Information is power. So doesn’t it make sense to harness the information available through your Point of Sale system to maximize your marketing efforts? Integrating your marketing software with your POS will save you time and money and will allow you to identify what strategies are actually driving leads and resulting in sales. At Kukui, we often get questions from shop owners about why integration makes sense, so we asked company founder and chief architect Ryan Wilmot to tackle some of the concerns we hear about most frequently.
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Why is it important to for shop owners to integrate marketing into their POS system? What are the benefits of integration? What are the disadvantages?
Integrating your POS with a powerful marketing platform can provide a number of important benefits. For example, it will give you much better insight into which of your marketing dollars are helping your shop and which aren’t generating a return. For example, most marketing sources can tell you how many leads you received for the amount you spent. Let’s say you spent $400 to generate 20 phone leads. However, those leads may not have resulted in any sales. It’s a lot more powerful to know if that $400 investment led to five new customers and $4,000 in immediate revenue or $50 and one new customer. Consumers are constantly changing, so it’s critical to be able to see this information on a monthly basis, so that you can make quick adjustments to your marketing plan.
Integration also gives you access to advanced analytics that offer nearly real-time indicators about the success of your shop operations. If you have a robust marketing platform, you should be able to compare that data against how other shops are performing. For example, one simple metric can alert you that your marketing calls are going unanswered or ending up in your voicemail, causing you to waste your precious marketing dollars.
Connected marketing can also make it easier to more effectively retain your existing customers, because you can easily access customer information to produce relevant smart email, postcard and phone reminders. Marketing can be fun and exciting, but retention is crucial to a shop’s long-term success. It’s also usually a lot cheaper to retain and existing customer than to find new ones.
Why do you think some shop owners are reluctant to integrate?
I actually think embracing integration as become more common among shop owners. Not integrating is a bit like having a computer that’s not hooked up to the Internet. You lose access to the best features available when you are disconnected.
Are makers of POS software making it easier to integrate marketing features?
Unfortunately, we are seeing a disturbing trend where some POS vendors are actually making their new software intentionally closed-off to third parties. It’s akin to Microsoft banning businesses from loading any other software on their computers, except for other Microsoft programs. We’ve seen some very upset shop owners when they find out that they upgraded to the new version of their POS system, only to be locked out of working with their other software vendors. This seems to be a particular problem with the new crop of cloud-based POS systems.
What types of metrics should shop owners be tracking through integration?
For marketing metrics, you need to understand where you are losing your potential customers. This is referred to as your conversion funnel. In particular, you want to track what percentage of people are viewing your website and then calling you. This is known as your website's conversion rate. If this conversion rate is 20 percent and you can improve that to 30 percent, your revenue will grow by roughly 50 percent — just by making a 10 percent improvement in that metric. The next key metric to watch is how well your shop is converting your incoming leads into customers. Again, if you optimize that, you can easily double the effectiveness of all your advertising campaigns or more. So, just by knowing your key metrics and making some smart optimizations, you can turn a good performing shop into an amazing shop.
How do shop owners make the most of the data they are gathering?
It’s important to review all of your key metrics at least quarterly, and more ideally, once per month. This will allow you to make quick improvements as necessary to keep your marketing running smoothly and customers flowing in.