As the intensity of the pool industry’s busy season passes, now is the time to ask yourself how well your business software supported your business. Suppose you think your company could have been more successful with a different business software solution. In that case, you should consider joining the many pool and spa businesses that are making the switch to pool industry software.
Designed for pool and spa retailers, service professionals, and builders, a pool industry point of sale (POS) system can provide features that will immediately improve your bottom line and productivity. Pool industry professionals agree that the top five must-have features they need to be ready for the 2022 season are:
- Pre-programmed Upsell Features
- Vendor Integrations
- Mobile Functionality
- Loyalty Rewards
- Online Shopping Cart Functionality
To choose the best POS system for your business, make sure these features are available and easy to use. Read on for more information about the various features and what you should look for.
Pre-Programmed Upsell Features
Planning for another busy season includes pre-programming features in your POS software that can help every sale yield the highest profit possible. Whale research the best point of sale system for you, look for the ability to pre-program your POS system with questions your staff can ask customers to determine additional items they may want to buy. This capability makes it much easier for your busy team to upsell, capturing as much revenue as possible for your business.
For example, one of the most valuable features offered by RB’s POS system is Related Items. When a staff member makes a sale, the system suggests related items the customer may benefit from to increase sales. Before you know it, the customer is not only buying a spa cover but also a vinyl cleaner and a battery-powered, hand-held cleaner.
General Information Pop-Ups serve another valuable purpose in RB’s point of sale software. The pop-ups alert sales staff to important information about the item the customer is purchasing and remind them of tasks they need to complete at the time of sale. For example, when selling a bag of shock, staff will be alerted to remind the customer to pre-mix it with water before adding it in the evening, keep the solar cover off, and run the filter overnight.
Another revenue-driving feature is the Integrated Chemical Maintenance tool. Chemical maintenance is a huge profit center for all pool and spa businesses. That makes this feature invaluable because it includes calendars, chemical troubleshooting forms, and tip sheets where products are highlighted in yellow so the staff knows which to promote. This tool makes new sales staff look like experts when they provide handouts and emails to customers with valuable information. It can also help eliminate phone calls with questions later on.
Make sure that you look for features like these that are designed for the pool and spa industry. They will help you save time and generate more revenue, so the system pays for itself within the first season.
Another essential question to ask when reviewing point of sale softwares is, does this software include vendor integrations? Incorporating software designed to integrate your business systems with pool and spa industry vendors and partners is the key to efficiency. Be sure to look for business software that has both integrations with suppliers and water testing integration.
Remember that integrations with suppliers save pool and spa businesses hours of work, protect against errors, and allow you to set expectations and plans around supply chain issues. In addition, these vendor integrations eliminate duplicate purchase orders and the double data entry of inputting inventory into multiple systems.
Because RB’s pool industry software integrates with vendors and distributors with pre-programmed SKUs, pool and spa retailers will save time with automatic pricing and inventory imports/updates. In addition, service professionals can quickly check stock of products and parts with suppliers to set delivery expectations with clients while scheduling service work based on product availability.
Sometimes pool and spa retailers overlook the importance of having a POS system that integrates with their water testing station. In essence, your water testing software is another vendor supplier that generates chemical sales and more. A POS system that completely integrates with your water testing software allows your staff to make quick purchasing recommendations in person or from your online store.
You should also look for mobile functionality. This is another indispensable feature in today’s competitive market. For example, RB’s mobile live POS feature allows staff to use mobile tablets and smartphones to access all the information in your POS system from anywhere on the retail floor. The ability to help a customer with readily accessible information on a mobile screen improves customer satisfaction and builds an incredible amount of customer loyalty. Mobile access in real-time also allows managers to access employee schedules and inventory information like quantity and location from anywhere, any time.
Retailers can also provide better and faster service to customers with the retail Line Buster feature. It allows them to work the floor with inventory look-ups and instant access to customer history and profiles. Use a tablet, integrated magnetic strip reader, or pocket barcode scanner to complete sales transactions, process credit cards, and email receipts. Capitalize on this popular trend that many shoppers have begun to expect and implement mobile shopping and checkout inside your pool and spa store for a shopping experience that flows seamlessly.
Look for pool and spa point of sale software that offers built-in loyalty rewards. Many retailers want to start a customer loyalty rewards program but become overwhelmed with managing the details. Gone are the days of punch cards; today’s consumers want something easily connected to their mobile phones. Additionally, pool and spa businesses want to target marketing to those enrolled in the program.
The best way to get started is to choose a POS system with a loyalty rewards program built into the system, so every sale offers the opportunity for customers to join. For example, with RB’s retail POS, you can introduce a customer loyalty rewards program by giving a big starting bonus to everyone who purchased over a specific dollar amount this summer. RB Retail & Service makes it easy to start (or improve on) a loyalty rewards program, automatically assigning customer loyalty cards to easily track and build your customers’ purchase history. Then, the loyalty card information can build additional lists for product, service, and installation promotions.
A loyalty rewards program is the perfect way to effectively retain customers continuously lured by big-box competitors. Many pool and spa businesses even incorporate personalized maintenance calendars and chemical tip sheets to add even more value. These types of handouts will keep your business top of mind with customers when they need chemicals, patio furniture, barbecues, winter covers, and more. Remember: any email promotion should include links to specific pages on your online store for one-click purchasing.
Online Shopping Cart Functionality
Your POS system should include an online shopping cart. After the uncertainty of the pandemic and the surge in demand for all things pool, spa, and backyard living, every pool and spa business needs to have online shopping functionality to fully capture available sales opportunities. This is especially true for those businesses that were not originally equipped for an online e-commerce option.
Look for software specific to the pool industry with a shopping cart feature that can be added to existing websites. Providing a fully-equipped, simple checkout and curbside pickup/delivery option is critical in today’s marketplace. E-commerce has become standard for all consumers, so pool and spa professionals need to embrace and implement a solution to make online pool sales easier. Remember to also be sure your POS system includes a flawless electronic payment option that gives customers the convenience of paying online or from their mobile device.
Point of Sale Software Saves You Money
Looking for these features ahead of time can ensure you make the best choice — saving you time, money, and headaches later.
When looking at the cost of purchasing new POS software, don’t be intimidated by the price. Instead, make a list of all the areas where you could generate more revenue if your employees had 20 additional hours per week to follow up on sales leads, make additional service calls, or attend to customers in the store during peak hours. Ask the software provider if their solution will help you take advantage of revenue opportunities you are currently missing.
Don’t forget that the old saying “time is money” is especially true as businesses struggle to hire employees and every staff member is stretched thin, wearing multiple hats. The best way to quickly recoup the initial software investment is by choosing a pool industry software that helps you generate more revenue, save time, and improve business operations immediately.
Implementing a new POS pool and spa software system can help reduce or eliminate stressors inhibiting business development or your company’s ability to handle another big summer. A new POS system with the five must-have features listed above can improve efficiency and accuracy, saving the company money in the long run. Now is the time to evaluate if your business is ready to take the next step with industry-specific POS software. Schedule a demo with RB today.