The end of November through December is the busiest time for retailers. Everyone is out buying gifts for all of their friends and family, and maybe one or two things for themselves.
Just because everyone is programmed to purchase at this time of year, though, doesn’t mean they’re going to purchase from you. Or even if they are, it doesn’t mean you can’t get them to purchase more.
In fact, it’s even more important to do everything possible to increase sales this time of year. Just because you make it to the Olympics doesn’t mean you’ve got the gold medal, so to speak.
To make sure you’re maximizing your resources this time of year, here are five ways your POS can increase your holiday sales.
1. It can perfect your inventory strategy.
POSs these days are no longer just point-of-sale systems – they’re full-fledged retail management systems. They can run your store from the first moment you come into contact with your inventory, to when you sell that item. They can even manage your customer experience! Basically, your POS should be your best friend.
Given all that, you should check in with your POS and spend some time learning about what items have done really well in sales recently, which ones haven’t moved, and which ones sold out last year. Your POS may even be able to predict which items will sell really well this season.
Once you’ve got that information, you can order your products with a lot more accuracy. You can also use that data to decide how to set your store. You may want to put some of your best-sellers up front to draw people in, and scatter the rest about to encourage people to look through the whole store. You also can put the items that aren’t selling well in more visible locations. Often items can sit on the shelves purely because they’re hidden or in the wrong place. Of course, if it’s a totally hideous, puke-green sweater, that could also be the reason it’s sitting. (If that’s the case, maybe try running it as an ugly Christmas sweater?)
With inventory that’s sitting, you should get a bit creative in how you display it, too. For instance, for clothing items that aren’t selling, you may want to try working them into an outfit on a mannequin so that customers can see the items in their full context. This can liven up basics, and helps people understand how to wear trickier items like statement necklaces.
2. Your POS Can Make Sure You Have the Right Team in Place.
Your POS should either have built in employee scheduling software, or should integrate with your existing scheduling software. Either way, you can use software to schedule your employees. (If, for whatever reason, you’re still doing it by hand, please let me convince you that software is soooo worth it – and you can get it for cheap!)
This scheduling software will be able to identify your highest sellers. It will also be able to predict your peak hours this holiday season based on what your peak hours were last holiday season. (If you’ve got software that’s newer than last holiday season, it can still make very good guesses on your future peak hours using data from the past months.)
With all that information, you can easily ensure your peak hours are staffed by your top sellers, while your down-hours are stocked with your best stock people. Heck, plenty of scheduling software options will even autoschedule all that for you to save you time!
3. Your POS Can Probably Ring People Up Anywhere in the Store.
Most POS software these days not only operates on giant stationary desktop registers, but it also on mobile devices like iPads and Android smartphones.
If you haven’t gotten in on mobile registers yet, now is the time to do it! Mobile registers are insanely helpful for a number of reasons.
- You can ring customers up anywhere in the store. This means a reduction in boring, slow lines. It also means that customers who love something in the dressing room won’t have to deal with the fateful walk to the register, during which they decide that the item is out of their budget and their husband will hate them for buying it. Better customer experience = better sales, plain and simple.
- You can take your register anywhere there’s Wi-Fi. Many can even do all the basic sales functions you need without Wi-Fi. Which means you can start hitting the road with your merchandise. When your merchandise appears in more locations, you reach more shoppers. Go to farmer’s markets! Go to festivals! Start a fashion truck! Your sales possibilities are limited only by your imagination (and some laws against selling in certain public locations).
- Mobile POS gives your sales people access to your CRM anywhere in the store. Before mobile POS, sales people were only able to access your customer relationship management system at the cash-wrap, which typically meant disengaging with the customer, and fighting Bertha the cashier for the chance to just ‘pleeeease’ pop into the system between customers. Not pleasant. Why is this bad? Well, your CRM holds all your information about customers, like past purchases and sizes. This sort of information can be really helpful to your sales people on the floor. With mobile POS, a sales person can quickly check for these details after naturally disengaging with the customer to help inform their suggestive selling without causing any disruptions to their customer, or to Bertha and all her customers.
5. Your POS can take mobile payments.
I know this one kinda sounds like the previous tip, but it’s not, I swear. Mobile payments are services like Apple Pay and Android Pay that allow someone to pay for a purchase by scanning their phone at your register. Many POS software vendors have updated their software to be able to take at least one of these types of payment.
How will it increase your holiday sales this year? Couple things:
- Mobile payments help reduce time spent at the register. Most people already have their phones out, so mobile payments are typically very swift.
- Mobile payments are here to stay, but many stores have yet to take them. By getting ahead of the curve, you’ll encourage shoppers who are already using mobile payments to shop with you.
5. Your POS can boost your marketing.
Your POS should integrate with an email marketing or marketing automation provider. If you don’t already have that set up and an email strategy in place, stop reading this post and go do that. Email marketing is one of the most effective ways of nurturing buyers into becoming returning customers.
Once you’ve got your email integration up and running all you have to do is create a holiday campaign, to get customers excited for Christmas shopping with you! Here are a few ideas for emails to send out:
- Send out emails announcing your promotions as they happen throughout the holiday season.
- Have a countdown to Christmas. Send out an email every day with the current countdown number. With the number you can either give pictures and descriptions of products, or you could run a daily promotion relating to that number. (Think: ‘7 days ‘til Christmas, get every 7th item free,’ or something similar.)
Your POS really should be your best friend this December. Make sure you optimize the ways you’re using it to increase your holiday sales. You got this. And remember to give Bertha her break. She’s a tired lady.
Looking for Point of Sale software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Point of Sale software solutions.