A key part of the RMS is the point-of-sale (POS) solution, which is used not only to speed up the checkout process, but also to gather information about each transaction and relay that information to the other subsystems (such as inventory). The POS system can also act as an additional salesperson, relaying information to the customer—directly in the case of online e-commerce, and indirectly through the checkout staff at a physical store—regarding potential upsell or cross-sell opportunities.
Many successful retailers have multiple sales channels. In addition to brick-and-mortar retail outlets, they may also have an e-commerce web site for online sales, and perhaps even a mail-order catalog. They may have external sales staff, resellers, or any number of other sales channels. While this is an excellent strategy for almost any sales-based organization, a common error is to run separate software systems for each channel. This results in unnecessary redundancy, the necessity of re-keying the same information into multiple systems, and it doesn’t give you a good overview of the “big picture.” All sales channels need to be incorporated into the same system for uniformity for more accurate reporting, and better integration with back-end systems.
A strong and efficient POS system, as the centerpiece of your retail management system, also gives you an excellent opportunity to add automation to two of the most labor-intensive processes of the retail business: inventory and purchasing. Your POS solution should be able to keep track of your inventory—not just the numbers, but also item locations, how long it has been in stock, and other relevant details. Integration will also allow for the POS system to automatically trigger an inventory record action so that inventory gets adjusted after each sale. As a result, reporting becomes more efficient, and you can use this information to make better purchasing decisions as well. The POS reports will give you detailed information about buying trends, customer buying histories, and other important data to help you maximize sales.
A POS solution will also help improve your overall marketing initiative. In addition to providing an easy way to offer cross-sells and upsells, you can leverage your POS data to get detailed purchasing histories of each customers, so that you can create a highly customized marketing campaigns.