“Top 5 Must-Have Features for a New POS System” by RICS Software (BRA Supporting Vendor Partner)

“Top 5 Must-Have Features for a New POS System” by RICS Software (BRA Supporting Vendor Partner)

A point-of-sale system must do more than process transactions. Your retail technology should enable you to collect, organize, and analyze data; maximize relationships with customers and brands; and create efficiencies. If you are in the market for a new POS, make sure these 5 features are included in your solution. Comprehensive Inventory Management and ReportingWhy have a POS if you’re still manually managing inventory? Figuring out what is on hand, what sold, and what you need to buy should be automated. You don’t have time for anything less.Consider: Sales and inventory go hand-in-hand. Look for a solution that includes features such as model stocks, purchase order suggestions, markdown management, and configurable reporting options. Aim for a cloud-based POS to enable real-time visibility into store performance anytime, anywhere. A good POS keeps you focused on what you do best which is making sales. Top 5 Must-Have Features for a New POS SystemIntegrated Payment Processing Customer Management ToolsWhy continue using complicated gateways or working with credit card companies that hide fees or change your rates all the time? Additionally, customers now bring big expectations for an easy checkout. Don’t let payment processing be a point of friction in your sales process. What drives your customers to your store/website? Do you know how to cross-sell? How are you maximizing follow-up opportunities? If you don’t have this information, you’re limiting your potential sales. Consider: Using an integrated payment processing will remove unnecessary fees, steps at check out, and save you time. Plus, customers get a simpler, better, and faster touchless checkout. Connectivity to BrandsQualified and Quality SupportDo you work closely enough with your...
“Best Practices for Physical Inventories” by Heartland Retail (BRA Supporting Vendor Partner)

“Best Practices for Physical Inventories” by Heartland Retail (BRA Supporting Vendor Partner)

What is a physical inventory? An audit of a store’s inventory to confirm that what the point of sale says you have on hand is actually there, either on the store floor or in backstock. They help identify things like discrepant transfers, fulfillment errors, theft or products that were never received in or received incorrectly. While frequency can vary depending on size of your store, seasonality and staffing, performing one full physical inventory (PI)—or count—every six months is generally recommended. Because you’ll want to freeze your store’s inventory while doing so, schedule PIs after hours or on a day you are closed (remember to communicate any closures to your customers ahead of time!). Traditionally, PIs were done on paper or spreadsheets, but affordable, mobile technology has made this once dreaded task far more efficient for many retailers. Necessary Materials Mobile, cloud POS with inventory managementiPads (one for every member of the PI team is ideal)Bluetooth scannersA few empty baskets or boxesSanitizer to wipe down hardware in between usesWater and snacks Preparing the Store Dividing your store into scannable “batches” keeps both the physical space and operations organized. Draw a map of your store, including front andback of house.Section off manageable areas, including all fixtures:tables, shelves, racks and display cases—the smallerthe batches, the higher the accuracy.In the days leading up to the count, give your store aliteral sweep.Check for products under racks, in forgotten binsor dressing rooms, behind the cash wrap and everydark corner where something could be hiding.Tidy your backstock, making sure apparel is foldedand products are in the appropriate packaging.Confirm that everything is scannable: Every itemmust have a...
“Five Keys to Unlocking Omnichannel Success” by Heartland Retail (BRA Supporting Vendor Partner)

“Five Keys to Unlocking Omnichannel Success” by Heartland Retail (BRA Supporting Vendor Partner)

87% of consumers are interested in apersonalized and consistent experienceacross all channels. Coupled with the fact that 71% of retailers planto offer their customers the ability to “start thesale anywhere, finish the sale anywhere,” andit’s obvious that no brand can afford to resist theomnichannel movement as the retail environmentcontinues to shift. Digital technologies are influencing the customerexperience across all channels. To compete, retailersmust rely on robust technology that allows themto collect the data most relevant to their business,integrates with best-of-breed retail technologypartners and gives them a 360-degree view of theirenterprise in real time. Merging this data, personalization and inventory visibilityacross all channels is necessary to create a seamlessexperience and optimize the omnichannel environment.So, here are five keys to unlocking omnichannel success: 1) Personalize Everything With eighty percent of consumers saying they aremore likely to do business with a company that offerspersonalized experiences, it’s obvious that the abilityto personalize customer interactions is critical toharmonized retail. Retailers must consistently collect customer data, learntheir preferences and engage in relevant conversationsacross all channels. Personalization enables brands andretailers to demonstrate that they know the customer,enhance the effectiveness of their marketing andincrease spend and loyalty. Having the right systemsin place can help support those personalizationinitiatives by enabling associates to access customerprofiles with shopping history, and create personalizedrecommendations through the data. 2) Create a Seamless Experience Customers now expect the same experience andquality of service whether they’re shopping in store,online, through a mobile app or any other channel.This is especially critical considering that so manyconsumers shift channels multiple times throughouttheir shopping journey. Almost half of all in-storepurchases stem from an online review, and more than45% of...
“How Retailers Will Thrive in 2021, According to 11 Experts” courtesy of Heartland Retail (BRA Supporting Vendor Partner)

“How Retailers Will Thrive in 2021, According to 11 Experts” courtesy of Heartland Retail (BRA Supporting Vendor Partner)

As retailers reflect on the last 12 months of the rollercoaster the industry rode—er, might still be riding—you can’t help but chuckle at some of the predictions made for 2020. Curiously enough, while few forecasted the actual impact of COVID-19, many themes still held up. Were we right about the continued rise of D2C brands investing in storefronts? Not quite. The emphasis on unique in-store experiences and community events? A little off the mark. Yet a call for deliberate and frictionless customer convenience? Nailed it. Amenities like curbside pick-up and BOPIS/BORIS, same-day delivery, contactless payments, mobile wallets and virtual shopping appointments ended up carrying more weight than many could have fathomed. These pivots, quite literally, saved retail businesses across the country. Though it’s likely to be a number of months before the world returns to what we once knew as “normal,” a shift in the direction of normalcy is on the horizon. What does that mean for retail in the new year, and will any of 2020’s themes carry over? We spoke with 11 retail industry experts—all Heartland partners—about what they think is in store for 2021, and what retailers must do to meet the trends that customer expectations are driving. A “Phygital” Experience Nico Cabral, Director of Marketing at Management One For the first half of 2021, consumers will still be wary of the high-contact, pre-COVID retail environments they once enjoyed. Retailers need to leverage their newfound savvy in the digital world and begin to blend it into their physical environments. This doesn’t require a massive investment in big, flashy in-store tech equipment—it could be as simple as a scannable QR...
“Put Your “Retail Puzzle” Together” by Tom Schrepferman

“Put Your “Retail Puzzle” Together” by Tom Schrepferman

Have you ever worked a 10,000 piece puzzle? Imagine all of those pieces spread out on your table. Where do you start? How do you start? You probably have these questions about how to thrive coming out of the COVID-19 retail challenges. Here’s how we recommend you start: Invest in e-Commerce: We expect e-Commerce growth trends to extend well past COVID-19.Control Inventory: Regularly review sales performance and inventory on-hand reports daily, weekly, and monthly to understand what inventory is moving.Reward Loyal Customers: Use frequent buyer incentives to support customers who support you. You can’t snap all the pieces of your business together at-once, but you could start here. The truth is there are many strategies to working puzzles, but the most important step is that you have to start. Marveling at all of the pieces won’t snap them together. BTW, the pro tip is to make sure all puzzle pieces are face up, sort them by color, and set aside the edges or corners. Reach out to book a demo with RICS and see how we can help! Tom Schrepferman RICS Software VP, Sales tom@ricssoftware.com 317-275-5941 BRA note: We are very pleased to mention that RICS Software is a BRA Supporting Vendor Partner who is currently offering fifty percent (50%) off all on-boarding fees and fifty percent (50%) monthly fees for the first twelve (12) months as well as a deferral of payments until 2021 for all BRA Distinguished Retail Members. Be sure to mention BRA when connecting with Tom and the solid people behind this outstanding resource. – Doug Works, Executive Director BRA If you are not yet...
“3 Ways to Keep Inventory Fresh and Improve Sell-Through” by Emily Fanning of Heartland Retail

“3 Ways to Keep Inventory Fresh and Improve Sell-Through” by Emily Fanning of Heartland Retail

Board retailers, even more so than other specialty stores, tend to have extremely loyal client bases. It’s a blessing, with a small spritz of a curse: the more often they come in, the more “same old” they see. So with your best customers visiting multiple times a season, engaging them with fresh and stimulating products and experiences carries a lot of weight. High sales are great, sure, but high sell-through and margin are two inventory performance metrics that are most telling of the health of your business—and the satisfaction of your customers. Let’s back up: What is sell-through? Sell‐through = units sold / initial units received x 100 Or, a percentage that compares the amount of inventory a retailer receives against what is actually sold within a specific time period. If your reports are showing a low sell‐through—say, less than 30% over 3-4 weeks*—on certain items, brands or even full categories, then it’s time to take action to move the merchandise before it becomes even less fresh. When product is slow, retailers often resort to markdowns as the default mechanism, but doing so means your margin will take a hit. Yet when your point of sale doubles as your inventory management system, its reporting can provide intel that will allow you to push under‐performing products through other techniques. We’d wager there isn’t a single retailer out there who hasn’t made a handful of poor buying decisions, so here are a few tactics that the savvy ones use when such happens. *You may have different optimal selling periods for different categories or even store locations—more on determining these benchmarks later!...