Furniture store retail is a unique creature with its very own set of headaches (aka complex operational challenges), especially as these large, bulky goods are situated anywhere but inside your showroom. There’s importing, logistics, fulfilment, stock transfers — and the dire need for complete visibility across the entire supply chain at the POS.
These challenges are more than just unique, though — they can be devastatingly costly if not properly managed. But, when furniture retail is handled well, it can be highly lucrative. That’s why we recommend that furniture retailers choose the best POS system for their furniture store furniture by carefully to ensure that it will thoroughly fulfil all their business needs.
Retail is tough. Furniture retail is even tougher. Retail Express POS software has features specifically designed for furniture that help minimise costly mistakes, improve efficiencies and scale fast. Discover why over 200 AU & NZ furniture store retailers (including Early Settler, Vast and Forty Winks) choose Retail Express. Get a free, customised demo with an Australian-based retail expert today.
Here are six vital furniture retail POS software features to look out for before purchasing.
1. Cloud technology
Cloud-based retail point of sale software is a web-based system reliant only on an internet connection. Traditionally, retail POS software systems would process and store data locally. However, these systems would often suffer ongoing data entry errors, time-consuming updates and other high expenses — and they’d take up a lot of valuable space. Retailers would also be left vulnerable to cyber attacks, natural disasters and power surges.
Alternatively, cloud retail POS software requires no expensive storage space and is infinitely more secure. Everything is visible in real-time, 24/7, so you can manage your business from anywhere. Better still, you’ll drastically reduce your IT costs.
2. Excellent supply chain visibility for improved customer service
Accurate, centralised data means that all supply chain information is available for your in-store staff at the POS. They have total visibility and control. They can see the exact product availability in every store and warehouse, check ETAs, fulfil orders directly off inbound POs and offer special orders from suppliers. These features keep everyone informed, making it easier for more sales (even with goods sitting on containers yet to arrive) and fewer order cancellations.
3. Multiple fulfilment methods for greater convenience
As only a select amount of furniture items are available in-store, furniture retailers need the flexibility to set different fulfilment methods for each product within the order, such as:
- Cash & Carry
- Store Pickup
- Home Delivery
- Warehouse Pickup
Suppose a customer orders a dining room suite and a few small homeware items. They may prefer home delivery for the bulky items and Cash & Carry for the smaller items. In that case, each item can be flagged with whichever individual fulfilment method is required. The software handles all the background inventory controls and stock movement, according to the fulfilment method for each product. With Retail Express, only one sales order is created for the customer, regardless of how each item is fulfilled.
4. Agile inventory control with source and fulfilment location settings
When creating a sales order, furniture sales staff need to choose from the stock location where each product will be sourced and the from location where it will be fulfilled. With Retail Express, this option is controllable for each product in the order.
For example, if a customer is ordering a lounge suite and a buffet, here’s what would happen:
Suppose the lounge suite is only available at the warehouse and not in stock at the local store, and the customer wants it home delivered. In that case, staff can choose to source the lounge from the warehouse by simply choosing from a drop-down box on the screen.
They can set the Fulfilment Location as the warehouse, meaning the lounge will be delivered directly from the warehouse to the customer.
And the buffet? Say the customer wants to collect it from the store where they bought it. The salesperson can go to the retail POS system and choose to source the buffet from the warehouse, but make the fulfilment location the preferred store.
After the selection, the software automatically generates a stock transfer for the buffet from the warehouse to the store. It also automatically handles the stock allocation in the system.
With this level of fulfilment control, staff save a colossal amount of unnecessary admin time and the customer experience is second to none.
“If inventory is not updated in real time, staff from various stores can order the same product, consequently overselling a product...”
5. Automatic stock transfers to prevent over-sells
New sales orders from various store locations often require transfers from other warehouses or stores. But most POS systems require manual processes for stock transfers and source locations.
These manual processes are often laborious time wasters. And if inventory is not updated in real time, staff from various stores can order the same product, consequently overselling a product. The result? Unhappy customers and more wasted time.
But with the right software, this doesn’t happen. For example, Retail Express can automatically allocate inventory at another location in real time while generating a stock transfer request – no manual work required.
6. Advanced Logistics and Warehouse Features
When dealing in bulky goods and furniture, advanced Logistics and warehousing capabilities are the backbone of your business. Retail Express includes a complete suite of warehouse logistics features, such as:
- Container tracking and Capacity Planning
- Supplier Payment Tracking
- Foreign Exchange Management
- Stock Receipt with scanning
Using smart algorithms that factor in lead times from suppliers, just-in-time stock replenishment ensures you have the right stock at the right time. It includes features such as stock turn rates, days on hand of stock and other factors.
Picking, dispatch & fulfilment:
- Picking reports with filters to efficiently pick and plan
- Allocating pick runs to specific ‘pickers’ and exporting pick lists
- Picking stock directly off inbound purchase orders (to fill customer orders)
- Dispatch reports with various filters to efficiently despatch stock
- Partial despatch of Stock Transfers and Customer Orders
- Container and truck capacity (space) planning
- Receiving Stock Transfers with ‘Goods Receipt Anomaly’ tracking
Customer Fulfilment of orders from any location:
Good fulfilment software will allow you to see the status of home deliveries, delivery zones, delivery times and drivers, and warehouse and store pickups.
Ongoing supply chain and fulfilment issues remain a significant concern for all Aussie and Kiwi retailers. But for furniture retailers, the concern is often multiplied tenfold. Switch to Retail Express POS software and get the support and agility you need:
- Cloud-based system for secure data available in real time
- Outstanding Supply Chain Visibility for better customer experiences (and better business)
- Multiple fulfilment methods for greater convenience and customer satisfaction
- Better inventory control with flexible fulfilment options
- Automatic stock transfers — say goodbye to over-sells
- Advanced Logistics and warehouse features