Creativity SELLS

Anyone paying even a little attention to advertising these days — on the Internet, TV, radio, magazines, newspapers and everywhere else would have to be completely disconnected not to notice how advertising has morphed over the last five or so years. With so many commercials consisting of rapidfire audio and images that linger almost long enough for viewers to figure them out, along with catchy, seemingly unrelated phrases and symbols, it can be impossible to determine exactly what the product is. Particularly for TV viewers, the good news is that many of today’s commercial “interruptions” are, in many ways, just as entertaining — if not more so, than whatever program they’re watching is. The problem occurs when you’ve seen the same commercial repeated so many times that you regard it as a drudgery. This is an infrequent occurrence, though, as new ploys to separate you from your money are always being developed in conference rooms of ad agencies, around the clock.

New Maxims

Where the standard of “if it isn’t creative, it won’t sell” has been the theme of most ad campaigns for a long while, the converse holds true, with :if it won’t sell, it isn’t creative” helps to address the issue even better. There was a time when every commodity — goods and services included had to stand on their individual value — quality, dependability, service and longevity. While those elements still crop up as important issues from time to time, it appears that selling has truly become the almost entire responsibility of creativity — and creativity beholding to the minds of the ad agencies that are doing more than just making budget. And this is where it gets complicated: Only the most brilliant minds can produce the level of creativity needed to sell.

The Role of POS in a Creativity-Driven Society

The effectiveness of any attempt at creativity depends on information-driven planning and strategies. In a highly superlative category, POS technology is the most capable system for capturing, organizing and managing the data collected from marketing based on research that includes mixed consumer surveys, for which businesses typically pay big dollar. Every measure of promotion must be couched underneath a comprehensive umbrella that protects a coherent campaign consisting of multilayers of thoughtfully formed strategies. POS technology can make this happen in the most fluid of ways.

What Nobody Wants

We’ve all seen them, dealt with them and felt irritated at having to deal with them. You know, those ads, emails and pop-ups that never sleep. In thinking about the companies and businesses that are responsible for them — AKA, the companies wanting our business by engaging in such tactics — how do you perceive them? The methods they use are invasive, bold, irritating and seem to be desperate to garner business, with no particular desire to cultivate anything personal. Your POS system will always save you from the plight these other companies live by. With POS technology as the way you conduct your incentives, rewards and more, you can sustain the high esteem of your operations as seen by the public, thereby distinguishing your business as valuable to consumers. It doesn’t get more creative than this.

Do You Really Need a POS System for Your Small Business?

The decision to move to POS technology is certainly not one to be taken lightly. There are many considerations to look at, to make a qualified decision. As more and more business owners of small to medium size businesses are following the lead of the bigger corporations in using POS systems for the management of their business, what’s becoming apparent is becoming less and less about whether or not any particular business would benefit from moving to POS technology. The question that is an important one to address has to do with what’s to become of the last holdouts who, for one reason or another, stick with their time-honored system where every operational detail is handled by and tracked by humans. The question that must be answered now is “What will happen to businesses that choose to not avail themselves of the full scope that POS technology covers, by moving their operations over to POS technology.

Today’s Dictates are Fueled by Consumers

For the most part, Commerce, in its every form is going to be more rapidly transitioning more than at any other time, based mainly on the new consumer silhouette. As greater numbers of Millennials become the larger portion of median consumers, a whole lot is going to change in how everything shifts to cater toward a full-blown hedonistic, self-oriented mentality. Most next-generation property management systems (PMS,) will integrate with large third party technologies that will eventually all be POS technologies, which will include POS-run retail and members of the hospitality industry. Already, just last year, 75% of hotel operators shared that they regard being able to integrate their PMS with all their other operations such as retail and restaurant POS systems as top priority.

Where Does That Leave Cash Register Checkout Systems?

The shift will ultimately be global, as cash registers everywhere are moved out, to make way for POS terminals. Everything involved will be affected, including software along with hardware that are currently in use today to streamline business operations and sweeten the customer experience, all around. As tablets proliferate in POS technology, new requirements are being instituted to ratchet up the security of all data processed, with preventative requirements and stringent mandates for all businesses using POS. Reporting capabilities, data analysis and payment processing options are ever on the increase, with recently added chip and pin cards to e-wallet apps. Basically, it will soon be impossible to sustain a viable business without bringing in POS technology for your operations – and your customers will expect it. Businesses not utilizing POS systems will be seen as outdated and bypassed, in favor of those that do.

A Logical Next Move

The case for any small to medium sized business incorporating a POS system is an easy one to make, with much more in the area of benefits than any other preceding system. ROI is best calculated on the back end by worker productivity and efficiency – and on the front end, by the enhanced customer experience, along with opening up so many new avenues for nurturing the relationship your business has with its customers and enticing new ones, all the while. POS technology will help you run your small business, with ability to focus more on what’s in your heart – why you started it in the first place.

Dispelling a Big POS MYTH: This Technology Enhances Human Touch Services

An initial misconception regarding just what POS technology is can delay a business from a quicker migration over to streamlined operational reliance on POS system technology. One that tends to be expressed the most frequently has to do with the manner in which every business’ POS system solution can cover such a streamlined expanse of time and labor-consuming tasks. A closer look at the way it works will quickly resolve any issues about this amazing technology being able to displace the human element, and in the restaurant industry, this would mean the server. Thanks to the design enabling such a far reaching variety of customizing capabilities, the move to POS technology would be pointless without humans covering all points and junctures. It’s humans who set up the POS system, based on the tasks, goals and responsibilities that have always taken the most time and prevented these same humans from being more visible within the front end operations, and more available for the jewel of commerce: attentive customer relations.

POS Delivers More of a Human Touch, Not Less

The quickly spreading popularity among small to mid-sized businesses to move to POS solutions has a lot to do with how these systems are so vastly innovative at removing all the headaches from operations. One of the first industries to offer POS technology to the public with a self-serving format has been the restaurant and foodservice sector. Restaurants incorporating POS self-ordering for their customers are not cutting back in service. What they are doing is giving their customers more power, more choices, more information and improved speed of all transactions, from ordering, to paying their bill. Then servers are freed up to deliver food to tables more expediently, produce refills, bring extra condiments and such, and be more visible on the floor, if needed. POiS technology is all about enabling staff to more fully focus on serving customers with the highest possible quality, without the pressure of being too task-laden at any particular time. Efficiency is streamlined, and every POS solution translates into more satisfied customers.

It’s Giving Consumers What They Want

Among the user-capabilities most desired by consumers is the ability to customize their orders, and particularly with the full color photographic representations to help them in their selections. They appreciate being able to order as soon as they’re ready, without a protracted wait time. The manner in which the POS system can immediately split the bill exactly according to even the oddest imbalance of requests, and at the same time, accept multiple forms of payment all at one time. Currently the prevalence of self-service systems is concentrated within mostly casual to fast casual dining establishments, though POS technology is replacing many other areas of operations in other restaurants that are simply foregoing self service at this point. All the while, a growing number of consumers will be expecting to be given access to this shopping and ordering technology in the days and months to come

Provide Management With Streamlined Aptito-Brand Scheduling and Payroll

In addition to being up with the strictest industry standards for top notch security while providing the ultimate tool for attracting and retaining customers, Aptito cloud based POS offers clients the capability to operate it from anywhere. Create employee schedules, send via email to each one with a simple click, and make effective adjustments on the spot with concise communications regarding any staff conflicts as presented. Being accessible from anywhere and at anytime, Aptito cloud based POS means your business is always under the safe steering of management. Whether you are playing golf at the beach, right down the street, on site or thousands of miles away, you’ll always have a full and immediate connection to every realm of your business and operations in real time.

Every Aspect is Covered

Seamlessly customizable to fit your needs, the Aptito POS solution provides your business with a full managerial platform, offering extensive reports detailing sales and inventory, cost and profit analytics and more. No matter where you are, planning for every level and aspect of your operations. Keep touch with a detailed client database, staff and other operational scheduling, credit card processing and payroll. Tailor made, you’ll find the Aptito iPad POS to be the brilliant solution for every need your business has. Planning is full circle, with the real-time table reservation app communicating with the POS system.

Payroll Solved

Aptito’s fully-functioning payroll solution is up and running, and represents just one more superior managerial dimension of the all-inclusive answer for every possible operational requirement, and comes included as basic functionality without incurring additional expense. The system seamlessly tracks employee hours and wages, recording them so that you can review on a daily and weekly basis. Bi-weekly and semi-monthly options for navigating pay periods are set to become available for even more versatility, your way. You can run reports for any pay period, and download all you need for processing payroll in CSV format for integration with Quickbooks, or a contracted payroll service with just one click.

The Savings are Undeniable and an Absolute Necessity, for a Business to Move Ahead

Possibly the greatest saving grace that Aptitio’s payroll solution guarantees is found in the vast volume of time saved, from turning what used to be labor and time intensive, important tasks into touch-button accomplishment with immediate results. This represents the most brilliant technological solution to simplify administration to business owners, ever. In the very near future. any businesses without such technology powering their operations will simply not be able to compete in any viable way. In contrast to early predictions of technology somehow replacing the human element in operational aspects, what wise business people are discovering is the many ways in which POS technology – done right – brings management closer together with the full scope of every operational component, and gives them more options, more information and more ability to stay current and plan for the company’s future success.

Inventory Management You Can’t Afford to be Without

Often, when businesses are growing, they tend to focus more on the day to day operations and leave behind some of the less outwardly pressing, mundane responsibilities. It is here that inventory management can become a casualty. Unfortunately, what may seem like a component that can wait is actually an element of your day to day operations with full-on, make-or-break potential. Counting inventory, restocking and properly timed reordering are the lifeblood of the business.

The Blight of Poor Inventory Standards

In a report by the U.S. Small Business Administration, one of the most frequent causes of small businesses failing comes from unsatisfactory management of operating inventory. Surprisingly, statistics point to almost half of all small businesses with over 10 to just under 500 employees not having any form of tracking system in place to monitor inventory status. Among some of the more obvious problems linked to poor or nonexistent inventory management are unforeseen shortages, significant waste of perishables, over ordering of certain products that can not be moved, and general customer dissatisfaction. Regardless of which type of hit affects your business, it’s your company’s reputation that could wind up taking the biggest one. Microsoft’s Midsize Business Center reports that inventory costs of any such business are ultimately reduced up to 35 % when inventory is properly prioritized.

More Than a Counting Tool

By engaging a comprehensive inventory management system along with the right sales app, a small to mid-sized company can drastically cut their overhead expenses, streamline management and elevate the overall efficiency by which their business operates. Once an item has been entered into the system, the Aptito inventory management system will take it from there, managing the entire inventory for the business. You can set it to send you “inventory alerts” when levels are headed toward or have reached (preset by you,) critical levels. With the fantastic “auto-order” feature, one-button orders can be instantly emailed to the appropriate distributors or sources. Inventory control without the time and headache – so you can focus on the day to day operations.

The System Does All of Your Cost & Profit Calculations

You get whole management for inventory by full integration with all the Aptito apps, for ideal synchronization of inventory with the iPad POS. As guests order from the digital menu, the system deducts that item and associated ingredients from your inventory, also tracking the sale, cost of the item and your profit. Once an item is not available, it cannot be ordered on the iPAD, eliminating disgruntled order-placers. The only occasion you’ll ever have to think about inventory again will be in setting up the inventory system your way. And this is made easy, so there will be no problems in starting up. You’ll always know exactly where you stand.

Restaurants Increase Ticket Totals With Photos and More on iPad Menus

An attractive, well-presented photograph can do more to communicate than the longest-ever, thoughtfully composed diatribe ever could. And for this reason, Aptito’s POS-enabled eye-catching visual images with their backlit presence, are a surefire way to increase the total of each ticket by an average of 15 to 20 %, which are no small beans. All-texted menus – regardless of how fancy the calligraphy or font – just can’t compete with the real-time representation that a deliciously presented photo conveys. Even in contrast to photographs of menu items upon flat, laminated menus pale in comparison with the lifelike nature of the same or similar image on a screen – especially in knowing that by a simple tap of the item, it’s seconds away from preparation for an expedient arrival at your customer’s table, with no waiting for a server.

More Photos Make for the Ideal Match

With Aptito’s extensive catalogue of superbly photographed menu items, your choices for ideal sympatico representation are comprehensive, with each image conveying its own style of mouthwatering goodness that begs to be tasted. In many cases, a photograph will do more to sell a slower-moving item than verbiage, alone.

The Aptito Diner’s Experience

Without a wait, customers enjoy perusing the colorful menu and ordering drinks, appetizers, salads, entrees and more. They can even summon their server, get a detailed breakdown on the nutritional information, per dish, send special requests with their orders directly to the chef, and browse other interesting info, specials and factoids – or play entertaining games together, all on their iPad menus. Ordering more salad dressing, napkins, extra plates or desserts is a “piece of cake,” with the Aptito iPad. There’s plenty of server attention, and when time to pay arrives, it’s handled by the customer at the table without need of an intermediary (server.)

More Options for Full Customizing

Because these digital menus are fully customizable, the options for creating a unique ordering experience for your brand’s ambience is yours. Add your logo, and enjoy seamless design ability with several stellar choices for layout from an impressive number of modern design templates. Anytime you desire to make changes, they’re a cinch – quick and easy, with no waste of time designing or money to reprint and reformat. Categorize certain favorites with the customers – or with the kids, even adding some entertaining ad-libs to further personalize the dining experience.

Get the Responses

You can add a wrap-up rating and review for your customers to fill out upon completion of their meal. You may not love every response. but it’ll be your most valuable info, ever. You can even check Facebook comments and recommendations made by customers, right from your menus. Using your POS, send your customers personalized deals, coupons, special promotions, birthday freebies and more. Send out simple and concise periodic newsletters to keep contact.

Put Aptito Technology to Work With Added Value Customer Incentives

Among the many positives that are inherently woven into the fabric of POS technology is how effective it is in both the acquisition of and keeping customers. Particularly important for small to mid-sized businesses, it’s an excellent method of increasing brand awareness in a manner that will serve to establish the host business with impressive distinction within the marketplace. POS technology is still new enough that some hesitancy exists simply due to lack of knowledge in just how it works and especially how powerful a tool it is for streamlining a business, from the back door all the way through operations to the completely satisfied sale. When you hear talk of “Added Value Customer Incentives,” there are many reasons why this concept is different from a “sale,” or a general publically advertised “promotion.” What follows are some of the details of how a POS system customized to your business can serve you to take the very best care of your existing customers and at the same time, attract new customers who find your reputation of offering choice “added value” incentives refreshing and worthwhile.

A Customer-Inspired Design

Because beauty is firmly proven as a secured treasure existing within the heart of the beholder, any incentives you provide must be identified from the perspective of the customer. Guesswork is too risky, and your efforts to draw increased sales will only be as effective as the perception of value level they offer. By determining the target market for your business, you can then look at ways in which your product or service will be of benefit to them. Avoid cliche or the obvious incentives and elevate your brand by out of the box deals. Some of the most effective incentives involve helping customers to solve problems or do their jobs better. It’s not really so much about a feature as it is about what partaking will do to benefit your customer, where it’ll do the most good. By collecting the right information from your existing customers (including even brutally honest survey answers,) you will learn more about their preferences and wants, and collectively you can use your POS to help you come up with broad reaching content to please your median target audience.

Tap Into the Resources

A customer is either “right” or they’re “gone.” By presenting your customers with surveys, and stressing that you want their honest answers, you’ll learn most of what you need, to design your incentives. There are some free survey tools with easy templates, like Survey Monkey and SurveyPlanet. There’s nothing wrong with checking out some popular marketing models to give you a basic strategy framework. Watch the YouTube video, The Four Cs Model, or Google the Brand Essence Wheel, where you can read up on how to effectively capture and communicate your brand’s subtle essence. Wikipedia contains a valuable read-up on the SWOT analysis, or SWOT matrix, that is an excellent method businesses can use in evaluating a project or venture’s strengths and weaknesses, and its opportunities and threats.

About “Free”

Free resources and such can be helpful in increasing brand awareness and get you more exposure, but keep in mind that in order to be helpful, whatever you’re handing out needs to be relevant to your market or brand and should always be in keeping with your business’ growth incentives.

Staying Ahead with Aptito – the Migration to EMV Chip Security Requirements

EMV technology was developed from the card schemes of Europay, Mastercard, and Visa, and has become the global standard for both credit and debit payment cards that are based on chip card technology. (EMV is an acronym bearing the first letter of each of the original cards schemes.) It’s basically everything having to do with processing credit and debit card payments with cards that feature a microprocessor chip. When such transactions are processed, they are generally known as “Chip and PIN” transactions, as PIN entering is a requirement on the part of the customer to provide verification of ownership, and EMV specifications include other methods of cardholder verification, too.

A Significant Change for the Better

This technology has evolved out of a need-based solution to the widespread proliferation of fraud in every type of merchandising venue in existence. Up front, it seems like a lot on the shoulders of merchants and financial institutions, who will need to add new in-store technology and systems for internal processing – and maintain compliance with liability rules. These cards are aggressively thwarting the card-counterfeiting business, and improving general payment security all around. It’s regarded as an important step for everyone as we move forward, technologically. Consumers will have new cards to activate and be learning new payment processes. All in all, EMV processing provides much greater fraud protection – a win-win, everywhere.

Existing Equipment Can Prove Costly

Among the FAQ, the subject of viability over keeping existing payment applications and just converting components over to handle the few transferrable merchant processes. EMV is worlds away from the older method of processing magnetic stripe transactions. Magnetic stripe-processed sales typically provide only the card number and the expiry date, where, with chip-processed sales, dozens of pieces of information are interchanged between the card, the terminal and the recipient bank (of the processor: you.) This is an elaborate and highly complex production with numerous differently timed stages that includes authentication via cryptographics within completion of the transaction. To utilize EMV with an existing system complex support would be a required addition, and the process could prove cost prohibitive, in both energy and expense. Many businesses needing an EMV Chip (and PIN or Signature) solution are electing to go with an EMV Software Kernel – straight off the shelf, instead of developing their own, in-house, due to EMVCo mandated testing, continually evolving specifications and regular updates.

It’s Where All Business is Headed

Statistics pertaining to both contact and contactless transactions of all chip cards showed an overall increase of EMV chip technology implementation rising 29 percent from 2013 to 2014. Currently, more than 3.4 billion EMV payment cards are in circulation, worldwide. This represents a yearly increase of 43%. While the figures on EMV chip-based transactions within the U.S. represent a smaller percent of the total, it’s clearly and rapidly becoming prevalent and expected technology of business leaders in the U.S.

Selling with the Aptito mobile iPhone Point of Sale (mPOS) System

In today’s high tech world, businesses everywhere are quickly discovering that the manner in which their products are presented and how they are selected and purchased has become just as important if not even more so than the product itself. This is especially true in the foodservice industry, where the competition is so fierce. Regardless of the level of service your restaurant provides – from food truck vending to burgers, sandwiches and fries, to providing your customers with a full service gourmet dining experience – The Aptito mPOS system is your vehicle for confidently moving forward with expanded satisfaction among your customers and a larger volume of increased sales. Secure your lasting place in the industry by offering your staff and customers the level of service that is set to become the universal standard. When selling method and tone is so critical, the Aptito mobile iPhone Point of Sale system delivers to you the front line capabilities of a POS industry leader – guaranteed by in-depth experience and equipment to support the restaurant industry with timely information updates and the technology to make it happen most efficiently.

Superior Service Times Guaranteed

Improved customer service is seamless with the Aptito updated version of cloud-based POS software. You can place orders from anywhere, without a costly delay. Servers can move about the front end – whether at tables or even in the lobby. Alternatively, customers can place orders themselves from their tables or at kiosks located conveniently within the establishment. At the second the selection is made by the tap of the on screen item, it appears in the kitchen. This means a generously increased sales volume from improved order times and more customer requests rapidly processed. The vibrant, full-color menu presents each menu item in its most mouth watering imagery, found to produce more orders per table up to an average of 20 percent.

More Than a Sales Tool

Beyond increased efficiency that’s guaranteed with Aptito’s mobile Apple software, this all-in-one system has you covered splendidly for important behind the scenes operations. Here’s your answer for smoothly managing payroll, inventory and staffing. With smart inventory, you will easily track sales whenever you desire, while viewing real-time quantities on hand, and receive notifications when reordering is necessary. All of this amounts to a super-efficient inventory control, with waste minimized. With the Aptito staff management benefits, you can easily create and modify work schedules, immediately communicating with staff to effectively and quickly resolve any conflicts. View sales reports in detail and customize and sync digital menus. It’s your employee time clock, as well as a real-time system for taking and making reservations without error.

Implement Self-Ordering to Improve Your Customer’s Overall Experience

When it comes to make or break details of your company’s success, if you are not able to produce satisfied customers, you have nothing. Nurturing your customers by providing superior products, with an all-positive turnkey service is essential in maintaining your existing business, as well as in creating any worthwhile growth potential. With more focus than at any other previous time on improving customer relations by so many businesses, the level of control you give your customers to customize their overall experience – along with the care you show them – has never been more critical.

Beware the Unhappy Customer Experience

Travelling at light speed, all it takes is one unhappy customer to flood the Internet’s social media haunts with scathing reports that may not take you completely under, but they’ll guarantee a certain level of lost revenue to your operations. The importance of generating satisfied customer experiences is behind much advanced technology that is quickly becoming the standard for meeting baseline consumer expectations. Knowing what these are and being sure to offer them to your clientele is your best opportunity to ensure that you’re doing everything possible to keep their business. In today’s market, it’s truly the establishments that stay fixed on a quest to deliver their products – with matching service – on such a pleasing level that consumers automatically want to come back for more, and even bring their friends.

Enhanced Service Equals Returning Business

By offering your customers the ability of self-ordering, you are able to engage with them on a more attentive level. This contrasts the immediate response that POS technology might have produced initially, in appearing to be a replacement for human service. Once the customer discovers just how the self-service concept actually improves the service they receive, they more readily engage in using the service while developing a greater sense of satisfaction from their overall experience from your establishment. In a recent national survey, an impressive 60% of consumers shared their willingness to pay more in order to ensure a better experience. The same 60% will be present in your establishment at any given time – presenting you with the opportunity to give them the performance of a lifetime – and make them fall in love with your company.

More Fun Means More Spent

Research points to how businesses offering self-ordering automatically realize an increase in the average amount purchased. Apparently, people enjoy interacting more with these devices than they even realize – as evidenced in how they’re inspired to spend more. These increases apply to businesses in a variety of merchant industries, as well, across the board. It’s been observed that consumers tend to behave differently when engaging with a machine, rather than a human for the ordering process. They report feeling less pressured and more relaxed as a result. The beauty of this technology is in how it can be preprogrammed to both upsell and cross-sell products, and unlike with manually provided articulation, there is no incidence of error or omission. The self service POS guarantees that the customer is apprised of every possible add-on, special and enticement to purchase, without fail. There is a very tangible element to self-ordering that allows for a greater degree of uninhibited selection, for many reasons. This includes the absence of feeling judged by another human.