The Green Sheet Online Edition
September 13, 2021 • Issue 21:09:01
Equipment for thriving businesses: a lucrative market
By Elie Y. Katz
National Retail Solutions
Running a business can be stressful, especially a small, independent business. Competition is fierce, and store owners need retail technology tools to help them succeed. Leveraging a powerful POS system that's integrated with reliable credit card processing can help store owners be more organized, attract customers and increase revenue.
Resellers do best when offering products and services that closely meet the needs of their customers in the following areas:
- Sales and inventory tracking: It's common for a POS system to track sales and inventory and provide reports. The more sophisticated ones not only assist with calculating sales, but also provide detailed cost and profit analytics. The POS can alert when inventory is low and help track vendor payments, so the store owner doesn't overbuy or understock.
- Customer loyalty: Loyalty programs, such as discounted pricing on popular products for loyal customers, and "buy X, get X free" promotions are proven ways to attract and retain customers. A sophisticated POS can help create and promote these programs.
- Security: POS systems may store sensitive information and can be vulnerable to a breach. Some systems process credit cards within the POS; others integrate with a separate, secure credit card and/or EBT processing device. When choosing a POS, evaluate security. A POS that doesn't run on Windows is less vulnerable to hacking. Hardwired internet is more trustworthy than Wi-Fi. Ideally, the POS shouldn't store payment information. Setting user permissions with limited access can also help with security.
- Remote store management: Running a busy c-store while maintaining work-life balance can take a toll on merchants. Taking time off from the business can be stressful. Being able to remotely check on the business with an app or online is invaluable. Checking on sales, inventory and users with a remote app, and being able to view, download and print inventory reports can give a store owner much-needed time away. Some POS remote-access platforms even facilitate inventory purchasing.
- Customer tab: Technology has come a long way in the independent retail arena. A POS is far more than a simple cash register with a cash-filled shoebox under the counter. Today's POS systems help retailers issue credit and maintain customer tabs.
- Employee time clock: When paying employees an hourly wage, having them clock in and out keeps payment tracking simple. With some POS systems, they can "punch in and out." A POS employee time clock saves time with payroll.
- Tobacco scan data: If the POS has a tobacco scan data feature, it can track tobacco sales and transmit the information to tobacco manufacturers so that the retailer gets buy-downs. With tobacco scan data, a small or midsize independent retailer benefits from tobacco sales just like the big guys.
- Age verification scanning: Many stores sell products that require license ID scanning for age verification compliance. Examples include tobacco, alcohol and other restricted items. An ideal POS offers an ID license scanning option. This may require purchase of a special scanner. License ID scanning takes the guesswork out of an otherwise manual process—and can help speed up checkout.
- DVR camera-POS integration: Retail theft is on the rise. Many retailers install DVR security cameras throughout the store, particularly at the register. Some POS can link to the store's checkout surveillance camera to overlay the POS transaction data onto the DVR footage, in real time.
- Ecommerce: Today's businesses can benefit greatly from selling online. Due to COVID-19, with people afraid to visit stores on foot, online shopping has increased. Some POS offer a customer shopping app and ordering website. Orders placed on the app or online link straight into the POS.
- Integrated credit card processing: Some POS have built-in credit card processing; others require a separate card reader. Reconciling disconnected devices can be time-consuming and inaccurate. A good credit card processing solution includes free equipment and doesn't require a locked, long-term contract with an unreasonable early termination fee.
- EBT: This important community service helps a store attract more shoppers. Many POS and credit card processors include EBT. If transacting EBT in high volume, a store can benefit from an unlimited EBT plan, with one flat fee per month and zero transaction fees.
- Hardy and powerful equipment: The POS system may be the most used piece of equipment in a store. It should be durable enough to withstand abuse, user-friendly, and powerful enough to increase efficiency and help manage the business. It's an investment in an asset that increases revenue at the point of purchase.
- Channel sales: POS companies offer products and services for specific industries. A POS for a restaurant differs from one custom-built for c-stores. A business can benefit greatly from a powerful system custom-built for their niche. Reseller opportunities with POS and credit card processing companies include competitive upfront and residual pipelines. POS and credit card processing, with their vast selection of interconnected products and services, offer extremely lucrative potential for distributors.
Elie Y. Katz, founder, president and CEO of National Retail Solutions, can be reached by email at email@example.com. NRS provides a POS network and NRS Pay credit card processing for thousands of independent retailers across the USA. To join the NRS Channel Sales team, visit sellnrs.com or call 888-870-0017.
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