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How to Successfully Manage Multi-Store Retail Operations

How to Successfully Manage Multi-Store Retail Operations

Going from a single retail store to a multi-location operation comes with different business challenges. But, at the same time, it also comes with greater opportunities to reach more shoppers and grow your sales.

In fact, with the right technology and processes in place, managing several retail stores is a great way to start leveraging the benefits of scale.

In this blog post, we’ll take you through some of the steps you should take to ensure a smooth transition from a single store to a multi-store operation.

multi-store operations

Tips for managing multi-store operations

1) Run your retail operations in the cloud

Managing several retail stores at the same time requires more efficiency and flexibility in running your business. In particular, it requires a retail POS system designed for multi-store management. This is where new cloud POS technology comes in. 

Because cloud software isn’t tied to a specific device, as long as you have an internet connection, you can access your POS and the data you need to run your business from anywhere.  Whether you’re in store, on the go, at home, or even on vacation, checking in on your stores is as easy as logging in to your POS system from an internet browser.

Cloud retail POS technology also gives you access to centralized, real-time data across all of your retail locations. So important information such as stock levels, sales history, and customer information are always up-to-date. After all, in today’s competitive retail environment, shoppers expect stores to be able to access real-time stock levels across all locations.

Accurate data leads to less stock-outs and lost sales and ultimately, happier employees and customers.

2) Minimize staff turnover risks and simplify employee training with technology

You obviously can’t manage multiple store locations by yourself. So, it’s important to hire competent staff members that you can trust to take charge of different store operations while you are away.

But even if you hire the right people, the fact is, how you manage staff is just as important as who you hire. This is especially true once you have multiple locations.

It’s important for you to be able to trust your managers (and a great manager can make all the difference in a store’s performance), but unless your staff are tied to your business, there is always a chance that an employee will quit. And you need to be prepared for that day.

There are so many examples of companies that have over-relied on one or a few individuals that there is even a term for this: “Key-Person Dependency Risk“. This is a particularly big issue for small-to-medium businesses that often don’t have the resources for back-up personnel or even cross-training of staff.

This is where technology has been able to add real value in terms of minimizing the risk of over-reliance while, at the same time, freeing up staff from doing boring, routine tasks.

A well-managed company is never dependent upon the performance of one or a few individuals. As well, no employee should be allowed to hoard knowledge, relationships, or resources to achieve job security.

https://www.rightattitudes.com/2018/09/07/key-person-dependency-risk/

This is why it is crucial to consider the built-in security controls and training tools already in place when choosing a retail POS system. Almost everything in a modern retail business flows through a retail point-of-sale system. As such, your ability to manage the knowledge (e.g. reports, costing, margins, etc.) in your business greatly depends on:

  1. Your ability to track the actions and performance of your staff with your retail POS.
  2. Your ability to easily train new staff in different roles whenever there is turnover.

If you’ve worked in retail long enough to expand to multiple locations, you know the importance of POS and how costly it can be to manage and train staff to use a new point-of-sale system.

For retailers who deal with peak periods, long lineups, or high employee turnover rates, it is essential for merchants to consider the real cost of both onboarding and training over time. Because unless you never expect to lose any staff, you will always be re-training some employees.

While you may be tempted to choose the cheapest POS software option or the one with the simplest design, we always ask our customers to take a good look at the type of security and access controls they will have right from the beginning. It is very difficult to control the data of a retail business outside of the POS system and too costly (assuming it is even possible) to get custom features added to a standard system used by many other merchants.

It’s why we put so much time into the design of the access rights and training tools within our own POS. After all, while we design our software for user-friendliness, clean design cannot be simple to the point where it lacks real functionality. And in modern cloud-based POS, it’s possible for even feature-rich systems to be easy-to-use with properly designed UX and practical tools such as built-in product tutorials.

3) Implement standard operating procedures across all of your retail locations

Standard operating procedures (SOPs) ensure that business operations are consistent and predictable across all of your retail locations. Put simply, SOPs make managing a multi-store business easier – and they give your customers a consistent shopping experience. 

Standard procedures that should be established at each store include product returns and discounts, order policies, store, and security. Similar to access rights, the easiest and most common place to manage SOPs is through your POS system. So make sure to check if the POS system you’re considering has options to manage returns, discounts, cashouts, sales policies, etc.

4) Choose a retail POS that can scale with you

Many retailers make the mistake of investing in a new POS without thinking about business growth. There are many retail POS providers that restrict the number of users, inventory items or stores that can be added. Meaning that once your retail operations grow beyond a certain level, you must invest a considerable amount of money to upgrade your POS plan or switch to a new POS altogether. 

That’s why it’s important to choose a retail POS system that can scale with you and is built for multi-store operations! Look out for the following features when selecting a retail POS software for a growing business: 

  • unlimited stores, selling zones, and stock allocations 
  • the ability to scale faster by cloning settings for new stores
  • automated tax calculations based on geographical location 
  • multi-currency and multi-language settings
  • the ability to handle high transaction and inventory volume (this is especially important for high traffic retailers) 
  • built-in training resources for faster onboarding
multi-store management

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Multi-platform: Retail POS for any device

Multi-platform: Retail POS for any device

Nowadays, retail store owners need the flexibility to work anywhere, anytime. In fact, you should be able to easily turn any web-enabled device into a POS station. With the introduction of multi-platform point-of-sale software, retailers now have the ability to do just that.

Keep reading to learn what a multi-platform retail point-of-sale system is and how you can sell anywhere, on any device.

What is a Multi-Platform POS Software?

Multi-platform point-of-sale is a type of software that works on any web-enabled device, regardless of the operating system. This means a software that works on your desktop, tablet or mobile phone, even if they are a mix of Windows, iOS, Mac OS or Android devices.

multi-platform

Benefits of Multi-Platform POS Software

  • Cost savings, re-use existing hardware: If you are looking for a retail point-of-sale system with a low upfront cost, investing in a multi-platform point-of-sale system is the way to go. Because it can work on any web-enabled device, you don’t have to spend time or money replacing your existing hardware.
  • Sell more with mobile POS: With the ability to sell on mobile, tablet or desktop devices, virtually any place inside of your store can be turned into a checkout point. And because multi-platform POS systems can be used on existing devices, it’s faster and cheaper to set-up temporary checkout points during high traffic and rush hours to prevent long line-ups.
  • Continue selling even when your internet goes down: Nowadays, credit and debit payments are the most popular payment methods. While some POS systems offer offline capability, because modern PINpads cannot work without an internet connection, even if you can use your POS, you will still lose sales as few shoppers carry cash today. The future of retail POS is multi-platform as merchants now need to have the ability to switch devices seamlessly. With the TAKU platform, it’s as easy as signing in to your POS on a mobile device with data to continue ringing in sales.
  • Improve customer experience: Employees can serve customers and process transactions from anywhere in the store resulting in shorter lines and better customer service.
  • Scale cost-effectively, faster: Multi-platform POS systems allow you to scale easily. As any web-enabled device can be turned into a station, growing your retail business is easy and inexpensive. 
  • Sell wherever your customer is: Multi-platform POS is ideal for merchants who operate on different sales channels. Easily sell in-store, on-the-go or online. Don’t miss any sales opportunities.

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Traditional VS. Cloud-Based Retail POS

Traditional VS. Cloud-Based Retail POS

If you are a retail store owner, and you’re looking to purchase a new POS system, you’re going to have to decide between a cloud-based or an on-premise software. A new POS system is a significant investment of both time and money which is why it is so important to do research to find the best option for your retail business. 

In this article, we’ll explore the differences between the two types of software and the advantages and disadvantages of each. 

What is a Traditional POS System?

Traditional POS systems, also known as legacy or on-premise POS, store data on a local database. You can think of it in the same way as storing a report or document on your desktop computer – you can’t access it from anywhere else. 

What is a Cloud-based POS System? What is SaaS?

On the other hand, cloud POS systems store data in the cloud, meaning you can access it from anywhere with an internet connection. For example, think about using applications like Google Drive or Dropbox to store your data.

While “cloud” and “SaaS” are often used interchangeably, it’s important to remember that there are hybrid cloud solutions which are not 100% cloud-hosted. This is different from SaaS systems which are true cloud native applications – software that is licensed on a subscription basis and is centrally hosted. This central hosting is what makes SaaS so cost-effective and easier to maintain compared to hybrid solutions.

Comparison of Traditional and Cloud-based POS Systems

Accessibility: As mentioned above, on-premise POS solutions have disadvantages compared to cloud-based POS when it comes to data accessibility. Since data is stored on a local server, you can only access data if you are on-site/in-store. In comparison, because you can access data anywhere with a cloud-based POS, you don’t have to be in-store to make changes to inventory, check sales reports, etc.

data accessibility

Cost: On-premise POS systems require a high upfront investment. If you add maintenance, hardware, and re-installation costs on top of the upfront fees, on-premise software can be quite expensive unless you are able to use it for an extended period of time.  

Cloud point-of-sale software usually requires very little upfront investment – instead, you pay a monthly subscription fee. Since updates are automatic and handled by the POS provider, there are no maintenance fees required either.

However, cloud POS providers charge based on a variety of factors including number of stores, employees, and inventory. That means that a cloud POS system can be quite costly as well if it is not built to scale with your retail store. If you are leaning towards signing up with a cloud POS software, it is a good idea to choose a POS that can grow with you.

POS cost

Updates: Traditional POS systems need to be manually updated and may require on-site technical support. Not only does this take up time and money, it can be disruptive as the POS system cannot be used while the update is being done. In comparison, cloud POS software comes with the added benefit of real-time updates which are usually run off-hours. Not only does this reduce maintenance costs and help ensure that your software is always up to date, it makes your software “future-proof” as your solution will keep improving over time.

POS Update

Hardware: With on-premise POS software, it is likely that you will be tied to specific hardware devices. This is due to the fact that you must pay a licensing fee for every device you wish to operate on. The more devices you have, the more costly it will be for your retail business to implement an on-premise solution.

Alternatively, with cloud POS software, you will not be tied to specific operating devices. Innovative cloud POS technology can function perfectly on any device from touchscreen monitors and iPads to mobile phones.

POS hardware

Data: Since traditional POS systems store data on a local server, there is a risk of losing all of your data if your system crashes, there is a software bug, or there is a disaster (e.g. fire, flood etc.). On the other hand, since cloud POS software automatically stores data in the cloud, your data will be safe in the instances above. At the same time, reliable POS providers will always use reputable cloud hosting service providers such as Google Cloud or Microsoft Azure to host their applications for both security and world-class reliability. 

POS data

We hope you found this article helpful. 

Stay tuned for more POS tips! 

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12 Features to Look for in a Retail POS System

12 Features to Look for in a Retail POS System

Owning the right POS system is essential to the success of any retail business. Today, a retail POS system can do much more than just handle payments and record sales – innovative POS technology now functions as a complete retail management system. 

In other words, a feature-rich retail POS system acts as a tool that enables you to both manage and grow your store.

But with so many different retail POS software in the market, how do you find the right one for your retail business?

Whether you’re looking for your first ever POS software or looking to upgrade to a new one, finding the right solution for your retail store doesn’t need to be difficult. 

In this article, we’ve broken down the most important features to consider when choosing a retail POS system. 

12 Key Features to look for in a Retail POS System

 

Point of Sale Features

Let’s begin by discussing all of the features needed in the sales portion of your retail POS. This covers all of the functionalities and features needed for a fast and easy checkout experience. 

grocery store checkout

1) Easy to Navigate Salesscreen: In order to ensure a fast checkout experience, it’s important to look for a POS system that is user friendly and designed for minimum clicksCashiers shouldn’t have to leave the salesscreen in order to complete a transaction.

2) Fast Barcode Scanning: Your retail POS system should be designed for quick scanning speed while giving you the ability to quickly recall your last search. It’s also important that your POS software can handle multiple barcodes per SKU (an internal code, a shortcode, a vendor code(s), and a manufacturer code). 

3) Advanced Inventory Search: Besides handling a high volume of inventory and transactions (read inventory features below), your retail POS software needs to have smart search functions. This will allow you and your employees to search for products by keyword, description, barcode or tag in case labels fall off or are not scannable. 

4) Inventory Management: Inventory is the most important asset you have as a retailer which is why it is necessary to track and keep an accurate count of all of your merchandise.

retail employee doing inventory check

The inventory management component of your retail POS will help you replace tedious methods of inventory control resulting in time, money, and effort saved.

5) Mobile AccessibilityMore and more retailers are recognizing the benefits of cloud technology and consequently, cloud POS adoption is growing at a significant rate. Cloud POS software stores data in the cloud giving you the benefits of remote accessibility, cost-savings, and real-time data accuracy. Click here to learn more about the benefits of cloud POS technology.

You’ll also want to make sure that your retail POS is completely mobile-friendly and can be run on any device. This will enable you to ring in sales anywhere in your store (e.g. on an tablet or mobile phone) which means a faster checkout experience for your shoppers.

6) Cross-Platform Access: Having a POS software that is compatible on any device is important for emergency instances when your store’s internet connection goes down. In the past, it was assumed that offline capability is the best alternative when internet access is down. But the fact is, credit and debit cards are the most popular payment methods for shoppers today, and PINpads won’t work without an internet connection.

Some systems offer the ability to store credit card details in the device until internet is back up but not only is it riskier to shopper payment details, you’re taking the chance of the stored payments not getting approved.

In today’s market, offline capability is not as useful as a smart POS platform that can be logged in from any device. When internet goes down, it’s as simple as securely logging in with a mobile device with data to continue ringing in sales.

7) User Access Rights: It is likely that you will have multiple people working in your business. Which means that your retail POS will need to be able to identify different users and give them tailored access to the system based on their role. User access rights also enable store owners to limit permissions on certain features in your POS (for ex: reports, etc.).

8) Scalability: Look for a POS software that will grow with you as your retail operations scale. Your retail POS should have the following features: the ability to handle high transaction and inventory volume, international tax settings, multi-currency handling, unlimited stores, selling zones and multiple stock allocations. 

These features will allow you to grow and scale with your POS software. Some cloud POS software have limits on the number of users and stores – meaning if you eventually outgrow your existing system, you will need to invest a considerable amount into upgrading or switching to another POS altogether

9) Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

customer relationship management

The CRM component of your retail POS software stores shopper information and allows you to better manage your customer base. It can generate huge benefits for your store – including better customer relationships, sales reports that allow you to make better business decisions and more efficient operations. These benefits ultimately lead to more sales.

10) Bulk Item Import: For fast POS onboarding, you will want to select a retail POS that can import all of your inventory and customer details. Otherwise you will be stuck manually uploading your inventory – which is an extremely tedious and time consuming task.

11) Built-In Training Tools: Smart POS systems today will have self-service functions such as built-in chat support, online knowledge portals and even step-by-step guided products tours. Not only does this minimize your onboarding costs, it ensure that staff can quickly learn how to use the system at their own convenience.

12) Marketing Integrations: Traditional point-of-sale systems are essential to retail operations management but modern cloud POS systems are data-driven which means you can now use your retail store data to drive digital marketing. A POS that has built-in marketing tools will allow you to streamline your marketing efforts so that you can sell more. For example, a POS that integrates to Google will help your retail business appear higher up in search results – resulting in more local foot traffic and sales.


TAKU Retail POS is designed for high traffic retailers looking to increase foot traffic to their physical stores. Join our beta waitlist here

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How to Choose a Retail POS System: 4 Important Things to Consider

How to Choose a Retail POS System: 4 Important Things to Consider

Whether you’re a long time merchant or you’re just starting out in retail, having the right POS system in place is crucial for your success.

A retail Point-Of-Sale system helps you simplify and manage all aspects of your business operations including sales, inventory, and customers. Even better, today’s innovative POS software is data-driven and includes marketing integrations designed to help you increase your revenue. 

In this article, we’ll take you through the key aspects that you should consider when choosing a retail POS system.

4 Things to Consider when Purchasing a New Retail POS System 

  1. Cloud vs On-Premise: First, you must decide whether you want to use a cloud-based or an on-premise retail POS system. The main difference between the two softwares has to do with how data is stored.

On-premise software is installed on specific devices and data from your POS is stored on a local database (e.g. a device in your store). Because the data is stored on a specific computer or device in your store, you can only access data if you are physically in the store. For example, you can compare it to having data (e.g. a document or report) stored on your computer at home – it cannot be accessed from anywhere else. 

On the other hand, cloud software stores data on a cloud server – meaning that it can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection. A simple example for this would be using Dropbox or Google Drive – as long as you have an internet connection, your data can be accessed from anywhere. 

When deciding between the two types of POS software, you must consider which one is a better fit for your retail business. Click here for an in-depth comparison that will help you better understand the type of software that will best suit your operational needs.

cloud technology

2. Device Compatibility: It’s important to note that not all POS software works on all devices. So you must also consider compatibility with your existing devices when selecting a new POS software. Otherwise, you’ll need to invest a considerable amount of money (and time) in new hardware devices.

When narrowing down your POS options, look for compatibility with existing devices and hardware such as your POS terminals, credit card terminals, barcode scanners, etc.

Expert Tip! An important point to note is that just because a software is cloud-based, does not mean that it is compatible on any device!  

POS hardware

3. Training and Onboarding Costs: While you may be tempted to choose the cheapest POS software option, it’s important to look at cost of onboarding the solution into the overall ROI (return on investment) of investing in new POS technology. 

A POS system that is inexpensive but difficult to use can cost you a lot in the long term. This is especially true for high-traffic retailers that deal with peak periods and long lineups. It is also important for retailers with high turnover rates or seasonal peaks. If you are constantly training new staff members, you need to consider a solution with built-in training tools.

A user-friendly software that is easy to operate will speed up store operations and make for happier, more productive employees. This means a faster onboarding process and lower training costs for you! 

employee training

4. Scalability: Many retailers make the mistake of choosing a POS without thinking about business growth. While you may only have one retail location with minimal inventory now, there’s no way to know how quickly your retail operations will grow. That’s why it’s important to make a decision about a new POS with the goal of growing your retail business. 

This means that your POS software should be able to scale with you. Look out for the following features when selecting a retail POS software: 

  • the ability to handle high transaction and inventory volume

  • unlimited stores, selling zones, and stock allocations 

  • the ability to hand multi-currency and multi-language

  • automated tax calculations based on geographical location  

Many retail POS providers restrict the amount of stores and inventory amounts that can be used – meaning that you have to invest a substantial amount of money upgrading your POS plan or investing in a new POS altogether. So rather than wasting resources switching to a new POS provider, choose a POS software that supports store growth. 

Your Retail POS should grow with you

We hope you found this article helpful!

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Sell More: A Google Integration for your Retail POS

Sell More: A Google Integration for your Retail POS

A point-of-sale system is an essential tool for retail stores; from speeding up the checkout process to simplifying inventory management, store operations become more efficient with a retail POS software.

But a good retail POS system can help you do much more than just manage your store operations or track sales history – it can also help you sell more. 

Selling More on Autopilot

More people are searching online prior to buying (or “pre-shopping”) than ever before. According to Google: 

  • 3 out of 4 shoppers use a search engine to find a business

  • 7 out of 10 people made a purchase from a business they found using a search engine

Which means that getting your retail store to show up on Google is necessary in order to drive foot traffic and increase store sales. This is where integrating Google to your retail POS comes in.

3 Benefits of Integrating Your Retail POS with Google My Business

1) Be Found on Google

Google My Business profile

Building a strong online presence on Google starts with your store’s Google My Business listing. 

Google My Business (GMB) is a free online listing service. It ensures that your store shows up in online local searches and lets you manage how your retail store appears in both Google Search and Google Maps.

Here are a few reasons why GMB is so powerful:

  • GMB listings dominate the first page of Google search results 
  • ​They appear based on a viewer’s actual location
  • They appear in local searches for business types on both Search and Maps (for ex: if a user searches for “pet stores”)

A direct GMB integration allows you to set up and manage your Google My Business listing right from your retail POS software. Not only does this reduce the time and effort required to set up a listing, it also helps your store appear higher up in Google Search and Google Maps when local shoppers make relevant searches to your business.

2) Advanced Targeting with Google Local Inventory Ads (LIAs)

With automated POS integration to Google, retailers now have the power to reach out to shoppers when they are near one of their stores.

By running Google Local Inventory Ads (LIAs), stores are able to drive in-store sales with online product ads that allow retailers to attract nearby shoppers at the right moment – when they are ready to buy!

Not only do LIAs only show when local shoppers are within a certain distance from a store, with an automated POS integration, LIA ads run directly from your POS and only show when products are in stock. This means that LIA ads automatically turn off when products sell out to help minimize your marketing costs. LIAs even encourage urgency by letting nearby shoppers know that stock is low and that they need to act.

According to Google, shoppers prefer and act on location-based ads:

While LIAs were only available to national retailers in the past, with the TAKU-Google LIA integration, even independent stores can now run

high-performing and affordable ads for all of their products. TAKU POS will handle the entire basic campaign – which means that merchants can start running products online with only a few clicks. Set your daily budget and the geographic area you wish to target and you’re set! There’s no need to manually input or upload product information to Google.

3) Free Online Product Showcase

Even if you’re not ready to buy digital ads yet, the TAKU-Google integration helps you showcase what your store sells online to shoppers. By using Google’s “See What’s In Store” feature, your in-stock products will be visible underneath your GMB listing. This feature is automatic and completely free to merchants using an integrated POS. 


Give shoppers an additional way to discover what your store sells.

Join the beta for TAKU POS today to see what it’s all about.

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