The Next Generation of Nova
Nova Point of Sale
Headquarters: Miami, FL
Concept: Point-of-sale software, leading provider of point-of-sale technology
Mission Statement: To help retailers grow by leveraging technology tools that allow them to drive higher sales in a competitive retail environment.
Strength of Concept: Nova POS provides retailers with the industry’s most powerful selling tools that are designed to make it easy to grow specialty retail businesses.
Number of corporate employees: 50 employees at Nova POS office (225 at Granbury Solutions)
Number of active users: 10,000 (95% are specialty retailers)
Thanks to Nova Point of Sale software, operating a specialty retail business just got a whole lot easier. And the best part: it’s free.
If you’re like most specialty retailers, there’s never enough time or employees to get everything done. But, what if there was a software solution created specifically to manage your organization for you, including motivate your employees to sell more and encourage them to work as though you were sitting right there with them? What if it could guide employees through a negotiable sales process, maximize profit, provide an amazing shopper experience and manage
your inventory, ultimately allowing you to concentrate on important aspects of your business (or just spend more time with your family.) And better yet, what if these features, and more, were FREE?
Welcome to Nova Point of Sale. Nova POS is a software company originally founded by specialty retailers, Shai Benamo and Amir Egel. Nova started as a retail company, evolved into a consulting company, and eventually became a software solution. The mission has always been to aid entrepreneurs in managing and improving their retail business.
Prior to the release of Nova Point of Sale, Nova trainers were coaching hundreds of specialty retailers and wholesalers. Consulting diverse customers turned them into experts in the industry. Their experience with a variety of management techniques, sales strategies, company cultures and behaviors, consumer demographics, products and mall regulations around the world gave them a bird’s-eye view and in-depth knowledge of specialty retail.
It was with this knowledge that Nova POS was designed. Specifically, for the challenges of retailing in the common area. Facilitating the selling process and overcoming the challenges of hiring, training and managing sales teams that work in front of impulsive shoppers was a need in the industry. Limited storage space, multiple locations (often owned by multiple business partners) and limited resources are all pain points that Nova was designed to relieve.
Nova POS software officially rolled out in 2010 and today there are more than 10,000 active users worldwide. Earlier this year, Nova POS became the first free fully-featured point of sale system. In 2014, Granbury Solutions, a company specializing in restaurant technology, acquired Nova. “We felt that this brand was a natural fit for us. We thrive on helping independent business owners grow, and Nova has the right formula—and raving customers to prove it.” says Ashley Jernigan, director of marketing for Granbury Solutions in Grapevine, TX.
In a recent initiative to provide this software free of charge, Nova POS added attractive media opportunities to be sold by malls and other Nova partners in the form of coupons and ads. Soft banner ads built around primary functions in Nova’s POS system are designed to be seen, but subtle, targeted messages to specialty retailers. Additionally, coupons automatically printed with every receipt offer malls an opportunity to keep customers in the mall longer by providing an incentive to shop at a nearby store within a short time frame. For example, a shopper might buy a pair of sunglasses at a kiosk and then get a printed coupon offering five dollars off at the Cheesecake Factory, valid until close that day. Coupons are designed to keep shoppers shopping, yet not to create conflict of interest or interrupt daily operations.
It’s a win-win, win-win! The retailers are happy to get a free service and the malls are happy to have an additional revenue channel and professional retail operators. The shoppers are enjoying attractive offers while having a much better experience at the carts and kiosks, and the mall brands are enjoying a new very attractive media that is easy to measure.
“It allows the malls and retailers to drive more sales in leveraging each other. We know the customer is ready to buy,” says Jernigan, “so what better time to send them to another business that’s just a few steps away?”
Another way Nova POS can offer its product free of charge is because of the leveraging power Granbury Solutions brings to the table, specifically in reducing costs with merchant service providers. Granbury has strong partnerships in the technology space and they’ve teamed up with merchant processors, hardware vendors and other business service providers to leverage the overall spend and negotiate better rates for individual customers.
“Like Nova, Granbury has a proven track record of helping business owners of all sizes grow with technology that improves service, increases sales and builds loyalty. We are confident that together we will have a huge impact on the specialty retail industry as we help retailers exceed their business goals,” says Tom Bronson, President/CEO of Granbury Solutions. “All of our customers face fierce competition, whether they sell food, retail goods or beverages. Our technology provides leverage for independent businesses to compete with national chains, and scales as they grow into multiple-location businesses themselves,”
The power of negotiable sales
Many specialty retailers use the negotiable pricing model in their business. Their shelf prices are not set in stone and employees may lower pricing to a set degree in order to make sales. But how can a business owner control the profit? And, how can he ensure that his team will not steal the difference between the display price and discounted price?
“We have built-in up-selling tools that allow retailers to keep track of these price fluctuations while negotiating sales. The tools automatically calculate packages or free gift options so sales reps can easily determine what options to offer customers to close a deal or bring the customer back for a second visit. The Nova POS system was designed to perform best in a negotiated sale,” explains Jernigan.
In addition to negotiation decisions, specialty retailers continually face inventory challenges. Keeping a cart, kiosk or inline store stocked can be daunting, especially during the holiday season when products sell off the shelves quickly. Nova helps to safeguard against empty shelves with inventory alerts that remind employees when stock on hand gets low. They can then pull it from storage in time to prevent lost sales opportunities. Nova also provides auto-messaging when
a product falls below the set minimum, allowing the retailer enough time to react and reorder.
Another Nova feature is “storage” locations, which allow retailers to split their inventory between different storage areas and keep track of what’s in each location separately. When an inventory transfer is performed and the product is moved from one storage location to another, it is tracked so inventory counts stay solid.
“Nova users are also now able to track colors and sizes, opening the use of Nova for all retailers and not only carts and kiosk. We had more and more clothing and shoes stores using Nova so we had to become the best in this niche as well,” explains Jernigan.
Tracking customers and then sending emails for special sales and holiday promotions is becoming more common. In the specialty retail environment, selling to the impulsive shopper can certainly be a challenge. However, the ability to collect customer information and offer gift cards for repeat visits are ways that Nova can help retailers start building loyalty programs.
“We can’t ignore the number of cart owners that are growing into large luxury brick-and-mortar brands. It’s smart business tools that are driving their business growth, and we’re very proud of our Nova users—their success is our success!” says Jernigan. “Nova is not just an alternative for the cash register. It provides retailers the tools to become better business operators. This is why we are confident in our estimate of a 35 percent increase in revenue once implementing Nova, and even offering a rebate if that goal is not met.”
Nova’s aesthetic benefits include a streamlined, sleek, sexy look versus the clunky cash registers of the past. Malls appreciate this, as well, as they are always trying to improve their image and this gives them an affordable (read: free) way to standardize a clean look throughout the mall.
“Customers associate cash registers with an aggressive sales environment,” explains Jernigan. “When they walk out of a high-end store in the mall, they want to have a similar buying experience at a kiosk.” Nova has partnered with leading cart builders and manufacturers that are building state-of-the-art structures which include built-in printers and cash drawers. The absence of wires and multiple machines leaves a clean space just for one good-looking touch screen.
Retailers will be pleased to know Nova POS includes 24/7 support 365 days a year, including every major holiday. “There is not much our tech support doesn’t help with. They will troubleshoot any problem, including hardware and Internet,” says Jernigan. “Installation, implementation, training, unlimited technical support and free software updates create a mini IT department in every organization using Nova.”
“We have a pretty diverse team. We have a lot of international customers,” she says, “that speak a variety of languages. On staff Hebrew- and Spanish-speaking team members facilitate many retailer discussions.” As for getting up and running, Nova POS is ideal for first-time retailers. “It really just takes a few minutes of training to start using Nova POS. We worked with the industry’s leading UI [user interface] design team to ensure that processes are simple, intuitive and customized to our client’s workflow,” says Jernigan. “Our goal is providing our customers with every tool they need to succeed. We train in our office, via phone or on-site, depending on the customer needs,” she says.
“Our development team has an innovative approach to new feature requests,” says Jernigan, “and our team is skilled and trained at gathering feedback from customers. Nova willkeep adapting itself to be the best management software and service choice for retailers, worldwide—based on results.”
“Nova POS is the primary system in the marketplace. We stand out because we started early and evolved with the industry. Nova integrates market insights from years of experience tailored to serve this market,” says Jernigan. “The market also has unique requirements not met by common POS products, such as QuickBooks, Square and Lightspeed. These larger companies are not agile enough to meet the needs of the customer—Nova was specifically designed for the specialty retailer.”
Nova Point of Sale software goes far beyond the point-of-sale. With negotiable shopping cart, inventory control, accounting tools and customer-relationship functions catering specifically to specialty retailers, Nova software completes the sale from beginning to end. And again: now they do it free of charge!