Having the best POS software is crucial to running an efficient business and making that first customer impression a lasting one. And POS software integrations play a critical role in this process.

Behind the scenes, you’re managing invoices and purchase orders, and marketing to your customer base to capture the attention of those whom you need to grow your business. So, how do you do all of these things and do them right? Easy. Find the best system for each aspect of your business, and don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. You focus on your expertise so your software providers should too. Whether retail- or service-oriented, organization and proper use of the right tools is imperative to achieving the goals of every business. So how do you decipher the good from the bad and make sure that your systems speak to each other logically? Well, that’s where we come in! Let’s take a look at each and see why the POS integrations and add-ons are key.

E-Commerce and Online Sales

Logically we would like to track inventory, and process sales with a fully integrated pos software solution in-house, and online. However, it is arguably better to have two separate solutions that are best-in-class and work well together, than one integration solution that is clunky and subpar. Find the best point-of-sale software, and pair it with the best online platform for a true team effort. This also allows a business to find the right online platform for their specific type of business, or better yet, build their own! There are many to choose from, and you can further research your best option by starting with some of the strong players, such as Wix, Weebly, SquareSpace, and the latest DudaOne. In-caze boutique in the Lower East Side of Manhattan is making it work with WEVIO, a global marketing company whose mission is to empower emerging businesses to achieve global success. In-caze grabs customers’ e-mails at the point-of-sale, and actually guides them to the online platform when they’re not in-store, via promotions and other incentives. Now that is a truly genius and well-oiled process, that will surely lead to success on both fronts. With the right online platform, and a point-of-sale solution that lets you download and upload easily with formats like .xls (Excel) and .csv, you’ll have no problems going from one to the other for inventory and customer management.

E-mail Marketing Support – You DO Need This

Speaking of email marketing, it’s crucial that you follow up with all of those customers that provided their e-mail when they may have been in a hurry. Don’t let the opportunity to grow your relationship with them pass you by. When you add email marketing to your POS software, you’re showing your customers that you value their business and want to gain their loyalty and feedback. Surveys, ‘thank yous’, promotions for their next visit…the possibilities are endless! You invested in POS software that lets you capture emails quickly and easily at the point of sale, so make those emails actionable with the right email marketing add-on. One that enables you to quickly and easily draw up a campaign and implement to grow existing and new customer relationships. MailChimp, for example, is an online email marketing solution to manage contacts, send emails and track results, and they offer plug-in solutions for other programs. Again, find the best player in the space, and it will fit seamlessly into your workflow.

Accounting For it All

We don’t need to reinvent the wheel on accounting processes; we need something that maintains organization and is in an easy-to-use format to protect the business from liability. With the right POS software tracking sales, inventory, and costs, it is crucial to have accounting resources that go along with it. Don’t spend $65+ per hour on an accountant that will need to organize your information before it is even actionable. Get an accounting solution that works in conjunction with your point of sale software to provide clean, simple to read reporting so your numbers are actionable and easy to decipher. Not only will your accounting bills go down, but your understanding of the business–and what is going in and coming out–will help you run a smoother operation. The number one rated accounting solution is QuickBooks with an online and desktop version available. But they’re not the only player in the space, you can also check out XERO and Sage50, formerly known as Peachtree, to make sure you’re picking the right solution for your business.

Loyalty and Rewards Programs – Helping You Grow

Now that you’re able to quickly and easily take transactions, capture customer emails, and account for it all, why not take it to the next level and make it FUN for the customer to participate in your very own loyalty and rewards program. The interactivity that comes with tracking your points and raking in the free rewards is enough to get any customer downloading your app extensions and tracking their progress. Add-on rewards programs can also act as a reminder. Just like any goal, the more you see, the more consciously and subconsciously you can focus on the outcome. This is why getting the right program to work in conjunction with your POS software is so key. Programs like those available through AppCard are not only fun, but they’re proven. They allow you to get to know your customers, retain them, and attract new ones! It has also been noted that with a loyalty/rewards program, businesses see a 25% increase in customer retention and 33% of rewards customers purchase additional items. You just can’t afford to miss the boat on this opportunity!

Scheduling is Key to Running a Smooth Operation

It may seem simple enough to just use the date book you just purchased, but scheduling is key to running a smooth operation. Even a simple addition such as Google Calendar can yield big improvements. Some of the big players in the appointment scheduling space include MINDBODY, Booker and Vagaro. These systems allow you to streamline scheduling, keep your staff and business organized, and ultimately keep your customers coming back for another seamless, easy, and on-time appointment. Whether it is making a reservation for dinner, or a haircut appointment during a business Saturday of running errands, your customers will thank you for honoring their appointments. Word travels fast and can make all the difference in the reputation of a small business. Start on time so you don’t lose a dime.

Because You’re an Expert Too

Overall, what we see is that you don’t have to solve all of your business needs with one solution. That’s where POS software integration comes in. You just need to pair the right solutions with a flexible point of sale software resource to account for all of it. When you employ the ‘best in class’ resources across the board, you’ll help your business reach its fullest potential and finally get back to your passion: baking, styling, creating, relating, etc. The possibilities are endless…

Jennifer Bambara

About the Author

Jennifer Bambara is a ShopKeep POS specialist living in Brooklyn. As an aspiring jewelry designer, she loves working with and learning from the small businesses in her neighborhood. Together they empower one another to achieve greatness.