6 reasons why you should integrate ecommerce with your POS system

It’s no surprise that 2021 was a record year for ecommerce sales globally. There has been an upward trend in ecommerce growth since 2012.

With ecommerce becoming the future of the retail industry, it’s crucial that businesses offer the ability for customers to buy online.

However, the high street shopping experience is still important with nearly 80% of shoppers saying they prefer to go in-store to buy an item and 61% preferring to shop with brands that have both a physical and online store.

What does this mean for small retailers? Creating an integrated ecommerce store with your in-store experience is vital for your business to grow and thrive.

Thankfully creating an ecommerce store has never been easier with tools like Shopify allowing businesses of any size to get online.

In this article, we look at 6 reasons why integrating your point of sale with your ecommerce store is important.

iPad ecommerce

6 reasons why you should integrate ecommerce with your POS system

It’s pretty straightforward, it simplifies your business and reporting, and allows you to manage everything via one system.

Here are 6 key reasons why integrating ecommerce with your POS system is important.

1. Make Omnichannel sales

The most obvious reason why any business would integrate an ecommerce platform into their business is the opportunity to increase your sales channels.

Rather than having one location where shoppers can browse your products and buy, they have the opportunity to shop with you at any time.

With an integrated ecommerce platform you can literally make sales in your sleep.

The biggest advantage of having an integrated ecommerce and POS system is that it allows you to sell with the confidence that your inventory and sales are accounted for across both platforms, saving you wasted hours of administrative work.

2. Consolidated sales reports

By integrating your POS system with your ecommerce store you can consolidate all your reporting into one more powerful sales report, enabling you to operate more strategically.

You will have a better idea of your best sellers across all platforms, what products are performing well on what channels and importantly where there could be a potential shortage due to increased demand.

Reports App

3. Greater stock visibility

When operating separate sales channels it can be easy to lose track of your inventory levels and be at risk of overselling online when items have actually sold out in-store.

Not only is this a poor customer experience but creates a tiresome cycle of administrative tasks and manual stocktakes that slows down your operations. An integrated ecommerce and POS system will prevent this and it will increase the visibility of your stock levels.

Use automation with the likes of Shopify or AirPOS to notify you when stock is getting low so you always have stock when you need it, saving you time and simplifying your workload.

4. Grow your audience

With an ecommerce platform, you will be able to open your business up to a wider audience nationally or globally.

Omnichannel also increases the likelihood of customers coming across your brand and shopping with you.

Interestingly, industry research shows that those businesses that invest in omnichannel sales retain an average of 89% of their customer base compared to the 33% retained by a single sales channel.

You can also grow a marketing audience by collecting website user information, this is great when you want to launch new products, sales etc. and it allows you to increase sales.

5. Get customer insights

Integrated ecommerce is the ultimate way to find out more about your customer’s buying habits. What products do they like and those they don’t, are there certain products they’d prefer to buy in-store rather than online?

You can use your omnichannel reporting to drill into your customer data and create a shopping experience that you know they’ll love and be loyal to.

You can also create customer accounts that track everything your customers buy, and you can use this data to encourage them to purchase things that are a good fit for them, helping increase sales further.

Click and collect

Click and collect

6. Improve your customer experience

With an integrated ecommerce system you maximise customer satisfaction better than ever before.

With access to their data, you can create unique loyalty programs that you know they’ll love and even encourage those who only shop online to visit your physical store.

Give customers the flexibility to buy online, or in-store.

Click and collect serves to bridge the gap between online selling and in-store pickup.

With an integrated system you can offer a simple way to click and collect from you, not only does this benefit your customers, a recent study found that 35% of shoppers who pick up an online order in a shop will make additional purchases on collection.

Want to learn more, check out the full blog on why retailers need to integrate Shopify and POS systems here.

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How the Cloud Makes Your Company More Sustainable

Offering huge savings on hardware and access to technologies like AI, ML, automation and big data, companies have flocked to the cloud over the last decade. There is, however, yet another reason to adopt cloud technology: it can make your company more sustainable. Here we look at the benefits of being more sustainable and how the cloud helps your business achieve this.

The benefits of sustainability

The most obvious and important benefit of making your business more sustainable is that you are playing your part in helping to make the world a better place. By cutting greenhouse gas emissions, recycling, reducing plastic and other pollution, and procuring sustainably resourced products, materials and services, the positive impact you have on the environment can be significant.

Another factor, growing in importance, is that consumers are wanting to reduce their own impact by buying sustainable products and services from eco-friendly brands. According to separate Gartner and KMPG reports, 87% of consumers have a more positive view of companies that support environmental issues, 56% take sustainability into account when looking for products and services and, since the pandemic, 37% are now prioritising sustainability when they shop. This is a trend that goes beyond consumer purchasing decisions; businesses increasingly want greener supply chains and partners, while employees want to work for sustainable companies. Becoming greener, therefore, can increase sales, loyalty and make it easier to employ the best talent.   

If corporate responsibility and market forces don’t drive sustainability improvements, then regulations will. Governments across the globe are setting ambitious targets for the achievement of net-zero emissions and businesses will be compelled to comply. Though this will require a significant amount of effort over the next few decades, governments will expect to see progress towards their targets and legal measures are already being put into place to achieve these. In the UK, for example, firms will have to complete sustainability disclosures and the sale of gas-powered boilers and combustible engine vehicles will cease. Companies that fail to comply face a double whammy of fines and reputational damage.

How cloud improves sustainability

As businesses grow more reliant on IT, their IT-related carbon footprint increases. Today, this accounts for 4% of the world’s electricity use and 1.4% of global carbon emissions. This trend is moving upwards and as IT use becomes more prolific, predictions estimate that emissions will rise ten-fold to 14% in the next twenty years.

Adopting cloud services can help businesses reduce their environmental impact. One of the chief reasons is that, compared to in-house data centres, cloud vendors invest heavily in tools that help them manage and continuously optimise energy usage. Operating on such a large scale and with significant energy bills resulting, even before sustainability became such a priority, economic forces have driven improvements in energy efficiency in power conditioning, cooling and lighting.

What’s more, the economies of scale of the cloud enable vendors to operate more efficiently. Indeed, some cloud datacentres can be over three times more efficient and generate almost 90% fewer carbon emissions than in-house datacentres. This can be achieved through the adoption of more efficient technologies, like SSD drives, and via dynamic provisioning, where server capacity is matched with real-time demand to minimise overprovisioning and energy waste. At the same time, a cloud vendor is better able to utilise servers, so that fewer are needed. – Read more

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What Is CRM? Learn The Benefits And Options

Customer relationship management (CRM) systems provide efficiency to customer-oriented business models. CRM is a software system that collects and analyzes customer data (as well as company-wide data of other types) and stores it all in an easily accessible, centralized location. Businesses of all sizes can benefit greatly from the head start on workflow and organization that CRMs offer. Read on to learn what CRM can do for your team.

What Is a CRM?

Though they have been around for over 30 years, customer relationship management systems have truly expanded in popularity over the past decade or so—no doubt thanks to the rise of online business and social network activity. One of the main reasons CRMs are so helpful in today’s marketplace is their ability to automatically monitor customer activity and collect data across the network channels that these programs provide. Sales and marketing teams can interpret the data presented and direct energy toward creative strategies for increasing customer satisfaction and, as a result, generating revenue.

In reality, CRMs are nothing but a simple, hopefully, secure database of client details, account information and company records. Easy access to customer profiles helps build and maintain more personalized relationships between a business and its customers, and can also help create marketing campaign strategies that speak more directly to specific future consumer needs.

Whether stored within a company’s on-premise server or on a cloud server, a CRM provides a way to log customer interaction history like phone calls, email correspondence and social network posts and mentions. Depending on the specific software program a company chooses, various tools like email integration and task triggers can help to keep up on deadlines and maintain consistent customer outreach, even while upcoming marketing campaigns are still in development.

How CRMs Work

Specifically designed to make retrieval of information quick and painless, CRMs can help give both customers and staff a more positive and direct experience. Apart from customer interactions, the unified nature of the storage system promotes transparency and clear communication within the company itself.

With a centralized platform to save appointment reminders, to-do lists and track daily task completion, there is far less room for misunderstandings and a seamless workflow process is developed and maintained without high overhead or stress. This contributes to organization, time management and directs human cognitive energy towards creative opportunities for growth and profit.

Who Do CRMs Benefit and How?

No matter how big or small a business, CRMs have become an invaluable tool for anyone in the working world. Whether an upscale competitor with numerous branches and departments, an underdog small business or a new startup looking for ways to stand out, organization and an efficient workflow can make or break the path to success and expansion. An organizational software like this can even benefit smaller organizations like non-profits, volunteer groups as well as temporary creative productions.

There is no real minimum amount of data entry required in order to reap the benefits of CRMs, though the software is probably the most vital for businesses that have remote staff or product distribution. For businesses just gaining momentum, it is incredibly useful for building and maintaining an online presence and activity across network channels and requires less brainpower for simple tasks like marketing announcements or customer follow-up messages. Although automated, these tools can also be customized and personalized, ensuring that customers feel seen and heard, and have needs met in an honest and holistic way. In other words, CRMs give the monotonous organizational tasks to an automated system, while the humans involved can focus more on human relations without burning out from robotic busy work. – Read more

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