visit a restaurant – they want a dining experience. Now restaurateurs should also expect their guests to have expectations around technological advancements and capabilities. Much like restaurant goers of yesteryear expected on-trend decor and popular and fashionable food options, they now expect a certain level of technological capability at their restaurants of choice.
The number of consumers who say technology options at restaurants factor into their choosing of restaurants went up from 20% in 2014 to 25% in 2015 according to a recent survey. Perhaps surprisingly the 25% included both Millennials and older generations.
Welcome to 2015.
As a merchant you should be aware of the threats out there to your customers’ credit card information safety. If credit card info is stolen on your locations or premises then customers will see you as partially culpable for the stress and damages they have to suffer and will voice their anger over social media, damaging your brand’s image on very public forums.
When Target’s security breach became public for example customers flooded the company’s Facebook page with complaints, visibly voicing annoyance and marring their social media presence. Target also reported a noticeable decline in sales during the Christmas season right after their disclosure of the breach.
In the retail sector alone Mobile Point of Sale (MPOS) is a $5.7 billion business globally.
A MPOS is a tablet, smart-phone or dedicated wireless device that performs the functions of a Point of Sale (POS) terminal. Depending on the software the MPOS can operate as a stand-alone device that’s simply linked to the business’ bank account or it can be an integrated component of a larger POS system.
In recent years MPOS has become a popular option among retailers helping to line bust, combat showrooming and provide better service.
The move to implement MPOS is a smart one. However a nuanced understanding of the technology needs to be reached by the merchant to make the most of the MPOS.
There is a trend in retail shopping that consumers have latched onto in droves.
This ‘trend’ has staying power and has changed the way consumers shop in the current context.
It is omni-channel shopping and if as a retailer you do not know what it is you definitely want to read on.
Omni-channel shopping entails the consumer using multiple channels – whether it be a mobile device, online stores, visiting brick-and-mortar locations or a Pinterest board – in the process of making a purchase. They may look at pictures of an item on Pinterest and ‘pin’ it to their board, then they may research reviews online, after this they may visit the store to take a look at the physical product and finally they may go to your website on their phone or tablet to make the purchase or worse, buy it from Amazon. This is ‘showrooming’ which is the practice of looking at a product in-store and then buying it for a cheaper price online.
Either way the buying journey has changed.
If you think the threat of POS malware attacks is overstated, then you only need to look at the damage done to major brands that have been successfully attacked with POS malware. Target is a prime example of the damage that can be done by an attack. They saw a 46% drop in profits after their attack, which saw 70 million records stolen that included the name, address, email and phone number of Target customers. Home Depot garnered the same negative press coverage Target did when 56 million customer debit and credit card numbers were stolen from its system requiring $62 million to recover from the incident.
Clearly a POS malware is something you should be concerned about as a business owner.
Now you may be worried, wondering if you have covered your bases and know enough about POS security.
Here we outline 5 key things you need to know to lower your chances of being successfully attacked:
“Big Data” is on every business’s agenda.
While maybe not understanding what it means or how to harness it “Big Data” seems to be the buzz word on everyone’s lips.
However before they start tackling “Big Data” businesses need to focus on the valuable information which can be mined from their POS, CRM and other programs.
Businesses need a method or process by which to grow and nurture this data so that it serves their needs. This is called dataculture.
In today’s social media savvy and hyper connected world marketing is more important than ever. Every large organization should have a marketing department staffed with marketing pros ready to get your message out there and help you sell your product or service.
It is also important for company management to keep marketing considerations in mind when making key decisions and to have a general understanding and know-how of marketing principles. With marketing constantly changing however it can be tough to ascertain what is important, when.
Here we have outlined the top marketing trends on the horizon for 2015. Stay abreast of these marketing developments to stay ahead of competition and keep up with consumers’ wants and expectations.
You may be comfortable with your existing Point-of-Sale (POS) system. But take a moment and look at the current POS environment. You will see around you a change, a shift. Cumbersome legacy POS systems are quickly being replaced by savvy businesses and business owners who have caught on to the fact that better, more efficient POS systems can make their lives easier and even contribute to higher profits.
It is important to not be static and left behind when competitors are rushing to update their POS systems and benefit from their many advanced features.
Consumers are now, in 2015, more informed, mobile and socially- connected than ever.
In 2014 actual store visits declined by 14.6 percent and data suggests that those who did go to stores research their purchases heavily online first before visiting a brick and mortar location. In 2013 online orders increased 63% during the holiday season compared to the previous year, with 20% of holiday sales and 25% of Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales made on mobile devices.
So what do these stats mean?
They tell us that consumers are tech savvy and that they are researching, browsing and transacting while on the go, using the web to become experts on their purchases and no longer relying on merchants to provide them with product info. These stats also point to the increasing trend of retailers becoming more advanced and sophisticated in how they predict and manage inventory and integrate their physical, virtual and mobile selling or their omni-channel shopping services.
You may already have a large customer base but want it to grow.
Creating a new radio ad or starting a new sale maybe some traditional ways to go about doing this. However there are newer tricks to encourage that new potential customer to come to your location or visit your website and make a purchase.
Here are some surprising ways to get that new customer that you should try out!
It may be time to re-think your POS. Why?
Because your POS is your hardworking partner and you didn’t even know it.
Instead of seeing your POS as a piece of equipment that processes sales think of your POS as a partner in your continued success, one that should be helping you in every part of your business functions.
If your POS only processes transactions and nothing else your company could be missing out on valuable opportunities to increase operational efficiencies.
POS systems have evolved, as have their capabilities and uses. The savvy business needs to know about and capitalize on these new POS innovations.
By ignoring the latest POS advancements, businesses harm their operations in the key areas of labor and inventory
Let’s start with some facts.
A recent McKinsey Global Institute report revealed that data driven decisions result in 23 times greater likelihood of customer acquisition, 6 times greater likelihood of customer retention and 19 times greater likelihood of profitability.
It is evident that data is important. It is important for your company’s profits and for its brand image.
But what type of data? Recent emphasis has been on the importance of big data which is defined as ‘extremely large sets of data’. But big data is worthless to you until it is turned into actionable data. In order to get the true benefits of big data companies needs to get insights out of the data which inform actions and desired outcomes. In short its needs to become actionable data to be useful to your company. One approach to dealing with big data is Dataculture, the cultivation and development of data and technology in ways to ensure that it is useful for you.
But what does this have to do with your POS?
What do you have in your business’s marketing tool box? Is it full? Or is it empty, devoid of the marketing capabilities you need to attract customers?
Data driven marketing should be employed by every merchant and company to directly target the right audience and speak to their potential customers using the right information and language. With marketing tools embedded right into your POS this capability is right at your fingertips
The right POS is your own dedicated marketer, a crucial member of your marketing team providing you with the ability to stimulate purchase and garner customer loyalty. It gives you the capability to attract and retain customers if it comes equipped with the right functionalities. Your POS should provide you with the right marketing tools.