The task of running a small business is continually changing in this tech-heavy era of social media and smartphones. This new generation shops in significantly different ways than their parents, and as a result, they have very dissimilar expectations when they walk in a store like your own. There are a number of things that you need that simply weren’t necessary as recently as a few years ago.
In this article from Entrepreneur, they’ve laid out a number of different trends that are currently shaking things up for small businesses throughout the country. All of the trends listed are likely to be of some importance to your store, and MBS is in a position to help you with the majority of them. One by one, let’s run through a few of the items from this list, and how we can help put you in a position to succeed in each area.
Assuming you have a website (you have a website, right?), you surely want to use it as a way to capture additional sales, whether it’s from locals that can’t visit your bookstore during regular hours, or from customers all across the world that want a way to purchase some of your merchandise without having to make a trip. This, the act of bringing in these online sales, is essentially what defines eCommerce – and it’s a crucial part of operating a modern college bookstore.
With MBS Systems’ inSite, you’ll have everything you need to take your store to the web, capture internet sales and defend against online competition. Easily integral with all other MBS applications, inSite allows you to ensure secure transactions, optimize your web page for mobile users, market to your customers across a wide variety of channels, and much more. You can even accept payment tenders like student financial aid and gift cards to bring in additional sales.
4. EMV Payment Security
In the past year or so, you’ve probably gotten a new debit or credit card with a small chip on the front. That little chip is the physical manifestation of EMV, which stands for “Europay, Mastercard, Visa,” and is designed to be a more secure method for credit or debit card transactions. Cards with EMV capabilities require a PIN entry by the user on each use. If you own one, you may have already used it in the way – instead of swiping, now you insert your card into a slot on the front of the payment terminal.
All merchants in the United States are now required to be EMV ready, or else risk being fully liable for any fraudulent transactions. So this is not just a good thing for your customers’ security, it’s beneficial for your store as well. Because we remain committed to providing you top-of-the-line security in whatever we do, all MBS Systems’ hardware comes EMV ready so you and your customers can buy and sell knowing that you’re getting the best security available.
6. Business Intelligence
Business Intelligence software allows stores like yours to collect data from your customers’ purchase history, and translate it into information you can use to improve your store. Through the information and analytics your business intelligence software gathers, you store can put it to use in its marketing, thereby ostensibly bringing in even more sales by appealing to customers in personalized ways.
That said, a store like yours probably has a ton of data, and that can get to be overwhelming. What you need is not just a program that can collect all of the information you’re interested in, but that can organize it in a way that’s easily put to good use. Through MBS Systems’ Dashboard, you can do that.
Dashboard is accessible from any web browser and comes standard with seven built-in reports that make utilizing your data simple. In addition to the built-in reports, MBS Systems customers can request custom reports at any time, and they get their first five requests for free. Through Dashboard, it’ll be easy to notice important trends or patterns and put the information therein to good use quickly and efficiently.