According to recent data published by the U.S. Department of Commerce, first quarter 2022 ecommerce sales grew 6.7% from the first quarter of 2021, continuing the upward trend that saw online retail sales grow from 12% to nearly 17% of all retail sales during the pandemic.
While a five-percent increase may not seem like much, consider it took nearly the entire 2010s to produce similar growth as the retail market experienced in just one year – and ecommerce isn’t slowing anytime soon. By 2025, global ecommerce is expected to top $7 trillion while making up nearly a quarter of all retail sales.
For traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, that not only means increased competition, but also rising customer expectations of a seamless online and offline shopping experience. Now more than ever, having an online store is critical to the success of a retail business, and one of the simplest and most effective ways to meet ecommerce demand is with an integrated point of sale (POS) system.
Integrated Point of Sale
Exactly what it sounds like, an integrated POS system connects in-store sales, product inventory and customer data with an online webstore. By digitally linking POS and ecommerce together, retailers can process orders, complete transactions and collect payment in an omnichannel sales environment. Retailers can also streamline inventory management by linking in-store and online inventory, managing inventory across both channels in real time, and automatically ordering products to avoid overselling and stockouts.
For firearm dealers looking to take their business online, integrating point of sale with ecommerce can differentiate businesses from their peers, generate new sales, expand customer bases, and improve the customer experience.
Benefits of Integrated POS
More Sales, Less Competition
With more than 60,000 active firearms dealers across the nation, retailers often fight for the same customers, facing steep competition on top of already low profit margins. And while opening additional locations may seem like best way for a dealer to take a larger piece of the retail pie, such strategies can often self-cannibalize business.
By supplementing in-store sales with ecommerce through an integrated POS, firearm dealers can sell through multiple channels simultaneously, increasing opportunities for new sales without competing with themselves while also gaining an edge on retail-only competition.
New, Valuable Customers
In 2017, a Harvard Business Review study found 70% of customers are omnichannel consumers, meaning they shop in retail stores and online. The study also revealed omnichannel customers are more valuable, spending more on average than single-channel buyers and spending 13% more in-store after conducting research on a retailer’s website.
Unlike brick-and-mortar retailers, which limit customers to local consumers, ecommerce can also reach new consumers outside normal range, further expanding a dealer’s customer base, brand awareness, and market share.
Improve Customer Experience
By connecting a POS system to ecommerce, firearm dealers create a seamless experience for shoppers. Whether carrying products not stocked in-store, offering free shipping on buy-online-pickup-in-store orders, or sending targeted marketing campaigns based on previous transaction history, integrated POS can improve customer satisfaction and address business needs at the same time.
And when a retailer can attract repeat customers through cross-channel promotions, loyalty programs, and effective customer relationship management, sales are also likely to improve.
Orchid POS & eCommerce
Whether your FFL is interested in its first point of sale system, updating and outdated system, or taking its business online, Orchid has the retail software you need to take the next step and grow sales.
A comprehensive, cloud-based point of sale system, Orchid POS™ is the all-in-one solution for single and multi-store firearm retailers and ranges. Designed with a simple interface, Orchid POS™ features customizable product hot keys for quick checkout, barcode scanning of serialized inventory, membership billing and gift cards, training class management, gunsmith work orders and consignment gun tracking, deep-level reporting and more – plus integration with firearm-friendly Orchid Pay™, leading A&D logbook Orchid eBound™, and digital file host Orchid eStorage™.
Orchid POS™ is also integrated with Orchid eCommerce™, a full-service, customizable, and ad-free website and webstore capable of listing on-hand inventory and live distributor catalogs, offering firearm drop-shipping, and generating customer marketing emails.
Contact our team of FFL technology and operations professionals to learn how your firearms business could benefit from our integrated Orchid Retail FFL Suite and get started today.