Guest Post: Increasing Sales with Your Point of Sale, by Tim Leaver

What You Take Out is as Important as What You Put In

By Tim Leaver, The Bike Cooperative

The point of sale software that MerchantOS offers is earning rave reviews from bike dealers across the country. A number of our Bike Cooperative members tell me how much they like its ease-of-use, reliability, and the amazing support provided by the MerchantOS team. However, if you want your point of sale to help grow your sales, not just track them, there is an additional feature that’s an absolute ‘must-have’ when making an investment in a new point of sale: the ability to export customer and transaction data.

Here’s why…

When a customer comes in and buys a bike, you enter that customer and transaction into your point of sale. Then what happens to that information? The ability to add them to your email list for your next blast is great. But there’s a whole lot more you can do with that customer and transaction data if your point of sale can integrate a customer loyalty platform, like the one the Bike Cooperative has for its members, Ride Club.

The following scenario helps to illustrate what’s possible:

Joe Customer buys a bike from you, and you enter his address, email address and transaction information into your point of sale. A personalized ‘thank you’ is emailed to Joe shortly after his bike purchase, with an incentive to come back to the store to purchase accessories. In that same email, you ask Joe how he would rate his recent experience at your store. A few months later, another follow-up email is sent to Joe offering him some additional items he may need. And when his bike is a year old, Joe gets a reminder to bring his bike in for a tune-up.

This is all realistic when you have a point of sale that can export data into an automated customer loyalty platform. One of the reasons why we recommend MerchantOS to so many retailers is because it has this capability, and more importantly, the dealers that are utilizing it are getting results. For example, members who have synched MerchantOS with our Ride Club loyalty program to send out individualized communications to customers are getting much better response rates than blast emails – an average unique open rate of 55% compared to the retail industry average of 17%*. More consistent, relevant communications with higher response rates translates into more frequent visits by customers and more sales of higher margin items like accessories and clothing.

If you’re exploring marketing initiatives to help increase your sales this season, the place to start is with your point of sale system. Make sure it has the capability to automatically pull customer and transaction data, and send those files to whoever is executing your marketing efforts. If you’re already on MerchantOS, feel good knowing that an automatic data feed is one less thing you’ll have to worry about this season!

*Source: 2012 Silverpop Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study