If you’re managing a multi-store retail business you should have a greater love for clouds than an English poet. The digital version of the fluffy white wonders brings any two—or more—points in the internet-connected world within manageable reach on a single device. In other words, with cloud computing, you can manage multiple retail outlets at once and in real-time.
To achieve this feat, you need point of sale software for multi-store that can act as the virtual bridge between every site under your control. With such a platform in place you can track sales, manage staff, generate purchase orders, and meet your online targets without having to set foot in any store at all. In fact, with your smartphone in hand you can do all this while sitting on a hill watching the clouds pass, perhaps even feeling inspired to compose some poetry of your own.
Using Your POS System for Multi-Store Syncing
Cloud computing has revolutionized small business like few other technologies, and it isn’t as complicated as it may seem. Essentially, cloud computing is just a way of accessing business software from an external server via the internet. This server is managed by the provider of your desired service to make sure it’s always ready whenever you need to use a tool or to get at your own information. Point of sale software for multi-store retailers, for example, is hosted in the cloud and is accessible from any smartphone, laptop, iPad, or desktop you come across in your daily life.
As the platform is hosted in the “everywhere” of the internet, you don’t need to visit any particular store in your retail chain in order to perform the business functions that keep the whole operation running. From a central location anywhere within or beyond your multi-store setup you yourself can become the hub of a mini retail empire.
What You Can Do with a Multi-Store Hub
Just as your multi-store retail outlets share a common theme, common products, and common practices, the point of sale for multi-store software has its common functions. The system essentially centers around two points: the in-store hardware and the online software. When everything you do across the system is integrated and related, you can understand the potential by looking at how each of these locations works.
Registers aren’t what they used to be. Today, many stores are using iPads or similar tablet interfaces to bring touch-screen simplicity and multimedia visuals to the final retail transaction. These devices can be paired with cash drawers and a range of devices to produce invoices, receipts, barcodes, price tags and a wide range of payment facilities—and there is an ever-growing number of payment types out there, so you need to be covered for at least the basics.
These point of sale registers can be linked across each store in your chain through the cloud-based solution behind them. The information from them can be fed into a common database and in turn each device can access the same online information.
That online information can cover customer-facing material such as:
- Comprehensive product catalog
- Product variation options, including color, size, and style
- Bundled product specials
- Store and product information, including history and vision
- Self-service payments and order forms
- Price, tax, and discount display
Of course, an in-store display can also have staff-only features. These include management functions like rosters, tips, and human resources information, and even social connection points so employees and managers can communicate in real-time across stores and the wider world.
All of this information is made available beyond any particular store’s four walls in the digital cloud.
The real power of a point of sale system for multi-store retailers lies in the cloud platform away from the day-to-day of the sales floor.
A digital solution converts each individual store’s requirements into a single operation. You can make purchase orders for each link in the chain from a single point, with a single supplier. You can even make life a little easier by automating these orders across the line so you’ll never get caught short on the floor or lose valuable space to unpopular lines.
This automation can also help you account for the vagaries of each individual store. If one shop front fails to sell its expected quota the next order is automatically adjusted and the discrepancy noted in your inventory analysis.
You can perform just about every other business function for each outlet across this hub, from managing supplier relationships to monitoring employee performance, but the ability to analyze the performance of each store from a single point is perhaps the most important feature of a digital POS across a network of sales points.
Data Science Across a Retail Network
It is one thing to be able to manage the client comings and goings, the staff rosters, and customer loyalty program across an entire network, it is something else to be able to understand what it all means to your overall financial position.
Data science has long been used by major retailers to optimize their actions and better understand their customers. The cloud, with its low capital startup and low cost subscriptions, has made that understanding possible for businesses of all sizes.
If you’re looking for a new point of sale system, take a step beyond the ordering, the online connections, and the management tools and ask if your solution comes with an analytics function.
These features gather all the information already passing through your chain of stores and push it through a common set of business metrics and measurements to reveal how your business is really performing. It’s all still an iPad-friendly one-touch operation, but the results can be impressive.
You can track the best-selling items across time, location, and season. You can see how each store reacts to sales events and promotions. You can see how the movement of staff between stores impacts sales. This kind of information can help you stock the right products, set the right prices, and gear up for peak shopping times. With the power of a cloud-based POS solution, you can find the optimal way to run each individual store by judging their performance as a common network.
Multiple Stores, One System
By hosting your business network in the cloud you can manage multiple locations from a single site. That is the power of the new range of digital POS systems. They give you the ability to see across each store and respond to each challenge without having to waste time and resources traveling between them.
You can simplify. You can connect. You can run your business your way, from a time and place that is most successful for you.
When you partner with talech for your point of sale software for multi-store business needs, we devote our time to identifying your unique needs. We use this information to work with you in applying a solution to provide you with an innovative POS solution that levels the playing field. Reach out to us today to sign up for a demo and to learn more about how talech can be your valued POS partner.