Some companies spend years developing, testing and redesigning products before they release them to the public for purchase or lease. It’s understandable. After all, companies that develop and release products that large segments of the public love can go from start-up to household brand name level within a matter of weeks. Miss the mark and businesses could find themselves in the red, quickly.
Another way that companies put themselves at risk of losing profits is by not knowing what their customers really want. Web-based customer tracking software, point of sale solutions, customer satisfaction surveys and customer loyalty programs are a few tools businesses have been using to stay aware of what their customers want most.
Product development alone is challenging enough. Companies have been known to invest millions of dollars in product development, product testing and marketing. Finding a way to keep a business growing, repeatedly turning one-time customers into repeat, loyal customers may be a greater challenge that, at some point, every business must face. Some ways retailers can use point of sale solutions to develop loyal customers include:
- Invite customers who buy from them four or more times a year opportunities to enroll in customer loyalty programs
- Develop partnerships with businesses then offer employees at the companies the chance to buy products at a discount through employee savings plans
- Add codes to coupons and discount sales links advertised in company newsletters, encouraging customers to click on the links, placing direct orders that are then tracked by point of sale solutions like mobile credit card readers and cash registers
- Contact customers as soon as out-of-stock products they previously purchased become available
- Send customers an email or postcard on their birthday, highlighting one to two similar products the customers ordered over the previous six months
Although point of sale solutions are hardware pieces like all-in-one customer sales terminals, data collectors, servers and workstations, other point of sale solutions are software. Software programs are used to create budgets, track financial reporting for two or more companies and measure order and marketing profitability. Companies that develop hardware and software programs include Sage Peachtree, Passport Software, CounterPoint, Dell, Radiant Systems, Metrologic, Motorola, Ingenico and Epson.
To get the most out of the systems, retailers will likely have to market their products or use genius methods to generate word-of-mouth customer sales. It’s with this data that retailers could begin to build their business-to-customer and business-to-business sales and discounts programs, taking the mystery out of customer relation management campaigns.
Whether a company sells products to hundreds, thousands or millions of customers a week, one thing is certain; that business cannot afford to play a guessing game, guessing which of its products consumers search for, tell their friends about and buy. Point of sale solutions like accounting software, all-in-one terminals, mobile cash registers and customer loyalty programs are built to take the guessing out of how to build a strong customer base, enough customers to yield enough revenue to cover business expenses like office and warehouse space, supplies, marketing costs, etc.
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http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/american-express-looks-ignite-real-twitter-shopping-147203 (AdWeek: American Express Looks to Ignite Real Twitter Shopping)
http://retailingtoday.com/article/study-shoppers-turn-dollar-stores-payroll-tax-rises (Retailing Today: Shoppers Turn to Dollar Stores as Payroll Tax Rises)
http://risnews.edgl.com/retail-trends/-Retail-Now-Accounts-for-45–of-All-Global-Data-Breaches84699 (RIS: Retail Now Accounts for 45% for All Global Data Breaches)
http://www.retail-week.com/companies/primark/primark-wants-to-be-online-but-says-business-model-doesnt-work/5045996.article (Retail Week: Primark Wants to be Online But Says Business Model Doesn’t Work)
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This article was written by Rhonda Campbell.