Magazine Article | April 23, 2013

POS, Marketing Combo Drives Repeat Business

By Brian Albright, Business Solutions magazine.

An automated marketing solution helps a restaurant POS VAR boost sales for customers.

Point of sale (POS) resellers are under pressure to differentiate themselves as POS hardware and solutions become more commoditized. Reseller Arrow POS has done so by combining its own POS software with online ordering capabilities and what the company refers to as “point of marketing” (POM) functionality that helps its customers boost sales while minimizing marketing costs. According to President Barry Brownhill, POM has been a key differentiator for the company, helping customers improve sales and reduce coupon-based business fluctuations by leveraging social media and other types of online interactions. “Our customers collect a lot of information from their customers, and we decided to create an integrated marketing system for attracting new customers, keeping them coming back, and keeping it simple and cost-effective for the owner.”

An existing customer, Rosati’s Pizza, needed a comprehensive POS system to handle carryout, delivery, pickup, and fast/casual dining for a new location. Rosati’s also wanted to leverage the POM capabilities of Arrow’s system.

Arrow POS provided a solution that includes six all-inone POS stations, two cash drawers, two impact printers for the kitchen, two thermal receipt printers, and integrated caller ID. Arrow also provided its ArrowPOS+POM software, including its OrderCraze online ordering solution, the Arrow Rewards system (which is seamlessly powered by Kamron Karington’s Repeat Returns solution), and Vantiv’s payment processing services.

Automated Rewards
Rosati’s uses the rewards program system to automatically provide special offers to existing customers. Other discounts are available to customers who place orders online. Rosati’s was able to eliminate print advertising and couponing, which reduced the restaurant’s overall marketing budget. Driving orders online takes pressure off the phones at the restaurant. According to Brownhill, pushing more customers online actually boosts sales because customers have more time to “browse” the menu than they would over the phone. “Our customers typically see their average ticket go up by 20% to 30% through online orders,” Brownhill says.

Repeat Business And Residual Revenue Streams
The combination of POS and marketing helps the restaurant leverage its existing customer data and drives repeat business from those customers — a less expensive and more reliable revenue stream than the customers drawn in by one-off coupon offers. “The Arrow POS system includes integrated credit card and gift card processing, split payment capabilities, customer order history and customer profile tracking, more than 100 different types of reports for back office management, customizable security settings, and a simple touch screen interface.” While Arrow provides a range of hardware, it uses Vantiv as its primary processing partner. “Any system can swipe a card, but we have to deal with taking live payments on phone orders, split phone orders, separate payments on those split phone orders, and split payment types on the split phone orders,” Brownhill says. “It can get very complex very quickly. We chose Vantiv as our primary processing partner because, among other things, they are an acquirer/processor.”

So far, the POS solution has helped Rosati’s increase sales month-over-month since the new location opened. When the location opened in December 2012, sales were relatively strong. According to Brownhill, most new stores see a drop in business of about 25% after the first two weeks. In Rosati’s case, that didn’t happen. “After three months, their sales were up 50% over their opening week,” Brownhill says. “More intriguing, their profits are much stronger because they spend about a third of what a typical restaurant would spend on marketing.”

That type of performance has helped Arrow POS capture repeat business from existing customers and chains like Rosati’s. “We have found that if we are instrumental in making a customer successful, there is a good chance it will open more locations and use us without a second thought,” Brownhill says. “With that in mind, we get the up-front capital investment, plus the ongoing residual streams of online ordering, processing, and support.”