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POS System for Boutique Retail Shops: 5 Unique Features

For many owners, running a boutique is often more a passion project than a business created for profit — but you still need to be profitable to keep the dream alive!

Imagine the scenario: You open your boutique clothing store bursting with vision and a knack for sparking joy through style. Yet, despite your creativity and some loyal customers, you struggle to grow your brand and drive profits. Basic inventory management isn’t cutting it, and makeshift marketing strategies fall flat.

This doesn’t have to be your reality. You can access advanced, modern point of sale (POS) technology to optimize running your store and still maintain your signature charm. A POS system for boutique retailers is out there and has the features you need to thrive.

This article highlights those features and analyzes why you need them for your small business. Let’s dive in!

Why You Need a POS for Boutique Retail

For boutique retail shops, few investments are more important than choosing the right POS system. Your POS software ties everything together, from inventory management to customer service.

Related Read: Opening a Boutique Checklist: 8 Ingredients for Success

Relying on generic systems or a standard cash drawer and spreadsheet might work initially, but can your systems keep up as your business grows? More sales, SKUs, and transactions can put strain on pieced-together systems, resulting in:

  • Inaccurate inventory: No system for purchase orders, stock tracking, or automatic reordering has you chasing your tail. It’s impossible to spot trends, minimize waste, or ensure enough inventory is on hand.
  • Missed sales: Without sales data and customer profiles, you miss the chance to nurture relationships with loyal customers. Email marketing and loyalty campaigns tank.
  • Chaotic operations: Scheduling staff is a nightmare. With no access controls, any employee can issue discounts and edit transactions. Finding time for strategic tasks like merchandising and window displays is a nightmare.

But all is not lost! A POS system can solve many of these problems. Comcash, for example, is feature-rich yet flexible enough for small specialty shops. Detailed inventory management and robust reporting help manage your store and keep customers happy.

Let’s look at these features in more detail.

#1: Precise Inventory Management

Keeping precise inventory is challenging for boutique stores. 

Where larger retail stores struggle to track thousands of SKUs, boutique owners often need to track unique, specialty goods. There are also intricate product variations to consider — simply knowing you have 97 units “in stock” doesn’t give you the insight you need.

Look for inventory management capabilities like:

Multiple Vendors per Item

You want to be able to assign multiple vendors to a single product. Let’s say you source a plain white t-shirt from three different vendors — each vendor likely has different wholesale pricing, minimum order quantities, and delivery times. 

The multiple vendors per item feature allows you to assign all three vendors to the plain white t-shirt SKU in the product catalog. This means when placing purchase orders or reviewing inventory costing, the system can track each vendor's unique pricing and lead times for the same shirt.

Related Read: 5 Top Clothing Store Inventory Software Solutions for Boutiques

Product Matrix

For boutique owners with unique products, creating custom attributes to describe and track product variations is essential. For example, you might sell various styles and sizes of Chelsea boots:

  • Styles: Classic black, brown leather, and snake print
  • Sizes: 4, 5, 6

Rather than creating each variant as its own separate SKU, matrix attributes allow you to have one Chelsea Boot item and then assign details like style and size to track the variants.

Inventory would show:

  • Chelsea Boot, Classic Black, Size 5
  • Chelsea Boot, Classic Black, Size 6
  • Chelsea Boot, Brown Leather, Size 5

Now, instead of creating new item listings every time you introduce a new style and size, you can add more attributes to the same listing — like color, material, and edition.

Granular inventory management helps spot trends, inform sales tactics, and maximize profits. Invest in a POS system that takes inventory seriously.

#2: Optimized Purchasing

Manual purchasing is time-consuming. It’s a repetitive process that keeps you from working on higher-value tasks. When ordering is automatically linked to inventory management, you cut some of that wasted time. 

Placing orders based on guesswork or knee-jerk reactions could be costly. You might tie up cash flow in excess inventory or under order, leading to frequent stockouts. Instead, you can analyze the data and make better purchasing decisions. Purchasing features include:

  • Automatic purchase orders: Modern sales reports let you analyze sales across dates, seasons, trends, weather events, and other signals to forecast demand. You can also set reorder thresholds, so that when popular items run low, your POS system automatically generates recommended purchase orders to maintain stock levels. If your system lets you match your reorder notifications to lead times and safety stock levels? Even better!
  • Margin and markup-based auto-pricing: Finding the optimal pricing point for boutique products can be tricky. Modern POS systems let you set target markup rules during product entry, removing the guesswork. Define your desired margin or markup percentage, cost of goods, and other factors, and let your POS system calculate a retail price.

Creating a better supply chain helps you avoid running out of popular products and drives profits for your boutique.

Related Read: Boutique POS: 3 Must-Have Software Features

#3: Omnichannel Customer Engagement

Customers expect personalized service — especially from small boutiques. You need to blend your brick-and-mortar and e-commerce stores into a unified shopping experience. Several modern POS features can help:

  • Unified inventory management: Sync your products, inventory counts, sales, and returns between your stores in real time. This kind of visibility helps avoid under or over-selling.
  • Customer profiles: With customer transaction and engagement data from both channels, you can create a detailed customer profile. Track in-store purchase history alongside online order activity to target customers with deals.
  • Omnichannel promotions and loyalty: Integrated CRM features help you develop relationships with your loyal customers. You can tailor promotions and loyalty program rewards based on customer data like purchase history, product preferences, sizing, and other notes.

This 360-degree view of your customers helps drive loyalty, sales, and profits.

Related Read: 4 Retail Benefits of an Omnichannel Point of Sale

#4: Comprehensive Reporting

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Which products drive profits?
  • How should you allocate floor space and marketing efforts based on category performance?
  • What customer segments demonstrate the highest lifetime value?
  • How effectively do promotions convert to sales?

You need advanced, custom reports if you can’t answer these questions. And with a robust POS system for boutique shops, you can get them. Reporting features include:

  • Real-time dashboards: Gain instant access to sales, inventory, and KPI dashboards reflecting up-to-the-minute data. This level of analysis helps check top-selling items that need restocking, and monitors peaks so you can schedule staff better. Plus, you can see how your promotions are doing and catch any inventory blindspots.
  • Custom reports: With purpose-built POS software, you can configure detailed reports on department performance, individual products, vendor analysis, and more. You can schedule daily, weekly, or monthly report delivery so critical metrics come straight to your inbox.
  • Ad hoc reporting: As a boutique owner, you might need to create reports outside of the norm. For example, you could analyze holiday trends or single-product life cycles. It should be easy to find this data and create reports.

Related Read: Your Point of Sale Data Is a Goldmine. Here's How To Make the Most of It

#5: Advanced Employee Management

In big stores, it’s easier to find and manage staff. For your boutique store, you want staff who are passionate about your brand and products and strive to provide a great customer experience — but retail personnel also pose risks around inventory, cash handling, and unauthorized activities.

The best POS systems allow you to set staff access controls, among other security features. Employee management features include:

  • Role-based security: Set granular permissions based on individual roles. For example, your customer-facing staff will need permission to process certain transactions or access deep inventory insights.
  • Shift tracking: Log employee shift durations and track all open register drawers by staff member for accountability. You can see who performed which transactions during their shifts, and validate cash drawer amounts against sales registered during their shift. An added bonus? You can track each employee’s sales performance to help manage commissions or bonuses.

It’s also helpful to have location-based access. You can restrict employee system access by location if you have multiple stores.

Other Handy Features for Store Management

  • Customization and branding: It’s helpful if your POS system is customizable — think configurable touch menus and barcode labels. When you can personalize the interface, transactions reflect your branding.
  • Accounts integrations: Your POS system should automatically calculate taxes, accept various payment methods, and let you pull sales tax reports.

Related Read: Small Business Cash Flow Management: The Ultimate Guide

POS System for Boutique Retail: Don’t Settle for Less

And there you have it! The essential features of a purpose-built POS system for boutique retail. From inventory management to customer service, the right POS system can help you compete in an omnichannel world.

Comcash believes every boutique retailer deserves a POS system packed with features that cater to your needs. Our POS system has all the features we highlight in this article, and more. We serve over 3,000 retail establishments and provide 24/7 support to ensure our system is the best tool in your arsenal.

But don’t take our word for it! We want you to see it for yourself. Schedule a demo today to see how you can equip your boutique for the future.

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