5 Time-Saving Tips and Technologies Your Business Should Consider

Whoever coined the saying “time is money” may have had the retail industry in mind. Yet, with so many day-to-day priorities to keep a business running, it’s easy to rely on stop-gap solutions instead of long-lasting changes. Thankfully, there are plenty of one-time or infrequent changes to the technology you use or the way you train employees that can make a big difference in business operations down the road. Many of them are easy to implement, too. Here are five changes retailers should consider implementing to save time and keep things running smoothly.

Ensure Your Point of Sale is Up-to-Date (and future-proof)

While upgrading your point of sale may feel like a daunting task, remember: If you choose a device that’s adaptable and prepared for all the changes the industry may have in store, you won’t find yourself bogged down with upgrades each time a new way to pay is released. Case in point: Businesses that already upgraded to a future-proof terminal likely had a much smoother transition to EMV and mobile payments this year. Still feeling unsure about whether or not to upgrade your technology? We’ve rounded up six ways to know it’s time for something new.

Make Inventory-Control Software an Integral Part of Your Business

It’s no secret that having exactly what shoppers are looking for will help your store’s bottom line. But those who want to make sure their inventory matches customer demand don’t need to go it alone. There are plenty of tools aimed at making inventory control issues a thing of the past, and some even go above and beyond to better serve your customers.
 
If your standard procedure for checking on items not available on the sales floor involves digging through the stockroom or getting on the phone with your store’s other locations, you know how time-consuming this process can be. Instead, invest in tools that automatically update inventory in real-time, and avoid frustrations from both sales associates and impatient customers.

Don’t Skimp on Security

Often, security isn’t top-of-mind until it’s too late. Continually installing program updates and security software patches may not be on your to-do list right now, but it’s a step in the retail process that could save you time and money. Maintenance is required to keep your breach defense strong, so if you spot a security gap, your best bet is tackling it right away—even if it feels like you can wait. Whenever a software bug or other vulnerability is found, typically POS providers issue a patch for the issue. It’s your job to install that patch in a timely fashion.

Prioritize Cashier Training

Sure, you could help your cashiers each time they come across a question at the register, but putting the necessary time into training will likely lead to an even greater impact. Ensure your staff knows their way around EMV and mobile payments, along with any security measures that need to be taken to keep sensitive customer information away from the reach of potential fraudsters.

Often, it’s a lack of training that leads to improper security measures, so make sure your staff is aware of precautions like not using work computers for personal browsing and keeping knowledge of your store’s Wi-Fi password to themselves. While training may feel time-consuming in the moment, it’ll pay off greatly in the long run.

Be Proactive About Customer Questions

While some shopper inquiries require a personalized answer, other, more common questions don’t have to make your staff feel like a broken record. For example, if your store accepts Apple Pay, clearly display that fact, along with simple instructions on how shoppers can pay with their phones. Worried about the transition to EMV? Display a friendly reminder at the register making sure cardholders dip instead of swipe. You may want to also acknowledge some changes at the checkout, like waiting to take cards out of the reader until the transaction is completed.
 
While it may be tempting to rely on temporary fixes to your retail strategy, laying the groundwork for a more streamlined environment will more than pay off in the long run.
 
What steps have you taken to create a more efficient retail environment? Send us a tweet @Cayan and let us know!
 
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