Rising inflation is likely to start impacting ‘luxury’ purchases of pools, spas and outdoor living products. To help ensure pool and spa professionals maximize profits and make data-driven decisions in 2023, embrace technology and business software solutions designed to improve business practices to ensure against uncertainty next season. Here are a few of the latest trends emerging from our industry.
Trend No. 1: E-commerce for all
Every brick-and-mortar store today should have an online presence—it’s expected. Luckily there are integrated pool and spa business software packages that make it easy to set up an online store. Your e-commerce site should be ready to receive customers and their business. Retailers have discovered the importance of re-training customers to use online shopping for pool and spa supplies. It’s good for your customer and it’s good for your business! If you aren’t online, it’s time to start dedicating resources to building an online store.
When clients go to your online store, they should be able to order, pay, and arrange for delivery or pick-up of their purchases. Be sure your business software supports these online features and includes pool industry integrations, so that inventory and delivery dates are accurate. An e-commerce site should be able to easily process credit cards through its business software system to eliminate mistakes and ensure the correct end-of-day tally. Additionally, an Online Bill Pay system that creates a reliable billing process will make it easier and more convenient for customers to pay bills.
Trend No. 2: Go mobile or bust
The use of mobile apps has exploded, and your business can capitalize on the power of apps to alleviate the stress of labor shortages while also improving a customer’s experience with your company. Use mobile apps to make transactions and remain in communication. Many mobile apps are available through business software packages or as stand-alone tools.
Having a live mobile app integrated into your POS software allows employees to use tablets and smartphones to access the same data anywhere on the retail floor. And staff can use a tablet, a magnetic stripe-reader, or a pocket barcode scanner to complete sales transactions, process credit cards, and email receipts to keep clients from waiting in line.
Service techs can use mobile apps in the field to upload photos, equipment information and other customer data as well as tools to help diagnose water chemistry issues. Techs can send messages directly to clients with recommended product purchases that can be made through your online store.
Trend No. 3: Let’s chat!
With the rise of remote work and the ability to stay in close communication digitally, pool and spa businesses can expand their staff talent pool as well as their customer reach using new ‘Chat’ technology tools, such as internal chat systems and integrated business software. These tools allow service techs to easily log in to get the information they need. Retailers can add a ‘chat’ functions to their websites and divide up the shifts among all employees, so they are available for clients 16 hours a day, 7 days a week. Managing the chat function also can now easily be done from home and creates stronger relationships with existing and new customers.
To learn how integrated pool technology can prepare you for 2023, visit RB Retail & Service Solutions.