One of the amazing things that new point of sale (POS) systems can do that were almost equivalent to marketing science fiction just thirty years ago is to gain widespread customer data to automatically target individuals or groups. For many, it gives that appealing feeling of a barista who remembers your drink order or waiter that can recommend new dishes to you when you visit your favorite restaurant. But the world of customer directed marketing is larger than you may think and has many advantages that you may be missing.
7. Connect Your Physical Store with an Online Shop
Although it may feel that way, your online shop isn’t an island. It can be seamlessly connected to your physical store if you allow for customer rewards cards or other methods by which you can identify a customer online and offline. This will not only allow you to direct certain sales to them (explained later) but it can also provide them with items that your physical store in their area may not carry (or even big ticket items that they simply don’t want to transport themselves, like televisions). This will significantly increase the sales and marketing possibilities.
6. Planned Buys with Directed Coupons
You’ve seen them when you leave the grocery store. Almost every time you leave, you get two pieces of paper: your receipt and a coupon. Maybe it’s for a 24 pack of that soda you love. It could possibly be for the salsa you’ve frequently bought before but haven’t picked up in a while. It might even be for an antacid. Regardless of what it is, when you receive the coupons you know that they’re catered to you. You could really go anywhere to get that soda, but are going to go to that grocery store on the way home from work or the one near your house that gave you the coupon? When you give a customer a personalized coupon you are encouraging them to come back for that $1.50 off next time.
5. Impulse Buys with Directed Recommendations
You don’t only have to bank on directed coupons for future visits that may or may not happen. With some POS software like those from Shopify your cashiers can get an immediate look at some great recommendations for your customers, allowing them to recommend upsales or related items that can get some big impulse buys from your clientele.
4. Makes Your Customers Happy
A happy customer is a loyal customer and a loyal customer is a customer that spends money at your store. By having a POS system that personalizes their experience they not only can feel flattered and important but they can also feel like every trip to your store will be significantly easier and quicker than starting anew with another retailer.
3. Allows You to Personalize Content Elsewhere
With POS technology keeping demographic data for several customers, their interaction with your brand doesn’t only have to be between when they are in and out of your door. You can extend those reminders to their e-mail as well. By personalizing their experience, they can receive additional product recommendations, coupons, or even articles from your company about their passions and make you seem like an authority on the things that they love.
2. Reviewing Overall Trends
Your company doesn’t only have to try to market to John Doe specifically. Your company can also try to personalize the shopping experience of groups based on an analysis of trends over the course of weeks, months, or years. If you’ve noticed that your store is selling more of one product at a specific time of year you can solidify that sale by promoting it and possibly offering discounts in order to create more of a buzz for it, hopefully gaining new customers for that product in the process.
Gathering customer analytics doesn’t just help market to customers, it also helps to ensure that you have enough of your product available. By implementing customer analytics and product matrices in your POS software, you can ensure that not only specific items are in stock but that enough of certain styles or flavors of a certain item are in stock at any given time for your customers. This is one of the most valuable ways that a retailer can save money as retailers lose $224 billion per year due to excess inventory that just stays on the shelves and in the back and they lose $45 billion per year due to customers looking elsewhere for items that are sold out. Maintaining a good stock for your most rabid customers will ensure that you’re keeping their loyalty.
Customer analytics may seem like a new and strange world, especially for offline retailers, but it’s one of the most valuable tools a business can use to drive up sales and gain repeat customers. Ensuring that a customer comes back to you, even with the intention that they’re “just coming to use that coupon on dog food” may actually turn into a significantly larger trip to the store than they intended.
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