Your point of sale strategy isn’t merely a way to shunt buyers out of the door as fast as possible. It should actively contribute to your marketing and stock control systems. It should also optimize your employees’ time so that they can put their focus where it belongs: on upselling. Once you’ve hammered together an effective POS strategy, analytics should be gathered to enhance the many diverse tasks your point of sale can now fulfil. Your EMV terminal should be sophisticated enough to contribute to every single department in your company.
Where is Point of Sale Today?
In the Nineties, all you needed to run an efficient point of sale (POS) was a basic magnetic strip payment terminal, a computer, and software. Despite how rudimentary POS systems were 20 years ago, a basic interface often used to cost tens of thousands of dollars. Today, that price has been dragged down drastically by open source code and freeware applications you can nip and tuck to fit your precise needs. The days of paying massive flat fees for an EMV terminal are as good as over. Readers like SumUp charge a negligible percentage of each sale with no additional costs for your bookkeeper to worry about. SumUp doesn’t even have an upfront cost.
One of the most dramatic improvements to contemporary POS systems is the existence of analytics and automation. You can effectively use the data your cashiers enter when processing a sale to inform your marketing team, refine your stock choices, and obliterate much of your accountant’s legwork. You needn’t know the difference between a one and a zero to use such innovative functionality. With a click or two, analytics software will automatically craft your data into digestible graphs and other formats, ready for your management teams to analyse. Your SumUp wireless credit card terminal can feed information into Microsoft Excel, automating much of the work your accountant usually has to do at snail pace. By taking labor intensive tasks off your staff’s shoulders, you can at last use their most profitable talents to raise revenue.
The Mobile Solution
A credit card terminal with EMV processing power can travel anywhere a smartphone can. Every waiter in your restaurant can carry their own pocket-sized terminal, speeding up service and keeping your guests smiling. Your reader travels with your delivery people, who can use any Android or iOS device to process transactions the contactless way. Mobile businesses never need to worry about processing payments before service delivery again.
A recent study of businesses deploying new POS systems found that entrepreneurs had four primary reasons for upgrading:
- 48% upgraded to cut out time-consuming point of sale tasks.
- 33% wanted to shorten queues and serve clients faster.
- 20% wanted to gain competitive advantage.
- 12% wanted to improve customer loyalty through better service and loyalty programs.
The Customer-Centric Credit Card Terminal
Nearly half of all retailers believe that their POS systems eat up too much of their employees’ time. Failure to update to more efficient and accurate EMV technology has even worse effects than that, though. Price inaccuracy can directly drain your profits, and screen and keyboard malfunctions can cost you time and money. The inability to accept credit and debit cards has an obvious impact on your bottom line, while a lack of loyalty programs skims from your revenue indirectly, especially if your direct competitors are offering rewards. Implementing a new system that eliminates all these problems is easier and more economical than you might imagine, and it begins with your wireless credit card terminal.
Step One: Adding Card Terminal EMV Technology
With a little thought and effort, your credit card terminal can act as the foundation of your POS. While your SumUp reader only processes EMV cards, you can still run cash sales through it and, in so doing, replace your register entirely. How you build your next POS step depends on which operating system you use.
Step Two: Adding a Point of Sale System for Microsoft and Android
If you’re a Microsoft client, an Excel point of sale application is easy and economical to implement because SumUp can convert all the data it receives into XLS format. Apps can even be installed on all your staff’s touchscreen devices, so it’s one of the most seamless ways to upgrade to EMV chip cards. In a single download, and often at no outlay, you can issue barcode sales bills, control your stock, complete end of month stock balances, and handle purchases.
SumUp also graduates your POS to the cloud when you add web-based analytics software to your spreadsheets. Excel itself has an online version capable of churning up your sales statistics, but more evolved applications are worth considering. Advanced analytics apps can:
- Track average inventory and shrinkage.
- Assess your gross margin and sell-through percentages.
- Calculate return on investment.
- Calculate your average basket value.
- Tell you who your most profitable employees are.
With that data, you can make more intelligent inventory choices and assess your buyers’ responses to your marketing efforts. Your store performance data gives you all you need to know about each branch of your business, while your employee figures can be used to inform a better talent management strategy.
Step Two: for iOS
If you or your any of your staff are Apple users, SumUp’s iTunes app emails or texts receipts to your client, accepts all credit cards, and transfers payments to your bank account. SumUp is the first to launch an open mPOS platform with native software development kits and application programming interfaces. Anti-fraud measures are built into the reader, adding an extra tier of security to the already airtight safety of EMV technology. Your iOS users can use browser-based applications, too, which means you can be entirely independent of all operating systems if you prefer to be. In essence, what all this jargon means is that your credit card reader has been opened up to third parties, so you can develop your own applications or download those created by others.
Step Three: Stock Control
By feeding product codes into your payment terminal, your inventory numbers can be updated automatically with every transaction. This lets you identify which items are selling well, which need replacement, and which are responding to your marketing efforts.
Step Four: Stay Secure and Integrate
SumUp’s Checkout API lets you integrate stand-alone and omnichannel payments online and off so that card information never makes it to your server. All information is encrypted, and a new transaction is generated for each payment to prevent fraud. If you don’t want to embed your own web app, SumUp provides a custom checkout program.
Step Five: Use Your POS Register for Your Books
With the help of additional applications, SumUp’s POS can act as a pixelated version of your brick and mortar cash register, managing everything from multiple payment methods to discounts and reporting. It can:
- Function in the cloud
- Operate in offline mode.
- Manage loyalty programs.
- Handle a full suite of transactions over the phone or via tokenization.
- Accept data about your clients.
The API also creates a pagination of transaction events so that you can control refunds, chargebacks, and orders. This data is easily transferred into your bookkeeping software to cut out the need for repetitive tasks. Transaction histories can be churned into metrics to inform your marketing and advertising teams.
Creating a New Business Model with Your Credit Card Terminal
Today’s POS systems are supposed to enhance your revenue and make life easier for staff, and your EMV terminalcan act as the central point around which the rest of your POS functions revolve. Before the new generation of contactless EMV readers hit the stands, how you accepted payments limited the mobility of your business. Fees were too steep to support more than a few card machines, and mobile credit card processing wasn’t an option. Today, your terminal can travel with you, so your business isn’t limited to your brick and mortar address. If you want to sell products at a convention, you no longer need a hard line. Contactless readers will carry you from outdoor markets to catered events without requiring you to prepare. If you’ve never thought about what your business model would look like if it was unconstrained to a physical address, it’s time to start.
EMV technology is more than merely a tool for eliminating fraud. With a little thought, it will change the way you think about your company. If you’ve been in business for a decade, you’ve probably invested thousands in old fashioned POS systems. It’s time to wave goodbye to those unnecessary costs and say “hello” to tools that raise profits.