A modern business requires a comprehensive understanding of what your customers need right now. You need to crunch numbers and understand data as it comes in, not weeks or months after the fact. This has gone from a nice-to-have to a must-have in today’s connected world. And a smart POS platform provides you with essential payment data that helps make this a reality.
Luckily, you’re not alone in trying to meet these evolving needs. There are many systems that combine real-time information with historic patterns to generate data that populates directly into a dashboard or smart terminal. This allows you to make quick decisions informed by solid user trends. When do you need more staff? What times of day do you sell out of certain products? What’s the best day of the week to message your loyalty club?
Read on to learn what you can do with this real-time data.
Have Better Conversations with Your Customers
Today’s consumers are savvy. They know what they want from your business, and they expect to get it smoothly and quickly. Odds are, they’ve shopped around a bit before coming to you. You may have even chatted already on social media. And once they’ve bought, they want you to acknowledge them.
Real-time data can help make these interactions seamless. Observe their buying patterns to learn what they like and when they need it. Notice when they abandon their shopping cart and reach out to see if there’s something you can do to sweeten their experience. Soon enough, you’ll be proactively messaging them when a new item hits the shelves or sending them special birthday discounts.
Have the Right Stuff in Stock
Inventory management once required a Magic 8-Ball. You only know what customers had bought in the past, not what they’re buying right now. Overlay current data with past buying trends, and you now have a predictive model that can improve customer experience and save you money in the process.
This method also allows you to automate regular orders and to turn on a dime when market demand shifts or manufacturers run short on materials. Shipping gets simpler with real-time delivery data informed by weather, traffic, and construction updates.
Make More Money
Over time, these newly found efficiencies can boost your bottom line through savings in materials, shipping, and staff time. They also allow you to broaden your focus to actually growing your business. Some ways you can make more money with real-time data include:
- Using market research to discover new potential target audiences
- Finding other industries where your products might play a role
- Diving deep into your internal policies and see how you might make them more customer-friendly
You need only look to modern tech giants to see these practices in action. Love that streaming series on Netflix? They’ve got three more to recommend. Does your kid dig her new winter boots from Amazon? Soon, you’ll see recommendations for matching snow pants, leg warmers, and mittens.
Troubleshoot Your Products
Not only is real-time data useful in making customers happy, but it’s also essential in helping them when they’re unhappy. Every abandoned shopping cart or scathing social post presents an opportunity to reach out and reconnect. Start a conversation about what might have gone wrong, armed with their transaction history and any past communication they may have had with your company.
Data can help facilitate teaching moments like these and allow you to restructure your sales process, or even make changes to a product line, customized by demographic and geography.
Keep Your Data Safe
This wealth of transaction information not only allows you to manage external customer activity, but it also allows you to see how data is used internally and where any potential gaps in security may be. You can protect sensitive information with real-time software updates and state-of-the-art encryption that meets current regulatory standards.
Real-Time Data = Pain-Free Payments
A smart POS system provides real-time payments data that allows you to meet your customers where they are, boost their loyalty, and engage with them personally on- and offline. You’ll know what they want and how they like to pay for it. Renew their order automatically, or let them customize it in seconds with just a tap on their phone. When something goes wrong (and, at some point, it will), you’ll have built up enough trust to make your brand impenetrable.
The future of business is being shaped by data; a connected payment solution gives you the tools to build relationships that will help sustain and grow your company.