Amazon.com, Etsy, eBay ... these are just a few of the top grossing online merchandise sites, dedicated to making the consumer’s retail experience easier than ever. Amazon boasts its two-day shipping guarantee for Prime members, while Etsy caters to the entrepreneurial spirit of the buyer who wants their goods completely customized and unique. In theory, these sites are ideal for the busy American worker, who finds convenience and ease when shopping from the comfort of their living room. But is it enough? Do consumers really prefer shopping online?
According to the numbers, the answer is surprisingly no. A recent TimeTrade study found that more than 70 percent of consumers prefer to shop at a brick-and-mortar store over Amazon. In addition, another study conducted by First Insight found that both men and women tend to spend more money in stores compared to purchases made online.
Why do consumers prefer the face-to-face experience? It all comes down to our desire to have what we want now. According to Retail Dive’s consumer survey, the ability to (literally) get hands on products is enough for most shoppers to brave the crowds and be rewarded with that feeling of instant gratification.
More foot traffic and more dollars spent means your business needs to be ready for the worst-case scenarios: slow systems, long lines, and impatient customers. What is the solution?
A point-of-sale (POS) system to suit the needs of small businesses everywhere. “Being without a functional POS system prevented my business from growing,” says Jacyn Heavens, founder and CEO of Epos Now, a modernized cloud-based software provider. “I knew to perfect the system, I’d need to create it myself, so that’s exactly what I did.”
So, what makes owning and operating the right cloud-based POS essential to the success of small businesses? Customer satisfaction, for one.
Customers crave personalized experiences, and POS systems can create that. According to a 2018 report by Accenture, 83 percent of consumers are more likely to share their personal information to receive a tailored retail experience. While the customer benefits from this experience, so does the store’s marketing. This allows for exclusive promotions via email, text and social media that provides even more customized content, helping to bring in a steady clientele and creating a mutually beneficial relationship.
This type of technology continues to revolutionize small businesses everywhere, especially in light of the previous holiday season, with brick-and-mortar Black Friday sales up 4.2 percent from prior years. The National Retail Federation predicted an increase anywhere from 3.8 to 4.2. This was especially impressive since the 2019 holiday season was one of the shortest in recent history, spanning six days less than the 2018 holiday season. Despite the shorter time frame and heightened sales traffic, this is an excellent prospect for the retail industry.
The last thing a company needs to worry about is an unreliable POS system. With smarter technologies, business owners can continue to “live in the clouds.”
Jacyn Heavens is the founder and CEO of Epos Now, a point-of-sale system that hosts over 30,000 customers and was named the U.K.’s fastest-growing POS company, as well as the 13th fastest-growing tech company.