Layaway

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Prepaid Deposit Transactions (Layaway)

Overview

Layaway, which lets shoppers pay for items in installments, can seem like a good option for shoppers who want to stick to a budget. In-store layaway — in which a store sets aside an item that a shopper wants to buy and lets them pay for it in installments before they can take it home — may seem old-fashioned in a world where most people have credit cards, but it's aimed at consumers who don't have the cash for big purchases or don't want to run up their credit card bills.

Terms vary by retailer, but often programs will only allow shoppers to put certain items — or items above a certain price point — on layaway. Shoppers will also be expected to make regular payments on these goods, and most stores ask for a down payment. Missing a payment, deciding you don't want an item, or failing to pick it up on time will likely result in a cancellation fee ranging from $10 to $15, though shoppers should get the rest of their payments back in cash or store credit.

Reasons Retailers have for adding a layaway option for their customers:

  1. Increase traffic into the store: Layaway programs will mean that shoppers will be walking into the store monthly or bi-weekly to make the required payments. These increased visits to the store, means more opportunities for the sales associates to recommend or engage shoppers while they are in front of them and could lead to more purchases by the consumer. #MSIB
  2. There is a high probability that existing customers are likely to know shoppers that prefer to buy through layaway programs, and share the layaway program with them. Layaway offers opportunities to sell items, to those shoppers that otherwise may have not purchased products from a retailer because they need to spread their payments over time. This allows new opportunities for new customers, increased sales and growing your CRM.
  3. Layaway is an ideal marketing opportunity for retailers to get shoppers to start their Christmas shopping. They are able to purchase the products they want, without having to hunt for them later. It also alleviates the high credit card debts that shoppers experience at the end of the holiday season, giving consideration to no regrets and to keep shopping at the beginning of the year #makingtheholidayshappier
  4. Layaway should not be considered just as a Christmas or Holiday arrangement; neighborhood stores should utilize layaway as an opportunity to market products during slow periods through their layaway program. #relevantmarketing
  5. Retailers can utilize data from the reports based on their customized options. #retailmadesimple
  6. Retailers are able to set their rules and payment based on their business practices and can easily track their payments to ensure what payments are due. #retailmadesimple
  7. Layaway payments don’t only need to be paid with cash; merchants can opt to accept them through paypal and dwolla, engaging mobile shoppers #mPOS
  8. Gen Y- establishing the new financial norms, are advised to ask store associates if they offer a layaway plan. Could layaway be the new norm for Gen Y?

Set Up

The prepaid (or layaway) program must be defined. This is done on CAS --> Management -->Transaction Codes --> Prepaid) by the System Administrator or Financial Roles.

CAS - Prepaid (Layaway) Set up

Initial Prepaid Transaction (on POS)

When a customer wants to create a prepaid transaction, this is done from the Sales Transaction Screen (with the customer attached to the transaction)

POS - Prepaid Sale (Initial Transaction)

All Future Prepaid Payments (on POS)

When a customer wants to make payments (or the final payment) on the Prepaid (Layaway) items, this is done from the POS>Transaction>Prepaid screen.

POS - Prepaid Payments

CAS Report - Prepaid Activity Report

The Prepaid Activity report will give the user basic information on all of the prepaid transactions. Use the filter criteria to hone into areas of interest.

CAS - Prepaid Activity Report

Please note that enabling STS will allow the user to access STS for more specific payment and balance information

Previous Process: (Prior to May 2013)

Using Gift Cards (Purchase through STS)

The layaway process includes the use of gift cards to track real time payments and balances. We will set up this through STS (merchant will have a small monthly fee and will need to purchase gift cards)

Processing the layaway:

Customer has an item they want to purchase through layaway and will make an initial down payment.

Merchant sells a gift card for the amount of the down payment.

Add Customer name to sale, put in the comment section of the Sales Transaction screen any layaway information. All future payments are additions to the gift card.

Merchant accesses the STS web site for balances on each card.

Once the customer has made the last payment, make a sale for the merchandise using a gift card for payment.

ALTERNATE PROCESS WITHOUT GIFT CARDS

CAS:

Create a "Layaway" service item (does not affect inventory), set department to "Layaway" to help look up the layaway activity in reports.

Create a static customer category called "Layaway"

POS:

Add customer to database (Customer should be added to the Customer category Layaway). Add layaway sale info to customer record for reference (start date, items on layaway, and total sale price of layaway)

To determine total sales amount, the cashier can run a sale for the item that will be on layaway (see the total including tax, etc) then void/do not complete the sale – use this for obtaining total sales amount only.

Customer wants to make a down payment, Cashier sells the service item "layaway" (on the sales transaction add customer and put layaway information in the comment section such as start date, item description, total sale amount).

Once the customer has made the last payment, make a sale for the merchandise using cash. Refund the layaway item for the amount of the sale. This will reduce the Layaway service item by the full sale amount and a sale for the merchandise will be made for the actual inventory item (both cash transactions balance each other out).

Reports

Customer – pull by static group "layaway"

Periodic Sales – Pull by Department "layaway"

CRM Builder

CRM Builder Tools:

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) strategies are an important aspect for retailers to consider. After all, retail success depends upon fully utilizing retail marketing solutions;to develop long-lasting customer relationships. Retailers who have access to the latest and most accurate information about their customers have an upper hand in creating and fostering customer loyalty.

Knowing your frequent customers and big spenders is half the battle of CRM. Establishing their profitability is the other half.

Benefits to establishing a CRM model:

  • Transforming the customer experience and get a better understanding of customer needs
  • Improve quality of service
  • Enhanced customer loyalty and retention to increase profits
  • More effective promotions and loyalty programs
  • Better forecasting and budgeting of sales for segmented customers
  • Increase up sell and cross sell opportunities
  • Create more effective marketing campaigns based on past history and known preferences and aligning the marketing campaign with the target audience.

Customer behavior can be analyzed and monitored to understand their decision making patterns and allowing for the customers to be better served. The sales history of a customer can be reviewed for customized service or to provide the data for promotional marketing campaigns.

Once the data is obtained, it can be segmented in a number of ways - by geography, demography, brand loyalty, purchase history, etc. - and used in marketing and incentive campaigns.

Some retailers target the top 20% of their customers based on purchase amount. But, how do you get those customers back in and buying more? The key is understanding who they are and what they're buying. Then, you can fine tune your direct mail better.

It makes sense to integrate back-end applications like merchandise and inventory management with your CRM package. After all, you obviously can't keep a loyal customer coming back for his favorite brand if you discontinue it.

One issue that needs to be addressed is being able to measure profitability. Loyalty does not spell profitability. The sale of high ticket items means nothing if the return rate is high or margin is very low. Retailers need to analyze the profitability of their 'preferred' customers to determine how much money they should spend on keeping them.

Retail CRM is directly linked to the customer and in turn results in improved sales and Return on Investment (ROI). These are achieved through effective data management. The ROI depends on how retailers are managing their customer relationship based on their ability to aggregate, analyze, and apply a range of data sources such as Point of Sales (POS) and customer information. The major business processes for retail CRM are campaign management, in-store CRM, customer analytics, master data management, and a collection of customer information at POS.

CRM PROMPT

When establishing how best to operate with the CRM, Merchants can prompt users to collect customer data at the POS. This allows for a reminder that customers can be added and if promotions are established the customer can be eligible. When collecting data there are three mandatory fields that will need to be addressed: customer number, first name and email address. Customer number can be assigned or auto generated when a customer is added at the POS or CAS. A first name and email address allows customers to be searched and have a point of contact. When promotions or notifications are sent out Merchants can contact the customer base easily. Merchants also have the ability to turn off mandatory fields, which will allow for any fields to be filled in to save, but limits the features and usability.

BASIC CREDIT CARD TRANSACTION

With CRM enabled, it will allow for a multitude of ways for customer data to be entered, as well as the procedure above. Another way to collect data is from the Customers credit card: name and a created customer number. Users will enter the email address of the customer so that they can receive emailed receipts. With the prompt and a credit card sale it will ask if the user would like to add the customer or not, if yes the prompt will need an email address and can be finished. This is a quick way for customers to be added while limiting the mistakes that come from hand entry.

To view video

CREATING FROM DRIVERS LICENSES

Customers can be added by swiping their driver's license through the magnetic swipe. This will allow the cashier to quickly and accurately add the customer to the CRM and when go green is enabled, digital sales receipts will be emailed to the customer.data.

Prepaid Sale (Initial Transaction)

Prepaid Sales (Layaway) - Initial Deposit

When a customer wants to use the established prepaid program (layaway), the items are scanned in the regular POS sales transaction screen. The transaction must only consist of the items that are being prepaid for. If some items are being carried out they must be run as a separate transaction. The user must assign a customer to the transaction. Customers attached to these transactions would be added to the associated group at the end of the transaction.

The item is selected on the sales transaction screen and "Other" is selected as the Tender Type. This will display a few options including Prepaid.

Select Prepaid as the tender type and the screen which appears establishes the Prepaid transaction for the customer, including whether the payment plan will be based on a percent of the outstanding balance or a fixed amount, the fee, deposit amount, and balance.

Once completed, the cashier will select "Pay" to complete the sale. The receipt will include the terms that were defined on the CAS with a signature line for the customer to agree to the terms. A copy of the receipt is printed for the customer and an additional one to attach to the merchandise.

Future payments on the Prepaid Item will be done from the Transactions Tab (selecting Prepaid)

Note: Prepaid is available to existing customers only. Add the customer to the transaction from the Customer/Find section of the Sales Transaction screen.

If the customer is new - you must add the customer first (Transactions --> Customer) and then access the customer to add to the prepaid transaction

How is Inventory Affected ?

Inventory is not changed (decremented) until final payment is made.

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