The holiday season, for a small business, it’s a time you both love and hate. Sure lots of customers, lots of purchases. Yet it comes with crazed rushing and stress. Employees take time off, your inventory changes dramatically, and worse? This year the holiday season is six days shorter than usual. So how do you maximize the time you have? With mobile apps for data collection, you’ll save time and even relax through the holiday season. Here are 5 ways apps will help you through.
Just some of the crowds you could see this black friday (source)
One: No More Data Entry. Ever.
Whether you’re in retail or event planning, data entry is a part of the business— with paper that is. You squint at people’s code (err, I mean handwriting.) Or, you chase down employees just to find missing information. You spend hours typing this information into your database. What does this give you? Hours of frustration while wasting time and money.
By going mobile, you can fill out your forms just once. Fill out your form on a smartphone or tablet, and hit submit. Once you do, the information is immediately available in the cloud. Even better, you can integrate it with your existing databases like QuickBooks. Save yourself from headaches, squinting, late nights, and the expensive coffee you’ll need the next morning.
Two: Streamline your Payments with Mobile Apps + Mobile Payment
The holiday season means a lot more shoppers come through your store. In this day and age, no one likes to wait. Sure you’d like to expand your payment system but a cash register is expensive. With a mobile form and mobile payment system, like GoCanvas and Square, you can easily capture payment and send that information to your databases.
This is great for you in multiple ways. Mobile payment systems send receipts via email. You get a customer’s email and you don’t have to deal with small, easy to lose receipts. No more scouring the floor by the cash register: the history of transactions at your shop are safe in the cloud.
Three: Faster and More Accurate Inventory Inspections
Keeping your inventory stocked at the right levels is tricky, more so during the holiday season. Quickly and accurately taking stock helps you make the best decisions for your business. Taking stock with paper? That leaves you prone to errors and wasted time from lost or damaged forms.
Mobile apps make surveying your inventory easy. You can incorporate dropdown lists, check boxes, barcode scanning, calculations, even your own reference data. All of these will make your inventory checks faster and more accurate. The cherry on the top? Real time access in the cloud means you can make decisions minutes instead of hours or days later!
Four: Stand Out from the Crowd with Customized PDFs
Receipts, invoices, what do you do with these as a consumer? Throw them away, file them for a little while. For businesses, these represent missed opportunities to connect with customers. Mobile apps allow you to connect in new and exciting ways.
With mobile apps, every submission generates a PDF. You can customize it to have your own logo, include photos, even customized thank you messages. You can go further as well, give your customers coupons, and incentives to connect with you on social media from Facebook to Twitter. More than giving your customers easy access to their records, you connect with them. With a simple switch from paper to mobile, you can start making your customers more loyal than ever before.
Pretty, professional and no mess!
Five: Prepare Better for Next Year
The holiday season is practically on top of us now. Following our huge meal is Black Friday, a long day for shoppers and shop owners. When it’s all over, do you actually look through all the data on your inventory or customers? For most of us, exhausted by the season, we’re too sick to even touch that paper work. Mobile apps help not only with collecting data but also analyzing it.
Mobile apps make it easy to export large batches of submissions in both XML and CSV. In just moments you can integrate the data with your system. Make graphs, find out what products sold when, and so much more. With all your data at your fingertips, you’ll be able to prepare easily for next year’s holiday season.
During this busy season, the last thing you want to worry about is paperwork. Let mobile apps help take the load off. Not only will you save yourself from late nights, but also wasted time and effort with paper forms. It’s a gift that will keep on giving, not only in the holiday season, but also through the whole year.
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Read on to find out 3 Risks for not Implementing Mobile Apps