There are many types of retail environments, yet, generally, these are physical store fronts interacting with consumers face-to-face. Many retailers also have an online presence, in order to capitalize on the increase in online shopping (esp. during the holidays). Whether retailers are selling soft or hard goods, they’re having to adapt to new technologies to meet growing customer expectations. VoIP telephony is part of this shift, partly because it streamlines workflow processes during the busy holiday season.
Point of Sale (POS)
POS machines have advanced to offer more than just credit card and sales processing; they now offer features such as: task automation, customer data gathering, inventory management tools, staff management tools, and marketing tools. This is just part of the trend to centralize business systems, in order to streamline processes and increase sales. The POS machines are the main tools used in physical retail storefronts when dealing with customers. Credit card payments, in the not so recent past, were processed solely through PCI compliant traditional telephone systems, yet IP card processing (VoIP) offers faster approval time and more in-depth integration with CRM and other business systems. VoIP card processing has become just as PCI compliant as analog processing systems are, with the help of credit card processing providers offering secure and encrypted transactions over the Internet.What this means for retailers is they can make the switch to VoIP telephony solutions and still remain 100% PCI complaint. With VoIP solutions, retailers benefit from quicker approval times with card transactions, reducing the processing time from 10 seconds to 2-3 seconds. This is the type of streamlined workflow retailers need, in order to optimize their sales during the holiday season.
Hosted VoIP PBX for Retailers
For most retailers, hosting their own PBX is simply not necessary to facilitate their business needs. Retailers have a fitting option with hosted VoIP PBX, which gives them the benefits of an enterprise level PBX system without the IT maintenance and management. The only hardware needed is the IP phones and a router; VoIP software is downloaded and integrated with CRM (Salesforce, Microsoft Outlook, etc.) and other business systems.
Retail businesses using hosted VoIP telephony systems will: save up to 40% from traditional telephony systems, benefit from robust API integration with plug-ins and applications, have little to no IT maintenance, gain complete data backup for disasters, have 24/7 support from their VoIP provider, and gain many useful features, such as: click-to-dial, screen pops, call logging, auto attendant, presence, and more. All of these benefits help toward streamlining workflow processes, which will increase sales and customer satisfaction, especially during the busy holiday season.
Why Retailers Should Make the Switch to Hosted VoIP
Businesses have always adjusted their marketing and business strategies to meet their customers’ expectations. What this means today is: adapting to cloud and mobile computing technologies, or at least streamlining processes to capitalize on these. B2B and B2C businesses are all trying to keep pace with each other, in order to streamline systems for optimal integration functionality and unified communications.
Again, retail businesses, generally, are physical storefronts that conduct face-to-face transactions, so they may not think VoIP is needed for them; yet, the added features, integration, cost savings, and resulting streamlined workflow – are reasons why they should think otherwise. VoIP systems not only streamline communications, but they also enhance marketing capabilities (a premium aspect for retailers).
These reasons and more are why retail businesses should make the switch to hosted VoIP telephony solutions. The many innovative features gained with VoIP telephony will streamline retailers’ workflow processes, which means: increased sales, easier management, more satisfied customers, and better employee retention. The benefits of VoIP telephony are most useful for retailers during the busy holiday season, which is a good reason to make the switch now to get ready!
Click here to learn more about VoIP and the specific plans we offer to retailers, or contact us and we’ll be glad to help you with all of your telecommunication and IT needs, set up a system that’s tailored to your establishment, and more.