As a retailer, holiday line-ups can be a source of frustration for both customers and staff. With everybody stressed out, people are more impatient than normal and have a lower tolerance for unnecessary delays. While things like the weather are beyond your control, there are a few small things you can do in advance to speed things up during checkout.
1) Display Signs to Anticipate Customer Questions
Training staff to answer questions is always important but common in-store questions can be answered more quickly with clear signage. Not only does this speed up your checkout, it gives employees relief from having to repeat answers over and over throughout the day. Good examples include:
1) Showing your payment options clearly at the entrance and at every till in your store. It's frustrating for a customer to wait in a long line and get to a till only to find out that you don't accept the form of payment they need.
2) A small label for PINpad options like Contactless is a good idea so customers know exactly where to tap cards.
3) Have a preferred method of payment? Showing the logo at the till increases customer usage.
4) If you are new to EMV, friendly reminders at your tills can be very useful - e.g. inserting cards into the chip reader instead of swiping or waiting until the transaction is complete before taking cards out of the reader.
Remember to keep signage simple. You don't want to clutter your till so keep it to one message only. Our creative team has designed several festive EMV instruction signs to keep your lines moving! Download your FREE pdf copy here.
2) Encourage Electronic Payment
If you have a history of big queues, electronic payments will pay-out for you in the long-term. While accepting cash means avoiding processing fees, fewer and fewer people carry cash nowadays. The additional trade-off of slower checkout (perceived worse customer service) and greater human error makes it critical for many retailers to offer forms of electronic payment. And if your point of sale system offers PINpad integration with your processor of choice, you can speed things up even further by eliminating the need for your staff to punch in the invoice amount on the PINpad.
3) Minimize the Routine at Checkout
It's important for checkout staff to have good rapport with customers, but it makes sense to train staff to minimize the routine at checkout during the busy holiday season. We would not suggest changing expected routines such as participation in loyalty membership programs or charitable contributions but it might be worthwhile to avoid consider offering only paper receipts unless a customer requests a digital one. Besides the time required to type in or double-check a customer's email address, printed receipts are a great medium for promoting after-sales offers to encourage repeat visits.
4) Manage your Staffing Needs
The selling environment is never exactly the same but it's always useful for you to review last year's daily sales during the holiday period to see if there are any trends (e.g. which days of the week are busiest, etc.) that will help you better anticipate your staff schedule. Having enough staff on your busiest days will improve your customer service and ultimately help your sales.
5) Automate your Promotions & Discounts
There's no denying that promotions are top-of-mind for consumers during the post-holiday period. Most retailers will offer discounts to attract the Boxing Day crowds but it can be a catch-22 as you need to reduce margins to sell while, at the same time, increase costs to maintain your customer service for lower margin sales.
Besides reduced prices, offering in-store promotions incur indirect costs such as carrying extra holiday staff and paid marketing efforts. It's important to also remember the costs of training staff and merchandising the store with promotions. If not properly handled, promotions will be a source of frustration if staff take longer to ring in sales, there are more pricing errors and customers perceive that the store "mis-communicated" discounts.
As Point of Sale systems have improved, even small retailers can have access to automated discounting now. A good retail point of sale system will allow retailers to quickly set-up discounts and make mass price changes. It should also have many options for promotions so that everything from loyalty points and memberships to group discounting are automated when you ring in sales.
We know what it's like trying to maintain your edge in a sea of competitors. Small changes like the ones above are a no brainer as they can have a big impact on your efficiency without any additional cost. Happy Retailing!
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Our Android mobile app, ScanNow, is currently available for download on GooglePlay. Unlike other scanning apps, we focus on the most important task at hand - being able to do your inventory count with your smart device and posting it back into your point of sale. At the same time, a lot of effort has been put into the design of the ScanNow interface to make it simple and intuitive to use.
- Standalone operation
- Automatic scan, Quick add or Manual input, all available from the same screen
- Designed to allow for continuous entry
- Smart search lookup of imported inventory lists
- Unlimited inventory items or count batches (full version only)
- Import / Export of data with spreadsheet templates (via email)
- Option for direct integration to ACE Retail 3000 over wifi network (integration fee required)
- No advertisement
- Android mobile devices
- CipherLab RS30 Android Enterprise Scanner (smart device with built-in 1D laser scanner)
Download the lite version (limit of 100 products) to test out the standalone app.
EXTENDED!!!! SPECIAL OFFER for ACE Customers:
FREE full version license of the standalone mobile app until Dec 30, 2016.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for your GooglePlay redemption code.
Whenever you make a sale, you give or email your customer a receipt. Even though receipts have higher open rates than promotional emails and already have the attention of your customers, sales receipts are one of the commonly overlooked marketing opportunities.
Use your ACE Point of Sale system to customize your email or tape receipts to stay connected with your customers and win additional sales by:
~ Promoting your online store, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter pages
~ Offer a discount code to encourage repeat customers
~ Promote seasonal marketing programs
~ Offer time-limited coupons to drive traffic during low season
~ Upsell or cross-sell profitable products in your store
~ Add barcodes for easier returns or exchanges
~ Direct customers to online surveys for valuable feedback and more!
See below to learn how to add coupons or customize your ACE tape receipts. For more instructions, active support plan members can visit the ACE Online Knowledge Portal or email us at email@example.com.
As the leading provider of marketing information, AC Nielsen actively works with 275,000 retailers worldwide to consolidate generic sales data to let manufacturers know what type of products people are buying and selling at any given time. By joining the panel, your customer's general preferences will be represented in the data that manufacturers use to make product decisions. You will also receive a payment every period for your participation and access to the Nielsen web site.
If you are already a participant or if you're interested in being a part of the AC Nielsen Panel, ACE Retail makes things even easier for you. ACE users have the option of having automatic integration set-up between their POS system and the Nielsen secure FTP server. This unique feature is available at no extra charge to customers currently on an active ACE POS annual support membership.
If you're interested, please download the pamphlet below to contact AC Nielsen for more details.
New start-ups and small businesses alike need a Point of Sale system that’s practical and won’t break the bank. The best POS systems should do much more than just accept payments and process sales. Good point of sale systems designed for retail should include time-saving features such as inventory management, marketing tools, customer tracking, EMV PIN pad integration and accounting management. But where does one start? Read on to learn about the top 6 features you should keep in mind when looking for a retail POS system.
1) Advanced Import / Export Functions
While it seems obvious, it’s a fact that there are POS solutions that still exist without proper import / export functions. For any retailer considering a new Point of Sale software, this is a key feature as it determines how quickly you will be able to load your products into a new system and, even more importantly, whether you can retrieve your data should you wish to eventually switch systems. As ACE Retail POS users will tell you, a solid POS will include the option to save import mapping as templates so that you can more easily import standardized spreadsheets such as new product lists from suppliers.
Do you run Buy X get Y discounts in your store? ACE can automate the discounts for you to minimize human error. This popular function is used by many of our grocery, convenience and pharmacy customers but it's perfect for all retailers to push greater sales volume.
1. Go to Operations > Inventory > Group Promotion
Here at ACE POS, we're busy working together with our partners to help our customers grow their businesses. Email marketing has been around for a while now but with increased privacy regulation, retailers can use tools such as the digital receipting service offered with all Star Micronics receipt printers for worry-free post-sales marketing.
For Michael Spencer of Star Cloud Services, reaching your customer and reminding them of your value matters in an era of omnichannel retail. Email can be used to engage with your customers, driving traffic to your website and increasing brand loyalty and visits to your store or restaurant.
Adding Value to the Customer Journey
Building high-value relationships with your customers takes time, and it takes reaching them effectively on different channels, all with your own brand’s natural tone. The best email marketing inspires, educates and helps your customers.
According to Shopify, the ROI of email marketing is around 3,800% for small and medium sized businesses.
Acquiring new customers, retaining them and attracting them to seasonal events back to the store, Email can play a major role in all of these, as well as keeping customers in the loop about special events, promotions, your brand’s story and time-limited deals, contests, and much more.
Email is also a great way to spread your brand’s organic reach with minimal investment of your time and money.
You’ve probably heard about Pokémon Go, the mobile reality game which has taken the world by storm. I know, I know. You’re thinking, “are they jumping on the bandwagon too?” But whether you love it or hate it, if you’re a retailer that markets to Millennials, can you afford to ignore a phenomenon that is already more popular than Tinder, Snapchat and Twitter with your target market?
Catch Millennial Sales!
If you sell to Millennials, you can easily cash in on the foot traffic of Pokémon Go as the game requires players to physically visit locations in order to catch rare Pokemon, battle their Pokémon at gyms and replenish items at Pokéstops. If you’re scratching your head at this point, don’t worry, as per our motto, we will make this as painless as possible. Read on to learn how to "lure" Pokémon AND customers to your store!
Nowadays, a point of sale system is the core of all business and accounting data. There are few things as scary as losing the data in your point of sale system. Besides period manual back-ups, don't forget to set up your ACE Retail 3000 software to automatically back-up using the Windows Task Scheduler.
1. Click on the Windows Start Menu, search for "Task Scheduler" and open it.
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