So you’re thinking about upgrading your cash register/point of sale to the latest and greatest?
If so, stop for a minute and consider the big picture first. What business problems need to be solved both short term and long term? What are your future goals and what steps need to be taken to get there?
These days most point of sale systems appear similar in terms of price and features with very little to differentiate between competitors on a brochure. The devil is in the details as they say.
For example, many POS systems are free however they are generally very limited in their functionality and or charge exorbitant fees on transactions. As these systems are free they appeal to many new businesses but these businesses quickly discover that the lack of functionality or high transaction costs results in a need to replace the point of sale with something better suited. The only harm done is the time wasted learning the hard way..
The more expensive point of sale systems have all of the features that a typical business would require however they can be costly to maintain and own and tend to become obsolete within 12 months or so. Integrating other business applications can be expensive and time consuming which typically means it never happens and the business is forced to operate at sub-optimum efficiency. Over time, many businesses acquire multiple systems to cater for specific problems and these systems generally remain siloed.
At Shop Front Online, we like to think outside the box and decided to re-imagine how life should be for a business owner struggling to compete in the 21st century.
Thinking beyond the point of sale system, Shop Front’s vision has resulted in the YOBA (Your Own Business App) suite. YOBA uses the latest state of the art technologies to provide an overall solution that can be accessed anywhere, anytime on any device and is available for all of the leading operating systems including IOS, Android, Windows, Mac and Linux.
YOBA is the next generation of e-commerce called m-commerce (Mobile commerce). Whereas e-commerce grew up on the back of the personal computer and web browser, M-Commerce is targeted at mobile devices with native apps which significantly improves the customer experience. M-Commerce is rapidly replacing traditional web based shopping cart technology.
YOBA provides a new paradigm for digital commerce.
The Big Picture
To illustrate this let’s consider a typical old school shop that sells fast food.
The front window features a sign displaying the shops business name and trading hours and the front door has an open/closed sign hanging on it. Over time, the trading hours have changed and the trading hours sticker on the window has been scratched out and changed with handwritten amendments.
At the counter sits the cash register and on the walls of the shop are the printed menu. The counter also features a chalk board with specials of the day handwritten on it.
Orders are taken over the counter and over the phone however this creates a problem as phone orders are difficult to manage when serving staff are busy dealing with customers at the counter. This generally results in a poor customer experience as the phone rings out and remains unanswered on many occasions resulting in lost business and lost reputation.
As the shop only has one register customers are required to line up and wait their turn. This is a major problem at peak times. Staff feel pressured and due to time constraints, staff rarely try to up-sell the order and order errors are common. As the business operates on skinny margins these order errors are a significant burden to the business. Adding to the problem is high staff turnover which is common for the industry at large. Due to training issues, many staff do not know how to use the current systems.
The menu rarely changes due to the time and costs involved to reprint and install updated wall signs.
Replacing the cash register with a point of sale is a good start however let’s look at the big picture first.
Will the new point of sale system solve these business problems? In this case, ordering queues, lost business and order mistakes to name a few. In most cases, the answer is no.
The obvious solution to many of these problems is offering customers DIY ordering, payments, reservation bookings, etc. This removes the problems of order mistakes, queuing at the counter and trying to manage telephone orders. Offering customers the ability to schedule an order can help to avoid the queue and in the case of in-house dining, the ability to summon a waitress on demand helps to differentiate the business from it’s competitors.
This means that from a top down approach the basic requirement is a point of sale with DIY customer features as a minimum feature requirement. Although this sounds obvious, it is a complex requirement for many point of sale systems as they require a local database for operation. Granting customers access to the database becomes a complex IT problem as it involves opening a hole in the company firewall for public access via the internet. This creates problems around infrastructure, security and the risk of exposing the point of sale to viruses, hijacking and other internet threats.
These issues are solved by using cloud services so it stands to reason that the second key consideration for a point of sale should be it’s cloud functionality associated with customer DIY features. Many point of sales systems rely on third party cloud providers to offer DIY style services however this then creates a potential problem with integration and finger pointing when things don’t work out so the third key consideration should be limiting the choice to solutions that offer these features and functionality natively out of the box.
Yoba has been designed from the ground up to harness the power of the internet with it’s own native cloud services and goes beyond the basic requirements to solve many other business problems.
For example, Yoba also controls external signs including the open/closed sign, Trading Hours sign and menu boards. These can be televisions, monitors or tablets without restriction. Any sign can be instantly updated in real time … all controlled centrally from the point of sale system. This allows for real time dynamic information to be displayed, not just rotating bill board advertisements. Printing costs are reduced to zero and operational efficiency increases as everything is controlled from the point of sale.
Customer DIY ordering and payments is fully supported out of the box. YOBA point of sale system features an integrated QR Code generator which can generate a QR Code for your shop. These can be printed on shop windows or displayed on menu’s encouraging customers to DIY. In addition, customers can search for your business in the Yoba Shopping app.
Your Shop QR Code enables customers to use the free YOBA Shopping app to connect to your shop, browse, order and pay. You decide whether menu items are available for sale or whether only browsing is allowed and you decide whether orders can be placed with or without payment. These orders are free of all commissions. You only pay the credit card company for online payments which is around 1.5% of the order value. Contrast this to third party platforms such as Uber Eats and Menu Log that charge up to 35% of the order value.
Third party platforms are an excellent way of bringing in new customers however it’s important to make these customers yours for all future purchases. You don’t want to give away 1/3 of your revenue for the life of the customer.
If you close your shop, pause online orders or pause delivery orders the information is instantly displayed on the Yoba Shopping App.
If allowed customers can schedule their orders (avoid the queue), book a reservation or auto register to a table if dining in-house. YOBA also supports secure table registration for ordering to a tab with waitress call button functionality.
Allowing customers to DIY improves the overall service offered to the customer, reduces the burden on staff and reduces order errors. In addition to this, studies have demonstrated that customers are more likely to order more when given the option to browse and order in a stress free environment. As an example, imagine ordering at the counter knowing that there is a line of people behind you. In this environment customers are more likely to rush their order and skip the extras that they might have purchased under other circumstances.
YOBA point of sale solves the problems of ordering queues, lost business and order mistakes and leads the industry in innovation. More importantly, it’s currently free. Due to the pain that many businesses are currently enduring we are currently offering YOBA for free. It’s our way of helping local businesses thrive in the post Covid world.
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