This is both an exciting and terrifying time to be a small to medium sized business. The opportunities for growth are many but the competition is fierce. Success lies in a balance between offering a quality product or service, creating a positive customer experience, generating a strong loyalty base and using business resources efficiently and effectively.
As a Point of Sale provider, merchants depend greatly on the partnerships and integrations you bring to their businesses. With countless tools and services out there, merchants trust their Point of Sale and resellers to provide them the best options for generating the greatest success. If that trust is betrayed, merchants will not hesitate to move on to someone else.
According to The Point of Sale Software Systems User Research Report, “88% of companies have had their software for less than 5 years.” When broken down this actually becomes even more dramatic. It turns out that larger companies stick with their POS software for about 2-5 years, whereas smaller businesses only average about 1-2 years. This reflects a large number of new small to medium-sized businesses, but it also speaks to the ease with which smaller companies can switch as compared to larger ones.
It is more important than ever that the POS and associated resellers choose wisely when promoting any given integration.
1. Is the solution comprehensive?
2. Are there white label options?
3. Is the solution cloud-based or on-premise/installed?
Further data from the POS Software Systems User Research Report revealed that almost half of retailers (43%) prefer Web-based software, and that number is growing. Web-based tools offer significantly greater flexibility and agility for merchants who are looking to check data remotely and interact with software in ever-changing ways. This does not mean that the on-premise/installed solutions are going anywhere fast, but it’s important to consider the needs and preferences of the merchants a POS serves.
4. Does the solution offer significant revenue opportunities?
The value of any integration lies in its ability to offer tremendous value to merchants while bringing in significant incremental revenue for developers and resellers. The tool must be comprehensive, simple, seamless and have a business structure that benefits both the merchant and the reseller. It seems like common sense, but if the tool can’t bring in revenue then it’s not worth the effort for the merchant or the reseller.
All of these elements work together to create a complete marketing profile. As customers move seamlessly from one channel to another, generally on their mobile devices, they seek out content that resonates with and interests them, and they remain loyal to those companies who consistently provide. Give your merchants a step up by by offering an integrated customer data platform that will help them reach their customers in they right way, at the right time with the right message.
5. Does the solution truly add value for the merchant?
Again, the worth of any tool depends on its ability to bring added value for the merchant. If it is burdensome and difficult to use, or does not improve or simplify the merchant’s day-to-day operations then is the functionality worth the effort? It is important to consider what integrations a reseller will promote. An endorsement of a poor product could ruin a valuable merchant relationship.
*BONUS – Is there potential for added growth in the future?
Finally, even if the solution being offered is of substantial value, is simple to use and solves a real problem for the merchant, it is important to consider the future significance of the solution. Is there a plan for growth, continued improvement, responsiveness to market growth and change.
Point of Sale developers and resellers are in a powerful position when it comes to choosing which integrations and tools will best serve their merchants. This position comes with a great deal of responsibility, and in the end, the merchant relationship is on the line. Knowing which tools will best serve the POS and merchant for the long term is crucial to the success of all.