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We’ve come a long way from traditional cash registers, with their clacking keys, crashing metal drawers and susceptibility to human error. Point-of-sale (POS) systems now offer a range of features and benefits for every business, whether you’re running an ice cream truck, a barber shop or a cinema chain – or you’re providing a service on your own. Here are a few ways a POS system can, and should, be working for you.
Everything, everywhere, all at once
We know the Academy Award–winning movie isn’t about POS, but with that title, it very well could have been. In 2023, a good point-of-sale system can function as the hub for your business. Beyond simply taking payments in-store, an integrated POS system can adapt and expand to fit your needs. You can have it all if you want it: online store, rostering, email marketing, loyalty program, inventory management, reporting and analytics – the lot! Or you can just set up what you need. Really, it’s up to you. Some key things to consider might be how a POS system can save you time, simplify your processes, increase earnings and make your life – and running your business – just that little bit easier.
Let your customers decide how to pay
Now, more than ever, customers want options. And younger generations, especially, expect to be met where they are. Square’s 2022 Future of Retail report found that many shoppers – 62% of millennials and 67% of Gen Z – now prefer contactless payments. And according to Afterpay, almost one in five Gen Zs abandoned a purchase in the last 12 months due to their preferred payment method not being an option – in many cases, they’re looking for buy now, pay later (BNPL).
With a system like Square POS, you can choose what works for you and your customers. Let them pay in-person or online, or you can send out invoices. Accept contactless payments with a phone, or via fixed or handheld terminals. Offer a BNPL option. Sell via Facebook and Instagram. Use QR codes for menus and ordering, or for product information and window shopping. Keeping customers is usually easier than finding new ones, and providing flexible ways to pay is one way to make sure they stay with you.
Deliver better customer service
A POS system can improve your service by making transactions quicker and more secure, freeing up your staff to engage with customers. It can also reduce the human error that occurs with manual payment systems. With a Square Terminal, you can go cordless and take payments anywhere – at the table or around the store. And setting up customer accounts allows you to email or text digital receipts, saving the hassle and waste of printing paper.
Of the Australian shoppers we surveyed for the Future of Retail report, 69% were concerned about data privacy when shopping digitally. That’s why Square Secure is included with every Square account, providing peace of mind to you and your customers.
Manage your team and inventory
If your business is growing, so can your POS, allowing you to manage your team and inventory from anywhere. Square Team Management lets you create and send out rosters via the mobile app or email. If flexibility is important to your team members, you can give them the ability to swap shifts and request time off when they need it.
Keep track of inventory across one or more locations using Square Dashboard. You can get low-stock alerts, download reports and even link your POS to other inventory management software.
Tailor your offering
As a business owner, you need to know what’s selling and what’s not. And it’s helpful to understand your customers’ habits and preferences. With Square POS, you can view customisable, real-time reports to check what’s selling well, or what times of day you’re busiest. You can also set up a loyalty program and rewards and create email campaigns based on what different customers want.
A POS system for every type of business
Whether you’ve got a quick-service coffee shop, full-service restaurant, bar or ghost kitchen – or one of each – you can streamline tasks and save time for your customers and staff with Square for Restaurants. Sync your POS to a Square kitchen display system (KDS) to keep on top of all your orders in one place. Connect to your website to offer fee-free pickup orders, or link to third-party delivery providers. Let your team clock in and out at your POS, and keep track of their hours, overtime and breaks. When it comes to efficiency in hospitality, a good POS system with the right add-ons is invaluable.
The owners of Lox In A Box have been using Square from the start, and it’s helped them to expand from one store to three. “As we’ve grown Square’s grown with us. Having a POS system and hardware that’s easy to use and the same across all the stores means that we can walk into Bondi, Coogee, or Manly and know what we’re doing,” says co-owner Candy Berger.
Beauty and personal care
Managing bookings and calendars can be complicated work, not to mention a distraction from your business’s actual work, but it doesn’t have to be. You can take bookings online and free up staff hands with Square Appointments. Multiple staff calendars, automated reminders for clients and an integrated POS can help you to keep your customers looking good and feeling looked after.
For Amy Phipps, the owner of Polished Byron Bay, Square Appointments lets her focus on the important things: “Square Appointments allows me to run my business from my phone, and our team can log in on-the-go and check their upcoming appointments without me having to micromanage things. This gives me so much freedom and time back being a mum and business owner.”
You could be managing one store or one hundred, but building customer relationships, keeping products in stock and knowing your best sellers will always be keys to success. Square for Retail has you covered. Just pick the customisable features that suit your goals and needs, whether that’s setting up customer accounts and email marketing, or syncing sales across online and brick-and-mortar stores.
Creating positive relationships with customers is a hallmark of Cassie Metcalfe’s floristry shop, Edward & I, and Square for Retail has helped her to continue doing what she does best. “My favourite feature is being able to save customers’ details – this includes contact, payment and special dates, such as anniversaries or birthdays. Customers also really like that they can easily see the amount they are spending on the large screen,” Cassie says.
What if you’re a metaphorical – or even literal – one-person band? You’ll still need to receive payments and do some paperwork for your business, and you probably don’t have many hands free while you’re carrying eight instruments. A modern POS system could be for you, and with Square Appointments you can start small and for free. Schedule appointments and send reminders, store contacts and customer notes, send estimates and invoices and take payments right from your phone.
This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. For specific advice applicable to your business, please contact a professional.