We’re in the midst of one of the warmest summers on record, yet for business owners, it’s already time to start planning ahead for the festive season
Christmas spending topped £78 billion in the UK last year, up 1.4% on 2016. It was a similar story in the U.S, where spend rose 2.1% to $658 billion. 2018 looks set to be even bigger still, and the most successful retail and hospitality businesses will be those that take the right steps to prepare.
Events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday mean consumers are starting their Christmas shopping earlier than ever, so it’s vital to think about upgrading your point of sale system in plenty of time. Here are just a few reasons it’s worth investing in EPOS ahead of the Christmas rush.
Train seasonal staff
Longer opening hours and increased footfall see many businesses hiring extra in the run up to Christmas. While they may be temporary, it’s pivotal that every employee is able to deliver the very best customer experience. Epos Now systems boast a remarkably simple interface, with employee training taking as little as 15 minutes. Innovative apps and features further streamline the process, such as the Product Plus app which gives staff access to key product details at the touch of a button.
Our systems also allow you to set up individual staff permissions to prevent unauthorised refunds or discounts. Limit the features that are available to certain staff members while ensuring long-standing employees maintain access to the full system.
Speed up transactions
Long queues are a bugbear for consumers at any time of year, but can be a particularly big problem during the Christmas rush. EPOS technology is just one way to speed up transactions and reduce the amount of time it takes to serve each customer.
Not only will staff be able to generate more revenue in a short space of time, but you’ll satisfy the 89% of UK consumers who have previously turned away from a purchase as a result of excessive queuing.
Keep track of stock
More customers means you’ll be needing more stock, so maintaining a clear view of your inventory is crucial. Routinely conducting manual stocktakes isn’t always feasible for busy business owners however, particularly those that operate in multiple locations or have an ecommerce store.
Epos Now systems facilitate automatic stock tracking in real-time, so you’ll always have an accurate view of what you have and which products need reordering. Integrate your system with your existing e-commerce store and stock levels will be synced across both channels, benefiting customers in-store and online.
Encourage customer loyalty
Getting customers through the door is one thing, but the end goal is to keep them coming back once the festive season is over. Digital loyalty schemes are rapidly gaining popularity within the UK and can be integrated directly with your EPOS system, giving SMEs access to customisable loyalty programs at an affordable price.
74% of UK consumers regularly collect loyalty points, so there’s real value in being able to implement something like this in your own business. Unlike traditional loyalty schemes, going also digital opens the door to a host of additional features, such as the potential to send customers push notifications and email alerts around promotional offers.
Understanding what is and isn’t working for your business is the first step towards making changes that boost your bottom line. Epos Now systems boast a range of advanced reporting features, the likes of which allow you to track sales and accurately forecast footfall.
There’s also the ability to generate reports based on employee performance. This can really help to incentivise staff during busy sales periods, especially if you take the time to reward employees that deliver exceptional service.
Christmas may feel like a lifetime away, but it’s vital businesses are prepared for a potential surge in footfall and ready to convert new visitors into loyal customers. Now is the time to set the wheels in motion if you hope to get your new point of sale system up and running in time for the festive rush.
For more information on how EPOS technology can help your business to run smoothly over Christmas, get in touch with one of our sales advisors today.