You’re looking to take your business to the next level, but do you have the right technologies in place to make this year your best yet? Technology can make your business more efficient, help you get organised and create a better environment for both customers and employees. Here are the top tools you absolutely need to invest in this year.
Chip and PIN and mobile payments readers
A “no mobile payments” sign on your POS isn’t going to cut it. It’s 2018 — a year when mobile payments are only set to get bigger, and you need a point of sale that can accept them ASAP. When you upgrade, make sure you get one that also accepts Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay. Mobile payments are a fast, convenient and secure way to pay. The Square Reader accepts both cards and mobile payments and costs just £19.
Mobile-optimised website and online store
These days, no one has the patience for a website that’s not optimised for mobile. If yours doesn’t work like a charm on all devices, it’s likely you’re losing tonnes of customers (not to mention getting pipped in search results).
It should be as simple as possible for customers to browse items, add them to the cart and then check out on their mobile devices. This takes just seconds for huge names like Amazon whose service sets the bar for all other eCommerce stores — if it takes much longer on your business’s website, customers will bounce.
Analytics and business intelligence (BI) tools
Smart small businesses will heavily rely on data and analytics to make important decisions about everything from marketing strategies to staffing. Square Analytics, which is hooked up to the transaction data from your Square POS, has a wealth of information to help: things like historical sales reports, your busiest times of the day and how many new versus returning customers you’re bringing in. You should review this information constantly to adjust strategies and compete.
Remote working tools
Offering the ability to work remotely not only helps with recruiting and retaining top talent, studies show it actually improves team productivity. In 2018, integrate technologies that make it easy for employees to manage their job from anywhere.
Inventory management software
As omnichannel retail becomes the expected norm, a seamless experience between online and brick-and-mortar stores is essential. To accomplish this, you need robust inventory management software. There are a number of excellent solutions in Square App Marketplace that help sync in-store and online inventory in real time, reducing merchandising delays.
Employee management software
Keeping track of your staff’s schedules on a paper calendar is needlessly messy and complicated. As well as Square’s own employee management features, Square App Marketplace now features employee management software solutions that let you manage schedules and track time straight from your mobile device, making everyone’s lives easier.
Wherever you are, it’s really frustrating when pages take ages to load. And if you’re a cafe or coffee shop, not offering Internet could even be a deterrent for regular customers (it’s a criterion that’s searchable on most review sites, after all). So invest in free Wi-Fi this year. To mitigate the problem of people cosying up for hours without buying anything, talk to your provider about adding time limits or, for a simpler solution, just post signs around that politely ask customers to purchase items every two hours.