Thought Leadership

Though leadership in retail technology

The Valentine’s Day Business

Valentine’s Day is finally upon us! Hopefully everyone’s business has geared up for this love filled day. iConnect has many features that makes businesses run a lot more efficient on busy days such as today. One way that we make things a little smoother for business owners is through our point of sale system. With our technology, you’ll have the right tools to enhance marketing, keep accurate counts of inventory, time-clock management system, end-of-day business reports, and many more.

On top of our highest rated POS systems, we have the hardware to go along with that. iConnect iCR register system provides the sleek looks to go along with your business. Our devices were engineered to take up little space and function in various settings. iConnect currently empowers businesses in many verticals such as retail, food, salons, and many more. If your business requires a self-checkout kiosk, iConnect can provide that system for you as well.

We’ve recently covered the basic tips on how to set your business up for success during Valentine’s Day. With our modern tools, you’ll have the power to generate more business during the other busy days during the year. Be sure to talk to one of our experts and find out if your business is ready to take the next step with iConnect.

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Interacting With Your Community

A community is the life support for local businesses. They buy, interact, and market your business on a daily basis. And to keep your business going you must be able to provide them with the essential points of growth. Here’s an impactful plan that can help your business keep a good reputation in the local community.

Being friendly

Let your community and local customers know that your business is a place that provides great customer service and friendliness. This is a paramount point to make to the people shopping at your store. Statistically speaking, a dissatisfied customer is three times more likely to tell friends about their negative experience. It takes 12 positive experiences just to make up for that one dissatisfied customer. On top of that, 80% of people will not buy from a business with negative reviews. Overall, unhappy customers add up to $537 billion in losses every year.

However, happy customers contribute 14 times more revenue than a “mixed feeling” customer. With great customer service, you’ll see happily satisfied customers contribute 2.6 times more revenue than a normal customer.

Retention

You want to do whatever is in your power to retain your currently satisfied customers. It statistically costs 6-7 times more to acquire new customers that’ll be satisfied of your business. There was a funny story reported about a guitarist named David Caroll who was flying with United Airlines. During the unloading process an employee tossed his guitar on to the tarmac which resulted in his $3,500 guitar breaking. United Airlines refused to pay for repairs so David Caroll wrote a song about his dissatisfaction with the company titled “United Breaks Guitars.” The music video got 14 million views in a short span of time which resulted in its stock falling 10%, the equivalent to $180 million dollars. While this is an unusual case, it did happen. If you have to, make sure that your customer receives a good experience at your place of business.

Ask questions

Make sure that you ask your customers about their shopping experience. This is critical in the education process and also gauging their level of satisfaction. If the customers feel as though that they aren’t being treated “well,” make sure they get the proper attention and service. Also, understand their shopping habits. If a customers comes in frequently, shopping for the same product/good, make sure that it’s kept in stock. When customers find that you are missing a certain item, this can lead them to venture elsewhere and become a loss for your business.

With these tips, you’ll have a good starting point for your business to hold support in your local community. Remember to keep your customers happy and provide them with the best customer service possible.

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How To Increase Foot Traffic To Your Business

A lot of entrepreneurs have a hard time grasping why their business isn’t seeing much foot traffic come through their stores. It isn’t magic. It isn’t some hocus pocus. It’s actual work to get people to come through your business. Here’s how you can increase foot traffic.

Social media presence

You want to create an influx in foot traffic to your business. What do you have at your disposal to instantly create awareness about what your store? It’s social media. With platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat you can reach a wide audience in a short duration of time. By using their business backend platform you can schedule events, promote posts, and strategize campaigns to reach a large audience base. The concept and idea is quite simple but manually configuring everything can be quite time-consuming.

Say for instance that your business serves ice cream. Well, you can geo-target your audience base and make sure that people who are interested in ice cream can see your advertisement on the three social media platforms listed. Snapchat even gives you an option to create a cool filter in a geo-targeted area. So if someone was to come into proximity of your store and was on Snapchat, they can use that filter to snap a picture and video to their friends. This creates awareness and almost works as a word of mouth tool.

Events

Another amazing way to increase traffic to a store-front location is to hold special events. It can range anywhere from Barbeques, slip n’ slides, educational sessions, to even having someone famous come through your store. You want to make sure that people are aware that your business is throwing an elaborate event and that they are welcome to join. From there, the goal will be to convert those visitors into loyal customers.

Giveaways

Have giveaways. This is a big deal. If you want to attract new customers, you need to create an incentive for them. And it has to be a rocking deal that’s relatable for your business.

For example:

You own a restaurant. You are seeing a lack of customers. You want to increase your customer base. Put together an awesome giveaway such as free burgers for a year (It must be huge like this). Then you advertise this on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.

Most of our partners have been seeing a lot of success using this method. You can too. If you want to see growth in foot-traffic towards your business, you must take actions such as these.

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How To Set Your Business Up For Success During Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is almost upon us where couples rejoice in their affection for one another. But there are also individuals that celebrate Valentine’s Day for being single. A lot of businesses cater specifically for couples, yet forget that there are many people out there who just want to enjoy the day for what it is. So today, we come to you with some direction on how to set your business up for success during this upcoming Valentine’s Day for 2017.

Remember to think about your loyal customers

Valentine’s Day can be played out in the general sense that it’s an occasion for love. What if we were to embrace our customers and thank them for shopping at our store? Provide your loyal customers with little giveaway such as candy, notes, coupons, gift cards, or anything else that customers will enjoy receiving. It can’t be said enough how important customer loyalty is. A brand is only as strong as its loyal customers.

Every industry must cater in a different facet. If you own a retail store, make sure to thank your customers with something they’d enjoy. Don’t provide them with irrelevant gifts (meaning something that they wouldn’t use or like). If you operate a service based business, make sure that your customers are being thanked with coupons and gift cards to your service. Treat your customers with care.

Create a special environment

Decorate the heck out of your store. Whether you put up hearts, cupids, or color bomb your store, make sure people understand that you support Valentine’s Day. And make sure that the decorations are done as soon as possible. Don’t wait until the last second to set everything up. Make sure the decorations are set prior to Valentine’s Day to raise awareness and increase sales to catered items.

Have products, services, and gifts available for Valentines Day

Make sure your products are directed towards the specific holiday. Develop a marketing strategy around products you want to promote on the special day. If you are selling products such as food, make sure to iterate its importance for Valentine’s Day. Say for instance that you were selling beef jerky. Reaffirm customers that it’ll be a great gift for men and women who enjoy premium jerky. Let them know that it’s a quirky gift that’s sure to bring some laughs and memories, along with good taste.

If you are promoting massages, pedicure, or some sort of service, make sure to iterate to customers that it’s a great couple’s gift. Both partners will be receiving a great time on this wonderful romantic occasion. Make sure to show them great quality service.

And as previously mentioned, there are going to be a lot of single people. You can cater to those people by making creative marketing campaigns to capture that specific demographic. Example, “Single on Valentine’s Day? Make sure to stop by our store as we are geared to celebrate those of us that are single!”

Gear your business up for February 14th, the day of love; Valentine’s Day. Make it one of the best days for your business!

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Here Are The Reasons Why Franchise Companies Are Turning To iConnect POS

iConnect has been seeing tremendous amounts of inquiries in regards to the franchise POS system for multi-location businesses. The company offers many features and flexibility when it comes to point of sale. Here are some of the reasons why companies are turning to iConnect’s robust system.

The value

iConnect POS was designed to deliver a quality experience for businesses. The companies’ value relies on strength in partnership and the belief in growth of franchise businesses. It is iConnect’s duty to arm companies with the best point of sale system that can help better serve franchises. The value and importance relies on experience and delivering the important data in an easily readable manner. And with that integrity, many franchise and multi-location companies have been turning to this specific point of sale system.

The program

When it comes to business, iConnect doesn’t want companies deterred by costs of hardware and software. Recently the company has announced the launch of a new initiative called the “Franchise Upgrade Program.” This new endeavor by iConnect allows businesses to trade in their old systems for the modern hardware and software. iConnect offers some of the latest features that take franchises to the modern platform for data and analytics, along with business intelligence.

The technology

The last point leads to the amazing topic of technology. iConnect has built an amazing end-to-end layout for franchises to easily navigate. The front end displays a beautiful register system where employees can easily identify an item with pictured icons and a navigation bar. The software for the POS system was built for minimal errors and mistakes for clerks and cashiers. The back end office is comprised of everything including access permissions, daily reports, scheduling, employee management, booking, import and export of SKUs, data analytics, matrix system, and a lot more.

If your company was ever interested in upgrading the POS platform, the time would be now with iConnect point of sale.

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What You Need To Know If You’re Starting A Franchise

Franchising your business can be a difficult journey. On the exterior, you see many successful and accomplished companies such as McDonald’s, Subway, Chipotle, and etc. But in reality, more franchise businesses have failed versus succeeding. SMBs (small to mid-size businesses) will have growing pains on the on this particular journey of franchising. We’ve seen it first hand with major franchises and would like to offer up advice for those individuals on this path.

Recognizing Your Market

In any major market, you’ll have some strong competition. Whether you’re in the food industry, retail, or some sort of service niche, there’ll be someone with similar ideas. And this is what some of our SMB customers have noticed. There’ll have to be multiple factors to separate your business from the competition.

Critical Branding Methods

  • offer them special deals,
  • have a unique product
  • Unique service

By offering these things to your customers, your competition won’t be able to easily copy your brand of business.

Location

Location will be another critical point for success. You must have knowledge of where your business model will succeed. For instance, you can’t have a surf rental shop outside of coastal areas. That just doesn’t make sense. You can’t be selling winter apparel in warm weathered areas, which is another given. The hard part will come down to how your customer base reacts to your products in locations that you believe will succeed.

Common businesses such as burger shops and common food restaurants will be up for a big challenge. With so many well established franchises and businesses in the food space, it’ll take tremendous work for your growing business to stand out. Franchising calls for your business to be highly desired and deliver a quality experience. And on top of that, you must have demand outside of your territory for this certain vertical. If you and your business are up for a challenge, then you must establish your brand to be highly desired. A quality example of this would be franchises such as Chick-Fil-A and In-N-Out.

Make sure that your business is well established in the community before trying to take the franchise route.

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5 Tips On How To Keep Accurate Count Of Your Inventory

It’s sometimes shocking when, after putting in so much work to make sure you have the correct inventory count, it still isn’t accurate. It starts making you question your employees, theft, or some other events that could’ve occurred under your nose. If you’re a business owner that gets frustrated with this occurrence, have no fear. We have 5 valuable tips on keeping your inventory count accurate at all times.

Start a fresh inventory count on your products that are popular and miscounted

This one is simple and straight to the point. Do a fresh inventory count on your most popular items and the items that seem to get miscounted all the time. This will allow you to have a starting point and a grasp of your most popular items and how it performs throughout a week’s time. Businesses like liquor stores have tens of thousands of SKUs. So having a starting point will be critical in gaining control of your inventory. Then you can proceed to move on down the list to re-capture your full inventory.

Run inventory count frequently

Inventory count should be monitored on a frequent basis. Even if you notice that your inventory count is fairly accurate, there’s nothing wrong with a simple re-count. Events out of your control occur from time to time. Having the latest accurate inventory count cam come in handy during those situations.

We suggest that inventory be counted on a weekly basis. This will strengthen the grasp on your business and gain a better picture to how overall sales are doing.

Make sure there isn’t a flaw with your POS transaction process

Some business owners lose count of their inventory due to flaws in their current point of sale system. The low quality POS systems will sometimes not scan properly and leave an item out of a ticket, which ultimately is the same thing as giving away a product. This will also result in your inventory count being inaccurate. If no one were to catch this, it can become a dangerous and costly mistake. So to fix this issue, you must go with a POS provider like iConnect that provides a tremendous transaction experience. It also has a flawless front end displays that provides items with images which will help employers and employees with an error free experience. Quality POS systems are also good for powering multi-location business. Systems like iConnect are connected to the cloud which relays messages to the other stores in your business.

Pictures to items

Mentioned above, iConnect offers pictures to items as icons on the screen. This allows you to make sure that you’ve rung up the customer accurately without mistakes. The pictured icons will verify that you have the right item for your customer and allow you to keep your inventory count straight.

Use an inventory scanner

Companies like iConnect offer SKU inventory scanners that allow you to scan in bulk. This modern technology saves hours out of the day of having to manually count items. It’s also quite accurate. So you don’t have to waste tremendous time trying to keep count accurate on a weekly basis. With a simple swipe towards the products at your store the scanner will document and relay the count to the POS system.

So when you are looking to keep accurate inventory count in the future make sure that you look through these 5 quick tips. It’s quite vital to the company to always have your inventory aligned.

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A Guide On How To Make Your Retail Business A Little Easier To Operate For New Entrepreneurs

Operating a retail business can some times be pretty daunting, especially if you’re new to the industry. You must have great products that customers enjoy and display it in a manner where they can easily get to the items. Being a new retail business owner will also require great knowledge in accounting, reporting, and management of products and SKUs. While all of that can start to get complex and intimidating, there’s ways to simplifying those tasks.

In the new age of entrepreneurship, technology and software that include features such as inventory management, data reporting, analytics, and scheduling will be your greatest friend. The old days of hand written reports and notes are gone and the new day in age is upon us where we’re given the opportunity to track our business online and through the Cloud.

Running your business through a smart point of sale solution will open up a new world for young entrepreneurs. People sometimes dismiss POS systems as simple register software and don’t understand the importance of the technology. The new systems actively keep track of your inventory and sales to create smart reports for your business. You’ll have access to inventory tracking of products at your store, knowledge to what items have been selling at certain times throughout the week, keep track of employee’s hours, and even have access to EOD (End Of Day) reports for accounting purposes. And that’s only the beginning of what smart POS systems like iConnect can provide for a young retail business.

Entrepreneurs are usually hard workers but have a tendency to overwork themselves with multiple programs rather than simplifying it to one solution. Having a platform where it automates the heavy work and saves you more time will allow you to invest your focus in other aspects of the business.

If you want to learn more about what a POS system can do for your retail business, feel free to reach out to us.

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