Not to freak everyone out, but there are six fewer days than usual between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. For shoppers, that means a tighter timeframe in which to negotiate parking lots and mall lines. According to the Washington Post, retailers have started the full court press on marketing for their most important season earlier than usual.
It’s like that scene in Gravity where the space shrapnel starts hurtling toward Sandra Bullock and she’s all, “Oh no, oh nononono.”
To cope — and by popular demand from its customers — ShopKeep POS is releasing a new version of its iPad-based sales management system to cut checkout time in retail locations. Retailers can now customize their register with color coded buttons and group products to jump between different categories more easily.
ShopKeep has also focused on receipt and order printing, a pain point that adds friction to the sales transaction. High volume restaurants can now print orders to multiple locations, like the kitchen and bar, while smaller retailers can print receipts and tickets to the same printer. They’re pretty sensible updates to ShopKeep’s platform, making life easier for the independent retailers that make up the majority of its user base.
In the coming year, however, ShopKeep is looking to add larger scale businesses to that roster as they move toward cloud services. As with these latest features, customization is a key part of that push.
At this point, about half of ShopKeep’s customers are quick serve restaurants, like bakeries, coffee shops, and food trucks. The other 50% tend to be boutiques, clothing stores, and pop ups. They’re the type of retailers who wold be inclined to adopt payment systems like Square.
“Our main competitors are Windows-based POS systems. Depending on the sophistication of the merchant, there’s PayPal or Square, but then they realize they need reporting and timeclocks and employee management. When you’re running a store you need retail management, not just payment. They’ll try those first and then move up to us,” ShopKeep founder Jason Richelson said.
Acquiring larger clients is a function of making ShopKeep’s system easily customizable through its API.
ShopKeep will provide the basic tools for payments, employee management, general ledger, and supplier management, and the retailer can then hire integrators to do custom work on top of that API. Retailers are able to use any payment and accounting providers they want; ShopKeep connects clients to payments, rather than serving as the payments provider.
“In three to five years we can be in a really large percentage of retail stores, very similar to what Salesforce did with CRM,” Richelson said. “It’s a very different world now. POS used to be very fragmented because someone had to install a server in your basement. It’s no longer a fragmented industry. There’s going to be a dominant player.”
[Image: Flickr/ Ted Eytan]