Are you a retailer who engages or looks forward to engaging in both offline and online sales, but you struggle to bridge the offline-online service gap? While putting it differently, do you want your customers to transition between online and offline shopping seamlessly? If that’s a yes, then a PoS systems and e-commerce integration is probably the best solution. Read on to find out more.
Connecting Offline and Online Sales
According to Statista, retail e-commerce sales reached $4.28 trillion in 2020. By 2024, the company expects global e-commerce sales to touch $6.4 trillion. As per another study conducted by Harvard Business Review, consumers are likely to spend 13% more in retail stores when they conduct online research on the website of its retailer or other retailers.
While e-commerce sales are on the rise, a significant chunk of the population still prefers to visit physical stores to purchase products. Therefore, online and offline presences go hand in hand. Businesses no longer engage their customers with a single channel. Instead, they leverage the benefits of running both an e-commerce platform and a brick-and-mortar store at the same time.
And whilst we are on the subject, what do you think about the efficient integration of offline-online shopping? In the changing dynamic of the retail landscape, gaps between both worlds can lead to disappointed consumers and thus a loss in sales. However, a PoS e-commerce integration (connecting offline point of sale systems to your online e-commerce platform) can surprisingly streamline your online and offline business.
PoS E-Commerce Integration
You may at the moment have a distinct point of sale for each of your sales channels, online and/or offline, without having interconnected each of them. In the offline world, you have a physical store that contains point of sale (PoS) hardware such as a cash register. In contrast, your e-commerce site and perhaps other online channels with their point of sale mechanisms in the online world.
There may be no integration between these different online and offline platforms. The inventory does not update automatically on all channels whenever a customer purchases a product from one channel, and you also have separate data on customers who buy your products from you. You have to spend a lot of extra manual time to process the sales order and track shipping information.
Against this background, PoS e-commerce integration comes as a blessing: a digital solution that can handle both offline and online orders and transactions. You have all your data in one place making it more straightforward for you to manage your business, along with other benefits.
Best PoS Software for E-Commerce
You will come across several PoS software options for e-commerce that will satisfy your specific business needs: managing inventory, workforce, and overall business efficiency. Here’s a glance at a few of the systems most commonly used by retailers.
Lightspeed Retail PoS
Known for its inventory management and e-commerce, Lightspeed Retail is an excellent cloud-based point of sale solution that provides an integrated online store. The software is also phenomenal for invoicing, analytics, ordering, and employee management. As far as the charges are concerned, it costs only $119/month. Here you see some key features of the software.
- Shipping Tools: It helps maximize shipping efficiency by allowing you to organize goods for checkout. From the backend, you can also view and edit shipments.
- Tracking Products: You can track the stock numbers of your products as it assigns a serial number to each product. Y you can also generate insights regarding stock levels.
- Adding Details: The software also lets you incorporate details of your vendors and their separate catalogs. Apart from that, what this feature does is that it allows you to refill your stock by placing orders directly from the system.
Customer Loyalty Programs: It is an excellent feature to reward your target customers with loyalty points, which then includes relevant customers to the program. In addition to that, the software also sends offers on account of different occasions, including birthdays, while it also automates marketing campaigns.
Square is the best choice for small businesses since it is free. Moreover, it is self-explanatory while it offers robust features, such as inventory management, employee management, detailed customer profiles, unlimited staff permissions, advanced reporting and analytics, free credit card processing, and excellent performance. Here you see some of the significant features of Square.
- Free E-Commerce Website Integration: What is so great about Square is that it installs its PoS system with a free-of-cost e-commerce website integration.
- Paid Online Store Plans: Even though it is sufficient for a small business to manage its business with a free Square Online Store, Square provides paid online store plans for more advanced e-commerce business requirements.
- Customer Relationship Management: Square stands out when it comes to customer relationship management because its CRM arsenal paves the way for generating insights from customer data. Not only has that, but it also tracks customer transaction history and automatically establishes customer profiles during checkout.
- Client Messages: A customer can also leave messages and make appointments with Square e-commerce software. They also have a free iOS application that enables users to manage their purchases efficiently and effortlessly.
An easy-to-use PoS system called Vend is also popular among online retailers. Although the credit goes to its inventory management for its popularity, it also performs other functions, such as customer loyalty, analytics, and e-commerce. In addition to its dedicated iPad app, you can also run Vend on any web browser. The price for its pro plan is $129/month, which includes e-commerce, among other advanced features. Here you see some key features of Vend.
- Inventory Management: While Vend allows retail owners to add diverse product variations to the system, personalized gift baskets can also get created. With the help of a centralized product catalog, you can also put products on multiple channels. Thus, it eradicates the need for redundancy in data entry and ensures its accuracy in real-time.
- Hybrid Purchase: A customer has flexibility when it comes down to purchasing a product with the tool. It is true that customers can explore and pay for their items online, but they can pick up the orders from the physical shop.
- Payment Processing: When considering the payment processing, Vend offers extensive flexibility, ranging from cash and debit to credit and contactless wallet.
Syncing Inventory: Vend allows you to sync online and in-store inventories.
Unified Commerce and PoS System
It is worth noting that there is a growing demand among customers to find convenience in both online shopping and brick-and-mortar stores. Consumers want the information drawn from online research to match the in-store experience and also want to enjoy the freedom of switching between desktop and mobile before purchasing a product. The bottom line is that a potential customer can go crazy when experiencing a merely minor shopping inconvenience.
Consider a situation where a customer finds you have stock on the web and then goes into your physical store to purchase the product, where finally the stock is unavailable. In a case like this you may have just lost a customer because your online store and in-store PoS system were representing different sets of information.
Businesses are nowadays moving towards a unified and cohesive system, meaning that they want every part of their business mutually connected. At the same time, it is literally what an effective PoS system does because PoS e-commerce integration combines all data, including inventory information, order details, and customer database, to facilitate sales staff and customers.
Proximis proposes a Smart POS system for unified commerce that will not only revolutionize your customer journey, but also improve employee experience. Sales associates will be able to give customers accurate information, and consumers will be able to purchase. From the retailer’s perspective, one central system manages all the complexity of the business, whereas it also keeps customers satisfied by creating a seamless shopping experience.
Implementing a strong PoS system in e-commerce goes far beyond simply administering financial transactions. From inventory management and visualization of sales data in real-time to building in-depth customer profiles and adapting to changing business needs, its value is ever increasing. When it comes down to choosing the right PoS software, you need to keep in mind your current and future needs as they evolve. Learn more about Embedded e-commerce payment solutions.
Questions? Feel free to contact us, we are happy to help you understand how to start making a move towards a more integrated commerce business.