Using POS for marketing

By now, just about everyone has heard of and/or used a POS system. A POS (Point of Sale) system allows you to track all sorts of useful things in and around your pizzeria.

More and more operators are discovering the unlimited marketing uses to which you can put your POS. Sure, you can use it to keep track of ingredients and sales, but you could also use it to boost your bottom line.

Duessa Holscher, director of marketing at FireFly Technologies, says that many people are not taking advantage of all the tricks their POS system can do. “When we set up new systems our customers are all very excited about all the things they can do with it,” Duessa says. “Most times, however, when we go back, we find that only about 25 percent are actually using the marketing-side of their systems, which is a huge waste.”

Getting started

Many POS companies can preload a database with names, numbers and addresses for potential customers in your immediate surrounding area into your POS. Tom Bronson, CEO of Rockland Technology Group, Inc, the developer of DiamondTouch POS, said that the database is worthwhile to begin with, but buying an updated one is not necessarily the best thing you could do. “If you already have a system, then buying an additional database is only going to add so many new names to your list,” Tom says. “You’d be better off at that point to use the marketing features of your POS system to build your customer database.”

Once you decide how to collect the information, you then have to enter said info into your database. Duessa mentioned the importance of training your employees the correct way to enter names into your database. It’s important to make sure youre employees know what to do. Taking the time to train your  staff greatly increases the odds of your customer being added correctly.

Having the correct info entered the first time around allows you to save money and effort on mailings and targets the right people. Be careful about multiple phone numbers. With people having so many numbers today, you should ask for all of them so that when they call back from a different number, you can still find them in the database. This helps to prevent multiple entries for the same person.

Targeting customers

Once you’ve established at least the beginnings of a database, you should begin marketing. According to Tom, you can color code just about anything you can think of within your database. “If you want to offer a special to your loyal customers, you can tag their names so that when they order, it pops up that they should be offered the special,” Tom says. “Not to mention the ability to target certain days of the week to boost sales.”

One of the most popular methods of targeting specific customers is a 30-60-90 day mailer. This kind of mailer lumps your customers into one of several categories. Rather than just mass mailing a single offer to your customers, you can pick and choose what to send to people depending on their loyalty. For example, customers that haven’t ordered from you in 30 days may not need as much of an incentive to come back as someone who hasn’t been there in 60 days or 90 days. In this case, your lesser offer/coupon should go to the people who haven’t ordered from you in 30 days, a better deal to those who haven’t ordered in 60 days and your best offer to those who haven’t ordered in 90 days.

Coupon usage

Using your POS system you can track not only how many coupons are redeemed, but also who redeemed them. Using that information, you can then specifically target the recipients of a promotion, similar to the 30-60-90 day mailer. Think about it, if you knew which customers were the most likely to redeem a coupon, you could send a coupon to that person or family but not to the neighbor’s house that orders religiously every week and pays full price. You can also send coupons out to people that have used them before that encourage them to try different products.

Thank you notes, upselling and fundraisers

You can generate a list of new customers within a specific time frame. What you do with these lists is completely up to you. Thank you notes are always a good idea. “You could send out a thank you note with a coupon attached to your new customers in order to encourage a return visit,” Duessa says. “I’d recommend running one of these new lists about once a week, simply because you’ll want the new customer mailer to be timely.” Other than thank you notes to new customers, you can direct mail reminders for events and specials to your loyal customers.

Your POS system can also track the popularity of certain menu items. Using that information, you can push whatever products you feel you need to sell more of using suggestive selling both on the phone and in person. You can also do cross promotions with other companies and print them onto your receipts.

You can also use your POS system with fundraisers. When an organization comes to you and asks for money, instead of giving them a lump sum of money, you can set up an “account” in your system and have the organization tell everyone that a portion of the proceeds from every pizza sold goes to the organization.


By handling fundraisers in this way, people have to work to get their money and you don’t just give away money. It also allows you to pay a little bit at a time to an organization instead of in one lump sum.

Email marketing

Ever thought of email marketing? Using your POS, you could send out an email at just the right time. You don’t want to abuse or overuse it, but if you ask for someone’s email address and get it, you can use that information quite effectively. You could hit local businesses around 11 a.m. with an email to draw the lunch crowd’s attention or at 4:30 to attract people about to head home.

Mapping

Mapping and POS systems work well together. Mapping systems were originally used for helping out delivery drivers. Now they’re used integrally with your POS system to help you 1) target specific customers and 2) know where those customers are. Using a combination of a mapping system and your POS system, you can discover which neighborhoods order more often from you and use that information to target whichever market you want, whether it’s your more active or less active customers.

POS systems are always changing. If you’ve been looking for something particular and can’t find it, don’t worry—a new system may show up within the next couple of months that includes it. “There are hundreds of features we can add in,” Tom told me. “We decide what to add from customer feedback. If enough people say, ‘Hey, we want this feature’ then we start creating a program for it.”

Using your POS, you can keep up with ingredients, sales, coupon redemptions, fundraisers and a variety of other things. Just by doing a few of these things, you can boost your bottom line and pocket your POS profits. In fact, if you think that you’ve done everything you know of to maximize the use of your POS system, give your POS company a call for new ideas—I guarantee that they’ll have something for you.