It doesn’t seem all that long ago when IBDs ran a cash register and managed stock with an excel or, even more alarming, a list in someone’s head.
These days an efficient bike shop runs a Point of Sale (POS), a combination of software and hardware serving as the engine room of the business, a designated place for hosting stock inventory, collecting sales data, processing financial transactions and issuing receipts. More advanced POS systems can even handle sophisticated warehouse logistics and indeed customer relationship management (CRM).
Benefits of a Point of Sale
A POS makes businesses more efficient in terms of saving time (scanning barcodes), providing myriad payment options (cash, card, smartphone), minimising human error (punching in the wrong price), simplifying accounting, issuing real-time data reports and providing a faster experience for the customer.
If you’re running an efficient POS, then you’ve undoubtedly invested a vast amount of time, effort and cost in getting it to this point, right? It’s not only good, it’s great, and there’s no reason at all not to rock the boat.
Unless, of course, the boat can become a superyacht….
Leveraging your POS online
If you’re considering taking your business online (setting up a website, joining a digital marketplace), then your POS can provide the backbone to a seamless, cost-effective, low-maintenance transition. This doesn’t mean starting everything from scratch; on the contrary. With the help of an API (application programming interface), you can essentially replicate your brick-and-mortar inventory online with the click of a mouse.
Think of an API as a bridge that connects your POS with the online destination. Provided the two are eligible to connect, this bridge takes all the information in your POS and replicates it into your online content management system (CMS).
What does this mean? It means you can have a digital business up and running in a matter of minutes. You’re now ready to unleash the full power and potential of online.
How does a POS integration pave the way to eCommerce success?
There are some significant benefits to leveraging your business’s retail POS and turning it into online success. They include:
Populate product listings quickly and effortlessly
Forget about employing someone to diligently read through all your bike catalogues, transcribing information and creating online listings. Provided the online platform you’re using creates and maintains the product databases you need, then all your listings will populate at the click of a mouse. Now, instead of ‘dead time’ building product listings, you can instead enhance them or make them bespoke (perhaps a unique video from your sales team?), which is always a good idea for Search Engine Optimisation.
If your POS is dictating your online product listings, you need not worry about discrepancies or inconsistencies. The two are mirror images of one another. This avoids awkward mistakes such as a cheaper price in-store than online, or vice-versa (although this is sometimes a wise strategic decision).
Enable online and retail store communication
Creating an online presence should grow your sales and your business, not your problems. The last thing you want is someone to purchase online a bike that you sold in-store yesterday. Ensure your online platform and brick and mortar store exchange information frequently so that the correct stock levels are reflected everywhere. This way, there is no such thing as a frustrated customer, just a happy one with a new bike!
Be everywhere for everyone
Here’s the rub. You’re taking your business online because you know that’s what your customers expect. They want to be able to find you everywhere, not just on the High Street. This is also an opportunity to grow your reach and target well beyond your existing customer. Once you’re online, you’re open to the world…
Future proof your business
There will always be a place for brick and mortar businesses, especially in the biking world. If the pandemic has taught us many things, one is that we yearn for connection and community. However, an online presence will help sustain your High Street store. Growing online won’t take away from your traditional business; it will future proof it.If you’re thinking about expanding your business online, then a healthy and accurate POS is going to be the fastest, simplest and most cost-effective route to take you there. Why not contact our team today and find out how straight-forward this is and how much you potentially stand to gain. Contact us here.