It’s no secret that technology is evolving at an astounding rate. Along with it are the words we use to describe our devices. A case in point is the old-school term “point-of-sale (POS)” which is quickly being replaced by the new moniker “retail management system (RMS).”
Not Change for Change’s Sake
You might be thinking that this is yet another example of a better-sounding phrase being cooked up to replace a perfectly good term. Is this another toilet paper vs. bathroom tissue situation? In fact, it is not. That’s because technology has transformed yesterday’s cash register POS into a set of tools that can help you run your entire operation, hence the name “retail management system.”
The System You Have Now
Your legacy POS equipment has probably done a fine job accepting customer payments and totaling sales. If you have gotten upgrades in recent years, your POS software might even help you to start and maintain a loyalty program and to offer product promotions. Your employees might be able to punch the time clock using your POS, and perhaps you can even integrate with mobile POS card readers.
What Can a Retail Management System Do for Your Business?
Retail management systems take the concept of POS to a whole new level. They include all of the benefits you have been accustomed to including payment processing, customer loyalty capabilities and employee time management, but they also offer several other features:
- Customer relationship management (CRM) that enables you to easily store and update customer contact information for the purpose of marketing your products and services to just the people who are the most likely to purchase them.
- Integration with your e-commerce platform enabling you to streamline your online business and accept customers’ electronic purchases securely.
- Inventory management automated to optimize your efficiency, make it easier to gauge what is selling well and what is not, and let you know when to restock to ensure popular products are always available.
- Seamless data analytics and reporting that make it possible to track your sales in real time and enable you to accurately project future trends.
The Power of Integration
What makes a retail management system so powerful is its ability to pull all of your systems together into one smoothly-operating solution. Customer information is updated across all platforms, reducing complications and confusion. If someone buys your product online and comes to your store to pick it up, your retail management system will have all of the information updated in real time. The customer’s exact product will be available in-store when promised, with all credits and loyalty points updated.
In addition, an RMS is cutting-edge, meaning that it embraces mobile technologies. With it, you can push notifications about flash sales and store promotions to customers’ smartphones. Location-based technology can be used to alert them to discounts or highlighted products when they get close to your retail location.
In the end, upgrading to a retail management system benefits everyone. You gain faster and more accurate access to numerous pieces of information about your company, employees, customers, product sales, inventory and financial health. Your customers gain a purchasing experience that is accurate and fast as well as an ongoing, dynamic relationship with you and your brand. There is no stopping the furious pace of technology. Embrace it, even if that means changing your business vocabulary.