As pool and spa retailers pivot to maximize the business opportunities in today’s marketplace, it’s clear that having the right point-of-sale (POS) software can save them an enormous amount of time and money in day-to-day business operations.
Choosing an integrated POS software system designed specifically for the pool industry can help ensure businesses can integrate with vendors, water-testing software and mobile apps to save countless hours of redundant tasks. Additionally, the right POS software will provide better reporting that can lead to enhanced customer service, increased profits and the opportunity to capitalize on new business opportunities.
Save time by eliminating redundant tasks
Eliminating redundant tasks not only saves time and money but also relieves stress and frustration among staff. For example, if your cash register doesn’t integrate with your water-testing lab, employees are forced to enter the same customer data twice, in two systems. This can lead to additional stress when staff must interrupt your lab technician, who is taking care of another customer, to look up past water test results.
Consider implementing a software system that connects your cash register to your water-testing software, so your staff has the tools necessary to efficiently do their jobs. Look for technology solutions to help manage your employees’ job demands to save them time so they can perform more profitable tasks such as providing superior service to customers in the store.
Remember that not only is it a waste of time for retailers to do a double entry, but it is also frustrating for customers who often have to wait while staff reenters the information into the database. By integrating these databases, both systems are updated automatically.
In fact, today’s software integrations give staff the ability to import a customer’s water test results directly into their unique profile in the database. Integrating the two systems not only gives staff more time to share their knowledge of water chemistry, but also allows them to learn more about each customer’s unique backyard needs and focus their attention on selling additional products and services to fulfill them.
Save time using POS systems with mobile integrations
With stiff competition from online retailers, brick-and-mortar stores need to focus on improving customer service as well as the overall shopping experience. Delivering exceptional service can be challenging: Insufficient checkout resources at peak times often lead to long lines, frustrated customers and lost sales.
However, a mobile app can help resolve these issues and elevate the customer experience.
A live mobile application allows employees to use tablets and smartphones to access the same data anywhere on the retail floor. Being able to help a customer with readily accessible information at any terminal or on any screen in-store improves service and can build customer loyalty.
Retailers can also provide better and faster service to customers with the “line buster” feature, which allows clients to avoid waiting in queue. Staff can use a tablet, integrated magnetic strip reader or pocket barcode scanner to complete sales transactions and process credit cards and email receipts. Further, staff can work the floor and perform inventory searches and access customer history or profiles instantly.
Another popular trend many consumers have grown to expect is mobile shopping, allowing them to purchase products on their smartphones and check out in-store.
Better reporting, enhanced customer service and increased profits
The integration of databases allows business owners to view customer or employee reports, which inform them of any earned or lost profits from their water-test printout sales. These figures can help businesses take immediate action to remedy the situation and target areas where sales staff need assistance to increase their numbers. This allows companies to readily see what is happening in the business with multiple reports from different systems.
Being able to react quickly during the busy months is key, especially to ensure stable and profitable operations. Specialty retailers using an integrated software system can place recent water-testing customers in a POS queue. This not only saves time in the lab but also at the cash register.
Additionally, management reports can keep owners connected to their business via smartphone or tablet—anywhere, any time. The software also allows access to charts and figures of booked and delivered sales, deposit totals and employee work shifts. For these reasons, many managers always keep their reports screen open for instant access to daily snapshots of business operations.
Integrating software with success
For those business owners who know they are leaving money on the table, integrating their software systems is a good way to stop this by upgrading redundant systems. For instance, a company that is not using this technology to its fullest potential and is only automating part of its business—along with separate manual systems—can miss out on up-to-the-minute customer-related data.
In this competitive marketplace, retaining customers is an invaluable asset that allows a specialty retailer to thrive. Assessing the true costs of business software is the best way to determine if it is time to merge the water-testing system with the business database.
The right POS software solution can manage all business processes—from sales to purchasing. Therefore, one must look for an option that collects business data on one system, which can be accessed at any given time.
It’s important to remember that when looking at new POS software, not to be intimidated by price—especially when it comes to revealing missed revenue opportunities in multiple areas of the business. Think of ways to increase profits: Could an employee free up 20 hours a week to follow up on sales leads, make additional service calls, or attend to customers in-store during peak season by implementing this technology?
Pool and spa retailers can unlock multiple sales and service opportunities by using POS software, creating a powerful customer database that allows them to implement profitable marketing strategies. Having the right POS software can save pool and spa retailers an enormous amount of time and money in day-to-day business operations. Choosing an integrated POS software system designed specifically for the pool industry will ensure businesses can integrate with vendors, water-testing software and mobile apps to eliminate countless hours of redundant tasks.
Rachael Pritz is the vice president of RB Retail & Service Software Solutions.