If you are setting up a new retail business, or a service-based one that requires you to trade out of a physical location e.g., a garage, you are going to want to invest in the right technology. Doing so sets you up for success. It makes it easier for you to serve your customers, as well as keep track of your stock and finances. All of which is vitally important for any business, but even more so for start-ups.
Of course, what you will need is going to vary depending on the nature of the goods you sell or the services you provide. But there are some types of technology that every single physical retail or service business is going to need for their customer-facing trading location.
For example, whether you are running a food store, a garage, or a nail bar, you need to keep track of stock and the items that enable you to trade. For that, you need some sort of stock tracking software and hardware. That is the type of technology we are going to be talking about in this article.
Point of sale technology
Every retailer, salon, gym, garage, workshop, café, or clinic needs to provide their customers with a way to pay. When it comes to how you do that, there are many options. Gone are the days when it was a static till or nothing. Today, if you want to, you can do everything using your mobile phone and maybe a credit card reader. Something that a lot of small business owners start out by doing.
This can work out OK. But you have to bear in mind that some customers will want to pay with cash or may not feel comfortable having their card scanned by someone´s mobile. You also need to make sure that whatever system you are using is secure. Use this article to help you to narrow down your POS options.
Stock control technology
This next one is closely related to Point-of-Sale technology. This is because to be able to monitor stock levels and take advantage of automatic ordering your POS system needs to talk to your stock control system. The data format needs to be compatible. That is why, often, the best approach is to invest in a system that fulfils both functions.
When a customer comes into your store, clinic, café, or gym you have 100% of their attention. Their focus is on your business and what you do for them. Making the time that someone spends in your store a golden opportunity for you to build a stronger relationship with them. Provided the experience they have with you is a good one, it will boost your brand, generate customer loyalty, and enable you to maximise how much they buy from you.
That is why every physical outlet needs to use good quality marketing tools. Especially digital display screens. They can be used for sharing details of promotions, informing customers about new lines, keeping them safe, brand awareness, and much more besides. They are highly effective. According to a study carried out by Abitron, 19% of consumers made an unplanned purchase after seeing an advert that was displayed on an in-store digital screen.
Unlike static posters and banners what is displayed can be changed at any time and within minutes. Opening up the opportunity to tailor the content to fit in with the demographics of the people who are typically in your shop at various points in the day or week.
When it comes to tech specs for digital signage you need to gravitate towards the higher end of the screen price spectrum. Bear in mind that those screens are going to be on for 10+ hours per day. So, you need one that can withstand that level of use. They also need to be anti-glare and, ideally, have a good power rating, so that they do not consume too much electricity.
Backroom PCs and laptops
The same needs to be true of any laptop or PC screens that you buy to carry out your backroom processes. For example, payroll, answering emails, and creating marketing ads. Use this guide to find out more. Including, how to determine how much processing power you will need. Don´t forget to secure all of your software from viruses, trojan horses, and malware.
The above are the basics. But you may also want to consider adding a security system. As well as investing in sensors that do things like turn the lights down when nobody is around or alert you if your fridge temperatures drop. If you want to learn about some of the optional technology that you can use to streamline things further, just click here.