Conventional credit card machines, ringy-dingy cash registers, and — gasp! — paper checks are on their way to achieving distant memory status. These days, more and more businesses are implementing point-of-sale systems through which consumers can pay with the flash of a phone, or even a watch. With seemingly endless options to consider in this space, it’s easy to stumble down a rabbit hole of YouTube demos and blogger reviews. To save you a few hours (or weeks!), we asked some ECPs to tell us about their experiences using these cash registers of tomorrow … today.
Tony Damceski, owner, Eyeglass Wearhouse (right) in Reynoldsburg, OH, recommends Shopify. “I’ve never had a problem that has gone unresolved,” he says, describing the company’s support team as “a notch above.”
Ecwid’s Jesse Ness, who works with optical businesses like Vered Optical in Toronto (PICTURED) to set up their in-house POS system, points out that they can have added benefits. “Merchants can turn a 9-to-5, brick-and-mortar store into a 24/7 sales machine selling worldwide,” Ness says. “The technology is there and very simple.” Ecwid also works with e-commerce only businesses, like Belay Specs in Salt Lake City, UT.
Lori Egan at the office of Dr. Texas Smith, OD, (above) says patients are looking for this experience now. “We try to stay on top of technology as far as convenience and choices go,” she says.
Managing Optician Sarah Hemmelgarn uses Square to complete a patient’s purchase at Look + See Eye Care in Minneapolis, MN.
Points to Consider
Evaluate customer service. Josh Bladh of Dr. Taylor Bladh, O.D. Inc., implemented Square more than three years ago. “They did a demo showing me the reporting features,” he says, which were a big selling point.
Invest in training time. Most of these systems are pretty intuitive, but slipups can still happen without training. Lori Egen, office manager of Dr. Texas Smith, OD, in Citrus Heights, CA, is gearing up to implement Apple Pay. She recommends getting staff familiar with the tech first to avoid delays.
Take it online. Jesse Ness, of ecwid.com, says, “Many point-of-sale systems also allow you to take your products, prices, and photos into a system to create an online store that’s ready to sell in minutes.”
Determine feedback preferences. Dr. Sarah Jerome of Look + See Eye Care in Minneapolis, MN, gives Square’s feedback option high marks. Some practices, however, prefer to disable this internal-only feature. Bladh says, “We were getting a lot of good feedback, but it was lessening the number of people going onto Yelp and Google for reviews.”
Watch the clock. When you’re customizing your point-of-sale system, keep in mind that the more variables you account for, the more time you’ll need to invest inputting all of your inventory data.
What ECPs Say About Launching a New Payment System
office MANAGER, Dr. Taylor Bladh, O.D. Inc.,Diamond Bar, CA
Square said they love optometry because it’s a higher-average-dollar-amount transaction, there’s very little fraud, and very few refunds come back.
We had a second location open Monday through Saturday, for four to six months. We went to Square and saw that our Mondays were dead, but at our other location, Mondays were full. Tuesdays were a little busy but then Wednesdays and Thursdays were completely slammed. Our Saturdays were always a big money maker. So, we cut it down to three doctor days a week: Wednesday, Thursday and Saturdays — those were our biggest collection days. We saved money on staff and we’re making the same amount of money in fewer days.
This article originally appeared in the May 2017 edition of INVISION.