The REVOLUTIONARY Point of Sale Trends that MOST Car Wash Owners Have Never Heard Of!
THE BASICS: SECURE TRANSACTIONS AND FLEXIBLE PAYMENTS
Whether you like it or not, customers expect a lot nowadays. As a modern business owner it is up to you to serve your customers’ needs while making sure you protect your business.
Merchants accepting credit card payments should be PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliant and understand the risks of charge-backs. A charge-back can occur when a customer denies authorization of a transaction after it has been completed, causing the card issuer to reclaim the original payment. Businesses still operating on magnetic stripe payments are particularly at risk. Using EMV approved POS terminals can help you fight against this risk because it provides a more secure method of payment. More importantly, the encryption of these payments protects your customer data and prevents breaches. For more information on EMV technology, check out the article link below. (https://www.retaildive.com/news/emv-payments-in-2018-the-state-of-the-update/521709/)
Customers are using cards more often than cash but many operators still support cash transactions. I have seen plenty of sites that utilize a two land set up with one credit card only or unlimited lane and one lane that has a POS to accept cash or credit cards.
Offering gift cards and wash-books provides your customers with even more ways to pay. These also make great gifts during the holidays and help boost revenue. Selling these online makes it quick and easy for your customers, so you should consider how your point of sale system integrates with e-commerce on your website.
GROWTH STRATEGIES: INCREASING AVERAGE TICKET SIZE & RUNNING AND UNLIMITED PROGRAM
Car wash owners need a POS system that can help them generate more revenue from their customer base. There are two forms of revenue that can be enhanced with the right system: single transaction and recurring subscriptions.
For customers that might only visit once in their life or once in a month, it is important to capitalize on these visits and increase ticket size. Effectively promoting and selling upgraded wash packages and additional services helps maximize profits, especially in areas with lower populations.
For loyal customers that visit often, promotion of an unlimited program can build their connection to your business and contribute to overall profits through recurring revenue. If a customer is a member of your unlimited program, they are much less likely to wash their car at another business.
An unlimited program can also be very profitable with customers who don’t visit often, because they are paying a monthly fee even though they may not be using the service.
In any case, you will want a system that can track usage so that you can understand how often your members are coming in each month. This will identify your heavy users, as well as your high margin customers that pay for the plan but never visit.
Additionally, car wash owners should have access to reports on single transactions and average ticket price, so they can determine what is working with their sales strategy and who is selling most effectively.
REACHING YOUR FULL POTENTIAL: MARKETING & CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT
In order to maximize your unlimited program, you will have to spread awareness and market within your area. If you offer detailing, you should develop strategies to generate repeat business. If you encourage the correct types of consumer behavior, you will be able to increase unlimited sign ups and create routine detail appointments.
There are many ways to achieve this with your sales staff and with traditional marketing tactics, but your POS can help you too. Explore systems that provide built in tools like text and email. You can create campaigns that are related to specific purchase history, for example: a customer receives an email offer for $10 off their next detail, sent 30 days after purchasing their first one. Utilizing automated marketing can engage your customers and keep them coming back, increasing their lifetime value within your business.
Explore ways to decorate your site with thoughtful branding and information about your services. Companies like TSS, Mr. Foamer, and Vaughan can create arches or menu boards to display your wash packages and additional services.
These components should match the graphics on your website and any signage leading up to the tunnel. The point of sale also represents a potential branding opportunity, depending on your pay station. Modern pay stations allow for custom graphics and videos to promote your unlimited program or upsell additional services. Utilize a graphic designer or agency to keep a consistent look and feel from start to finish.
BOTTOM LINE: THE POINT-OF-SALE IS MORE THAN A CASH REGISTER
Months of planning goes into site selection, construction, tunnel equipment, & chemical adjustments. POS systems are an equally important part of the car wash business, and savvy operators understand this. A modern point-of-sale can provide reporting, security, and marketing that isn’t available in older systems. It should also integrate with your controller, website, and unlimited program to create a seamless operation. Your POS hardware should be selected and configured to fit into your site layout, so it should be a priority and not an afterthought.
Greg Snow is the Marketing Manager at Washify, a cloud-based, car wash specific POS provider based out of West Roxbury, MA. For more information about Washify, please call 855-927-4439 or visit washify.com