23 Oct 2017

Using POS Search to Recommend the Perfect Products

It’s a competitive retail environment out there. If your staff can instantly find the products and recommendations they need, this can make all the difference between missing or making the sale. Let’s take the example of a customer searching for a new dress to explore how, with the right system in place, the POS Search function can maximise sales, margins and loyalty for a retailer.  

Searching for a specific product

Suppose the customer walks in and asks for a specific brand and style of black dress. Using a modern POS system your staff should be able to search by these brand, style and colour parameters to bring up suggestions until they can see the item the customer is referring to. They should be able to see at a glance whether stock is available in store, on hand (for example, on layby) or available in one of your other outlets. And even if staff misspell the item descriptions, a smart POS search function can perform fuzzy logic to identify potential matches, saving valuable time.

Providing alternative suggestions

If an item is not available you might want to suggest similar products instead. Being able to rapidly propose alternatives will assist your customers and minimise time spent searching shelves. A POS with suitably advanced search functionality would allow your staff to do a broad search for all black dresses that come in under the customer’s price limit and in the right size. They can then filter down by brands and other variables to hone in on a range of alternative options.  

Up-selling to a higher value product

An effective POS will have an up-selling recommendation engine that identifies the higher-value equivalents of a product. This can benefit both your customer and your margins. It could also help you shift old or discontinued products in that higher-quality range.

Cross-selling related items

Similarly, a cross-selling function provides product recommendations that would complement or add extra value to the chosen product. When selecting a dress through advanced search, for example, the system might bring up linked items such as a belt, bag and pair of shoes to suit. This system prompts staff to increase the basket size and value for every sale and vitally, can improve the experience for your customer too.

The outcome of effective searching

With a few clicks or keywords, you have helped the customer to find what they need with added value so they are more likely to return for another positive customer transaction. With their details in your system you can also retarget them in the future with similar products and offers, building further customer loyalty.

The success of your search function ultimately comes down to the POS system you choose as well as the quality and structure of your data. The more granular your system’s product search and up-sell/cross-sell capability is, the more likely you are to win the sale and repeat business.

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