Take customer satisfaction through the roof with an EPoS system
You simply can't have a successful business without having happy customers. In today's highly competitive and fast-changing market, if there's one advantage that an EPoS system can give a business it's great edge through customer satisfaction.
The whole retail space is currently geared around what the customer wants, to the extent that new practices and EPoS technologies are being borne out of consumer demand. Collection lockers, for example, are popping up in supermarkets and on the high street to make it easier for customers to shop. While in hospitality, coffee shops are catering for on the go customers through mobile point-of-sale (MPoS) by taking advance orders via mobile devices, so that people don't have to wait too long and can literally pick up their double espresso and be on their way. Amazon is so keen to impress that it has introduced a predictive shopping tool that advises it what its customers are likely to buy next. The predicted purchases are then being shipped to the nearest storage location, so that should the customer actually go ahead and order the item, it will reach them as fast as possible and reduce waiting time.
EPoS is certainly a means to not only meet with, but also exceed your customers' expectations. Delivering a level of service so attuned with consumer' desires that you become their favourite way to shop, dine, or even relax.
The advantages that come from pleasing customers will be recognised by both them and your business :
EPoS systems help you to easily manage multiple selling channels which in return give customers numerous choices in how they can shop. Depending on their whereabouts or busy schedules they can choose to purchase something in store at the traditional till point or perhaps at a self service till point. Or if they are at home there is the option to buy over the phone, online or through a catalogue.
With EPoS, transactions are both faster and more frequent, and as a result customers are no longer seen queuing up the aisles or indeed out the door. For example, many stores offer till points, self service or mobile purchasing options, while restaurants also offer staff the option to take orders directly at the table. Or some even allow customers to order via table top screens or mobile that all link to the EPoS system.
It's not always possible to have a team of staff who know the full ins and outs of your business and the products it sells, nor the time to fully assist with every customer enquiry. However, by arming them with EPoS tools, such as on screen information at the till point or a mobile device, they can have the knowledge to hand to guide customers with purchasing and also more time to focus on their needs as each transaction is generally a quicker task than it would be without EPoS.
These days customers are seeking personalised shopping and therefore you need the knowledge held within an EPoS system to support you. Take customer email alerts for example, why waste your time and your customers' by telling them about offers that really aren't relevant to them. Instead you can use past shopping data or fresh online search data to promote products guided by sales results.
A vast number of consumers use their mobile phones before, during and even after shopping. With EPoS tools you can interact with your mobile customers by providing such services as wifi to allow them to browse or research products in store, beacons to alert customers to offers when they are nearby, or QR codes to give more information on products and promotions.
Once your customers have selected their goods they are ready to enjoy them. They do not want to hang around waiting to pay, which is why many businesses are introducing contactless payment methods linked to EPoS systems. These may be card payments that are automatically processed through a single touch of a debit or credit card or mobile payments that use apps to make a payment. Both forms are very quick and hassle free.
By taking advantage of the wealth of information that can be accessed through an EPoS system you have the potential to create a very streamlined shop or restaurant layout. The positioning of product, tills, labels, etc can all be tested and the selling results recorded by EPoS to guide you as to what works best for your business and when. In addition, processes such as stock check and replenishment are made simpler as your system can report exactly what needs restocking or do on the spot checks through mobile, handheld tools, so you are not cluttering up the aisles while customers are shopping.
It goes without saying that a happy customer is more likely to make a purchase, come back for more and bring their friends with them. Therefore keeping satisfaction levels up is a big win for your sales figures and tip jars.
Shoe retailer Clarks recognises that its customers are increasingly embracing digital technology including its youngest customers, and in an effort to keep up with consumer expectations of experience it has introduced a digital foot gauge. The complete device consists of a digi-tape and footplate that are used to measure a child's foot; an iPad then receives the data and creates a bespoke shoe guide. The aim of the tool is to make the foot measurement process easier and more interactive, while adding an element of fun to the task.
The measuring tool devices are agile enough to be moved around the store to serve each customer, and to keep young customers entertained the iPad screen plays a brand animation. Emma Jefferies, Clarks' UK and Ireland marketing manager explains: "We do a lot of consumer research ourselves and are always speaking to parents about what they expect, from Clarks overall and from the in store experience. We thought our new iPad foot gauge was one way we could make the experience of buying children's shoes more fun and exciting. It brings together our expertise and values about children's shoes, fitting and the product while helping us provide the best possible service. We're conscious of not introducing technology just for technology's sake. It's about something that really adds value and enhances what we do. There are lots of opportunities to use the iPads for other things, such as assisted selling or showing our wider range of products online".
Dutch retail chain, de Bijenkorf, took a multichannel and mobile approach to its EPoS system. It improved customer experience and sales across all of its channels by integrating a new technology platform with its key front and back-office systems and processes. E-commerce search, online navigation and merchandising, product information management, content management, multichannel payment gateway and enterprise resource planning systems, as well as a bespoke order management system were developed. As a result, customers could shop equally as well across desktop, tablet and mobile, and in store they could access and order the entire product range using EPoS tablets providing payment options. The new platform also provided a centrally managed multichannel promotions and loyalty scheme system, which ensures customers have a consistent marketing experience. Pieter Heij, director of multichannel at de Bijenkorf, said: "We are now thrilled to offer our customers a seamless multichannel experience across all devices, on a robust platform. We have seen a 50% improvement in site performance and an immediate uplift in sales following the launch of our new website."
Meanwhile, Paperchase the cards and stationery retailer, has taken advantage of MPoS for queue-busting support and improved service. Designed to provide a better experience for its customers and aid loyalty in return, sales assistants greet customers during busy sales periods like at the weekends and allow them to make their purchase using mobile devices. The system aims to reduce the length of the queue and prevent customers from having to wait too long, therefore ensuring browsing and time-poor customers complete purchases in a satisfactory manner. All sales data was set up to then flow through both the new mobile and existing till EPoS systems. Grace Humphries, business analyst at Paperchase, added: "The system also enables store associates to use the MPoS devices for additional customer engagement, including loyalty programme data capturing and encouraging link sales to increase the basket size of customers looking for sales support".
If you'd like to find out more about the advantages of an EPoS system or upgrading your existing solution, expert help is available.
Contact us for advice on the right EPoS system for your environment and receive a free quote.