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Avoid Black Friday Backlash with POS System Readiness

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Avoid Black Friday Backlash with POS System Readiness

Black Friday marks the beginning of the busiest shopping season in the U.S. Many retailers can expect to see 30% of their annual retail sales occurring in the remainder of 2016. The product is in. The seasonal staff is hired. But retailers might also ask is their POS system ready for Black Friday and the critical holiday season?

Since it’s such a busy season, here are five considerations to help you quickly determine if your POS system is ready for the holiday rush.

1. Do you have a true picture of inventory levels online and in-store?

A POS system that connects readily to Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, WooCommerce or others offers the retailer seamless integration of web and physical stores — in real-time. Don’t worry about selling a product online while someone stands in line with that same product in hand. Automatic inventory reconciliation keeps sales information centralized and is updated to reflect total available inventory across multiple locations (both physical and online).

This also means a retailer can view inventory quantities from any store. Empower employees to offer the best customer experience, while using the POS to keep the optimum stock balance between stores using the most accurate stock information.

74.2 million people shopped Black Friday 2015— a drop from 87 million in 2014 — but another 35 million shopped on Thanksgiving Day 2015.

2. How efficiently can you ring up your customers?

Retailers hate to lose a sale because someone gets tired of standing in line. Worse still is when the customer doesn’t even come into the store after seeing a long line of people snaking back from the register. With a mobile POS application, the retailer can quickly add items to receipts with the barcode scanner, ring up sales transactions, and view real-time inventory across store locations. Some POS system apps also expedite credit card processing and send branded email receipts or print hard copy receipts wirelessly.

A 6-minute sales turnaround means a 30-minute wait for the fifth person in line!

3. Is your POS equipped for active price changes?

With a POS allowing real-time promotions including timed marked downs, the retailer can amp up the excitement for the Black Friday shopping experience with time-specific sales on particular items. Decide to have a “doorbuster” sale on a certain brand of jeans or shoes or offer “surprise” spotlight items on sale throughout the day (and based on the real-time inventory intelligence). This feature also enables retailers to quickly take advantage of opportunities to match a competitor in the midst of the holiday crush of customers.

The 2015 holiday season saw shoppers typically spending $805.65 — and a total of $626.1 billion spent.

4. Can you use the POS system to track employee performance?

Use your POS to tie sales associations to transactions and track performance by location. The insight can help retailers schedule their best employees for the busiest day of the year. But the data can also keep employees invested in the midst of a high-pressure sales period — offer fun incentives in each location and invite cross-location competition to keep employees motivated.

Retailers added 675,300 holiday positions in the US in 2015.

5. Is your POS supported whenever you need help?

In the midst of the busiest sales season, retailers don’t want to waste their time figuring out how to better manage inventory or POS software tools. Partner with a POS provider that makes expert support services easily accessible 24/7 to get the answers you need when you need them.

The National Retail Federation predicts 2016 holiday spending will jump to $938.58 per person and a forecasted total of $655.8 billion.

One more important aspect of the season shopping, regrettably, is the returns. With a mobile POS app option, it’s easier to free up the register and dedicate a mobile device to merchandise returns, accurately retrieving purchase history and transaction numbers from any of the store locations.

A POS system with inventory management can transform the retailer’s bottom line on both a short- and long-term basis. Explore the opportunities tied to real-time business intelligence and smarter systems integrations.

Sources:
Amadeo, K. (2016, Nov. 15). What is Black Friday? Sales Trends. https://www.thebalance.com/what-is-black-friday-3305710
National Retail Federation. (2016, November). Holiday 2016. https://nrf.com/resources/consumer-data/holiday-headquarters