Technology has revolutionized everyday life, and with it, the way businesses operate and reach customers. From POS systems to AI and everything in between, technology is constantly evolving to make our personal and business lives easier than ever. If you’re running a business, these five technologies are must-haves for expanding operations and increasing your sales. If you’re missing these all-important tools, you’re only hindering your business’s success.
1. A POS System
Nothing is more essential to the modern business than a good POS system. POS systems can completely overhaul your business operations, making everything from inventory management to customer interactions more streamlined. Plus, a POS system expands on the payment methods you currently accept, giving you access to potential customers that otherwise wouldn’t have considered your brand.
POS systems come in all shapes and sizes, from mobile terminals to stationary registers and combinations of both. What truly matters is the software and how it performs. At the end of the day, you can have the most high-tech terminal in the world, but if your software doesn’t function right, it’s just a piece of plastic.
Get a POS system that works for your business. If you don’t need a complete inventory overhaul, you can opt for simpler software that focuses more on handling payments. You want your POS system to be able to adapt with your business; that is, when you grow, the POS system should be able to handle your growth, so you don’t have to buy a new one every few years.
2. Cloud Storage
If you’ve ever lost any data to a hard drive crash or missing flash drive, you know how incredibly frustrating it can be; especially if it was sensitive information. Besides the stress of retrieving the lost data, you also have to cover the cost of new hardware for your computer. Let’s skip all of that unnecessary work and cut straight to the best storage method out there: cloud storage.
If you’re still storing everything on hard drives, you’re living in the past; and putting yourself at risk. Cloud storage is a secure alternative to traditional physical drives. Think of cloud storage as a flash drive that exists online. There are several cloud storage and backup options available, from Dropbox to Google Drive to Microsoft OneDrive. Each will give you a specific amount of storage for free, with more storage for only a few dollars per month.
3. CRM Software
If you’re not utilizing any kind of CRM (customer relationship management) software for your business, you’re already falling behind. CRM software is a must for retailers and other niche businesses, as it can help bridge the gap between you and your customers and make communication much more effective.
By processing customer information, CRM software can help your business create sales funnels and loyalty campaigns; boosting the overall relationship you share with your customers. CRM software is probably one of the most essential business tools out there, as the relationship you share with your customer base can literally make or break your business.
Chatbots are becoming more and more abundant on websites all over the world. A chatbot is a simple AI program that interacts with customers visiting your website. Have you ever visited a website, and as soon as the page loads, a chat window pops up from a “representative”? That’s a chatbot!
Chatbots help customers stay engaged with your site, and offer the chance for them to ask specific questions so they can be guided to the exact page or product they’re looking for. This eliminates the need to browse the entire website, and thus minimizes the chance that customers will disengage from the site altogether.
5. AI Marketing
AI, or artificial intelligence, is on its way to becoming the most essential business tool of them all. AI systems can actually learn and adapt, making them “smarter” in a way than the average human user. The systems are able to compile and organize streams of data at a speed that no human could ever match.
The perfect place to utilize such technology is in your marketing efforts. From optimized digital ads to more accurate analytics, AI systems can provide your business with the information it needs to fully understand its customers. Once you understand the specific needs of your customers, you can better serve them, and thus, increase your sales.
The Bottom Line
Technology is always changing, and these five tools are some of the most essential for businesses today. AI is a technology you’ll want to keep your eye on in the coming years, as its incredible advantages are sure to be utilized by businesses all over the world. Don’t forget that a good POS system can change your entire business, and cloud software is simply a must-have for the modern business.