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In the first half of 2021, we saw a net decline of over 5,000 shops across the UK as all retailers felt the impacts of pandemic restrictions – charity shops included. But while this might not be as bad as 2020, the next year or so will continue to be touch and go for many retailers.

So, with the added pressure of such important causes relying on your donations and revenue, how can your charity get back in its best shape in this retail landscape? Let’s look at three common retail challenges that could be slowing your charity down.

Till errors

Charities of all sizes rely on their dedicated volunteers. But since this is an unpaid role, it’s not unusual to have a higher staff turnover than you might like. So you’ll have volunteers coming and going, all of whom need training with your EPoS system. This can lead to some mistakes as they get to grips. Now, a single cash discrepancy isn’t going to spell disaster for your charity, but every little bit of lost revenue will add up.

To make up for this, you want an EPoS system that’s quick and easy to pick up and use. A reliable, straightforward interface will mean fewer mistakes and more money going to your cause.

Unstable overheads

The world of charity retail is never going to be as predictable as we’d like it to be. While, fingers crossed, we won’t see disruption like we’ve seen over the last two years, it’s unrealistic to assume the landscape will be smooth sailing from here on out. Meaning you’ll need to continue to be cautious with your finances.

Nothing adds pressure quite like the fear that something could break and you’d be left to foot the bill at any given moment. Charities are only just beginning to find their feet, meaning a broken till or two could add unnecessary strain and pressure.

Instead of having this fear looming over your head, a subscription-based EPoS model means you can cut any sudden costs. You keep paying the same monthly fee, confident everything will be quickly fixed when it needs it. 

Convoluted processes

One of the most valuable assets your charity has is your staff and volunteers’ time. But how much of this is getting tied up in convoluted processes?

Whether it’s spent processing Gift Aid submissions that could be completed automatically, or having to wait until end of day to see daily reports, how much time and effort are you wasting on tasks that could be streamlined and simplified? How much extra revenue could you capture if hosting a raffle or enabling sale round-ups became effortless for your volunteers? How much more stable would your finances be if online sales were easily integrated into your stores?

These are just a few examples of where outdated processes might be slowing you down. And ways that technology and innovative tools could begin to impact your operations and revenue for the better.

The retail industry hasn’t had it easy over the past few years. But, with your valuable cause to think about, now is the time to look at ways to build back better and stronger than ever before. The right technology and tools will help you increase productivity, boost revenue, and streamline operations long into the future.

Are you ready for an EPoS solution that helps your charity lead from the front and stop playing catch up? Nisyst’s HMRC-recognised CHARiotWeb helps streamline your daily operations, reducing till errors with a straightforward interface, and boosting visualisation with real-time reporting. Available in one easy monthly package, it means you don’t have to break the bank. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch today on 01204 706 000.

As you might have heard, PoSReady 7 OS, the operating system used in most tills, is approaching its end of life (EoL). This basically means that in October 2021, the vendor will stop delivering support services for the product. 

So what does this mean for your charity? Simply put, this could cause some serious disruption to your day-to-day operations, and it’s why many charities are now considering an operating system upgrade. But let’s look at it in more detail…

PCI compliance

Compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is essential for your charity. This compliance is mandated by the contracts you sign with the card brands and banks that handle your charity’s payment processing

As the PCI DSS says: “Protect all system components and software from known vulnerabilities by installing applicable vendor-supplied security patches. Install critical security patches within one month of release.”

Old operating systems, such as the PoSReady 7, may no longer be supported by vendors. Operating systems that aren’t supported won’t have access to software patches. This means you won’t be able to continue using the software while remaining PCI compliant. Failure to be PCI compliant can result in fines, which can be as high as £60,000.

Security

Even the systems with the best cyber security solutions can be subject to sophisticated cyber attacks. A data breach occurring on an EoL operating system could result in disciplinary action or fines from the Information Commissioner’s Office. GDPR states data must be handled securely by means of “appropriate technical and organisational measures”, which means an obsolete system may be considered neglectful or careless.

No more updates means the system won’t be at its safest. Even if any vulnerabilities are found, there will be no patches to offer further security. As well as this, older systems are less likely to be supported by other programs, which may include your antivirus software. And antivirus solutions might not be the only third-party solution that your charity relies on.

Lack of support from third-party vendors 

Integrated payment providers connect the payment processing function of your business with other vital systems like CRM, accounting, and payroll. But by making the decision to continue to use an EoL operating system, you could lose your integrated payment providers as they’re unlikely to want to continue to support their solution on an EoL system. But they are key to your operations, so losing your provider could be a huge blow to your charity. 

You also need to be careful with remote support software. This allows a technician to connect to a device from anywhere in the world to help with any issues, support, or installing important updates for the system. Remote control products can create security concerns if not configured or used in a secure manner, so you want to be sure they will be supported.

PoSReady 7 OS is on its way out. While you could continue to use it, it may cause you more problems down the line. Now might be the time to seek a new PoS operating system for your charity to keep operations at their best.

With over 30 years of experience at the forefront of the UK charity tech scene, Charity Retail Systems has developed an innovative, HMRC-recognised EPoS system to take your charity to the next level. If you’d like to find out more, call us today on 01204 706000.