Monthly Archives: November 2016

System Solutions Is Now A Proud Member Of The NRLA

System Solutions is proud to announce our new membership with the Northeastern Retail Lumber Association. The NRLA represents independent lumber and building materials suppliers and businesses in the northeast region of the US, having members in the six New England states as well as New York and New Jersey.


The NRLA also runs the Lumber and Building Material Expo, or LBM Expo. This is the industry’s largest regional tradeshow, featuring new products, exciting seminars, networking events, awards, and more. The LBM Expo will be held:

Where: Rhode Island Convention Center, Providence RI
When: February 15-17, 2017
Booth: System Solutions will be at Booth 1230
Our Featured Product: Microsoft Dynamics AX

If you would like to learn more about our Business Management and Point of Sale solutions for lumber, hardware, and building materials retailers, or would like to connect with us before the event, please don’t hesitate to email us, visit our website, or call 860-781-6470.

Retail Trends For Thanksgiving And Black Friday Weekend 2016

With Black Friday weekend quickly approaching, retailers are looking to know what to expect. While there are predictions about which department stores will attract the most traffic and lists of upcoming promotions already shared, there are also overall consumer trends and buying behaviors to consider. Here are some forecasts and trend predictions for the upcoming weekend:

Increased mobile usage
Our phones have become essential to us in our everyday lives, and this is no different when shopping. In 2016, 48% of shoppers believe it is easier to make mobile purchases than an in-store purchase. Even those who do shop in store are using their phones– 70% look for deals and promotions on their phones while they shop.

Shopping all weekend, not only on Black Friday
Black Friday is a big day in retail, and over the years has become not only a day but a whole weekend. It even prompted Cyber Monday as online sales increased. This year, Black Friday is starting even earlier, with 21% of Americans planning to shop on Thanksgiving Day.

Coupons from social media
Many retailers promote their holiday sales in-store, through email, and on social media. This year it is expected we will see an increase in consumers using coupons from social media, with 43% of Twitter users more likely to visit a store after seeing a coupon or deal on Twitter. Another interesting conclusion from Twitter’s research into mobile usage indicates that 73% of users are more likely to purchase from a small business if they see a coupon or deal on Twitter during the holiday season.

Increased gift card purchasing
Total gift card sales are expected to increase $1.5 billion in the 2016 holiday shopping season, reaching $27.5 billion in total. Shoppers purchasing gift cards will likely purchase an average of 3 of them to give as gifts this holiday season. So, if you see a customer stressing about the perfect gift for their loved one, the answer may be more simple than they think.


What does this mean for retailers?

Most retailers start preparing for Black Friday and the holiday shopping season in early fall, but if you did not consider these forecasts and trends, here are some tips for the season:

  • Optimize your website for mobile, and keep the content updated
  • Be sure your POS system or ecommerce site can process online transactions on mobile
  • Plan to be busy Thursday evening through Sunday on Thanksgiving weekend
  • Post promotions and deals on all social media sites, especially Twitter
  • Stock up on gift cards, and suggest gift card purchases to customers

Throughout the holiday season, one thing that most retailers see an increase in is sales. Without a reliable POS or business management system, you may not be maximizing your sales opportunities. If you need a system or are considering upgrading your current system, contact System Solutions.

5 POS Features Every Retailer Needs On Black Friday

To prepare for the busiest shopping day of the year, retailers make sure to schedule enough staff, order enough inventory, and offer the best deals. While all of this is essential, many retailers neglect to prepare one more thing – their POS system. Here are 5 POS features every retailer should familiarize themselves with before Black Friday:

Special Orders
Throughout the holiday season, and especially on Black Friday, many stores run out of popular items. While this is a good sign for sales, it is not always easy to manage logistically. Some POS systems have the option to create and track special orders, allowing customers to purchase some items in store that day, ship some items directly to their house or to loved ones, and purchase items to pick up in any store location at a later date all within the same POS transaction.  This not only makes holiday shopping easy for your customers, it makes it easy for your employees as well.

Modern POS
Generate more sales and expedite the checkout process with POS on tablets, smartphones, and other handheld devices. Eliminate long lines with this functionality, as employees can tender payments with attached credit card processing, and answer questions about product availability without needing to go to the cash register area. Additionally, with more advanced systems, employees can even compare products for customers, look up items the customer has in their shopping cart online, and view the most popular products report for recommendations.

Price Changes
Anyone who has worked in retail knows the pain of items that do not ring up correctly, and needing to find a manager to correct the pricing while a customer waits. On days like Black Friday, this becomes an extra pain because not only is there more customer traffic than usual, but managers are also busier than normal. With price changing functions, such as data import, retailers can upload an Excel file listing items and their updated pricing easily and quickly before Black Friday. Then, after promotions end, then can easily change the prices back by importing another file.

A great way to capitalize on Black Friday and holiday sales is suggesting items. With reporting, you can equip your sales team with knowledge of the best-selling products. If you are giving any bonuses or prizes to sales staff members who achieve the highest sales, reporting enables them to track their sales by the hour as well.

Email Marketing
Marketing isn’t typically something individual stores are responsible for – but if your system makes it easy, why not take advantage of that? Some POS and Business Management systems enable users to email customers right from the database. You can send Black Friday emails specific to your store, featuring products you carry and deals you are running. This feature is also great for retailers in malls or shopping centers, as you can email the other stores in your area about your promotions as well.

If retailers utilize these POS functions, their Black Friday will provide a better experience for their customers, will be less stressful for their employees, and will be more profitable for their business.

If your POS doesn’t have these features, contact System Solutions to learn about our POS and Business Management solutions that do have these capabilities.