Online specialist wool retailer Suffolk Socks made it’s first major show appearance at Yarndale this year. As this was their first venture into “real” retailing they needed a Point Of Sale solution that would allow them to handle card and cash transactions. Proverb2 provided a solution which worked without fail and also helped out at the show!
The POS solution was given rave reviews by customers, with one customer going as far as to call it the “Best till at the Show”!
- Price labels for all items (being pure online retailer price labels are not normally applied)
- Fast POS software to speed up the transactions
- Decrement stock from sales at the show to avoid over promising to online customers
- Professional looking till hardware incorporating cash drawer, receipts and barcode scanning (to reduce errors)
- Ability to run the POS all day with no mains power!
- Tolerant of poor internet connectivity
Here is how we tackled each of these challenges……
We used LabelJoy (pricey but worth every penny) to print labels for all items in the warehouse. The data was taken as an export from OpenERP which provided SKU code, Price, Barcode, Quantity on hand and Short Description. The file was imported to LabelJoy which then printed a label for each item. The software uses the quantity to determine the number of each label to print (nice). Label printing was carried out and several thousand labels applied to stock by the warehouse staff!
As Suffolk Socks runs on a OpenERP backend (with a Magento store front) we decided to use the built in Point of Sale module. This is web based but downloads the functionality and range on startup so it can run without internet connection (as long as there is a connection at the end when the sales are uploaded).
Stock is decremented in real time for POS sales, so web stock levels were updated regularly throughout the day with the push of a button on the OpenErp-Magento connector.
We used as standard laptop, thermal receipt printer, barcode scanner and cash drawer for the on site hardware. the printer was set to print the store logo on all receipts and a link to the cash draw allowed it to open automatically when the receipt was printed. A standard PS2 barcode scanner was used (along with a USB adapter). The total outlay was under £50 (excluding the laptop and the barcode scanner which they had anyway).
For card payments we provided a Paypal Here terminal which provided chip & PIN and also contactless payments. At £49 for the unit and around 2% transaction charge it is a good solution for retailers who do not normally take customer present card payments. It connects to an mobile device running the PayPal Here app. Customers were comfortable to use it.
Yarndale is held at a cattle market and each stall gets a sheep pen (rather appropriate) to set up their shop. There is no mains power to these areas so the system had to run on batteries. The cash drawer and printer run on 12V so they could be powered from a leisure battery. For the computer we set up 3 different laptops with the necessary print drivers (no POS software was required as this was web based) and these were swapped out as each one ran out of juice. All three were charged up back at the hotel for use the next day.
Wifi was available at the site and all devices were set up to use it. Unfortunately due to the large number of customers using the wifi during the show it failed. We had a backup 4G device but that did not get a strong enough signal. The fall back was a personal hotspot on an iphone 5s which worked well enough for the paypal transactions and stock updates.