Make Your Business COVID-19 Friendly with these Virtual POS Systems

Daniel Ndukwu

May 31 2020

The world has been blindsided by COVID-19 – a pandemic that has affected almost everyone on the globe in one way or another. People, governments, and businesses are scrambling to keep up with the changes happening all around us.

Brands are making plans to get back to business as usual as the restrictions on movement are being eased across many regions. Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as business as usual in a situation like this. It’s essential to adapt, especially if you operate a retail brand.

Social distancing is the new reality and it can help you protect yourself, your team, and your customers. Technology like virtual POS systems which integrate with your online storefront and contactless payments can help you keep business moving forward while adhering to the health directives being enforced around the world. In this article, you’ll learn about multiple virtual POS systems and how they can make your transition easier.

ShopKeep

ShopKeep, as the name suggests, caters to the retail sector and has many features that help maximize your profits and efficiency. It also has features which make it a good fit for quick service merchants. Not only can you use it for your physical location, the virtual POS integrates directly with many eCommerce platforms. This gives you a decided advantage when trying to manage inventory and serve customers to the best of your ability.

Instead of just serving as a way to accept payments online through a custom eCommerce set up or a software solution like BigCommerce, ShopKeep offers it’s own eCommerce solution. Known as ShopKeep eCommerce, it’s a way for you to set up a storefront that has a seamless integration with your offline activities and inventory.

With ShopKeep eCommerce, you’re able to do many things such as set up your website, integrate with an existing website through a WordPress plugin, create product categories, issue online coupons, and so much more. Additionally, you can integrate with Facebook and Instagram.

ShopKeep doesn’t end there. Some people will insist on shopping in person. There’s nothing wrong with that but it’s important to be prepared. ShopKeep POS terminals, by default, support contactless payments. All you’ll need to do is activate it on your end.

Lightspeed

Lightspeed is an established POS brand that also caters primarily to retailers. It combines financial management, inventory management, customer loyalty programs, eCommerce solutions, and more to create a complete system. The robust features and built-in eCommerce integration will ensure that COVID-19 has as little impact on your business as possible.

The Lightspeed eCommerce solution is known as Lightspeed eCom. It allows you to take the retail POS system and turn it into a true virtual POS system that caters to your customer’s every need. Choose from a number of unique themes in the marketplace that are designed for conversions and customize it to match your brand.

When you’ve set up your branding, import all your stock from your physical store (or just a few select products), create discount codes to encourage online shopping, and update products in bulk using a spreadsheet.

The integrated loyalty program gives customers a reason to return often even if your physical store isn’t working at capacity. Implement a points based system with enticing prizes, allow your shoppers to add items to their wish list, and handle returns and customer feedback through the online profile.

The inventory system is one of the most robust available. It syncs and updates seamlessly across online and offline stores. Though you can see everything separately, it’s also possible to combine multiple purchase orders and improve efficiency. Lightspeed has taken care of many of the things needed to move to a virtual POS system with the least amount of friction. Keep in mind that you’ll need to get the POS equipment provided by Lightspeed because of the unique security infrastructure it uses.

Upserve

Upserve is a popular mobile POS solution for restaurants and quick service chains. It has proven time and again that it quickly adapts to the needs of its customers and has long since implemented contactless payments for iOS, Android, and tableside payment terminals. You can also manage your floorplan, staff schedules, inventory, loyalty program, and more with the platform.

It’s a great physical POS solution for restaurants but it also creates a solid virtual POS system which you can use to keep delivering exceptional service to customers during COVID-19. The challenge with many online ordering systems within restaurants is that they’re not directly integrated into the restaurant POS. That means you’d have to run two systems simultaneously which, as you can guess, can cause many problems.

Upserve integrates the online ordering system in a way that caters to both you and your customers. Orders are sent directly to the back of house and added to the que without additional work. The ordering experience for customers is straightforward and adds helpful suggestions the same way a waiter would when interacting with a customer in person. It provides reports, captures contact details for easy follow up, and integrates with the Upserve loyalty system. Though you may set this system up because of the current pandemic, it’s a solid solution that’ll serve you well for years to come.

Toast

Toast is another POS solution with an emphasis on restaurants and quick service – the name says it all. It stands out from the competition by delivering award winning customer support and an intuitive software interface that’s easy to learn and use. It has a number of features such as email marketing, tableside ordering, loyalty programs, and more.

In light of the pandemic that has swept the world, Toast has bundled many of it’s products (and expanded their functionality) into what’s known as Toast Now™. You have access to online ordering, the Toast TakeOut mobile app, email marketing, and even on demand delivery drivers. It’s an entire ecosystem dedicated to helping you grow your brand during these tough times.

With online ordering, you can integrate with your website and allow guests to purchase from the comfort of their homes. It’s then delivered directly to your back of house staff so they can fulfill the order. The mobile app makes it possible to get in front of thousands of people who may not otherwise find you. Even if you don’t have drivers, you’re able to deliver orders through an on-demand group of drivers. Finally, the email marketing tools make it easier to stay top of mind, offer exclusive deals, and otherwise drive revenue for your brand.

Conclusion

Whether we like it or not, the world is changing. For the most part, there are two groups, those who will be able to adapt and those who won’t be able to. This article has gone through solutions that’ll help ensure you’re part of the group that adapts to the changes as they occur and position yourself for years to come.

Use the list provided here as a starting point for your research. Before making a switch, it’s important to know whether or not it’ll be able to meet your needs. Take a look at our in-depth reviews to get a better idea of how each POS solution works and the advantages it brings to the table. As long as you continue in the face of the current adversity, you’ll make it out stronger on the other side.

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