5 Technologies to Improve Your Small Shop Sales — for Under $500 / Month

As a small retailer, you must seize every opportunity to optimize sales and outpace competitors. You’re already aware that analytics, streamlined sales processes, marketing, e-commerce and having excellent customer service are great ways to get ahead, but your budget may limit what you can achieve.

The good news is that you don’t need to invest a lot of money to increase profits and gain a competitive advantage. There are several great tech options for core business functions that all start under $100.

  1. Mobile POS – Increase Profits and Help Customers by Streamlining Sales

Adopting a mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) system will free sales associates from the confines of cash registers and provide value for your customers.

Armed with a smartphone or tablet, your sales team can spend more time helping customers, and significantly reduce wait time when closing a sale.

mPOS systems also help increase profits. Boutique clothing retailer, in the pink, saw a 23 percent increase in same-store sales one year after adding a custom mPOS solution. The company achieved this by maximizing sales space. The elimination of checkout stations added 48 square feet of prime selling area and made it easier for customers to browse. The change also led to better customer service as sales associates became more accessible to customers. Retailers who don’t require customization, or are working within a tighter budget should consider Square or Vend.

Square offers free readers that require almost no setup, and the company only charges 2.75% per swipe. Vend offers additional features like website integration and inventory management, but at a higher cost (its lowest option comes in at $59 per month plus processing fees).

Additionally, most mobile POS systems integrate with financial software like QuickBooks, which makes accounting incredibly simple.

  1. Marketing Automation – Put That Email List to Work

Marketing automation software is a great way to increase sales by nurturing potential customers with targeted content and offers, based on their relationship with your brand—but it can be very expensive.

HubSpot, Marketo and Adobe Marketing Cloud are some of the top providers, but the cheapest of these options (HubSpot) is priced at $200 a month and limits you to 100 contacts in your database at a time.

If you’re just starting out with marketing automation, consider AutoPilot, which only costs $4 per month for up to 500 contacts.

Though it’s nowhere near as sophisticated or robust as big name solutions, AutoPilot integrates with your website to capture leads; lets you nurture those leads with automated emails, SMS and well designed post cards; and gives you insight into how leads interact with marketing offers.

If you’re not sure how to get started, AutoPilot provides a guide, and the book Inbound Marketing by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah will teach you how to do modern marketing right.

  1. Omnichannel – Integrate Brick and Mortar with E-Commerce

If your current website doesn’t offer e-commerce, or you’re simply unhappy with how it functions, consider Squarespace, a company that makes it easy for anyone to create well-designed websites from a variety of templates that have e-commerce built in.

Squarespace doesn’t require any coding knowledge. Plus, its templates are already optimized for mobile, making it easy for customers to make on-the-go purchases. Another tip: place tablets throughout your physical store to reduce the number of lost sales by allowing customers to access your website.

With integrated shipping options, payment processing and secure checkout, Squarespace makes e-commerce a snap and it starts at only $8 a month.

  1. Mobile Reporting – All Your Analytics, All The Time

Tracking sales, keeping tabs on other KPIs, and analyzing trends are all necessary tasks that help you optimize operations and boost sales. Unfortunately, creating accurate, detailed and useful reports can be time-consuming.

Integrate mobile reporting into your retail store operations to boost overall performance, eliminate bulky reports and make data-driven decisions in the moment. Most importantly, mobile-first intelligence frees you from your office, which means more time spent on the floor with customers.

Last year, cosmetics retailer Sephora saved over 150,000 personnel hours using a mobile data visualization app, which allowed the company to save money and improve customer experiences.

Roambi Analytics offers a free version of the tech used by Sephora, and for $10 per month, your small business can access additional integrations, data visualizations and security.

  1. Social Media Monitoring

Monitoring brand mentions and related topics on social media is key to building brand awareness and creating a stellar customer experience.

If you ignore bad reviews on sites like Google or Yelp, new potential customers may be turned away. Monitoring brand mentions will help you find these reviews and address these customer experiences on the spot.

In addition to monitoring for your own brand, you can reach out to prospects and answer questions by monitoring for topics related to what you sell.

Social media monitoring is easy, and there are ways to do it for free. You can manually search sites like Facebook and Twitter for keywords, or you can run them through the website Social Mention.

If you need something more integrated that allows you to monitor and respond on multiple platforms, try Sprout Social for $59 per month.

Budget constraints no longer need to stand in your way. By upgrading your technology with a few low cost basics, you can create more happy customers, pass by the competition and earn some major return on a minimal investment.

Contributed by Natalie Aitken, Roambi UK sales director, whom has over 15 years of experience in sales optimization. Since joining Roambi in 2011, she has pursued her interest in helping clients rethink how they use a mobile device to view, interact with and share critical business data.


Image provided by Roambi UK with permission to use. 


  • Lavonne
    July 26, 2016

    It’s nearly impossible to find educated people for this subject, but you seem like you know what you’re talking about!


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