2021 has been a tough year for everyone, especially for retailers in general and toys, hobbies & gifts retail in particular. As 2022 is already around the corner, people are trying to temporarily forget about all the hardship, and rushing to buy gifts for their loved ones. This makes a great opportunity for merchants to thrive. So why don’t we start with finding a POS solution for toys, hobbies & gifts retail as the starter pack to a more promising upcoming year?
In today’s article, we’ll discuss 5 attractive advantages that a POS brings to toys, hobbies & gifts retailers.
Effective multi-warehouse inventory management
One of the challenges facing small and medium toys, hobbies & gifts retailers is inventory shortage. This is because the warehouses they order from are operating with reduced staff. To deal with this unwanted situation, merchants have to source their inventory from many warehouses. Although the solution is effective during this difficult time, it leads to another problem of business operators having to manage more than 1 warehouse. And it is obviously not as simple as having only 1 to operate.
What you need is a POS solution for toys, hobbies & gifts retail. Well-functioning and up-to-date POS software coming with a handy multi-warehouse inventory management system can really help. Such a system is a great ‘side-kick’ of business owners and operators with robust POS features including:
- Automatically update inventory on the basis of real-time synchronization. With the real-time synchronization functionality, when a retailer sells an item at their physical store, the stock level of that item is immediately deducted from the outlet and the warehouse assigned to that store. Additionally, the stock availability on the online platform also changes accordingly, in real-time.
- Optimize inventory levels in all warehouses. Merchants can keep track of demand in sales channels and set inventory levels accordingly. With that being so, you can decide when to reorder and avoid running out of stock or overstocking.
- Allow multiple warehouses in one order. As mentioned earlier, toys, hobbies & gifts retailers have been sourcing their inventory from multiple warehouses. Thus, enabling products supplied by many warehouses in 1 single order is vital to merchants.
- Make better multi-warehouse inventory plans with comprehensive reports. By reviewing sales reports, you can know your item sales by day, week, month, and year. With that being so, retailers like you can make data-driven decisions on when and what to stock.
Frictionless in-store experiences
Customers nowadays are demanding more and more independence and control over their own shopping. You might be familiar with the idea that there are 2 types of customers walking into a physical store: ones who like to be assisted and ones who like to shop on their own. Acknowledging that, there are some merchants having figured out the way to distinguish between these 2 types to serve them better. For example, offering 2 color-coded shopping baskets is a nice method. However, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. What if buyers want to know about product information? In fact, you, as retailers, want to assist your customers without actually approaching them. But “how?” is the question.
What retailers need is a POS system that supports a mobile consumer app. In commercial business, consumer apps are usually developed with the purpose of making customers’ shopping experience more seamless and convenient. To do that, consumers app offer buyers various handy and meaningful functionalities like:
- View product information simply by scanning product barcodes
- Get personalized product recommendations
- Order temporarily out-of-stock products
- Conveniently do self check-out right on their mobile devices
- Choose the preferred payment method
- Decide whether to pick up in-store or have the purchase shipped to their front door
Even better, there are some POS solution providers that offer a PWA (progressive web app) consumer app. PWA is a hybrid of a regular website and its mobile app. Users now can pin PWA to their home screen for more convenient access. Technically, PWA uses Accelerated Mobile Pages for the first load to demonstrate web components that consume fewer data. Thus, PWA helps reduce the time for the website to load. With that being so, compatibility with a consumer app is a great trait to look for in a POS solution for toys, hobbies & gifts retail.
Robust integration with multiple e-commerce platforms
E-commerce has been emerging as a favorite trading option for both sellers and buyers. Whether you’re expanding a brick-and-mortar store or building a business from scratch, integrating your POS system with e-commerce platforms can greatly affect how and how long your business lasts. In particular, one of the difficulties during the pandemic mentioned by owners of toys, hobbies & gifts retail stores was that it’s almost impossible to compete with online retailers like Amazon.
The integration of POS and e-commerce platforms helps retailers:
- Create an omnichannel shopping experience.
- Make sure staff members have all the proper tools and assistance they need to complete their tasks efficiently.
- Integrate with e-commerce inventory in real-time to manage inventory efficiently.
- Ensure accurate data management while minimizing human errors and labor costs.
- Ensure the business operation as well as sales performance.
- Secure transactions.
- Expand e-commerce offerings.
- Allow click-and-collect.
Thus, the compatibility with multiple e-commerce platforms is an attractive feature of a great POS solution for toys, hobbies & gifts retail. There are some popular e-commerce companies that merchants need to pay attention to, including Magento, Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, and commercetools.
Well-managed customer loyalty programs
Repeat customers are everything to businesses, particularly toys, hobbies & gifts retail. With that being said, merchants are adopting different methods to not only obtain but, more importantly, also retain customers. It can cost 5 times more to attract a new buyer than it does to nurture an existing one. And offering an irresistible loyalty program is one of the various decent ways to do so.
Thankfully, nowadays, there are so many POS solutions for toys, hobbies & gifts retail providing a built-in loyalty scheme feature with various types. These types include:
- Point-based program (reward points). Almost everyone is familiar with this loyalty scheme. Customers can collect points by purchasing products, subscribing to a program, etc. The points then can be redeemed for a reward like discounts, free merchandise, gift cards, etc.
- Tier-based program. The tiered program offers various rewards based on the milestones that customers reach. The more they spend, the higher tier they achieve, and the more benefits they receive.
- Gift cards. This kind of program simply provides customers with gift cards as a token of loyalty. Gift cards make great presents for families and friends, especially during the holiday season. According to statistics, Boomers in the United States spent an average of 123 U.S. dollars on gift cards during the 2018 holiday season.
With a POS system coming with a loyalty extension, merchants can easily build a meaningful loyalty program and manage it in a breeze.
- Choose the type of loyalty integration
- Customize the loyalty program
- Let customers redeem loyalty points
- Allow buyers to pay for their orders using reward points
- Check customer’s reward points balance
- Get comprehensive customer loyalty reports
Strategic store layout
Customers like to spend quite an amount of time considering products from products when shopping for toys, hobbies & gifts, congestion has become an everyday issue. Moreover, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing has become a burning issue for every physical store, particularly for small ones. Small toys, hobbies & gifts retailers claimed that the pandemic caused issues because their small spaces make it difficult to practice social distancing guidelines. With that being so, the key to this problem is a technologically advanced POS solution for toys, hobbies & gifts retail with a heat map feature.
You now might think that you can conveniently look at sales reports to know which product sells the most and the least, and arrange your store layout accordingly to avoid congestion. Nice try, but it’s not the complete solution. Congestion can happen because of other reasons, including unreasonable store spacing, unclear pathways around the store, etc. A heat map demonstrates the density and traffic flow pattern of your retail shop. Only then, you can get precious insights to efficiently design your store layout and ensure a smooth in-store flow. Particularly for small retailers, this helps maintain the number of guests allowed at once while still ensuring the social distancing rules.
As we’re moving towards the end of not-so-favorable 2021 and looking forwards to hopefully-more-fruitful 2022, this article is a New Year present for businesses in general and toys, hobbies & gifts retailers in particular. To thoroughly prepare yourselves, adopting a POS is worth being on your checklist as it provides merchants and their buyers with:
- Effective multi-warehouse inventory management
- Frictionless in-store experience
- Robust integration with multiple e-commerce platforms
- Well-managed customer loyalty programs
- Strategic store layout
We hope that we helped business owners and operators like you have ideas about your suitable POS solution for a more successful 2022. And if you’re now wondering which POS to rely on, then how about taking a look at our suggestion?
ConnectPOS, a leading POS software for omnichannel retail businesses, takes pride in its powerful, feature-rich, technologically advanced POS system. The POS is compatible with multiple e-commerce platforms including Magento, Shopify, and BigCommerce. Furthermore, the collaboration with WooCommerce is expected and worth expecting in the near future. And there are plenty of handy, well-functioning features for all sizes and all kinds of businesses.
So, give it a try, and give your business a chance to thrive in 2022. Book your 14-day free trial below, or contact now if you have any questions!