How a Modern Thrift Store POS System can Increase Sales
As the retail landscape becomes more competitive and consumer behavior evolves, many thrift stores are turning to technology to increase sales and traffic to their business. According to America’s Research Group, a consumer research firm, about 16-18% of Americans will shop at a thrift store per year. That’s a significant number when compared to other competitive shopping industries, during the same timeframe:
- 11.4% of Americans shop in factory outlet malls
- 19.6% in apparel stores
- 21.3% in major department stores
With this swift competition, you need to explore modern ways to increase sales in a thrift store. A modern POS system is especially important as it can be challenging to keep customers coming back, especially when there are thousands of thrift stores across the country and several competing shops within a given community. As a thrift store owner, you need the proper retail technologies to help overcome the competition and help your store scale and gain revenue.
Modern Thrift Store POS System
A thrift store has many specialized needs that traditional retail stores do not. Some essential features of a POS system would be:
- Being able to accept and report on donations received
- Pricing assistance with color coding labels for discounts
- Managing an ever-changing inventory production
- Offering omnichannel solutions to meet your customer’s needs and wants
- Single- and Multi-store capability and scalability
A modern thrift store POS system needs to be able to manage most of the business for you.
Basic management can help build your thrift store into a smooth-running, profitable machine. But what above-average features can boost your thrift store to the next level?
When considering a modern thrift store POS system and how it can benefit your business you should start with omnichannel management. Traditional thrift stores experience limited reach only able to impact people who physically walked through their doors. But now you can impact shoppers outside of your brick and mortar store with a management eCommerce solution. Taking your business to an online platform can offer your shoppers the convenience and ease of purchasing your incredible inventory from the comfort of their couch.
There are a few factors to consider when it comes to growth in the thrift store industry. While the primary negative factor affecting the industry is the level of competition, the primary positive factor is the introduction of eCommerce sales. This makes sense when you look at the demographic of most thrift and second-hand consumers. Statista reports that 40% of buyers are between 18 and 24; this age group is also the most accustomed to buying products online. Therefore, creating an omnichannel business will allow you to not only hit a larger audience but also meet the demands of your target demographic. Grow your business for the new and upcoming generations, by implementing next gen eCommerce solutions that will help separate you from competitors.
Now that you have a solid customer base from offering a multitude of selling platforms, what can you do to keep them coming back?
Loyalty programs are a great way to entice your customers to not only return to your store but to refer your business to others. Incorporating a thrift store POS software that allows you to integrate your own customized loyalty promotions is key to running an efficient program. For example, offering promotions based on the yearly calendar and local events with bonus points, additional discounts for members, or even offering additional savings to those that sign up as new loyalty members. The options are endless when it comes to building your own custom loyalty program, and the more customized it is to your clientele, the more likely you are to continuously gain repeat shoppers and referrals.
Additionally, having a single platform that holds all your loyalty member’s information and shopping history will help you gain a better understanding of what your clientele wants and what promotions may get their attention.
You’ve now reached a larger audience and are providing them with custom loyalty promotions to keep them coming back. The last piece to the puzzle is keeping a pulse on your store’s products. You need to make sure you have the products your clients are looking for from vintage rugs to antique mugs. Use reporting and inventory management to find out what’s high in demand for future sourcing and donation collections. Do so through a thrift store POS system that can help you easily manage your inventory.
With as unique of inventory as you have as a thrift store, it can sometimes be cumbersome to manage. Having an integrated inventory production system in your POS solution can offer you a convenient way to not only track stock in real-time but to allow for automation of rotating discounts. Invest in a thrift store POS system that automatically keeps track of the products tagged and assigns them a value based on a “good, better, best” quality pricing segmentation.
While initially managing the inventory may take a little more time on the back-end, it will save you and your staff time moving forward by:
- Providing quicker checkout times
- Increase accuracy of stock
- Reduce price-tag switching and theft
- Increase pricing consistency
- Display items in an online shop
Keep Up with Consumer Demands
When it comes to the thrifting business, the level of competitiveness and high expectations of customers are growing day in and day out. Make sure your thrift store POS system offers you every piece of the puzzle to make your business efficiently meet the demands of your growing shopper demographic. Having a POS system that can handle every aspect of your thrift store business will help increase your sales and boost your business to new heights in the industry.