Brooklyn is teeming with New York natives and tourists alike, and the borough's merchants sometimes struggle to keep up with the activity. Several are using mobile point of sale systems from companies like ShopKeep to cut through the chaos.
"Mobile point of sale is a tool that has so much purpose now," says Joel Branson, general manager at One Girl Cookies, a bakery with two locations in Brooklynone in Dumbo and one in Cobble Hill. "The cash register used to just hold cash and do the math, but [point of sale systems] today are really impressive."
The amount of useful data that can be gleaned from the analytics components of mobile point of sale terminals is one of the features Branson says he couldn't live without now. Through ShopKeep's Sales Dashboard, he's able to view how both locations are faring through his smartphone when he's on the go, he says.
"I'm able to hone in on when we're busiest to make a better schedule," he says.
One Girl Cookies has been using ShopKeep for about two and half years. The iPad point of sale system has received steady updates in that time, Branson says.
The iPad terminal also helps One Girl Cookies when tourists that speak another language come into the bakery, says Branson. The iPad can be flipped to face the customer and they then input their email address and signature, he says.
"We're able to do more transactions per hour with ShopKeep," Branson says. "We usually do about 400 transactions a day saving four or five seconds off a transaction. Seconds totally matter because those build up to hours and that can build up to a whole day."
ShopKeep has more than 8,000 merchants using its point of sale system and a run rate of more than $1 billion in transactions, says Jason Richelson, founder and CEO of ShopKeep.
Branson says he "spreads the gospel as frequently" to people like Jane and David Walentas, the owners of Jane's Carousel, about ShopKeep after they spent more than $60,000 on automated ticketing kiosks.
The husband and wife duo bought the kiosks in an effort to make tickets souvenirs, says Jane Walentas, in an emailed case study. "Instead of easy use and quick access for paying customers, the kiosks became a pain point for the business," she says in the study.
The kiosks would freeze as a customer was making a purchase and were slow to load. In turn lines grew long at the carousel and discouraged other customers waiting to take a ride, she says.
The couple at first turned to manual ticket sales, and then started using ShopKeep's system. Business operations at Jane's Carousel improved immediately and drastically, Walentas says.
"Customer lines went from 30 to 40 people deep with long wait times, to no line at all and happy customers," she says. "Transaction time went from taking several minutes to taking 30 seconds."
Recently, ShopKeep POS added several new features to its system, including jump pages which categorize items and color buttons to group products together.
"This update is what we're calling the speed update," ShopKeep's Richelson says. "We've given back an interface that allows people to ring up transactions a lot faster."
The categorized pages and colored buttons will also help train new employees, which is important for cutting transaction times, especially for temporary staff hired during the holiday season.
During the holidays, merchants are likely condensing their sales in fewer days, says Richelson.
ShopKeep also deepened its partnership with retailintel.com, enabling transaction data to automatically flow into QuickBooks, Richelson says. "This automated bookkeeping process is a really important part of running a business because you shouldn't have to do repeated processes all the time when a computer can do it much better and cheaper," he says.