Simplifying Item Lookup at the POS with Retail Pro®
I don’t know what it is about me but I always seems to be the shopper who grabs an item without a price tag. That usually means I end up spending more time at the checkout counter while some poor store employee has to go to the back of the store to find a price tag for whatever I’m buying.
While this may be a minor inconvenience for your customers, the loss in productivity due to an inefficient use of your employee’s time creates a compounding hit to your business over time.
One of the ways you can help your employees be more efficient is to provide them with more data points they can use to find an item in your Retail Pro inventory.
Add user-defined fields to filter your search
Let’s say a customer comes to your cash register with a pair of jeans. Unfortunately, there’s no price tag. You’ve trained your employee to perform an inventory search. She types in the word “jeans” and hundreds of possibilities show up. Way too many to scroll through. She gives up and runs to the back of the store to locate the same pair of jeans and get a price tag.
Now your customers are inconvenienced by long wait times and you’ve lost two times the productivity because she wasted time keying in the item in the search and because she had to hold up the line while she found the jeans in the back room.
Instead, use the User-Defined Fields (UDF) and Auxiliary (AUX) Fields to record information about your products that would help associates pinpoint them in the search.
In our jeans example, we might want to record information about the style of the jeans: the cut, the rise, and the wash. While we might carry hundreds of different combinations, once we take style combinations into account, there may only be a few choices at the register. Selecting from a much smaller list of products will prevent your employees from having to leave the cash register or make the customer wait for someone to locate the same item in the store.
Auto-populate Description2 with info in your Retail Pro
While using inventory UDF and AUX fields to record product information is fairly common, this next trick is what really helps you save time with Retail Pro.
You can auto-populate the Description2 field with information from the UDF and AUX fields.
Why is this important? Because you can’t lookup AUX or UDF information at the point-of-sale. But you can use Description2 as a lookup field. Using the auto-populate feature allows you to use UDF and AUX information as a lookup. And once it’s set up, Retail Pro will manage the data for you.
Let’s go back to our original scenario. The customer comes to the register with a missing price tag.
Now the cashier can use the Description2 field.
She enters codes for low-cut, acid-wash jeans and now only finds a couple of possible choice. She then lists the correct item on the receipt.
Before setting up Retail Pro, this process could have taken as much as 10 minutes, depending on the size of your store, the availability of other sales floor personnel to find the item in the back room, etc. Now, you’re on to the next customer in no time at all and keeping queues short.
How to set up Description2 auto-population in Retail Pro
Set up your UDF and AUX fields in
→ System Preferences
→ Local Preferences
→ User-Defined / Auxiliary
In the Field Definitions section, name your UDF fields.
In the Field entries section, provide your pre-defined list of items that will appear when you click on the field in Retail Pro. These will be the list of possible choices when you select that field.
Check the option to “Append selected UDF / AUX fields to Inventory Description 2 field”. The Description field can be 30 characters long. The Character Count field below will keep track of how much data you are appending to the Description2 field.
Enter the order in which the fields will be added to Description2, the starting character, the length of the string, and a separator character.
Let’s say I want to include the first three characters from each field separated by a slash (\). The table below represents the possible values that would be copied to Description2 for the JeanCut UDF field. Notice in the code field, only the first three letters appear. That’s what will be copied to Description2.
In my Description2 field, I want the JeanCut to be first, followed by the JeanWsh and JeanRse fields. The example below shows what the final output will look like for a pair of jeans that are bootcut (JeanCut), acid wash (JeanWsh), and low-cut (JeanRse).
To get this output, I have to provide Retail Pro with the instructions for auto-populating this field. Enter the following information in the Field Definitions section.
The order column is the order in which the fields will appear. In our example, we have the JeanCut followed next by the JeanWsh field, and finally the JeanRse field.
The 1st <n> char column is the starting character. Retail Pro will copy over information in these fields starting with this character. In our case, we are starting with the first character.
The length column is the number of characters to copy. We are copying three characters from each field.
Finally, the separator column allows us to pick a character to separate the data. I’ve chosen to use a back slash after the first two fields. I don’t need one after JeanRse because there is no additional information after that. I can include as many fields as I want (up to the 30 character limit) and separate them with any character. In this example we will stop with three parts.
Now, your UDF fields will be available when you create a new inventory item.
As you enter the information in the UDF fields, your Description 2 field will automatically populate with data from these fields.
The last step is to set up Retail Pro to use Description2 as a lookup field. Go to System Preferences → Local Preferences → Documents → General. In the Options section, drag Description2 so it is above the line.
Now when you look up an item in a document, you can use information in the Description 2 field. In the example below, we use *boo* to search for items. It returned a list of possible matches, one of which was our new inventory item.
Now a cashier at the register can look up an item based on the attributes of the item. It’s a simple solution to a common problem. Using Retail Pro, you can streamline your processes, make your employees more efficient, and let your customers leave the store after having a great customer service experience.
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