Companies have spent countless dollars implementing CRM tools and marketing programs
designed to grow their business. The problem is getting an appropriate return on investment
(ROI) considering the cost involved in most CRM software installations, versus the amount of
new and retained customers.
Receipts are widely used for both CRM and general marketing purposes. The problem has
always been finding a cost-effective POS system that can double as a CRM solution which will generate receipts with vibrant, eye-catching triggered
coupons and company logos that will accomplish the ultimate goal – retaining customers and increasing revenue.
Before retailers spend thousand of dollars in a CRM software and embed it into their POS
system, companies should first evaluate POS system printers
on a variety of criteria, including CRM features, often included with the printer drivers.
Here is a quick review of the most important criteria to look for before buying a receipt printer.
Printing Capability – Many companies have used POS systems as part of their customer loyalty
program while others have relied on those systems for promotional efforts. Unfortunately, the
two marketing tools are rarely utilized together. That has all changed. A single printer can now
be used to print coupons for future purchases as part of a customer retention program. The same
printer can be used as a promotional tool. For example, a printer can be programmed to print
information on a special evening sale or happy hour on all receipts from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
The receipt can have a special coupon to entice the customer to come, as well as a company logo
for branding purposes.
Inventory Control – A common obstacle for store owners is to move stagnant products from the
store shelves and warehouse pallets before the storage of the products begins costing the store
more than its worth. Retailers must look for a POS/CRM printer
which contains a utility to trigger coupons – not just based on the customer’s current purchases.
An inventory control trigger utility will automatically generate a coupon for the stagnant product(s)
regardless of what the customer has purchased and can be programmed to change each week depending
on which products need to be moved most quickly from the warehouse.
CRM Compatibility – Ease of integration is also key when evaluating a POS printer that can
handle the dual responsibility of CRM as well. Printers should be compatible with all standard
operating system drivers, such as Windows™, as well as specialty drivers such as OPOS™ and
JPOS™ so the printer can be configured in almost any existing system. In addition, printers
should have a small footprint and/or have the ability to operate both vertically and horizontally in
order to be an easy drop in replacement for existing POS systems.
Speed – Today’s designed printers use the latest high-speed processors, chips and interfaces,
resulting in unbelievable high speed, making the traditional method of measuring print speed
(inches per second) misleading. Now, POS printers’ speed should be based upon the number of
receipts per minute (RPM) that can be printed.
Most printers have a limited amount of space to store coupons and logos. This does not impact a
branding campaign as the logo placed on the receipt would not have to change. However, using a
traditional POS printer for CRM purposes can become more complicated. Because with a
traditional printer, there is limited storage space, every time a coupon needs to be updated or
changed, the coupons would have to be re-downloaded to the printer. With a more CRM focused
POS printer, the coupons and marketing campaign can be stored on a server or computer, not the
printer, enabling it to be accessed and modified from multiple locations. Further improving print
speed is the utilization of USB interfaces, rather than the slower Serial and Parallel connections.
This expands the graphics possibilities while also making receipt printing faster.
Improving customer relations and growing the customer base are keys to any successful
business. Advances in printer technology have now created expanded marketing opportunities
for companies through POS systems. These advances also improve the ROI of these marketing
efforts, creating a win-win scenario for companies looking for effective CRM and marketing