On August 5th, at 11am PT / 2pm ET, @pessosices hosted a Q&A in the Seller Community. He's been in the food & beverage business for 17+ years and has extensive experience with Square Loyalty, Square Register Hardware, Square Payroll, and Sales Reports. Learn more about his story below:
My name is Pesso, your Q&A host! I opened up Pesso's Ices & Ice Cream (www.pessosices.com) in Queens, New York, in 2004 with my dad, and we've been running it together ever since.
I'm excited to answer your questions about me, my business, and how I've used Square to expand and improve my business. I've learned a lot from other sellers, so I'm thrilled to be here to give you another business owner’s perspective, and help out where I can.
Here's more about me and my Ice Cream shop:
• My dad and I make every single flavor of our homemade Italian Ices, Ice Cream, and Gelato ourselves, right in the back of our shop. We've come a long way in the last 17 years, and using Square products since 2012 has helped us tremendously.
• My favorite thing about using Square is how I’ve used the Data and Sales Reports to do everything from finding & cutting low performing products, to figuring out our optimal store hours and staffing, and more. We also use Square Loyalty to reward our frequent customers and as an incentive to keep them coming back. This also works great with the Square Register Hardware that has sped up our service tremendously. On the back end of our business, Square Payroll has been an absolute lifesaver to save time on administrative work, so I can focus on ice cream making.
•. I've also been a Square Super Seller since 2016, which means I've been here in the Seller Community every week since then, answering questions, writing articles, and helping small business owners like yourself.
I'm excited to answer your questions, so feel free to ask me about my experiences in business and with Square. I’ll be replying to your answers within this post, but I’ll be posting a video of myself as a conclusion and roundup.
Thanks for joining, and I’m looking forward to seeing and answering your questions!
P.S. I am just a small business owner like you, so I can't help with any account based questions, but I am great at helping with business strategy ideas and for making Square products work for you!
- How has Square Payroll helped you? Is it worth making the switch?
- Square Register looks really cool. How has it been working for you?
- Staying in business for 17 years is a huge accomplishment! How did you make it work for that long?
Seller Community Manager | Square, Inc.
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Thanks so much everyone for joining me here for this Q&A.
It was a ton of fun hearing all of your fantastic questions, and being able to share my experiences and Square knowledge.
Some key takeaways that kept coming up are:
- Using Square Loyalty to keep your customers coming back, and how Square Register is a great tool to easily use Loyalty
- Sending out targeted & strategic emails to your customers using Square Marketing to keep customers engaged, keeping them updated with key information about your business, and even as a great tool for hiring
- Reaching out to local news organizations as a huge way to promote your business and get new customers
- Taking advantage of social media by posting often and using video to your advantage to really showcase your business
- Using Reports & Sales Data from Square to cut down on your highest effort and lowest selling items, and to cut down on your hours to save on labor and other expenses
- Figuring out what the best customer experience and product flow is to make things as smooth and easy as possible for your staff and your customers
And a whole lot more!
Feel free to ask more questions here or in the rest of the Seller Community, and myself, the Square Team, and more of our awesome Super Sellers will be more than happy to help out and share our experiences.
I hope you have a great rest of your day, and I’ll see you in the Seller Community!
A couple questions.
How do you track which products don't sell well? The report in Square shows top sellers, but is there a good way to see lowest sellers?
Also, what percentage of sales do you do in cash? How do you track repeat cash paying customers?
Looking forward to your q&a
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Burst Of Butterflies Create & Paint Studio
Thanks so much for jumping in here!
Great questions all around.
- The best way to find your lowest selling would definitely be using the same report to find your highest sellers. What I do and recommend is to make your own spreadsheets which you would manually import that sales data into, so you can track monthly to yearly item/category sales. This way you can spot seasonal trends that you might not see otherwise. Some items may look like low sellers overall, but they may be your top sellers in certain months, so there’s a lot of factors to weigh there. And with your own spreadsheets, you can manipulate and sort the data in a bunch of different ways to find all kinds of cool trends. Check out my articles on Square Data to see some of the fun things and big decisions I made as a result of using my Square Data:
- Every year my percentage of cash sales drops lower and lower. We definitely do much more credit card sales than cash, for better or worse. Using Square Register has definitely boosted our credit card sales, since it makes it super obvious that we take credit cards, after many many years of being cash only.
- Tracking repeat cash paying customers is definitely tricky, but using Square Loyalty does that really well for us. Since the folks who use Loyalty enter in their phone number every time, it attaches all of their sales together, no matter how they pay. It comes in really handy for more accurate customer data, and it’s great for the customers too!
I hope this helps, and let me know if you have any other questions!
Great idea to do this. I do have a question for you in regards to Square Register and the loyalty program. I just switched over to the register yesterday and 1 thing I noticed with loyalty running on it is it doesn’t give you the automatic pop up asking the customer if they want to redeem the reward they have available like Square Stand used to do. It does prompt customers to enter an email to sign up for marketing emails. Did I miss a setting I need to change for it to work or is this just something that’s not available on Register?
Thanks so much for the awesome questions, and congrats on the Square Register upgrade! How do you like it so far?
Hmm, that’s strange, when Square Loyalty is enabled, as soon as the customer checks in and enters their loyalty number, if they have enough points for a reward, it should definitely pop up asking them if they’d like to redeem their reward. Make sure that you have Loyalty turned on in the Register Settings, and it should definitely work.
One big procedural thing I’d recommend, if you’re not doing it already, is to have the customers check in and enter their number at the beginning of the transaction rather than at the end. This way there’s time for them to see their points, apply a reward, or fix anything if the number is incorrect. This was a huge feature launched last year and has completely revamped and improved the customer flow.
Let me know if you’re still having issues with that, and I’ll see if I can troubleshoot, and worst case hop on a call with the Customer Success Team.
Hope this helps!
I know that Square for Retail is relatively new on Register, so features like that do take some time to be built out. Hopefully it's in the works and is added in at some point soon!
How would you suggest introducing the loyalty programme to my business, or would it fit any business model or are some businesses better off without it?
Thanks for doing this Q&A, Can't wait to hear your answer!
Thanks so much for coming in here with a really great Loyalty question!
I definitely don’t think that every business needs a Loyalty Program, but it can definitely help a lot of business types.
There are definitely a lot of factors, and I don’t know the in’s and out’s of photography businesses, or yours in particular, so here’s a few questions I just came up with to help guide anyone through the process.
Take a deep thought dive into your business:
- What’s the biggest way to drive sales to your business?
- Repeat Customers?
- New Customers?
- Do you often have repeat customers?
- If Yes, Loyalty could work
- If No, Look at #2
- Do other businesses similar to yours have repeat customers?
- If Yes, and yours doesn’t, then Loyalty could work to keep them coming back
- If No, and yours doesn’t either, then maybe Loyalty could work to accomplish that, or maybe they won’t.
- Do other businesses similar to yours have Loyalty Programs?
- If Yes, do they work for them?
- If No, have they tried them?
- What are your margins like? Do you have room for discounts?
- If Yes, Loyalty could work
- If No, you might not be able to afford a Loyalty Program without big gains from an increase in sales
- What kind of Loyalty Program would you implement?
- Punch Card Style? Square Loyalty is great
- Referrals? Square Loyalty doesn’t currently do this, but it would be great to do it on your own
Some businesses can’t afford to have a Loyalty Program, some businesses can’t afford NOT to have a Loyalty Program.
Write out your goals, ask around to other businesses similar to yours, and see what you find!
I hope this helps, and let me know what you come up with!
Welcome to Square! I hope you’re finding things well so far!
As far as I know, if you’re using Square for Retail, there should be a way to run inventory by scanning things in. I haven’t personally used this feature, but there is a Support Guide Document all about it here: https://squareup.com/help/us/en/article/6110-manage-inventory-with-the-retail-pos-app
I believe that this is so far the only way to do it, so if that’s a key feature for you, take a look at that document and play around and see if it would work for you!
You can definitely follow up with the Customer Success team and see if there’s anything else you need on that product.
Hey @ColdFront !
This Q&A is just going to be text-based here on this thread. So ask any question you may have, and I'll answer them all on Thursday. You can follow along live as my answers come in, or hop in afterwards to read all the responses and watch my little conclusion wrap-up video.
Looking forward to seeing what questions you may have and how I can help!
Thank you so much for hosting this Q&A @pessosices! I have a question - this last weekend I noticed a lot of small businesses with 'help wanted/hiring now' signs. What tips can you share for business owners who might be struggling to hire enough staff this summer, and to manage wait times or customers' expectations?