3 Reasons Why Restaurants Should Allow Customers to Order Online

Online ordering and delivery are so convenient that more and more people are going online and, in a few clicks, having meals delivered to their door. Online ordering and delivery are so convenient that more and more people are going online and, in a few clicks, having meals delivered to their door. According to banking analysts Cowen, delivery will grow to a $76 billion industry by 2022. CNBC reports that online orders comprise half of all deliveries, with millennials and the 35-44 age group leading the pack among diners who are taking advantage of online ordering apps and services.

Online Ordering Makes Sense for Your Restaurant

Although most restaurants take phone orders, it’s a good idea to have an alternate ordering method so people won’t get a busy signal or wait on hold for too long. Online ordering also means the phone won’t be ringing as often, taking staff away from other tasks and making the atmosphere more pleasant for dine-in customers.

Online ordering allows diners to enter their orders online through the restaurant’s website or app and designate whether it’s for pickup, delivery, or dine-in. Online ordering solutions also enable the customer to pay with a credit card before the order is prepared, and it streamlines workflows by sending orders directly to the kitchen. Implementing an online ordering system means a better customer service experience for patrons and allows you to gather their contact information for future marketing efforts.

Online ordering is a great way to boost revenue and attract new customers. The addition of Amazon Eats and Seamless are making it easier than ever for restaurants to introduce online ordering. If you haven’t already, here are three reasons why your customers should be able to point, click, and eat:

  1. Increased sales and larger orders

Restaurants that introduce online ordering increase their takeout revenue, on average, by 30%. For small restaurants or ones with limited hours, adding online ordering and delivery generates an additional revenue stream without impacting your dine-in customers.

Online ordering encourages larger orders by giving customers extra time to look through the menu and discover new items they would like to try. Diners are in control of the ordering process and they can take their time reading the menu without feeling rushed, securely process their payments, and never get a busy signal.

  1. Improved order accuracy

Taking phone orders means an employee must be able to clearly hear the customer on the phone, accurately and legibly write down an order, and then input it into the point of sale (POS) system. Sometimes the employee may not hear the order correctly or make mistakes while entering it into the POS terminal. Removing these steps means less opportunity for errors and a reduction in the amount of time and resources wasted remaking orders prepared incorrectly.

 

  1. Expand your customer base

More of your customers will seek out restaurants with online ordering, so it’s important to have every option available—phone, online and ordering app. According to a survey by the National Restaurant Association, 61% of people said they consider delivery and takeout options important for table service restaurants.  The experts at QSR Web reported that online ordering is outpacing dine-in patrons by 300%. If reservations at your restaurant are hard to get, or there are only a few tables, online ordering makes it easy for people to satisfy their craving or try it for the first time quickly and easily.

Restaurants are preparing more meals for take-out than they are serving to on-premises customers, so make sure they can place their orders using the technology they want. Online ordering is the key to drawing in new customers and increasing revenue.

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

E-commerce 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.

E-commerce 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.

3 Benefits of Cloud-Ready IoT and Mobile Devices

Business owners can monetize cloud-ready IOT data by using it to gain insights into their customers’ behaviors and to communicate with and engage them more effectively.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a vast network of connected devices in the physical environment that share information. The things can include RFID tags, customer traffic counting technology, printers, POS systems, digital signage, and customers’ mobile devices.  IoT and mobile devices and sensors collect massive amounts of data about our habits—what applications we use the most on smartphones, the entertainment we are streaming, which retail brands we prefer and the items we purchase. Business owners can monetize this data by using it to gain insights into their customers’ behaviors and to communicate with and engage them more effectively.  Retailers can also leverage the IoT to enhance in-store shopping experiences.

Here are three ways the IoT and mobile devices can help your business excel.

  1. Device Management. IoT technology can help identify a problem before it starts. With devices that have the capability to communicate when they are in need of repair, shoppers never have to wait while a sales associate finds a replacement device.  IoT devices are often able to communicate issues before they are apparent to the user, helping to minimize downtime.

Cloud-ready IoT and mobile devices can also be managed remotely. Business owners or managers can identify what and where the problem is while working at the store or from home, another store location or sitting on the beach via the cloud dashboard. Error status notifications can tell you in real-time what the problem is—whether a printer cover or cash drawer is left open or if a printer is out of paper or unplugged. Identifying and fixing the problem immediately helps improve efficiency and increase productivity, so you’re never wasting time hunting around for the problem.

 

  1. Data Collection. IoT and mobile devices can collect and store important customer information. A cloud-ready device gives you the ability to transform shopping receipts into valuable digital transaction data. If you don’t have the time or manpower to analyze customer data on your own, data facilitation allows retailers to send digital receipt information to third-party partners or vendors who can offer a wide range of analytic and shopper engagement services. These third-party vendors can run loyalty programs and issue customer updates about new products and promotions. Through these services, retailers can gain unparalleled information about shoppers’ habits and promotional campaigns, including which ones are effective and which ones aren’t resonating, to ultimately increase ROI.

 

  1. Data Utilization. Data collected by IoT and mobile devices and stored in the cloud can be used for other purposes, including digital signage. Digital signage is an interactive gateway that allows a business to communicate directly with a consumer, engaging them while they are in the store. Digital signage is easy to control and can be modified quickly, allowing it to be incorporated into virtually any environment. Depending on the setup and service you choose, you may be able to store your own graphics and update the signage as often as you want. This is especially useful during holiday shopping time, or if you want to promote doorbusters and flash sales during certain hours.

Cloud-ready IoT and mobile devices can help you gain important insights into your business, customers, and operations. They can help you identify a hardware problem in-store, even when you’re offsite, and collect data that can keep messaging and promotions relevant. Evaluate how your business is collecting and leveraging data to provide better in-store experiences. Are you doing what it takes to be competitive?

3 Things Cannabis Retailers Need to Know About Cannabis Receipt Regulations

Running a marijuana dispensary requires in-depth knowledge of the local laws and meticulous recordkeeping including retaining copies of each cannabis receipt.

Running a medical or retail marijuana dispensary requires in-depth knowledge of the local laws and meticulous recordkeeping including retaining copies of each cannabis receipt. As of April 2017, 29 states have legalized medical marijuana, which can be used to treat several illnesses, including multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, inflammation, pain, mental disorders and substance abuse, among others. In addition, 9 states have legalized recreational use. That means cannabis retailers are legally operating in more than half of the U.S.

Their businesses can be very different, however, depending on the states in which they are located.  One difference is startup costs. For example, annual licensing fees range from $3,000 in Colorado to $75,000 Connecticut. States may also require a minimum of liquid capital, some places as high as $250,000, so it’s imperative you protect your investment with perfect recordkeeping of every transaction. Retaining a copy of every cannabis receipt ensures your dispensary follows state and local laws and protects your business in the event of an audit.

What should the receipt include? How can you prove your business is operating in compliance with state and local laws? The cannabis receipt provided to the customer proves you are collecting all the relevant taxes and dispensing marijuana legally.

If you are considering opening a marijuana dispensary or you want to make sure your business is operating in compliance with your state’s laws and make sure you are correctly formatting and recording cannabis receipts, your point of sale (POS) system is the perfect tool to manage this requirement.

1. Check the Specific Requirements in Your State

Understand your state’s tax laws to ensure you are charging the correct amount. For example, in California, retailers charge a consumer-excise and sales tax, while in Colorado, cannabis is subject to different taxation, whether it’s classified as medical or retail marijuana. It’s important to stay up to date on changing tax laws to ensure you are collecting the correct percentage. Failure to comply could subject your business to fines and added scrutiny.

 2. Manage Copies of Cannabis Receipts

Use your POS system to send a backup copy of each cannabis receipt to the cloud or store the backup offsite. If you are issuing receipts with carbon copy paper, staple or clip the receipts together. It’s also a good idea to keep important financial records, licensing information and other sensitive financial paperwork in a secure place outside of the dispensary. Retain all records for a minimum of three years in case of an audit.

 3. Include All Required Information on the Cannabis Receipt

Although the exact information you include will depend on your state’s laws, most receipts will include store name and address, the category of taxable products or product category name/product name. Receipts should also include a code or other identifier for the product’s taxes. There may be additional requirements, however. In Oregon, it’s required to list the sale subtotal before tax, amount of state tax, local tax, total sale amount and identifying receipt number. A disclaimer stating that receipts are required for customer tax disputes is also required.

The cannabis industry is promising for dispensaries, but it is tightly regulated by the states where marijuana has been legalized. Give your business the best chance for compliance and success with a POS system equipped with state-of-the-art printers to meet regulatory requirements while providing convenient customer experiences at the checkout.

Contact the experts at Star to learn more about ideal solutions for the cannabis industry.

5 Reasons Why SMB Retailers Should Use Easy Coupon Design Software for Promotions

SMB Retailers can reduce promotional campaign costs by using easy coupon design software. Discover how.

Customers love a good deal—40% of shoppers will switch products to use a coupon, while 60% of mobile coupon users are willing to change brands to cash in a promotion. Discounts and free products are a great way to build brand loyalty and thank customers for their business. However, running a coupon campaign isn’t inexpensive. The good news is merchants can reduce the cost of coupon design software by generating offers on receipts and engaging customers at the point of sale (POS) terminal.

For retailers who prefer to create visually appealing printed coupons to distribute to a wider audience, there is easy-to-use coupon design software that is an easy-to-use alternative to shelling out money for a more expensive campaign.

  1. Quick and easy coupon design

Retailers can use their POS systems to generate coupons and surveys on the receipts they already distribute. Merchants can choose from coupon design software templates, promotions and surveys to customize their receipts, giving them the ability to advertise and run promotions at their checkouts.

Coupons should include a few simple elements to be effective.

  • The store’s logo and a picture
  • Easy-to-read text that conveys the intent
  • A call to action that tells people how to redeem the coupon
  • The retailers address, phone number and webpage
  1. Remote promotion management across locations

If you want to generate a coupon or survey via receipt, owners and managers can use the tools in their POS. Simply choose a template, customize it and then send the settings to the printers. The coupon design software can be deployed to every store printer from your desk, home or another computer.

  1. Customer communication

Your receipt can be a direct channel of communication with your customers. Train staff to highlight coupons or offers and tell customers about them before they leave the store. A customer satisfaction survey that invites feedback is also a valuable tool. Surveys can help you understand your customers’ needs and evaluate employee performance.

  1. Customer retention and loyalty

Issuing coupons or discounts is a great way to generate goodwill with your customers because it makes them 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 anyway, even if they can get it online or at another store for less.

  1. Increase profit margins

Printing coupons and brand messaging on customer receipts allow you to reach a higher percentage of shoppers for less money than a print or digital campaign. And unlike a print or email campaign, you can be sure your target audience receives the message or coupon. This is especially effective if you are looking to introduce a new product or service—the 2K17 Valassis Coupon Intelligence Report revealed that 86% of people said that they were persuaded to purchase a new product because they had a coupon for it. And once people try something at a discount and like it, they are more willing to pay full price in the future.

Coupons are a great way to add value to your customers and make them feel appreciated. Retailers that print and distribute coupons on receipts can save money on marketing and reap the same benefits of a costly digital or print campaign. Leverage the easy-to-use coupon design software that is available to you.

The Ultimate Guide to Building Your iOS POS System

iOS POS systems look sharp sitting on a counter or mounted on a wall, so it’s no wonder why retailers and restaurants are drawn to these sleek setups for their establishments. Whether you need fixed terminals or a mobile solution, an iOS POS system can fulfill all your needs.

 Are you in the market for a new iOS POS system? If so, keep these points in mind while you’re shopping around.

1. iOS Device

If you’re using an iPad or other iOS technology you already own, make sure it has the most recent update that the hardware will support. If you have older devices, make absolutely sure the POS software you want to run supports your hardware — before you invest in it. A better strategy is to choose your POS software first — find a solution that offers features and functionality you need to run your business — then select the hardware. All iPad POS solutions aren’t the same. Look for options such as clock in/out, split checks, payments, scheduling and inventory tracking that can help you run your business.

2. iPad Enclosure

Although iOS POS systems are feature-rich, they aren’t ruggedized devices. An iPad or iTouch is a consumer-grade device, nowhere near tough enough for retail and restaurant workplaces. iOS devices that get wet or hot will have functionality issues, so protecting your technology with a specialized enclosure is imperative to staying online. iPads left unattended are targets for loss and theft, so opt for an enclosure that allows you to secure the device to a wall or counter. Some enclosures can be fitted to stands that flip and swivel into a customer-facing position, so shoppers can sign for credit card transactions or add a tip.

3. Peripherals

iOS POS systems differ from more traditional POS solutions when it comes to peripherals. If you need a 2D barcode scanner, scale integration, receipt printer and customer display, make sure your solution has options to keep everything connected. Printing receipts from an iOS POS system can present a particular challenge for merchants. A great solution is Star Micronics’ TSP654II AirPrint, the First Receipt Printer on the market with AirPrint™ Certification. TSP654II printers allow merchants to print from their iOS devices without installing specific printer drivers.

4. Aesthetic Appeal

One of the iPad’s main selling points is the tablet’s stylish design. If you selected an iOS POS system, chances are you care about how it looks. Don’t cover up a glossy iPad with a clunky enclosure or pair it with nondescript peripherals. Make sure your enclosure and peripherals enhance the iOS POS system and are as chic as their surroundings. Star Micronics offers mPOP™, Mobile Point of Purchase, the first hybrid for tablet POS that combines a cash drawer and printer peripheral. The unit’s ergonomic but fully integrated design works with the tablet or mobile device of your choice, so you can have a mobile solution without compromising space, quality design or functionality.

iOS POS systems can be a great choice for your store or restaurant if you strategically design a system that will meet your business’ needs, withstand a harsh commercial environment and complement your brand with the look you want. Work with an experienced POS solution provider to help you incorporate those elements into your solution — and more— to help you get the most out of your investment.

5 Benefits of Digital Signage Solutions

As you plan your strategy, consider how your business could be reaping the benefits of digital signage.

Smart marketing includes the goal of making the best investment of precious advertising dollars on activities that people will see. As you plan your strategy, consider how your business could be reaping the benefits of digital signage.

Shopping habits have certainly changed as consumers are more technology-oriented and sophisticated than ever. Digital content is now a primary trusted source when shoppers are considering a new purchase or searching for the best deal. Digital content affects where we choose to shop and what to buy, and smart business owners are adapting their operations to find the most effective ways to communicate with their customers.

Effective communication is one of the primary benefits of digital signage. It is an interactive gateway that allows businesses to communicate directly with customers, engaging them while they are in the store. This strategy pays off—according to Independent Retailer, digital signage can increase overall sales volume by nearly 32%. Additional benefits of digital signage include:

1. Attention-Grabbing Displays

Consider this: digital signage is one of the most customizable forms of publicity and a virtual guarantee that the message will be seen by its target audience. Merchants may use the same digital interface to influence customer behavior by creating eye-catching displays and showcasing brands or services, which will ultimately drive sales and boost profit margins.

2. Dynamic, Contextual Content Updates

Digital signage is easy to control and can be modified quickly, allowing it to be incorporated into virtually any environment. Depending on the setup and service you choose, you may be able to store your own graphics and update the signage as often as you want. This is especially useful during holiday shopping time, or if you want to promote doorbusters and flash sales during certain hours.

You can take this a step further by implementing a digital signage solution that incorporates an AI element to determine your most popular sales items and which items are commonly sold together. Or, perhaps to identify items that have seen a sudden drop in sales. Such a solution would then display these items, promoting them to in-store customers to increase sales and boost profits.

3. Cost-Effective

Another one of the benefits of digital signage is that it provides an additional revenue stream for enterprising business owners. After the system is installed, retailers or restaurateurs may opt to pay off their original investment by selling advertising space to companies or brands that will complement the store’s operations. These ads elevate the status of certain brands, services or suppliers that want to raise brand awareness and raise their numbers in the store, target market or sales territory.

Moreover, making information available via digital messaging helps businesses reduce the cost of traditional campaigns, by saving money on printing, distribution and waste materials that will be discarded after the promotion has ended.

4. Boosts Impulse Purchase Sales

Digital signage is a valuable tool for businesses because it conveys important messages, in-store specials, promotions or advertising directly to patrons during a critical moment—while they are contemplating making a purchase. This will help increase revenues by giving shoppers an extra push to complete a transaction by displaying information about impulse buys, promotions and other specials.\

5. Increases In-Store Digital/Social Media Presence

Business owners should use social networks to increase brand awareness, drive repeat business, generate new customers and address customer satisfaction issues. By providing additional information directly to customers via digital signage, stores can generate additional sales revenue, recruit new people for their loyalty programs and even display digital endorsements from Facebook, Twitter and other websites such as Yelp, TripAdvisor and more.

As technology seeps into every aspect of our lives, it seems like a natural progression to incorporate the benefits of digital signage into your business strategy to enhance customer experiences—and store revenues. Digital signage is an effective marketing tool that’s worth exploring: Businesses that have incorporated this electronic medium are already harnessing its power and using it to boost traffic and increase sales, boost traffic.