If you are running a grocery retail store in a traditional way, then you won’t be able to know your daily/weekly/monthly footfalls, turnover in real time, customer’s preferences, high-demand products, store executives’ performance, current inventory position, details of products nearing expiry, and so on.
You can’t think of communicating with customers even when they are not at your store informing them of new arrivals, discount programs or any other promotional event.
But modern Point of Sale (POS) gadgets are so intelligent that traders can do all these and much more to provide customers unforgettable shopping experience while improving their business multi-folds. To do the analysis manually is a daunting task which may not be accurate also besides taking a lot of time and man-hours.
According to a study by IBM, over 60 per cent of retailers believe that the usage of analytics and big data can create a competitive edge over their peers. Therefore, experts say that retailers who are not using a sophisticated, modern and user-friendly POS system, then they are missing out a lot.
Since ever improving technology has given us mobile devices with mind-boggling applications, wireless communication, NFC, RFID, cloud computing and mobile/digital payment systems, retail businesses are able to interact with their customers in better way. This has resulted a huge increase in the amount of data that flows between retailers, vendors and customers.
Retailers today need vital information or data such as what kind of customers are coming and buying, reason for their purchase, their preferences, when they buy, mode of buying(online or offline) and a whole lot of other useful details which are crucial to doing business as per the customer preferences.
These data, however, needs to be processed for its optimal usage. With advancement in technology, it has now become easier to have a centralized data processing system and end-to-end integrated system which helps retailers analyze real-time data for better business prospects.
Here are some reasons why retailers should have a modern POS system with an in-built analytics system.
Critical data on customers purchasing habits
POS systems are integrated and centralized. This means, for a chain of stores, if a customer purchases at different branches at different locations, then the data of every purchase can be accessed in real time as all the customer information are stored in a central computer system. This data can be easily collected and analyzed with appropriate POS software. This analysis gives insight into customers’ purchasing habits and hence a retailer can plan targeted and personalized promotional activity.
Since customers prefer personalized services and offers, the information on their behavior and preferences can be vital information which can be used to improve shopper experience.
Efficient marketing through available data
Though online shopping remains the preferred mode, still over 80 per cent of consumers come to physical stores. Since modern POS technology can integrate both offline and online data, it can be effectively utilized by retailers for marketing purposes.
Analyzing and Experimenting offers would lead to profitable omni-channel sales, and also, creating urgency through sales, instant offers and deadlines are useful ways through which analysis can make marketing even effective.
For example, a shoe-shop owner can provide an instant offer to a shopper who buys shoes to take some socks as well. This will give customers more exposure to different items and influence them for a new future habit.
Usable instant data for business enhancement and customer experience
With modern POS system, all relevant data can be collected and processed in real time. This means that reports and analysis can be generated within few seconds.
Retailers need not have to sit and do analyze themselves for a business decision, as POS systems can do all the necessary analysis in real-time and then provide instant results which are invaluable.
Having such invaluable results and analysis instantaneously on mobile devices further improves the service that can be passed to consumers.
Analysis of security concerns is easier and manageable
These days with more and more data thefts happening through POS devices, it is important to keep all data secured. With the availability of detailed analysis of raw data, retailers should be aware of fraudulent activities which should be quickly detected and nullified. With the availability of modern technology, any slight irregular activity in POS systems can be more accurately detected and corrective measures are taken. This will have system-wide benefits such as avoiding financial losses, improved security of customer data and so on.
In today’s consumer-oriented markets, retailers should utilize analyzed data to the maximum potential in order to have a better understanding on distribution locations and channels, products, customers, employees, competitors and the entire market.
Hence a pragmatic approach to utilize all available customer information is essential if shoppers are to be satisfied, competitors are edged out and bottom lines are met and surpassed.