An integrated shopping experience is essential to running a successful retail business. Whether you’re an online or offline store, you no longer have the luxury of relying on a single channel for sales. Even eCommerce giants like Amazon.com have established brick-and-mortar stores to make it easier for customers to access their products.
However, for a small business, managing a multichannel setup can be challenging. That is unless you’re able to integrate your online and offline channels to simplify management and provide a seamless shopping experience to your customers.
Magento has powerful API functionality built into its core. It supports multiple API technologies such as File Exchange, SOAP, REST, and GraphQL, making it the ideal platform to support multichannel integrations.
A well-integrated multichannel retail strategy can boost sales while reducing the operating costs for a business. However, most traditional companies aren’t familiar with what point-of-sale (POS) integrations are and how they work.
In this article, we’ll address the three most important aspects of a Magento-POS integration: what it is, why you should do it, and how you can do it.
What Is Magento-POS Integration?
To understand what a Magento-POS integration is, you need to understand what a point-of-sale is first.
In a brick-and-mortar store, a cash register is an example of a POS. It’s essentially any point where a customer can carry out a transaction and complete a purchase with a business. POSs can be offline like a cash register or card terminal in a retail store, or online, like in the case of an eCommerce website.
A Magento-POS integration uses software to communicate between a business’s online and offline POSs. Merchants who integrate their Magento website with POS software will improve their operational efficiency and provide their customers with a seamless shopping experience.
Why Integrate Magento With POS?
Now that you understand what a Magento-POS integration is, let’s look at why you should integrate your Magento store with a POS system.
The most significant benefit of integrating your Magento store with a POS system is that it allows you to develop an omnichannel approach for your business.
After all, the primary goal of every business should be to reach out to their customers, wherever they may be. Selling from a single channel significantly limits a business’s exposure to potential customers unable to access its products or services from that channel.
By integrating your Magento store with your offline store, you can increase your local and global presence. It also provides local customers with an additional portal to access your goods and services.
Provides More Flexibility
An omnichannel approach brings more flexibility to business operations, benefitting both the company and its customers simultaneously.
Suppose a customer who frequently purchases from your retail outlet cannot visit your store in person to make their purchase for an item that’s about to run out of stock. An integrated POS system will allow the customer to place their order online through your website and opt for home delivery or an in-store pick up as per their convenience.
This presents more flexibility in how a customer can conduct business with your company by providing multiple ways to place their orders and receive them.
Simplifies Inventory Management
Integrating your online and offline stores simplifies inventory management. When a sale is made on one channel, inventory is updated on the other channel without manual intervention.
Selling out-of-stock products can make a business look like a rookie operation. Real-time stock updates help a business avoid overselling or underselling their products. Accurate inventory levels also make it easier to gauge demand for products and help store owners plan future stock purchases more efficiently.
Planning a restock for high-demand products can help avoid deadstock that takes up valuable real estate in the warehouse.
Enables Faster Order Processing
We live in times where next-day and even same-day deliveries are quickly becoming the norm. Having unintegrated systems that require manual data entry is highly inefficient and can be detrimental to your business operations.
A Magento-POS integration doesn’t require an employee to manually notify the warehouse of an order each time a new one comes in. It will automatically send all order information to the warehouse to be processed and dispatched without any delays.
Faster dispatch significantly boosts the overall customer experience and makes it more likely that a customer will return for repeat purchases in the future.
A POS system makes it more efficient to run an omnichannel business. Everything from the order data to inventory levels and transactional information is recorded automatically and instantly shared across an organization.
Receiving information like real-time updates when an order is processed and the amount of stock remaining for each product helps identify bottlenecks in a business’s order management process. This information allows business managers to design and implement solutions more effectively by targeting problem areas directly.
Resolving these bottlenecks is crucial to increasing the efficiency of business operations. More efficiency means more value for both the business and its customers.
Integrating your Magento store with a POS system makes it easier for you to tailor your marketing strategies and promotions for your customers.
A business looking to drive traffic towards a specific channel can offer targeted promotions for purchases made through that channel. Suppose a store discovers that the average order value of an in-store purchase is higher than online purchases. They can encourage customers to visit them in person using promotions on their website, offering additional discounts to customers who visit and purchase from their retail outlets.
Cross-channel promotions are a great way to increase conversions by allowing a business to divert customers to the channel where they’re most likely to make a sale.
Enhances Customer Experience
Creating an integrated and seamless shopping experience makes for a great customer experience. And providing a great customer experience is key to business success.
The benefits of integrating Magento with POS contribute significantly to enhancing customer experience. Whether it’s updated inventory levels, faster order processing, real-time updates on order statuses, or tailored promotions — each benefit plays a significant role in making a customer’s interaction with a business more enjoyable.
How To integrate Magento With POS?
Now that you understand why a Magento-POS integration is beneficial for your business, let’s see how you can integrate your Magento store with your POS system.
Evaluate Your Existing Systems
Before you get started with a Magento-POS integration, you need to review how your existing systems are set up. If you don’t already have a POS system, you should take the time to research POS solutions capable of integrating with your Magento website.
For those with existing POS systems, evaluating the system for its ability to integrate with Magento is essential. If your existing system has an API, it should be able to integrate with Magento easily. If your system lacks an API, you will need to find a new one capable of integrating with Magento.
Once you’ve figured out the status and capabilities of your existing systems, you can move on to the next step.
Choose The Right Solution
After evaluating a POS system, you need to consider its ability to support all essential aspects of your business. You should opt for systems capable of processing payments, managing inventory, and managing customer data. These are a must for every POS solution.
An ideal POS system will also be capable of processing returns and exchanges and will support hardware like cash registers, receipt printers, barcode scanners, tablets, and mobile devices.
There are numerous third-party solutions available on the market for those who’d like to keep things simple and buy ready-to-use software. Those specifically tailored for Magento will be the easiest to set up and use. However, if you can’t find an existing solution that meets your requirements or off-the-shelf solutions aren’t your style, you can choose to get one custom-built for your business.
Building a custom solution can be complicated. Even if you have an in-house team of developers, it’s better to seek help from an experienced Magento development agency when it comes to custom-made solutions.
Seek Professional Assistance
After conducting a thorough analysis of your needs and understanding what’s suitable for your business, you should consider seeking professional assistance. Specialists offering Magento integration services can help you understand how integrations work, provide advice on the best ways to integrate your store, and even conduct the integration on your behalf.
Conducting a successful integration requires thorough knowledge of multiple systems. Understanding how each system works individually, mapping all data across different systems, integrating the systems, and testing for leaks require a detailed approach to ensure the integration is airtight.
Working with professionals is likelier to result in a smooth integration and will cause fewer interruptions to your business operations.
Time To Prepare For Omnichannel Retail
Capitalizing on the benefits of an omnichannel strategy and reaping the rewards of a successful Magento-POS integration will surely boost your business growth.
Whether you choose an existing solution or build a custom one, a thoroughly planned and properly executed Magento-POS integration will help you build a strong foundation for your multichannel business.
Omnichannel retail is here to stay. The sooner you embrace it, the faster you can start adapting your business strategy and restructuring your business processes to facilitate it.
Author Bio: Jan Guardian is the Chief Business Development Officer at Staylime, a Magento design, and development company headquartered in Redwood City, California. He is a Member of the Magento Association and an Adobe Sales Accredited Magento Commerce professional. Jan is passionate about eCommerce and Magento in particular — throughout the years his articles have been featured on Retail Dive, Hacker Noon, Chief Marketer, Mobile Marketer, TMCnet, and many others.
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