With a growing awareness of their impacts on the environment, consumers are more and more attracted to environmentally sustainable businesses. Whether you are a brick and mortar shop, a totally digital shop, or somewhere in between, there are many ways for you to reduce your carbon footprint and attract eco-friendly customers. While it is possible to write books on the different steps business owners are taking to implement environmental sustainability into their daily operations, one of the easiest steps you can take is switching to a Cloud-Based POS to manage your financial systems. Here are just a few of the ways cloud-based POS will help your business reach your sustainability goals:
1. Save the Trees, Please
Traditional bookkeeping relies on paper, and no matter where you source it from, paper is made from trees. The problem with paper isn’t just in your own accounting books, but also in receipts for customers, tally sheets used to track inventory and orders, and invoicing. Moreover, going paperless also reduces your need for ink. The chemicals used to produce most inks on the market are very harmful to both the environment and human health, so switching to the cloud means fewer hazardous materials to be exposed to in the workplace. So switching to the cloud not only keeps the forests healthy and strong, it will keep your staff, your customers, and you healthier in the long run too.
2. Time is Money
Cloud-based POS systems integrate your supply chain with your sales systems. As customers buy products online, the systems automatically update your inventory catalog. This will mean that you can save money on counting inventory, and focus the labor hours and energy you’re paying for on money-making endeavors. It also means that when it’s time to restock the shelf, you will be notified in real-time, taking the guesswork out of it. With integrated systems like this in place, you’ll find your operating costs go down as restocking and inventory time is reduced, which usually means savings for your electricity bill in the case of brick and mortar shops. E-Commerce operations will find warehousing costs are reduced in a similar manner.
3. Synergies Reduce Emissions
Global dependency on fossil fuels is dropping as newer, cleaner technologies are being developed. Unfortunately, change is slow in coming, and so retail businesses are still heavily dependent on fossil fuels to get the product to market. Cloud-Based POS systems allow you to synergize your operations, which can mean savings in overhead expenses. More important than the financial benefits, these synergies mean that shipping costs and warehousing also get streamlined. For brick and mortar shops, this means that you can get your orders filled faster, and often through more simplified supply chains which will reduce the carbon footprint your business leaves. For e-commerce or brick-and-mortar shops with online catalogs, having your POS system directly connected to the cloud means you can save on the warehouse space entirely, meaning your customers will pay for their purchase, and the product will be shipped out directly from your supplier. This cuts out the middleman, meaning we no longer need to burn as much diesel to get the same great service for your customers.
4. Make Marketing Easier, Build Better Relationships
Unless you are in a very small town where everyone knows everyone else, businesses have traditionally needed to rely on print media and television advertisements to attract attention. When the customers come to the store, most small retail owners will do their best to make the customer experience as welcoming as possible to encourage repeat business. With the internet, attracting new customers has never been easier. The challenges are no longer just about getting the customer into your physical space, but how to get them to the POS system to actually make a purchase.
Cloud-based POS systems allow you to integrate your marketing, sales, and customer stewardship efforts in one easy click. They have widgets that can be embedded into your marketing materials. Better still, if you are using CRM software to track your customer relationships (and you really ought to be by now), cloud-based POS systems will allow you to update the customers’ individual profiles. This integration makes targeted marketing much simpler to implement, and that’s going to save on more than just your overhead costs. By integrating your CRM with your POS systems, you make it possible to automate your repeat business which will ultimately mean less printed paper and a much happier customer base.
5. Reducing your Reliance on Paper Helps More than Just Forests
By switching to a cloud-based POS system, you will be drastically reducing the number of trees needed to meet global demands. According to the 2017 report published by greenamerica.org, the paper is the fifth largest consumer of energy globally. Most paper mills rely on petroleum to get the trees from the forest to the mill, to power the machines, and finally to get the paper to market. A cloud-based POS system will mean your business is no longer driving this environmentally devastating supply chain, which will mean more trees are left to clear carbon out of the air. This will also reduce heavy metal runoff from logging projects which will help reduce their negative impact on our oceans.
If your company is ready to join the paperless movement, cloud-based POS systems are yet another way to leverage technology to help the environment. Customers these days are pickier about the brands and companies that they choose to support. Embracing sustainability and doing your part to be an environmentally conscious company will help you in attracting customers from the growing millennial generation, as it becomes the predominant customer base in future years.
Provided by our friend Casper Ohm at Water-Pollution.org.uk.