To Dream The EPOS-ible Dream

IN THE DYING BREATHS OF THE 20TH CENTURY computer users were finally freed from the shackles of telephone lines. The advent of wi- fi in 1999 gave rise to the wireless world we now know; featuring internet connectivity in everything from our phones and watches, to our cars and even our sunglasses. Nowadays, if the w-fi-goes down, people react as if the oxygen has been turned off. Nevertheless an alarming amount of businesses still haven’t really got to grips with the online world.

There are more benefits to it than just having a website. Don’t overlook the power of a digitised firearms register that integrates with your online shop and your point-of-sale in store – both providing additional sales opportunities and saving you admin work. What’s not to like?

But first, the old chestnut about the internet: that there’s no decent money in it. It’s true that more people use the web to shop around for equipment than ever before, and this means they’re only a swipe

away from comparing prices with a competitor. When margins in the industry are low, competing on price is difficult. Instead, traders should focus on delivering a streamlined shopping experience and a fuss-free checkout process. With so many options on offer, it’s vital that potential customers don’t vanish at the finish line.

There are a number of Electronic Point of Sale (Epos) systems that can handle the sales software side of the transaction, reducing the risk of a customer getting stuck at the last hurdle. With the average gun shop stocking a huge array of products, though, it might seem difficult to find a system with all the necessary functions and flexibility. Here are a few that seem to have cracked that nut…

EposLink

EposLink offers specialist retail solutions as part of its package. The firm has established that retailers have different requirements, and have tailored a point-of-sale system that meets the requirements of multiple sectors including the gun trade. Sales, orders, quotes, and credits can all be processed with a few key strokes, allowing you to give your customers the best possible service. Users will have all of the information they need at their fingertips to manage sales efficiently and effectively. The entire system is designed to make life as a firearms dealer easier, and the gun registers bring you all of the benefits of an integrated software suite developed by one supplier. Working with such systems help to turn your browsers into buyers with alternative payment solutions. They allow you to act as the expert on your products, and are designed for ease-of-use.

Guntrader

Looking to the online side of the equation, Guntrader is the name on most dealers’ lips. Its software is used by more RFDs than all other available software packages combined. Their software, Gun Register, is the only software package that allows retailers to advertise their gun on their own site as well as guntrader.uk – while handling the whole process, from issuing sales receipts to stock control and calculating VAT. Over 60 UK retailers currently use the software, which has been developed specifically to cater for the needs of the modern registered firearms dealers. Since its launch Guntrader have added features suggested by users or to respond to changes in legislation.

Designed to support dealers and save them time – especially since the introduction of the 2006 VCR Act, which brought about plenty of extra paperwork – the register features include an automatic Form 11 for customers and email alert for the relevant police force.

The software can run on multiple devices and operating systems with no installation. The data’s end-to-end encryption and daily back-up mean that the website is not only secure but also easy to update. Other time saving features include stock taking, VAT calculations, gun tracking (during SOR) and advertising analytics.

Gunstar

Gunstar provides stock listings that enable gun dealers to advertise their full inventory. Reaching target audiences while they’re starting their search is vital, especially as online browsing is often the first port of call.

Whether you have five guns or 500, Gunstar have a range of packages to suit every level of dealership. Unlike other classifieds, they charge a flat monthly fee, and provide constant exposure to a large and relevant audience. The software also broadcasts adverts to partner sites with ease, allows advert updates (even from Gunstar’s app), and directs enquiries straight into your inbox.

Omni Capital

Get customers confident in their spending with Omni Capital’s point-of-sale finance, which can be integrated into your website. Using its quick interface, it can give lending decisions in seconds.

Using secure platforms, whether you want to fully integrate an application into your e-commerce site of offer credit in stores, the process remains the same. With the use of any computer or tablet or wireless terminal an application can be generated at the touch of a screen or button with customers able to obtain finance without a single piece of paper.

For security purposes this can be accessed at any time, and fully automatic identity checking is taken care of with Credit Sentry. The CreditSentry service is also built into the application process and helps identify and process fraudulent applications.

Business owners should realise that the best solution may not come right out of a box. Going digital often requires a greater degree of customisation than you expect. And in today’s competitive market, businesses must to do everything they can to stand out. It’s not enough just to have a website, for example – it has to be well designed, Google-friendly and optimised to drive bookings. An online brochure is so 2009. You need to think about SEO and ranks well in Google for a park’s key search terms; and one that also offers a slick user experience for those browsing on a mobile phone – which is becoming ever more important.

In addition to a hassle-free online experience, the key is to let your personality show through in the marketing of your business and its products. Relationships are important in the gun trade and web guests are one of your best resources. Stay in touch. Use their feedback to continuously improve, share photos and testimonials on your social media platforms, engage with them and encourage conversations. A happy guest can be a breath of fresh air for your business

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