Do you own a small to medium-sized local retail business? Has listing products online been on your to-do list for years? Maybe it’s been put off due to lack of time, technological resources, or maybe you just haven’t seen the need. Well, you’re not alone.
Local retailers across the globe have always been able to count on local shoppers. But over the last decade, ecommerce has transformed consumer behavior. Now, proximity matters less than convenience to shoppers. On top of that, recent events have shown just how flexible retailers need to be in order to stay relevant in the market.
So if a lack of resources or time is the reason retailers are putting off digitalization, then how are they expected to do it now? Especially when all resources are needed to just simply stay afloat? That’s where POS system integration comes in.
In this article, we’ll go over what POS system integration is and 5 reasons why you should consider making the move.
How POS system integration works
In your retail shop, your POS system is your holy grail of product and customer information. It’s great at collecting sales data, managing your in-store inventory, and can even be upgraded to handle CRM and warehousing operations. Maybe you’ve spent a lot of time setting up the perfect POS system in your shop and you’re not willing to spend the same amount of time to get online. Well, you don’t have to.
You can integrate your POS system with an ecommerce solution. Doing so will allow you to leverage all of the data in your POS system - “your gold” - to set up online product catalogs in a fraction of the time. All of this can be done with a simple connector that enables your POS system to communicate with your ecommerce system.
Here are the benefits of doing this.
What’s in it for you
Ecommerce, in a nutshell, presents huge, lucrative opportunities for retailers of any size. For small to medium-sized businesses, in particular, it can be an especially prosperous endeavor. Integrating your shop’s POS system with an ecommerce platform is likely to make the transition smoother and easier and bring even more rewards.
1. List products online fast without wasting resources
Most of today’s online shopping channels require an online product catalog in order to list products. This is essentially a complete list of all your available products and their attributes like color, brand, price, material, etc. For many online marketers, it can take a while to gather all of this information and merge it together. This isn’t the case for shop owners like yourself. All of the product information you need to craft an online product catalog is already readily available in your POS system–you just need to get it online. The bottom line is that listing products online doesn’t have to take time and resources away from your daily brick and mortar operations.
2. Convenient for your customers
Consumer behavior isn’t what it used to be. Shoppers are no longer limited to shops within driving distance. Now, they can buy from anywhere in the world with just a few clicks. What’s important to note here is that even your neighbors are online consumers. And proximity is no longer enough to guarantee loyalty.
Luckily, growing alongside the demand for convenience is the trend of supporting local businesses. Therefore, leveraging your POS system to get online is making it easier for your consumers to support your business. So why not help them help you?
3. Consistent product data across all touchpoints
The foundation of great product experiences for your customers is being able to access consistent product information across touchpoints. By using the data already stored in your POS system to create your online product catalogs, you can ensure that all product data is the same across the board. This way, you can stay aligned and ensure a strong omnichannel strategy from the get-go.
Tip: Consistent data will be especially useful when running LIA campaigns or offering buy online, pick up in-store (BOPUS) options.
4. Keep accurate stock counts
Some retailers might be hesitant to take their business online because they aren’t quite sure how to manage inventory levels in-store and across ecommerce channels. Which is understandable. Multichannel order management can be tricky. However, POS integration can make inventory and order management so much easier. By allowing a shop’s brick-and-mortar system to connect with its online system, automation can easily minimize the complexity and workload of managing orders and transactions. For example, when a sale is made online, your system could automatically communicate this back to your POS system – ensuring both are aligned and up-to-date on all transactions. This way you always know the true stock count and can update accordingly across all channels
5. Expand and future-proof your business
Consumerism is changing and technology is its main driver. In order to fully future-proof your business and ensure it’s relevance for generations to come, you need to develop the ability to adapt accordingly. But using your POS system to initiate your online presence, you’re taking the first step necessary to increase the agility of your business. Your online product catalogs can then be adapted using a feed management solution to fit the requirements of new channels when and as they come. This gives you the chance to constantly bring in new revenue and meet your customers wherever they go.
Taking your local brick and mortar shop online doesn’t have to take up more resources that your business can afford. In fact, it can be quite a fast, painless process. The trick is to leverage the technology your shop is already using.
Once your POS system is integrated with an ecommerce system and your product catalog is ready to go, the opportunities are endless.