How to run a bookstore more efficiently with your retail POS system

Editorial Team

7 min read
Interior of small bookstore

Customers in bookstores, like in any retail setting, have high expectations today. They want to get the help they need and check out quickly so they can start enjoying the book or media item they bought from your store.

Bookstores are places loyal readers come to pursue a timeless passion, and using an efficient point-of-sale system can be key to retaining business.

Here’s how modern POS systems can help improve efficiency and enhance the customer experience for those running a bookstore.

Understanding modern POS systems

As you strategize how to run a bookstore of your own, your point-of-sale experience will likely be a key consideration. Bookstore POS systems can enable you to take credit and debit cards, mobile wallets, and cash payments, but they can also do so much more. Today, a modern small business POS system for bookstores can:

  • Track sales and generate reports
  • Provide inventory management features
  • Integrate accounting and bookkeeping tasks
  • Help set up customer rewards programs and marketing campaigns
  • Facilitate hiring, managing employees, and scheduling staff
  • Provide financial services, such as advances against your sales or faster settlement

Modern POS systems can even carry out functions such as reordering printer paper and facilitating background checks with applicable apps. With the right POS system, you can do many of your business operations functions with a single tool, which can lower overall costs for your business, provide more visibility and insights into your sales performance, and streamline processes and procedures for your staff.

Bookstore inventory management software

One common challenge for bookstores is how to manage inventory effectively. When a book becomes a bestseller, titles might start flying off the shelves. If customers can’t get the book they want from you, they might bring their business elsewhere.

Thankfully, a bookstore POS system with built-in bookstore inventory software can automatically track your sales and inventory to alert you when you’re running low. Modern POS systems with real-time inventory tracking can help you reorder stock at the best time, so you can continue to sell books that are in-demand. You can even access automated inventory replenishment and order management features to trigger orders before you realize you’re running low.

Sales tracking through a POS system can also alert your bookstore to low-selling titles. Sales data can offer insights that help you learn more about your customers, so you can choose book titles your customers are more likely to respond to. You can also use customer order history data to make personalized recommendations and sell more books.

Barcode scanning

Barcode technology is an essential feature of modern POS systems. By using a POS device to scan a barcode, you gain advantages including:

  • Enhancing the customer experience by ringing up the right price
  • Increasing the speed of the checkout process
  • Improving accuracy and reducing errors in your inventory management system

Barcode scanning can also help you collect data during the checkout process to help inform you of best-selling items,  employee sales performance, and real-time revenue.

Sales analytics

Speaking of sales insights, using data from your bookstore POS system can help you make more informed decisions. With POS sales analytics for your bookstore, you can:

  • Optimize your inventory and order management to have in-demand books in stock at all times
  • Recognize top sales leaders, and use their sales strategies to train your team
  • Identify your top-selling authors, and feature more of their merchandise in your store
  • Pinpoint low-selling authors and products and plan promotions to help boost sales
  • Anticipate sales trends to stock your store efficiently and create relevant marketing campaigns

Sales tracking is more accurate and immediate with modern POS technology. Compared to outdated and error-prone methods such as manual sales processing, a modern POS offers powerful reports and insights that can help give your bookstore a competitive edge.

Customer relationship tools

Turning a first-time customer into a repeat buyer can benefit your business. Research has shown that acquiring a new customer costs up to 5-10 times more than selling to an existing customer. Current customers also spend 67 percent more compared to new customers.

Integrated customer relationship management (CRM) tools in your POS can help you strengthen your relationships with your customers and turn them into repeat buyers. What is CRM software? It links a customer’s personal data, such as an email or phone number, or credit card information, with a customer profile in your POS system. You can see purchase history and other insights that can help you learn more about each customer.

All-in-one POS systems for retail bookstores can help make maintaining customer relationships easier, since you can integrate loyalty programs right in your POS. That means every time a customer buys something, they can earn points, discounts, or loyalty rewards.

You can also use your POS CRM to personalize your marketing messages. For example, you can send an email newsletter with bookstore suggestions based on the customer’s last purchase. Or, create a targeted marketing campaign for customers who purchased specific genres in the past month. The options are endless, and you can devise strategic marketing campaigns based on your POS customer data.

READ: Blind date with a book: How to increase customer engagement with your bookstore

Creating a seamless shopping experience

Whether you sell in-person, online, or both, most customers want the same things out of a checkout process: speed, accuracy, and security. The right modern POS system for bookstore operations can help you achieve a better checkout experience by:

  • Speeding up time to check out, which improves customer satisfaction and enhances overall service quality
  • Integrating online and offline experiences for a cohesive shopping journey that customers can rely on in any shopping setting
  • Reducing manual workload for staff, through automation features
  • Optimizing operations with improved accuracy, which can result in improved time and cost savings

Bookstore POS systems that adhere to payment card industry (PCI) compliance standards also help protect the financial data of your customers and your business. Taking the right steps to maintain PCI compliance can help minimize security risks, which can help increase customer confidence and make your clientele feel more secure about purchasing from your business.

Boosting bookstore sales

Providing top-notch customer service and using bookstore data to improve offerings can help you increase sales. Some ways you can use your POS to improve sales and revenue include:

  • Using POS data to identify top sellers, then introduce upselling and cross-selling opportunities in store promotions and through employee suggestive selling
  • Introducing promotions and discounts that are automatically processed effectively through POS systems
  • Encouraging customer loyalty and repeat business by integrating a bookstore loyalty program that’s automatically tracked through your POS system

During checkout, you can introduce a customer loyalty program to new customers and enable them to sign up immediately right in your POS. You can then send targeted marketing promotions to customers based on their unique purchase history, using your CRM for insights.

Loyal customers who repeatedly purchase from your business can accumulate points or rewards and use them during checkout. A single POS system streamlines all these functions in one tool.

How to run a successful bookstore with the right tools

Bookstores are timeless, but modern POS systems can help them meet today’s customer demands  and grow business, both in-store and online. With Clover’s bookstore POS systems, you can:

  • Simplify payments: Accept more payment types, faster
  • Sell anywhere: Make sales at your brick-and-mortar shop, on your eCommerce site, or on-the-go at book shows and manage it all through one dashboard
  • Track inventory: Use barcode scanning and bookstore inventory software to optimize inventory management
  • Engage customers: Offer rewards and promos right in your POS to build customer loyalty
  • Manage employees: Track hours, process payroll, schedule shifts, and evaluate performance in a single dashboard

Why wait? Get started with a Clover POS system today to elevate your business.

Popular Topics

Recent Stories

Please share your contact information
to access our premium content.