If you’ve ever been to a gas station or convenience store, you know the drill: you want to find the products you need, check out, and get going. Unfortunately, you’re typically surrounded by plenty of other customers in various states of grumpiness who need coffee, gas, or snacks for the road. Since gas stations and convenience stores see heavy foot traffic every day, speed and accuracy are of the essence. While many chain convenience stores rely on legacy point of sale systems, independent shops often have to choose their own solutions. When it comes to point of sale for convenience stores, do you know what functions you need?
Learning Your Business Inside and Out to Develop a Plan
Having a working knowledge of your business is a great start but may not be enough. As the typical day-to-day sets in, the busy convenience store owner often defaults into autopilot mode. While this can be effective, you might miss out on some points of improvement. These missed opportunities tend to pop up at the busiest of times, forcing the owner to stop and resolve it immediately.
Determining where an updated point of sale for convenience stores fits into your business plan requires that you take the time to look at the smaller details. What do customer transactions look like when you break them down step by step? Are there any rewards programs in place, and how are these being currently managed? Does your payment processor charge higher than average transaction fees? Is inventory managed via a clipboard and pencil, or through barcode scanning and concise tracking of movement from the backroom and out the front door?
Although these questions will take some time to answer, they can present you with a clear picture of what is going on and where potential bottlenecks or time savers exist. This creates opportunities to retire outdated or redundant processes, such as manual ordering or staff timekeeping. You also find ways to streamline, such as accurate transaction recording or cloud-based data storage. Best of all, when these improvements are rolled into a customer-facing solution, your image improves, and customers develop a higher level of trust in your brand.
The Best Functions for Your Point of Sale
When it comes to point of sale for convenience stores, a few features are key:
- Precise inventory management. Since you’re likely moving large amounts of products day after day, it’s important to know where your inventory levels are at with just a glance. Also, being that convenience stores are particularly susceptible to theft and leakage, it lets you know which of your products aren’t accounted for.
- Better staff controls. Especially if you’re running a 24-hour shop, you won’t be able to be present at all times during the day. This means that you need to ensure that you’ve set proper staff permissions. That way, only employees with certain roles are allowed to conduct voids, returns, and refunds.
- Payment flexibility. This speaks to the point of speed. Many customers nowadays are looking to pay with cards and digital wallets and if you’re still relying on a primarily cash-based system, you might be the one holding up the line. Make sure your POS can integrate with card readers and you’re able to accept numerous payment types.
- Cloud compatibility. Even if you’re not running across multiple locations, cloud compatibility is a great feature to have. It allows you to check on your business at a glance, even if you’re not physically present. This means access to real-time reporting, updates, and at-a-glance analytics.
- Automated ordering. Since many convenience stores tend to carry a vast assortment of products, from snacks to phone chargers to age-restricted items, it often means that the ordering process is time-consuming and tedious. Take the hassle out of it with automated controls that can reorder products once you’re under a certain level.
Achieve Higher Levels of Management Via POS
Choosing the best features is an important piece of the puzzle but there’s more that a quality point of sale for convenience stores can handle. Even though you’re not running a bar or traditional retail shop, you need to focus on aspects of customer satisfaction, internal inventory control policies, and better staff management. Another important aspect is when it comes to how you gather and use business data.
Your transactional data does more than just help you balance the books. It will help you to identify the most in-demand items or products that are seeing sales tapering off. You can easily reduce the ordering of slowing items while boosting the order sizes of items that are hot. This keeps your inventory under control, your shelves full of items that are moving, and affords you the insights needed to predict behavior based on dates, times, and other customer trends.
Speaking of staff, wouldn’t it be great to have a way to easily view and process timesheets or scheduling? Many of today’s POS systems provide a variety of automated, or app-driven methods for you to easily make schedule changes, see current staffing levels, and adjust these based on customer traffic patterns. This can be important in preventing common staffing faux pas, such as having an underage clerk at the counter during peak liquor sale hours or having only one cashier during the lunch hour.
Processing payroll, updating inventory status, and viewing reporting can all be accomplished via a mobile app when the right solution is in place. Your customers expect an easy, fast visit to your store and as an owner, a high-tech POS solution will provide you with conveniences you may not have thought possible, even though you may need a helping hand to get there.
Tying it All Together With Point of Sale for Convenience Stores
Innovative POS systems have a distinct and much-needed place in the convenience store realm. Owners have realized a variety of productivity and revenue gains once an updated, adaptable, POS software system is put into place. Sometimes, the best way to achieve this is by partnering with an expert.
When you partner with talech for your convenience store POS requirements, we devote our time to identify your key business challenges and develop a concise solution that keeps you functioning at a high level. Our goal is to leave you feeling confident knowing you have the features you need for your store. Reach out to us today to sign up for a free demo and to learn more about how talech can be your valued POS partner.