Data and big data – and someday gargantuan data – drive many business decisions. According to Baseline Magazine, 90 percent of the world’s data was created in the past two years, which gives businesses lots of information to sift through. Indeed, business intelligence reaches down all the way to the sales floor, so it is imperative that workers at all levels have enough knowledge to make data-driven decisions. A cloud-based point of sale (POS) software platform can offer insights into these real-time purchasing decisions. Stores can track sales by hour, merchandise turnover, profits and other important analytics. Cloud POS systems can also improve the customer experience by increasing the level of personalization that today’s consumers routinely demand. Combining the right customer relationship management (CRM) system with a cloud-based POS system and the data it provides, retailers can deliver great results and see their profit margins soar.
Addressing customers by name and making recommendations based on prior purchases are only possible with access to CRM software. According to the 2014 Global Customer Service Barometer by American Express, 74% of customers have spent more in response to good customer service. Positive does not always mean an item is in stock at the lowest available price. Sometimes, it means service with a smile, a reprinted receipt or personalized shopping recommendations.
Cloud-based POS software helps streamline all selling activities, as retailers can manage their promotional offers and loyalty programs using the same dashboard. This function enables automated marketing like sending out birthday wishes, sale notifications based on purchase history and loyalty rewards offers. Pulling everything into a single system reduces the management time for marketing, thereby automating the process.
While many retailers spend on advertising designed to draw in new customers, the research is clear that customer retention should be the priority. A Gartner study found that 80 percent of revenue for the average business comes from just 20 percent of the existing customer base. Another study conducted by Bain & Company found that increasing customer retention by five percent could lead to profit increases of as much as 95 percent. Of course, for continued growth, retailers need to do both, but a focus on personalized service is a must.
Combining business intelligence with good customer management strategies can help retailers with customer retention. Buying into CRM software gets expensive, but when CRM is part of an overall cloud-based POS software package, the total cost of adoption is a lot lower.