How to pick the right POS system for your floral shop

Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Consumers have more options than ever for their floral needs, so it’s in every floral shop’s best interest to modernize their business to stay competitive. You can offer the same ease of service and accessibility that ecommerce competitors do with a point of sale (POS) system customized for the specific needs of your small business. 
Because of the great variety in both the types of POS systems and the different demands of your floral business, this article will center around pairing you with the most efficient POS system possible for your flower shop.

What is a floral shop POS system?

POS systems have come a long way. Gone are the days of the signature “cha-ching” sound that accompanied every sale made from a metallic and immobile cash register. Instead, computers, phones, and tablets can now manage all the payment aspects of your business from virtually anywhere, thanks to cloud-based interfacing. Furthermore, many florist POS systems go beyond payment processing, and can manage deliveries, customer information, tax services, and more.

What are the best POS features for floral shops?

Easy to use interface: The POS system with which you choose to manage your floral business must be accessible and user-friendly. No business wants to hold up their lines and risk losing customers due to frustrations with their payment systems, having to read through manuals, or having to call technical support.

eCommerce integration: Having your POS software connect to the internet is a must. Gone are the days of having to manually track customer information, purchases, inventory, event specifics, etc. Customers can now place online orders that go directly to your POS that will then notify and lay out for you all the details. Best of all, this all occurs seamlessly in the background, so you can focus on other aspects of your business like motivating employees, building relationships with customers, and making informed leadership decisions. 

  • Should support multiple order options: Make sure the floral software you implement can perform all the different types of orders you offer customers:
  • Deliveries (can your POS system receive delivery orders, carry them out, and notify you when they’ve been delivered?)
  • Walk-ins (can your POS system work as a register?)
  • Pickups (can your POS system schedule pickup orders & notify you of any inventory/timing conflicts?)
  • Wire-in/wire-out orders (more on Flower Wire Services later in this article)

Benefits of having a POS system built specifically for a floral shop

Inventory management: Suppose a customer calls asking for a specific quantity and type of flower; the right POS system will keep track of all your inventory information so you can answer the customer without having to put the phone down and walk through your store to check.

This is especially helpful for a floral business with seemingly infinite types of flowers, bouquets, and assortments, all varying depending on the season, holidays, and geographic location. 

Secure payment processing: Manually keeping track of customer payment and personal information not only takes unnecessary time, but also leaves your business more susceptible to fraud, stolen credit card information, and human error. 

With you as a small business owner in the floral industry, many of your consumer base will be repeat business, so it’s of utmost importance to keep their payment information secure. The right florist software will not only accept multiple payment methods and automatically track all pertinent information, but will also keep it more secure than uploading it to a personal computer or manually writing it out.

Event management: Above all, Valentine’s Day is the busiest holiday for florist shops. But Easter, Mother’s Day, high school proms, and weddings also help keep the floral industry busy throughout the year.

And all too soon, your business could be flooded with event orders, and lost in a sea of details such as times, locations, affairs, assortments, special requests, etc. Keeping all this information organized, prioritized, and in one reliable location can make or break your business. 

No floral company wants to accidentally overbook themselves and both lose out on business and also hurt their reputation with having to cancel events and issue refunds. The right floral POS system can seamlessly keep track of event information and aid your business in avoiding conflicts while helping to efficiently schedule your business. 

Floral POS systems are able to do this while keeping the availability specific to your business in mind, thereby maximizing profit for your company.

Online capabilities: Probably the biggest difference transitioning to a modern POS system is its ecommerce capacities. Being able to intertwine your POS system with your florist website is a huge power-up. Plus, in case you’re suffering from slow internet speed or connection loss, you can use the system in the offline mode as well.

You may choose to host your own business website, or partner with a host website; either way, it’s important that the POS system you choose will be able to work with both.

Another floral POS system online ability to be on the lookout for is being able to work with Flower Wire Services. This service, created by florists in 1910, once allowed special members to set up orders through telegraphs. Today, the service looks a bit different, but follows the same general idea:
 
  • Customers from all across the country make online floral orders through any of the many wire service websites (customers can also call in orders).
  • The order is then delivered to a floral shop that is local to the customer to be processed and fulfilled (in this case, it is conveniently sent to your florist POS system). 
  • If the order comes in as a wire-in, your shop will provide and fulfill the order to the customer. The amount you make and the amount the wiring service makes is dependent on the specific wiring company (it’s generally around 80% of the total order price).
  • If the order comes in as a wire-out, your shop will provide the order, but send it out to another floral shop to fulfill the order to the customer. Again, exact payment arrangements vary per wiring service, but in this circumstance, you generally make 20% of the total order price and also keep the customer’s delivery fee and tax.

Joining a Flower Wire Service also comes with both monthly and various other fees. Making a profit off of joining a wiring service depends on various factors, such as location, products that your floral shop offers, and how many orders you’re able to fulfill and send out. 

No matter which route you choose to take, deciding on a floral POS system that can work in tandem with either a personal website, host website, or Flower Wiring Service is imperative in order to not lose out on online commissions. 

Sales Management: Are you interested in figuring out your gross income for a particular month? Or which floral arrangements are flying off the shelves and which ones are withering away unsold? With a modern florist POS system, all these answers and more are just a click away and generated at virtually no user expense in real-time. 

As a business with a variety of floral products, variations, and seasonal items, this information is greatly beneficial to make the best decisions and not waste any time examining handmade sales reports or employee rumors of what’s popular or not.

Outside of revenue reporting and sales tracking, the right POS system can also make reporting taxes quick, user-friendly, and can reduce human error.

Customer Management: Floral POS systems make it easier than ever to store, track, and keep secure customer information. Furthermore, this information can prove useful for consumer reachout and can encourage a loyal consumer base.

Have a customer who requests a specific flower cut? After their purchase, simply add the information under the notes of their customer profile. 

Want to send out a newsletter about your new seasonal items to all of your customers? Or perhaps spread the word about gift cards for an upcoming holiday? Customers have the option to leave their email with you for both online and offline purchases, thereby creating an outlet for you to keep in communication with them. 

Want to promise prompt, reliable, and consistent order delivery? Many floral POS systems have GPS and Google Maps integrated in them to guide your delivery drivers on the most efficient path to your customers.

In all of these different customer services, the software used is one in the same and keeps all of your employees on the same page regarding order information, customer information, and any special notes. And all of this is easily accessible for you to look over, edit, or approve. The right floral POS system keeps you in charge while taking care of the monotonous work so you’re free to manage other aspects of your blooming business and craft. 
 

Ready to get the right POS system for your floral shop?

Heartland is the point of sale, payments and payroll solution of choice for entrepreneurs that need human-centered technology to sell more, keep customers coming back and spend less time in the back office. Nearly 1,000,000 businesses trust us to guide them through market changes and technology challenges, so they can stay competitive and focus on building remarkable businesses instead of managing the daily grind. Learn more at heartland.us.