The two critical functions for cell phone retailers are point of sale (POS) management and customer relationship management (CRM). While inventory is not typically extensive for cell phone stores, it does change frequently. Most cell phone contracts in the United States are for two years. During a contract period, cell phone retailers can sell related accessories to their buyers. As a contract nears its end, the retailer can contact the buyer about new phone options. However, this strategy only works if the retailer knows the client, their phone model and the end date of the contract.
Standard functions of cell phone POS software includes accounts receivable, accounts payable, general ledger and payroll. In fact, some operations just use inventory, POS and CRM software. They outsource payroll and use spreadsheets and paper records for the rest of the operations.
To help you understand wireless/cellular store POS software and find out the solution that is the right fit for your store, we’ve created this buyer’s guide.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
Specialty retailers, such as wireless stores, face additional complexities compared with more general retail stores due to their distinct business and revenue models. For example, in a wireless/cellular store, retailers don’t just require POS features, but they also need specialty-specific capabilities, such as:
To be on top of their game, cellular and wireless store owners need to know which mobile devices and accessories their clients have already purchased. This will enable them to create opportunities to upsell and cross-sell. Moreover, POS solutions can help retailers get a competitive edge and drive additional revenue by swiftly reaching out to potential customers.
In addition to core business functions, wireless and cellular retailers should consider the following functions to meet their unique requirements:
|Phone model tracking||Track each customer’s phone model. As new accessories become available, sales agents can contact customers who own the compatible phone model. This is also useful if the manufacturer releases an updated version of a phone.|
|Phone serial number tracking||Track the serial number for each phone from its receipt into inventory and through to its sale to the end user. This is useful in case the phone gets lost or is stolen.|
|Phone identifier tracking||Track each phone identifier to its serial number and to the customer. This includes the electronic serial number (ESN) and mobile equipment identifier (MEID) for code division multiple access (CDMA) and subscriber identity module (SIM) cards for global system for mobile communications (GSM) phones.|
|Vendor compliance reporting||Track which contracts are sold for each carrier. Software systems should produce the sales and contract compliance reports as required.|
|Contract expiration date||Store the contract expiration date for each customer. When the expiration date approaches, the system should notify your sales team and send a reminder to the customer.|
|Date of last phone purchase||The system should track the date of the last phone purchase. As the date approaches two years, the system should notify the sales team and send a reminder to the customer to upgrade to a new phone.|
|Accessory look up||The system should identify accessories that match a particular phone. When a phone is shown or sold, the sales representative can also show all of the accessories that go with it.|
|Split tender||Enables retailers to accept payment over several different methods. For example, a customer may want to pay with cash and one or more different credit cards. The system must properly apply the split payments to the correct ledger accounts.|
|Rebate management||The system should track current rebates from carriers and phone manufacturers. It should print out rebate forms and materials when a phone is purchased.|
|Promotional pricing||The system should allow sale and promotional pricing. The pricing should change in the wireless inventory and POS software system automatically at a specified time and date, if desired.|
Wireless/cellular store owners can see many benefits from implementing a POS solution. Integration with additional software modules, such as bookkeeping, accounting, customer support and email marketing, can provide further benefits at a relatively small additional cost.
Here are some of the primary benefits realized by the successful implementation of wireless/cellular store POS solutions:
Faster POS transactions. By improving the checkout process for staff and customers, retailers can accommodate additional customers and significantly improve the customer experience. POS solutions integrate barcode scanners, generate bills, process credit card transactions and track inventory levels. In addition, these solutions share automated contract renewal notifications to existing clients along with the details of new plans as they are launched by their network provider.
Improved mobile phone and accessory inventory tracking. Mobile store retailers can easily search for available devices and parts using the inventory management feature to reduce the risk of stock shortages, which can ultimately lead to loss of customers. In addition, advanced solutions send alerts to retailers once inventory of an item reaches the predetermined minimum limit. This feature also enables store owners to identify high- and low-performing products and then take corrective actions to remedy the demand-supply ratio.
More cost-effective operations. By automating manual tasks, such as data entry and writing receipts, employees can focus on important tasks, such as running marketing campaigns, resolving customer issues and analyzing their business performance. In addition, cellular/wireless POS solutions prevent instances of human errors by using barcode scanners for inventory tracking and generating receipts. These improvements drive sales and increase client retention rates.
Centralized CRM. Wireless/cellular store POS solutions enable retailers to better serve customers through more personalized interactions. Retailers can run marketing campaigns by creating a central repository of existing and potential clients. In addition, some solutions allow stores to send emails on special occasions, such as birthdays, anniversaries and holidays.
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