Integrated Point-of-Sale: The Center of Your Retail FFL

Written by Orchid

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July 25, 2022

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For a minute, think back to elementary school science – specifically, the solar system. At the center of the solar system is the sun, encircled by planets. In addition to providing light and heat needed to support life, the sun’s gravity keeps everything from the largest planets to the smallest meteoroids in orbit around it, influencing the nature of space throughout the entire solar system.

Critical to the function of any retail business, a point-of-sale (POS) system is used to process transactions and accept payment for goods and services. However, sales transactions are only one “planet” within a firearm retailer’s solar system. From procurement and firearm recordkeeping to membership programs and accounting, each is important to the success of your FFL. And like the sun, an integrated POS at the center of your operations can maintain balance across your entire firearm business.

Functions of an Integrated POS

While a retail point-of-sale system is generally comprised of a register, barcode scanner, card reader and cash drawer, an integrated POS combines traditional hardware with other connected technologies, often via the cloud. Rather than using multiple, siloed systems, the software is integrated into the POS to increase connectivity and efficiency.

Below, we outline five ways your retail FFL could benefit from using an integrated POS.

Effective Inventory Control
As a retailer, you can’t sell what you don’t have in stock, and managing inventory can be a time-consuming and labor-intensive task. With an integrated point-of-sale, serialized and unserialized products can easily be scanned into inventory, acquired into your A&D Bound Book, and barcoded for immediate sale on the retail floor with up-to-date inventory levels displayed right at your register. Inventory procurement can also be automated so your FFL can maintain proper backstock of popular firearms, ammunition and shooting accessories without ever experiencing a stockout.

Compliant Firearm Transactions
Firearms are the core product of any retail FFL, but firearm transactions are also the leading source of ATF violations. Integrating your POS and Bound Book can not only eliminate compliance risk, but also save your FFL time and money. When starting a firearm sale, serialized inventory can be selected from your POS to start the electronic ATF Form 4473 process, featuring helpful compliance checkpoints along the way for both customers and employees to confirm firearm and purchaser information. Upon background check approval, payment can be accepted for the firearm and the gun automatically disposed of from your logbook. Further, completed e4473s can be digitally stored using services like 4473 Cloud to eliminate costly printing and physical storage.

Omnichannel Customer Experience
While firearm transactions must be completed in person, retail sales are no longer confined to the walls of your brick-and-mortar store. Following the pandemic, ecommerce sales have grown exponentially as more retailers take their businesses online to serve growing demand. Working with your in-store POS, expand your product mix and grow your customer base with integrated ecommerce. Sell training classes and on-hand inventory or dropship firearms from live distributor catalogs, all while reaching loyal locals and new national consumers, making your FFL more marketable and competitive in your region and beyond.

Personalized Customer Experience
Every customer who purchases a firearm from your retail store will check out at your point-of-sale, so why not use your POS to enhance the customer experience? With an integrated POS, put a name to every face with detailed customer profiles and turn one-time shoppers into repeat regulars. Create membership programs to reward loyal customers and use customer relationship management (CRM) tools to send targeted marketing communications and encourage additional sales in-store and online. Store gift cards can also be used to generate new or repeat traffic and future purchases.

Automated Operational Reporting
If selling guns or watching others shoot on the range is the fun part of operating a retail FFL, running inventory, sales and accounting reports is probably the least enjoyable. But in an industry with small margins, reporting is essential to monitoring the performance of your firearms business, making business decisions, and driving improvements. With an integrated POS and popular reporting tools, reporting be automated at scheduled intervals to save you time and generated all from one system. Completed e4473s can also be downloaded and saved each day to maintain ATF compliance.

Orchid Integrated POS

In 2021, we launched Orchid POS™ to better serve firearm retailers and ranges. Designed specifically for firearms transactions, consignments, gunsmith work orders, memberships, and live distributor catalogs, our comprehensive, cloud-based point-of-sale software is customizable, scalable, affordable, and easy to use. Orchid POS™ also natively integrates with leading A&D Bound Book, Orchid eBound™, Orchid eCommerce™ ad-free and personalized webstores, and firearm-friendly Orchid Pay™ merchant processing for an all-in-one retail FFL solution.

Below are just a few features and functions of Orchid POS™:

  • Barcode inventory, set replenishment levels for restocking, and bulk scan firearm acquisitions
  • Link firearm sales, trade-ins, consignments and gunsmith work orders to attorney-backed Orchid eBound
  • Complete e4473s with a customer-facing kiosk mode and compliance checkpoints
  • Sell firearms, ammunition and training classes online with a custom, ad-free ecommerce webstore
  • Expand sales opportunities with live product catalogs and inventory feeds from industry distributors
  • Personalize interactions with customer profiles, membership programs and loyalty cards
  • Generate end-of-day reports to stay atop of inventory levels, retail sales, and business finances
  • Accept cash, checks, credit cards and gift cards with low-rate Orchid Pay

Contact us today to learn more about the Orchid Retail FFL Suite and how your retail FFL can benefit from implementing an integrated POS into the center of your firearms business.

Orchid POS™ for FFLs

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