One of the most versatile tools offline businesses have for acquiring data is a point of sale (POS) system. POS systems function as cash registers, track what customers are buying, how much they’re spending, and how often they’re visiting. They manage inventory, monitor employee sales and simplify accounting.
POS systems, like Lightspeed, Toast, and Clover, are a reliable way to collect customer contacts, making them valuable for marketing. With a POS system, a brick-and-mortar business can know almost as much about their customers as ecommerce giants like Amazon do.
Powerful, but not perfect
POS systems have a few blind spots. First, they don’t catch everyone who visits. For example, if one customer pays for a party of five, the other four aren’t visible. It happens less and less, but customers might also use cash, or a different credit card, rendering them invisible to your POS.
Second, it’s not easy to see if a customer has visited as a result of your digital ads without requiring a redemption or promo code. Without this information you can’t analyze the value and effectiveness of digital campaigns. You might know that sales are up or down, but you won’t know if your ads had anything to do with it.
Use WiFi to support your POS
Combining POS and WiFi will connect you with more customers and help you know more about them. By using both technologies, you are giving your customers more touchpoints to interact with you. A guest WiFi landing page provides a place to connect with customers that aren’t interacting with the POS. Here are some of the benefits of combining both systems.
- Increased contact collection. You’ll be able to collect more contacts from customers if you use POS and WiFi. We’ve seen merchants using WiFi collect 7x more emails on average than when using POS alone. For example, Chef Daniel Boulud’s Dinex Group, collected thousands of contacts they otherwise would have missed just relying on their POS system. In the example of the party of five above, a business without guest WiFi would have no opportunity to get the non-paying customers’ emails (not counting outdated methods like customer comment cards). Even if you only collected one more contact from the group, you’ve essentially doubled your efforts. Merchants who also collect emails on average collect 7x more than those who collect email using POS alone.
- Better understanding of customer lifetime value (CLV). You can put together more targeted and compelling communication by knowing visit frequency, visit times, frequently purchased menu items, and average spend. These insights help you increase CLV by identifying valuable customer groups. This allows businesses to focus on specific pools of customers, find out more about what they want, and improve the customer experience for them.
- Improved targeting and messaging. Knowing more about your customers means you can put the most compelling messages in front of them. For example, if you have a customer who hasn’t been in for a while, you might send them an email with new menu items. A high-end clothing brand could identify their biggest spenders for a special VIP promotion. Your POS data can be used to build extremely detailed customer profiles that help you put the right message in front of the right person.
- More info about the customer journey. Guest WiFi can provide valuable insight into customer visits by providing physical businesses with more visibility. WiFi, paired with your POS system, can connect your marketing emails or ads sent to customers who have opted-in to receive them, with an in-store visit or purchase.
Know your customers, grow your business
Knowing more about your customers let’s you serve them better, communicate with them more effectively, invest marketing budget more wisely, and improve the customer experience. The good news is that, thanks to technology, it’s easier than ever to learn about your customers and their needs, and regularly engage with them.
One of the things that makes ecommerce businesses successful is that they use several technologies to cover multiple customer touchpoints while collecting useful data. When you take advantage of all the information provided by POS and WiFi, you’ll create the same kind of results they’re getting.