POS systems yield priceless information
about customers and their purchases,
and can help store owners increase sales
you can meet those needs and make a sale.
Data-mining your POS system also allows
you to target marketing efforts to specific
groups of customers and make a list of the
attributes and demographics of potential
customers. In short, an effective POS system which is creatively used can increase
your store’s traffic and sales.
Once upon a time, most shop owners
knew every one of their customers by name,
as well as what they did over the weekend.
These days, this type of relationship rarely
exists. Yet, more and more consumers are
demanding quality, individual treatment
when it comes to services and products.
Retailers must comply if they expect to
exceed their competition in the race for a
loyal clientele and healthy profits.
Today’s POS software can provide a
comprehensive customer profile from information established at the time of sale.
Along with name, address, email and phone
number, it can record their purchasing
history and tell you everything from what
brands they buy to their birthday. If you
know the names and addresses of those
who regularly purchase a certain line from
you, you can selectively send a mailing to
A POS system can also ascertain who
your biggest customers are – and who
they’re likely to be – based on the 80-20
rule that 20 per cent of your customers
contribute 80 per cent of your sales. With
that information in hand you can reward
and woo your top purchasers to ensure
they keep coming back.
A POS system can also be a valuable
tool when it comes to building relationships with suppliers, employees and
“With suppliers, it’s a matter of talking
more intelligently with them, by providing them with information that helps
them plan their inventory levels,” says
Nunzio Cernero, president of Nunzio E.
Cernero & Company, a business consulting
firm based in Brick, N.J.
When employees understand the demo-
graphics and purchasing preferences of your
best customers, they can better serve them.
“Your people should know who your best
customers are. To not be aware of who’s
spending the most money at your store is to
risk losing those customers when they don’t
feel properly recognized,” says Cernero,
who encourages retailers to share store sales
and trends with staff. “There’s a lot of re-
search that shows you get better results with
employees when you share that kind of
information with them. They feel more a
part of the business.”
Provide that same sales data to your
banker. “It blows them away to give them
an analysis of your customer base regarding
who they are and how sales are growing or
leveling off,” says Cernero. “By supplying
this, you show that you understand where
your business is and where it’s headed.”
The critical issue before you take on
any POS system is, ultimately, to make it
work for you rather than you work for it.
The information your POS system collects
for you should provide a service to your
customers, vendors, employees and financial institutions that translates into more
sales and increased profits.
First, know what to look for. “Get only
what you need, something simple and easy
to use. Skip the bells and whistles like sta-
tistics, bell curves and consumer behavior
modeling information,” says Cernero.
“Many systems are way too complicated
for most smaller retail businesses. You want
something that offers basic data such as
customer demographics, products pur-
chased and dollar amount.”
Once you input customer information
into your POS system, their future pur-
chases are automatically tracked. When
customers are ready for you to ring up
their sales, you can easily retrieve valuable
information simply by keying in their
names, email addresses or phone numbers.
With that information, you can identify
and keep a record of loyal customers, re-
ward them with special promotions and
establish a rapport with them.
For example, when your POS system
records customers’ names, addresses,
email addresses and phone numbers, you
can notify them of upcoming events and
specials. If you know their birthdays, you
can send them a greeting card and gift.
With a system that monitors how often
someone shops at your store, you can even
celebrate a customer’s 100th visit by giving
them a free gift.