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How the POS Can Help Retailers Prepare for the Holidays

How the POS Can Help Retailers Prepare for the Holidays

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The retail industry has been through some crazy ups and downs since the global pandemic began. Between the labor shortage, supply-chain issues, and the stock market crash, it’s a wonder how retailers can keep up with consumers at all. And now that we’re in the thick of the holiday season, there’s been mixed reporting on how this season will compare to last season. Business owners want to know: will holiday shopping be different this year?

How will holiday shopping be different this year?

According to a recent survey by McKinsey & Company, “there are good reasons for US retailers to be optimistic” this year.

“After nearly three years of suppressed behavior resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, people are primed to go all out to celebrate for the holidays. In the survey, 55 percent of US respondents say they are excited about holiday shopping, and most people have the savings to spend.”

So, there is good reason to believe this holiday shopping season will be as busy as ever. Because of this, retailers and other business owners need all the help they can get during this stressful but rewarding time.

Where the Point-of-Sale Comes In

One of the most central areas in any retail store is the point-of-sale (POS). This is typically the final stop on the customer’s journey before leaving. The POS is where the payment process begins and ends, and the entire customer experience there must be seamless. Otherwise, retailers risk never seeing that customer again.

Read on to find out how the POS can help retailers better prepare for the holiday season.

Holiday sale in retail window shopping

How the POS Can Help the Holiday Rush

An increase in sales is, of course, the goal of any retailer. But what happens when you expect a steep rise in sales while simultaneously experiencing a labor shortage?

The right technology can help short-staffed retailers survive the holiday season and thrive in it. After all, making a positive, lasting impression on shoppers by providing a flawless customer experience will pay off well into the future, not just this winter.

Online Ordering

When a store is short-handed, it’s especially important to streamline and quicken transactions. Being able to rapidly process a purchase or retrieve a buy online, pickup in-store (BOPIS) order means more sales and happier customers at the end of the day.

If your store isn’t already online, it should be. Shipping to customers can keep your brick-and-mortar location flowing smoothly. Even if you don’t ship to customers, having the option to place a BOPIS order can not only make your shoppers’ lives more convenient but lighten the load of your salesfloor staff so they can focus on more important initiatives like customer service and swiftly processing the remaining in-store purchases.

You can streamline your online ordering operations even more by utilizing technology like linerless labels to keep everything organized. Ideal for quickly and efficiently labeling orders, these peel-and-stick labels eliminate the pesky, messy traditional label liners and can easily be removed and reapplied. It may be wise to have a linerless label printer around.

Self-Service Kiosks

Self-checkout kiosks can really be a “two birds, one stone” solution for the holidays: they can alleviate your limited staff’s workload while also giving customers the option to pay at their own pace and without having to worry about coming in contact with another person. And shoppers love them, too. In the 2022 Digital-First Customer Experience Report, 81% of surveyed consumers in the US and UK expect more self-service options. And we already know people have been using self-checkouts much more since the start of the pandemic. They’re more comfortable with self-service than ever, and the technology will only get better from here.

Someone scanning a food item at a self-service kiosk station.

Mobile Payments

There’s a solution for you even if you are still experiencing long lines in your brick-and-mortar: mobile payments. With a mobile card reader and portable receipt printer, your staff can ring card- or mobile wallet-paying customers up anywhere in the store. Another “two birds, one stone” solution, mobile payments can allow staff to provide customer service or restock shelves while also having the technology on-hand to ring up any purchases that nearby customers may have.

Health & Safety Solutions

We must not forget that we are still coming out of the grip of a global pandemic. You can make holiday shoppers feel safe and confident by incorporating a variety of health and safety solutions into your brick-and-mortar store. Examples of these solutions include a sneeze guard at the POS and customer service counters, readily available hand sanitizer, and antimicrobial covers on door handles, bathroom surfaces, and more.

Receipt Marketing

With everything going digital, it’s easy to forget the power of a simple sales receipt. Receipts are prime real estate for advertising to customers. It goes directly into their hand after they’ve already made a purchase, making it more than likely that they will return. Despite popular belief, many people still do look at their receipts. Having promotional material right on the receipt raises the chances that high-quality customers will take notice.

From the Blog: How a Paper Receipt Benefits ROI and the Customer Experience

With so much competition, it’s important to not only boost cost efficiency but also optimize the experience customers have from the moment they enter the door up until the transaction is completed. Discover how paper receipts can help you achieve all of that – and more.

Star's Retail Solutions Will Have You Holiday-Ready

Whether you are a retail store looking for products to help you this holiday season or you are a reseller hoping to offer your retail customers a relevant solution, Star has the hardware you need for a complete POS solution.

SK1-211 kiosk printer.
SmS230i Front copy
EZPOS tablet display stand in black

Kiosk Printers

Printers are an integral part of self-checkouts. Star is proud to provide a range of reliable self-service kiosk printers with a variety of print widths and connectivity options. Learn more >

Tablet Stands

Star Micronics is proud to offer both function and style with its mUnite tablet display stands and mounts, built to accompany our vast array of printers, cash drawers, scales, and peripherals. These all-steel stands, kiosks, and mounts are compatible with any tablet manufacturer and any of our tablet enclosures, including the popular Universal mEnclosure. Learn more >

CloudPRNT

Star makes online ordering easy. By choosing a printer equipped with CloudPRNT technology, you can print online orders automatically – no extra tablet needed. Learn more >

Portable Printers

Looking to line-bust? Star’s portable printers are what you need. With Bluetooth, Apple BLE, and USB connectivity, these on-the-go printers print receipts and labels. Better yet, they have rugged housing and feature a long battery life, as well. Learn more >

Star Micronics Cloud Services

With Star Micronics Cloud Services, developers and business owners can monitor connected Star devices in real-time, collect crucial data, and create customized receipts, tickets, and labels. Add promotional material to receipts and schedule holiday sales. Update firmware offsite. Star Cloud Services makes it easier than ever for merchants to elevate their brands. Learn more >

Receipt Marketing is Easy with Star Cloud Services

Adding promotional content to receipts with Star Cloud Services is a simple, free way to get messages out to highly engaged customers. With these cloud-based services, receipt promotions can be set up and scheduled ahead of time, automatically printing on certain days or at certain times.

Check out some of these examples:

Holiday receipt marketing promotion from Star Micronics Cloud Services.
Holiday receipt marketing promotion from Star Micronics Cloud Services.
Holiday receipt marketing promotion from Star Micronics Cloud Services.
Holiday receipt marketing promotion from Star Micronics Cloud Services.
Holiday receipt marketing promotion from Star Micronics Cloud Services.
Holiday receipt marketing promotion from Star Micronics Cloud Services.
Holiday receipt marketing promotion from Star Micronics Cloud Services.

Using the POS for Holiday-Preparedness is Clear

Though it’s always insanely busy, retailers should not be worried about the retail holiday season. If steps are taken ahead of time, and they’re utilizing every resource, including their point-of-sale system, merchants and business owners can absolutely keep up with consumers during every holiday shopping season!

The Value of Receipts: Printed and Digital

There’s no getting away from it: receipts hold great value and are an irrefutable part of everyday life. 

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