How to Choose a POS System for Salons and Boutiques

Retailers that make a living helping clients look and feel gorgeous need to look amazing themselves, so electronic clutter and outdated technology doesn’t fit the bill.  Choosing a point of sale (POS) system for salons requires extra attention to style, whether it’s hardware design or an installation that needs an added level of detail.

However, don’t choose a POS system based on looks alone. Think carefully about the software: do you need inventory management, customer relationship management (CRM), reports, or time keeping? It seems like common sense, but don’t paint yourself into a corner by selecting a package that leaves out important features.

Once you’ve made a list of what you need, it’s time to shop around. Choose a POS system for salons that includes these six necessities.

1. Functionality: POS systems for salons should be easy to learn and use and allow employees to complete a transaction in as few clicks as possible. If you cater to repeat clients, select software with an integrated CRM. This allows you to track customers’ buying habits and preferences. You can use this information to make recommendations based on past purchases or send clients coupons and incentives to make a purchase or schedule an appointment.

2. Employee management: Employee management is an important, multifaceted function of a POS system for salons and boutiques. Labor schedulers make it simple to schedule employees for work, swap shifts or duplicate a previous week’s schedule. They also help you make informed decisions about scheduling, so you are not caught under or overstaffed. Depending on the software, employee management functions give you a bird’s eye view of how many employees are working and what jobs they are performing that day.

3. Printed promotions: Very few receipt printers come with cloud software that allows you to create and schedule printed promotions for free. Choosing a Star Micronics printer for your salon POS system will grant you access to a full suite of Star Cloud Services, including PromoPRNT. PromoPRNT will empower salon owners to create custom promotions, manage them remotely, and schedule them to run at a pre-determined time. Increase customer retention with a limited time 20% off brow wax offer. Boost customer retention with a monthly 15% off of a cut and color.

4. Sales and inventory reporting: Many POS systems for salons allow you to see sales and inventory information in real time, so you can keep tabs on business throughout the day. These systems also include a variety of reporting options that give you the opportunity to see sales by the shift, hour, day, week, month, or year. Running sales reports help salon and boutique owners identify which styles and product lines customers can’t get enough of and which ones are ready for markdown. Knowing what the top selling items are helps ensure they’re always in stock and in prime position on the sales floor.

5. Inventory control: Knowing which items are hot helps you manage inventory levels so you aren’t overloaded with unsold products while running out of the ones customers want. POS systems for salons and boutiques can greatly reduce the amount of time you spend searching for items that are in stock, so choose one with the proper inventory control functions. A multilocation business can use its POS system to determine which locations have the items available and arrange for shipping.

6. Aesthetics: When it’s your business to make people look beautiful, you need to keep up appearances. Choose a stylish POS system for salons that fits with your business’ reputation. Appearances matter, so you can’t afford to have wires hanging around or dated hardware. The checkout is a customer’s last stop before they leave, so a fast transaction on beautifully designed hardware leaves a positive, lasting impression as clients depart.

The term “salon quality” has come to mean top of the line. Insist on the same standard for the technology you choose for your business. A purpose-built POS system for salons and boutiques will give you the features that meet your unique business needs, allow you to provide great customer service, and equip your business to operate successfully.

The Five Ways Retail is Changing Forever

By Michael K. Spencer

Retail will never be the same. Consumer preferences are constantly shifting, technology is advancing, and commerce is dynamic. The marketplace is on the front-lines of new experiences, and there’s nothing shoppers crave more than new retail experiences. Is a retail renaissance occurring for small businesses?

On the front lines, independent retail stores must constantly reinvent themselves. Small business owners as entrepreneurs are essentially creators now, in an age where the marketplace is converging with a new reality.

1. It’s the Age of the Consumer

Retail experiences and customer journeys are now frictionless and customer-focused. Advertising, commerce, and smartphone trends now have to keep up with the quickly changing consumer, whose values and new habits are creating the new paradigm of retail.

Customer experiences must be the focus to appeal to audiences and personalize experiences for them that are radically in sync with culture, community, education and entertainment. In other words, the age of the consumer means stores must impact these — and not simply sell “stuff”.

2. Always Easy Path to Purchase

In an era of multi-channel and always online commerce, stores must make it easy, because for the new consumer, convenience wins. What’s easy and convenient is different for a diverse group of your shoppers.

However being mobile friendly, having great return policies, smooth customer service, a store design that’s easy on the eyes, and having a great loyalty program—that’s facilitating an easy path to purchase.

3. Educate and Entertain Customers

A retail brand isn’t what it used to be. The new consumer demands a fully immersive and interactive brand and product experience. Shoppers don’t just want great products with unbelievable discounts, you have to offer them the full experience.

In 2018, the full experience means does your commerce stand for something — does it bring your local community together? Does it entertain and educate you seamlessly about the product and the people who bring those products to life? Influencers, community, and sustainable causes can really help a retail brand reach the next level of customer interaction.

4. The Power of Digital Influence

For a small business it’s great to have your physical store, but your work is never done. For in 2018, digital influence takes many forms. From AR to digital signage in the store, to good-old email marketing, and being quick to answer customer inquiries online, the impact of digital influence on commerce is undeniable.

Is your website and store optimized for search and local search; have you covered your bases on social media; have you implemented the very best POS and software integrations that’s right for your store? Everything counts, from the printer you use, to the kind of marketing you do.

5. Be An Authentic Entrepreneur — Live your Commerce

Independent retailers are families, stories, and sometimes even inter-generational. Retail stores with rich stories and who portray themselves as real entrepreneurs appeal to the human side of shoppers.

Being authentic in physical retail also means you care about your customer at every point of their journey. You sweat the details and create holistic and exquisite experiences. You inspire with the positive impact you have on the community, not just as an outlet of merchandise, but a small businesses that’s approachable, experts in their domain, and people that sync with the values of your best customers.

Retail might never be the same. As big apparel and retail chains go bankrupt (think Sears & Toys R Us), independent retailers recognize they have a huge advantage, they are pillars of the community and excel at putting people first. Retail might be changing forever, but there’s never been a more exciting time to be a small business owner, or a shopper.

 

PromoPRNT is the Easiest Small Business In-Store Marketing Tool

By Michael K. Spencer

What is the cost of receipt paper? It’s $1.25 per 1000 receipts. The true cost of PromoPRNT is just owning a Star Micronics receipt printer and the time to customize receipt messaging to your audience. Any small business or retail store can be doing in-store POS ads with this tool. PromoPRNT has Promo Builder and Promo Scheduler, making it the easiest way for retailers to do in-store ads at the time of purchase. Offline marketing is severely underestimated in 2018, and PromoPRNT works on the valuable real estate where it’s easiest to get eyeballs—the physical paper receipt.

In the first half of 2018, a slew of retailers have been busy trying this brand-new service added to the popular Star Micronics Cloud Service platform.

Marketing doesn’t have to be expensive or yield uncertain results such as with Facebook or Instagram ads online. PromoPRNT is immediate, physical, and ends up, literally, in your shoppers’ hands.

It allows small businesses to build rapport with customers where it matters most — at the physical location. Having the ability to do campaigns in-store, that are easy to set up and practically automated and very inexpensive, obviously has incredible benefits.

PromoPRNT is also a great way for resellers of retail hardware and software to gain a recurring revenue stream. Meanwhile for retail store managers, this is an easy way to communicate with customers, to implement a customer retention program and gain traction on campaigns, discounts, and seasonal offers. Small businesses are using it to implement the following:

Communicate Easily with Customers

  • A discount offer or time-limited promotion
  • Quotes & branding keywords
  • Hiring notices

Build Rapport with Customers

  • Event reminders
  • A positive thank you message
  • Driving traffic online

Create Customer Experiences

  • Customer feedback surveys
  • Seasonal campaign sale (e.g. Back-to-School deals)
  • A funny message for brand awareness

Build Customer Loyalty

  • Mention of a charity or community initiative
  • A point-of-purchase message designed for customer retention
  • Seasons greetings messages

PromoPRNT Costs Only a Star Printer

PromoPRNT as an automation tool for retail stores only costs the price of a Star Micronics Printer. With a library of templates and the built-in Promo Builder and Scheduler to create and schedule receipt ads, it’s very easy to set-up.

PromoPRNT takes no time at all. To connect your printer, it takes under 3 minutes. To make your first promotion from a template, it takes under 5 minutes. So, in about 10 minutes, you are up and running.

How to Set Up and Use PromoPRNT

All a small business requires to on-board PromoPRNT is to own a Star Micronics receipt printer and to sign-up on Star Micronics Cloud.

In an era of mobile and eCommerce, it’s refreshing for retailers to have such a simple tool that can be so valuable for building customer experiences. Customer experiences and an entire brand’s reputation live in memories made in the brick-and-mortar store. The physical store is the centerpiece of the retail brand. So why not augment it?

PromoPRNT supports any printer that works with windows PC. We support USB connected printers, with the most common printer being the TSP100III series. We also support the TSP650II series, TSP700II, and mPOP and the new mC-Prints under windows.

To get started simply sign up here.

We recently crafted a short how-to video to show just how easy it is for retailers and small businesses to implement. Try PromoPRNT today.

4 Ways to Streamline Restaurant Kitchen Operations

Well-run kitchen operations mean perfectly timed food prep, faster table turns, and few mistakes. However, no restaurant is perfect and in these high-pressure, non-stop work environments, sometimes mistakes are unavoidable. Errors that aren’t quickly contained can trickle down and cause kitchen backups, longer wait times and fewer table turns, which means less profit and lower tips for staff.

If your kitchen operations could use a refresh, or if you want to integrate new technology for greater efficiency, choose a system that will help you achieve your current goals as well as keep your restaurant humming in the future.

  1. Assess your hardware

Evaluate your technology components from top to bottom, including point of sale (POS) hardware and front- and back-of -house printers. Overuse, heat, spills, food particles, and steam can harm point of sale hardware and printers, causing expensive work slowdowns and inviting mistakes. Even the cleanest, most organized kitchen operations can lead to electronics damage, especially the moving parts and printhead of a printer. Choosing a model protected from splashes and designed for use in your kitchen environment will ensure your investment will last.

  1. Consider tableside ordering and payment processing

Mobile POS is a must for restaurants that want to increase throughput and boost profits. These systems allow servers to take orders tableside and transmit them directly to the kitchen, so the kitchen staff can prepare them without delay. It eliminates the time spent writing down the orders, walking back to the POS terminal and waiting if someone else is using it to input an order.  Taking orders with a mobile device also eliminates costly mistakes that can occur when trying to remember an order or deciphering handwriting on the way to the POS terminal. In addition, using mobile POS, staff can process credit card payments tableside, which eliminates the need to bring the check to the table, take the credit card to the terminal and swipe it, and then bring the receipt back for the customer to sign.

  1. Floorplan mapping

An entire restaurant can be monitored from the tablet POS or stationary terminal with just a few clicks. If one section becomes too busy, the floor plan can be shifted around to incorporate more staff. And if a backup slows down the pace or a server becomes overwhelmed, it’ll be easy to identify and adapt kitchen operations before it becomes a larger issue.

  1. Real-time cloud-based reporting

Cloud-based point of sale systems enable you to review sales and inventory information in real time, so you can monitor your business throughout the day. These systems also include a variety of reporting options that give you an in-depth look in to every shift, hour, day, week, month or year. Running sales reports help restaurant owners and managers identify which menu items are most popular and which result in ingredients taking up shelf space in the kitchen. Identifying best-selling menu items also ensures the right stock is available to make them, maximizing profitability and increasing customer satisfaction.

Kitchen operations can make or break a restaurant, but the right technology can help keep them on track. The most successful eateries have the tools they need to succeed—mobile POS, kitchen technology, real-time reporting and the ability to monitor the restaurant floor right from the POS. How do your kitchen operations stack up?

This is How Big the Cannabis Retail Sector is Going to Be

By Sarah Jane Callendar

Within the next 10 years, the legal cannabis industry is likely to boom around the globe, according to Arcview Market Research and its research partner BDS Analytics.

Spending on legal cannabis is expected to reach $57 billion by 2027. The adult recreational market is predicted to reach 67% of the spending and the remaining 33% will be taken up by medical marijuana.

More states are recognising cannabis

Take the U.S. for example, where it looks like more states are likely to legalize cannabis. Thirty states plus the District of Columbia now allow the legal use of medical marijuana. Nine of these states plus D.C. have also legalized the recreational use of marijuana.

Two more states, Michigan and New Jersey, seem to be on the path to legalization in 2018. In April, The Michigan Board of State Canvassers approved an initiative to put recreational marijuana legalization on the ballot paper later this year. They needed to gather 250,000 signatures and ended up with more than 365,000 signatures of support.

Meanwhile, Democrat Phil Murphy, Governor of New Jersey, voiced his support for the legalization of recreational cannabis and is promoting a bill that would legalize recreational use of marijuana in his state.

Cannabis sales could even eclipse beer

The cannabis market is even putting pressure on alcohol sales and could out-sell beer.

Binge-drinking rates have fallen 9% below the national average in states that have legalized marijuana, and 11% in states that allow the recreational use of the drug, according to Bloomberg reports. Adults in states which have legalized marijuana binge drink on average 13% fewer times per month than those in states which have legalized recreational usage.

Other estimates show that the market for cannabis could even eclipse the sales of soda.

According to investment bank Cowen, if marijuana is legalized nationwide in the US by 2030, the legal weed industry could generate $75 billion in sales by that year. Soda consumption, on the other hand, is declining. Per capita, soda consumption fell to a 31-year low in the US in 2016, Bloomberg reports, with $76.4 billion in sales in 2017.

Having said this, even though the US decriminalization of cannabis is likely over time, there are still legal challenges for the booming market. Marijuana is still considered illegal and a Schedule I substance by the federal government and therefore cannabis-based businesses don’t have access to traditional banks and so cannot open lines of credit. And around the globe, the adult recreational cannabis market remains hampered by the United Nations and its 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.

A Canadian Perspective

Meanwhile in Canada the cannabis industry is expected to soar as the recreational use of marijuana will be legalized on October 17, 2018. The market is due to increase drastically as Justin Trudeau announced the long-awaited date after months of speculation in Ottawa, confirming that Canadians will be able to purchase and consume the drug.

Of course, no one can know for sure what the retail environment will look like once marijuana stores are legal. But according to Avery Shenfeld, chief economist at CIBC World Market, if businesses are allowed cannabis shops and to compete in the same way other retailers do, then Canadians could be buying as much as $10 billion worth of marijuana products per year.

To put this in perspective, Canadians bought around $9 billion worth of beer in 2015, according to Statistics Canada.

Further promises of the booming market come after the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) announced that it has partnered with 26 licensed producers for its online retail platform, which is the province’s only retailer for recreational marijuana this fall.

The store says that supply agreements with these Health Canada-authorized producers were extremely competitive and will allow for a variety of products to be sold when pot becomes legal on October 17th.

The Picture of Legalization

The online store plans to sell various products including dried flowers, cannabis oil and cannabis seeds to customers 19 or older and plans to expand the selection over time.

Ontario has also announced it will allow recreational pot to be sold in retail stores while the province will handle online sales.

With this plan, the OCS will not operate any storefronts, but will provide an online channel that will include an age-verification system to ensure safe home delivery of cannabis products. This means the OCS will act as a wholesale supplier for private retailers.

Minister of Finance Vic Fedeli says that the government will propose an official Ontario Cannabis Retail seal which will help consumers identify retailers that sell federally qualified products. “Consumers can look to this seal to confirm they are buying from a legal channel,” said Fedeli. “This is an assurance that the illegal market simply cannot match.”

The full regulatory framework for the private sector will be designed in consultation with stakeholders, including municipal governments, indigenous communities, law enforcement, public health advocates, business and consumer groups. Fedeli assures sceptics that the government’s priorities are ensuring public safety and eliminating the black market. “The Government of Ontario will not be in the business of running physical cannabis stores,” said Fedeli. “Instead we will work with private-sector businesses to build a safe, reliable retail system that will divert sales away from the illegal market.”

So what does this mean for the future of cannabis retail? Although the exact outcome is unknown, the $57 billion spending on legal cannabis predicted by Arcview Research is extremely promising. We are already seeing positive steps in the US and Canada, where legalization is becoming increasingly common and is arguably filtering into mainstream law. This is fantastic news for the marijuana retail sector.

The cannabis retail store definitely shows huge potential and only time will tell just how big the market will really be.

How to Use Receipt Printers for In-store Communications

At Star Micronics, we’re always pushing the limit of our POS-tech designs. We’ve been a leading global manufacturer of mobile, point of sale (POS), and customer engagement technologies and this year we wanted to offer an add-on that has usefulness for a wide range of small businesses and local retailers.

PromoPRNT is the easiest way to reach your customers offline and in-store. It can be used for any kind of messages a retailer or small business needs to share with their customers.

An In-Store Customer Engagement Suite

  • Hiring notices
  • Event reminders
  • Discount promotions
  • Driving traffic online
  • Customer feedback surveys
  • Seasonal campaign sale (e.g. Back to School deals)
  • A funny message for brand awareness
  • Mention of a charity or community initiative
  • A point of purchase message designed for customer retention
  • Thank you and seasons greetings messages

With Promotion Builder and Promotion Scheduler, small businesses can easily customize and schedule their messages on receipts of Star printers.

A receipt printer is, therefore, more than just a printer, but one part of the Star Micronics Cloud suite of retailer tools. PromoPRNT also comes with inbuilt templates to get you started on the right foot.

Reaching customers offline has many distinct advantages over digital communications, such as:

  • Higher read rates than email (“open rate” is also considerably higher)
  • Much less costly, resulting in higher overall ROI
  • Easy to create original memories for local repeat customers
  • Simple implementation of an offline to online strategy
  • More intimate communications that go “straight to customer’s wallet”

PromoPRNT is creating an IoT Approach to Retail

Since PromoPRNT is managed on the Cloud and has an O2O (offline to online) aspect, this represents an evolution of Star’s ability to contribute an IoT aspect to all of the different kinds of businesses who use our products including retail stores, restaurants, gift shops, hospitality locations, seasonal kiosks, and retail chains.

Essentially:

  • Promotion Builder is a simple way to create and design receipt promotions.
  • Promotion Scheduler is a detailed way retailers can schedule their on-receipt POS ad campaigns.
  • Promotion Builder has an inbuilt library of templates to help SMBs get started.
  • Reaching your customers was never this easy! Since access to PromoPRNT tools is free in 2018, retailers are trying it out to deliver incentives directly to their shoppers’ hands.

 

To sign-up, simply register your business here with the Star Micronics Cloud. To understand more about how PromoPRNT works, watch this short video:

 

 

 

The Future of Cannabis Retail is Looking Good

 

The retail cannabis industry is growing fast, $75 billion by 2030 fast.

But let’s look at the nearer future. According to Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics, by 2021 the cannabis market is expected to reach $24.5 billion. Currently, cannabis is legal in 9 states for recreational use while 30 states have legalized cannabis for medical usage.

With such a high market growth expectancy, dispensaries sell a variety of cannabis products in the forms of hash, rosin, shatter, and oils which can be smoked or vaped. In addition, as many are aware, cannabis is also sold in the forms of candy and baked goods. As for pharmaceutical use, cannabis contains cannabidiol (CBD) which when used in the form of candy or oil aids in the treatment of pain and epilepsy. Now that sounds pretty good.

Let’s Talk Business

There’s no doubt that cannabis has health benefits that aid in the relief of:

  • Pain
  • Muscle spasms
  • Arthritis
  • Dravet’s Syndrome
  • Mental health symptoms
  • Etc…

But what about benefits for businesses?

Well, as was mentioned earlier, legal cannabis reached $9.7 billion in sales in 2017.

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But let’s dig a little deeper into the facts and figures…

By 2021, marijuana sales are expected to reach a whopping $24.5 billion. Younger generations are turning to cannabis consumption and slowly turning away from alcohol. This has resulted in a decrease in binge drinking, 9% below the nation’s average, in the states where marijuana is legalized. Funnily enough, the industry’s sales will be led by people 55 and older. With such a diverse market, the cannabis industry is opening up multiple opportunities for businesses to flourish.

The increased popularity, and acceptance, of the cannabis industry is leading to the establishment of more small businesses with an increase in employment opportunities. With cannabis stores becoming more common in legalized states, the industry of creating products to efficiently, and legally, weigh and sell marijuana to meet regulations are necessary for the success of the business. Additionally, with cannabis being legalized all over Canada, there may even be a possibility that the East coast will speed up its state adoption for recreational use.

Regardless, cannabis is creating a diverse industry that includes the need for different markets to ensure its success, thus providing a positive impact on the nation’s economy.

The Cannabis POS Industry

With Cannabis creating such a diverse industry, it only makes sense that businesses will need reliable POS systems…

Keep in mind that the cannabis industry is different than your average retail business.

There are multiple rules and regulations that need to be followed in order to ensure that your business is legal. Here are some key points to remember when choosing your POS system:

  1. Cannabis is a cash business
  2. Sensitive scales are a necessity
  3. Labels are regulated
  4. Receipts are essential

 

For more details about Cannabis Point of Sale,  download our FREE eBook and explore our new Cannabis POS collection   

The SMB Guide to Retail Promotions

eCommerce sales have outpaced brick-and-mortar store growth, but effective retail promotions will help you compete with online goliaths.

The weather is getting warmer and school’s almost over for the year. SMBs are shifting gears for summer months, lining the shelves with warm weather merchandise. Customers are ready for some fun in the sun, but they’re looking for deals to affordably stock up for summer camp and trips to the beach.

eCommerce sales have outpaced brick-and-mortar store growth, but effective retail promotions will help you compete with online goliaths. It’s important to focus on your existing customer base because marketing experts agree that it’s less expensive to retain customers than it is to acquire new ones. How much exactly? According to the Harvard Business Review, it ranges from 5 to 25 times more expensive to attract a new customer than it is to generate repeat business.

Brick-and-mortar stores still have the upper hand over online competitors when it comes to instant gratification and the face-to-face service experiences that shoppers crave. Supercharge these advantages by combining them with effective retail promotions that draw in foot traffic, giving customers can’t-miss reasons for wanting to shop in your store.

  1. Discount promotions: It’s natural to think that the easiest way to give sales figures a boost is to run discount promotions however, it’s important to ensure there’s enough long-term value to justify the short-term discount. Bundling is a great way to encourage shoppers to spend more money. Couple related items for a discount—for example, purchase a beach towel and get a bottle of sunscreen for 50% off. Partnering less popular items at full price with discounted best sellers is a smart way to move inventory quickly while still earning a profit.
  1. Utilize “free” in your promotions: Free items or small “tokens of affection” can go a long way toward making shoppers feel their business is appreciated. Customers are more likely to return to your store if they feel they are being rewarded for buying items they need or value, so “buy one, get one free” can inspire shoppers to stock up. This is especially effective for special event-related merchandise that’s headed for the markdown bin after the season is over. Retail promotions such as “purchase a $100 gift card and get a $10 gift card free,” are also popular because consumers feel like they are getting a bonus with their purchase.
  1. Coupons, coupons, coupons: Coupons are a great way to get people to try new products at a lower price, and if the product lives up to expectations, pay full price the next time. In addition, coupons like “spend $50 and take $10 off” give people an incentive to buy a few more items to reach the $50 goal, and let the shopper choose which items to purchase. Merchants can use their POS solutions to reduce the cost of printing coupons by generating offers in-store. Printing coupons on receipts allows you to reach a higher percentage of shoppers because you can be sure the customer receives it, and it gives your sales associates an additional opportunity to engage customers before they leave the store.
  1. Limited-time-only retail promotions: Discounts or items that are only available for a short amount of time creates scarcity and a sense of urgency to purchase. For example, flash sales that happen between certain hours will force people to purchase in that time frame. Daily deals give the perception that the deal will last only as long as the items are in stock. Use these tactics to your advantage with summer deals.

Although the retail landscape is competitive, SMBs can employ smart retail promotions to help attract new shoppers and retain their customer base. Coupons, free products, discounts, and limited-time-only sales can make an already-great, in-store shopping experience too irresistible to pass up.

How to Choose the Right POS Scale for Your Application and Industry

If you’re in the market for a new POS scale, consider these points to help you make a smart choice for your business.

POS scales are used in different types of businesses that charge for items by weight, including supermarkets, self-service restaurants and buffets, butcher shops, candy stores, health food markets with bulk bins, cannabis dispensaries, and more. From a pound of cold cuts to a cup of frozen yogurt, scales measure the weight of a customer’s purchase and calculate the price accurately.

Scales ensure you are not over- or under-charging customers and assist with inventory tracking at your store or restaurant. Running a business that charges based on weight is impossible without a properly calibrated scale, so make sure you choose the one that best takes care of your needs.

If you’re in the market for a new point of sale (POS) scale, consider these points to help you make a smart choice for your business.

  1. Application: Why do you need the scale? Before you purchase POS scales, identify how they’re going to be used and what you need to weigh. Is it fresh produce in a supermarket, bulk candy, and meat or items like mail and packages? Are most of your products heavy or light? Large or small? Identify the types of items you need to weigh and use that as a starting point.

 

  1. Accuracy: How accurate do you need the measurements to be? Scale accuracy is important because it tells the customer they are receiving the exact amount of product they’re paying for. An accurate scale also ensures that the retailer is receiving the correct payment. Across the U.S., every state has its own agencies and departments that regulate scales and inspect them for accuracy. Some states may require a yearly inspection, while others are inspected less frequently. Make sure the scales you purchase will meet requirements for accuracy.

 

  1. Capacity: What is the largest possible load you need the scales to handle? If you own a candy store or a supermarket, would anyone ever purchase 500 pounds of candy? It seems unlikely, so if you’re a purveyor of sweet treats, the scale’s capacity can be lower. For a butcher weighing large pieces of meat, or a UPS shipping store, however, a scale with a higher capacity would be in order.

 

  1. Environment: Where will this scale be used? Choose a scale that’s durable enough for your business. If it is meant for high-volume use weighing food products, choose a hygienic scale designed for easy cleaning. Also, consider where the POS scales will be used. Are there extreme temperature variations? Are there disruptive vibrations, interference from other electronics, or even air currents that could affect the scale’s accuracy? Choose the type of scale with the right features for the environment.

 

  1. Installation and calibration: Choose the location for your POS scales carefully, because you shouldn’t move them around once they’ve been installed. Connect the scale to your POS system so it can be set up and calibrated properly. Scales that are used daily will need frequent calibration to maintain accuracy and stay in compliance with local weights and measures laws.

Business owners who sell items by weight need an accurate scale to protect their customers and their business. If you’re looking for a new scale for your store or restaurant, be honest about your needs, how accurate it needs to be, where it will be set up and how often it should be calibrated. Taking time to understand your business’ requirements for POS scales and the options available to you will result in a greater ability to provide excellent customer service and to manage inventory down to the ounce—or less.

4 Ways to Use Offers, Coupons, Discounts and Deals to Drive Revenue and Customer Loyalty

Photo Credit: Burst.  

At Star Micronics we’re a POS tech engagement company obsessed with adding value to retail stores and small businesses. We became a leading global manufacturer of mobile point of sale (POS) and customer engagement technologies through many years of building simple-to-use and reliable products such as receipt printers. In 2017 we created innovative partnerships at  

Star Micronics Cloud (formerly called Star Cloud Services) which have helped solidify our position with tens of thousands of independent business users and hundreds of thousands of devices sold.

Today we want to present to you how to use promos, discounts, coupons, and deals to generate ROI and increase basket size at your store and local business. Creating offers cheaply that engage customers at the POS and at the time of sale is key for developing memorable offers that lead to repeat customers and long-term customer loyalty.

  1. CREATE PROMOS EASILY ON RECEIPTS

The physical receipt is now a key marketing real estate in 2018. With the advent of our solution called PromoPRNT, you can easily create ads at the POS that quickly and efficiently create marketing campaigns on your store’s best deals, offers as well as QR-code-based coupons.

With Promo Maker and Promo Manager, retailers can create in-store ads on receipts that convert shoppers and get eyeballs with the greatest ROI and also improve word-of-mouth benefits for your small business. Since PromoPRNT allows for the customization of the offer, receipt-based promos can drive revenue 24/7 automatically with POS ads. The solution is available to registered users on the Star Micronics Cloud.  

Source: screenshot from Sophatar Webinar hosted by Star Micronics.

2. SYNC DIGITAL SIGNAGE WITH POST AND RECEIPT DATA

Sophatar is a Digital Signage startup with whom we have created an innovative solution with Sophatar® POS Signage™.  Easy-to-install digital screens help increase basket size, enabling retailers to produce more ROI from their top selling products. This means that through a simple software subscription, small businesses can easily create discounts, promos, and deals that integrate with POS data from Star Printers, directly and automatically creating contextual and dynamic signage that shoppers can see at physical locations.

This essentially enables any retail or hospitality business to implement professional digital signage that’s smart and can easily integrate with mobile coupons and loyalty cards, with no need for customers to install a mobile app. This not only creates customer loyalty, through engaging customer experience in-store but also deals that shoppers cannot resist. As the offers are generated and displayed, based on existing sales data, the best selling items can be displayed, driving higher revenues and increasing average basket sizes at your location.

3.  MOBILE LOYALTY OFFERS PAIRED WITH SEASONAL CAMPAIGNS

For promotions and loyalty offers that sync with a retailer’s Email and SMS marketing campaigns, it’s essential to onboard top customers into a customized loyalty program. From here, retailers and brick-and-mortar stores can drive ROI from events, seasonal campaigns, free product giveaways, birthday messages and other strategic discounts where loyalty points can drive in-store traffic.

Automated customer communications inside loyalty programs build and strengthen existing relationships with a retailer’s best shoppers. Thirdshelf is the ideal software for independent retailers to accomplish this:  

  • Creating a loyalty program out-of-the-box
  • Segmenting customers and tracking loyalty analytics
  • Automating Email and SMS marketing offers

Nurturing high-value customers can drive revenue and increase customer loyalty through tailored and highly segmented marketing campaigns that reach the smartphones of shoppers.

4. CREATING AN OMNICHANNEL LOYALTY EXPERIENCE

In an era when retailers need to create customer experiences in-store, at Star Micronics we believe that creating immersion in-store at the POS — via promos on receipts, via digital signage and mobile that can all work together to create promotions whose benefits stack, generating ROI at physical locations and increasing sales.

This is also a seamless loyalty strategy that is affordable even for retailers who operate from a single physical location. Secondly, the offers created via PromoPRNT, Sophatar® POS Signage™ and Thirdshelf complement different touch-points of the customer journey that create irresistible offers while boosting customer loyalty.

What the three solutions mentioned all have in common is that they exist to help retailers automate marketing at their retail location and at the POS, in-store, and via mobile, to create the best customer engagement at the lowest cost.