The importance of mastering the basics

  • Opinion
  • December 7, 2017
  • Juanita Neville-Te Rito
The importance of mastering the basics

Having been in retail for a while I thought I had seen and heard some strange things. But the latest absurdity takes the cake.

Point of sale (POS) is a basic requirement to being a retailer. It’s retailing 101 and I challenge anyone to find me a successful retailer that operates without POS of some description. Hence, it astounded me that a large retailer in a hyper-competitive category asked me, “Do we really need POS, and how is it going to get us any more sales or make more money?” I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

I’d like to share the key reasons why POS is critical and if you are upgrading, what to consider.

A 2016 Intuit market research study from the US calculated that by using an affordable, integrated POS system, an independent retailer with revenue of $300,000 can cut costs by close to 10 percent, saving an average $30,000 a year. That's a substantial return on a small investment. So, how can a retailer afford not to have a POS system?

Many systems are now SaaS-based and offer functions beyond checkout, including interactive signage; employee attendance; customer database; customer self-service like click and collect, or access to additional product offerings through ‘endless aisles’.

What does a good POS system deliver for retailers?

1) Accurate inventory management (and COGS data)

The biggest advantage of having a top POS system is the ability to get an immediate, accurate assessment of your stock. Each time you check out a customer, the goods you ring up are subtracted from your stock list, which is maintained on the systems against the corresponding COGS data.

Keeping track of the cross-section of items that make up a retail business can be a pain. Consistently keeping key product or unique items in stock can add up to a competitive advantage. Remember also, you can’t sell fresh air so POS keeps stock on shelves.

POS systems maintain, record and report accurate data in one repository for ongoing analysis and reference. In hyper-competitive categories, this information is invaluable for everything such as supplier negotiations to providing an accurate record of the actual sales, selling price and advertised price of products that might be subject to “bait advertising” or “deceptive pricing” complaints.

2) Customer data repository

A good POS system will help you know who your best customers are and what they like. The customer’s data enables you to maintain a meaningful relationship beyond one sale. You can send meaningful information about product usage, time to replace the product or other relevant products they will be interested in.

POS customer data enables more sophisticated segmentation to target and attract “like customers.” For example, via Facebook you can target advertising and offers to those customers who “look like” the customers you have already sold to. Finally, it means you can store data the customer might expect you to keep such as warranty data.

3) Elastic walls and upselling capabilities

Through POS, you can personalise interactions with their customers and reinvent the in-store experience. For example, placing a secondary display at the counter where customers can sign up to your loyalty program or wall-mounting screens in high-traffic areas, where you could run ads or offer endless aisles.

With accurate POS data, you can curate localised ranges but also provide your customers with access to products that don’t need to be kept as stock on hand (endless aisles).

In any well-run retail business, the POS is more than just the place where the money gets counted. POS systems gather vital, real-time information about inventory and customers. It makes life simply easier and gives you the data and information to grow your business.

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.


Fit-Out: Retreat to the Wine Cave

  • News
  • December 15, 2017
  • Sarah Dunn
Fit-Out: Retreat to the Wine Cave

A wine retail outlet like no other opened in Auckland’s Newmarket in October. The Wine Cave is intended to create a subterranean-feeling, luxurious atmosphere that showcases high-end wine to its best effect.

Read more

Amazon is coming

  • News
  • December 15, 2017
  • Greg Harford
Amazon is coming

If there's one word that strikes fear into the heart of many Kiwi retailers, it's "Amazon". This massive global business has enormous scale; a turnover nearly two and a half times that of the entire New Zealand retail sector; and a share price of nearly NZD$1,400.

Read more

Back in Time: Kowtow

  • News
  • December 15, 2017
Back in Time: Kowtow

Created in 2007 by Gosia Piatek, Kowtow launched from a small home-based dream to one of New Zealand’s most respected ethical brands as it celebrates its first decade in business.

Read more
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...

On the road with mobile payments tech

The past decade has seen a proliferation of pop-up shops, farmers’ markets, food trucks and temporary collective sale spaces. Rachel Helyer Donaldson explores how rising ...

Next page
Results for
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

The Register

Content marketing/advertising? Email or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit