Franpos launches new features for its POS system designed exclusively for the franchising industry.
By Kat Zeman, Knighthouse Media
Choosing the right point-of-sale (POS) system is crucial for any business. But it’s especially important for franchisors whose success depends on understanding how their franchises are performing.
Santa Clara, Calif.-based Franpos offers a breakthrough, cloud-based POS platform designed exclusively for franchisors – with franchisees and their customers in mind.
Ready to integrate and streamline operations to boost unit economics and repeat business, the multi-location franchise-ready Franpos operating system uniquely empowers franchisors to offer highly efficient, effective tailored solutions to build relationships and increase profit.
“We are first in the market to offer a mobile and cloud POS platform exclusively for franchises,” says Subodh Gupta, CEO and founder. “Everything we do is focused on franchising.”
Franpos, Inc. is the POS system provider of the Franpos platform, a SaaS platform that enables franchises to optimize and leverage key opportunities from employee management operational support to its royalty collection engine.
The fast-growing company – which grew by roughly 250 percent last year and hopes to double that figure this year – has been providing the franchising industry with unique cloud POS solutions for more than a decade.
Its comprehensive cloud-based platform features built-in reporting, loyalty programs, inventory management, employee management, growth marketing and more – making it a complete operating system for franchise businesses.
But the platform is continually evolving and improving.
This year, Franpos is rolling out two new features. A face AI and machine learning feature and a new branded consumer app are both launching in May.
Designed with the franchisee and his or her customers in mind, face AI and machine learning allows the franchisee to gather business intelligence that was previously unknown.
Just as the name suggests, face AI recognizes a customer’s face when the customer enters the store. Customers can use their face to order at a kiosk or a drive-thru and earn customer loyalty rewards.
“But it goes beyond recognizing customers and allowing them to reorder their favorite items,” Gupta says.
The technology also gathers analytics such as gender, age and emotion classifications. That’s right. It can detect if guests are happy, sad, angry or neutral. It can also give the franchisee information about repeat visits, unique visits and conversion rates.
“Our AI technology will help our customers gather all that data but it goes much deeper,” Gupta adds. “We will have traffic data that can help the franchisor/franchisee figure out the shape of his or her business and if the store is going to be in trouble.”
The technology can be used to determine how many people walk into an establishment, as well as how many actually buy something. “If you have 500 people walk into the store but only 200 made a purchase, that tells you something,” Gupta says. “This is the future of in-store data analytics.”
An Integrated System
Aside from face AI and machine learning, Franpos is starting to build branded apps for its franchise customers.
The company will build fully-branded consumer apps with mobile ordering, store hours, menu, store list, loyalty rewards programs, gift cards, promotions, reordering options and Apple Pay/Google Pay for Apple and Android devices.
“This is the equivalent of the Starbucks app that you use,” Gupta says. “But it’s all integrated with the POS. That’s the beauty of it. They don’t have to create and maintain menus on multiple platforms.”
Face AI and machine learning and branded apps are both considered add-on features – meaning that they cost extra to be activated.
Another popular add-on feature is the growth marketing suite. Franpos has integrated growth marketing features into its POS platform so that franchisees can grow a loyal customer base.
Growth marketing is about attracting loyal customers by targeting, capturing, engaging and retaining them. Traditional marketing limits itself to the top of the growth funnel – awareness and acquisition.
Although that strategy does well enough to increase traffic and brings attention to a brand, the value is quickly lost due to lack of engagement. Growth marketing involves a holistic approach by focusing on the entire funnel – all the way down to retention.
Implementing marketing techniques at each stage of the growth funnel transforms customer experience. Customers that are more engaged become loyal to a brand and will attract other customers through referral and word-of-mouth. Businesses using growth marketing strategies are creating long-term and sustainable growth.
Franpos makes it easier for franchises to build their customer base through growth marketing. One way to personalize customer experience is through loyalty programs and special promotions via automated email or texts.
“By personalizing and automating marketing efforts, it saves time so that franchisees can focus on expanding their business,” Gupta says.
Franpos customers are charged a monthly fee for the company’s POS services. Fees are based on the size of the operation (per store) and generally range between $149 to $199 per month. In addition to the monthly fee, Franpos provides and installs its own hardware, which can be purchased on a payment plan.
The majority of the company’s franchise customers are quick service restaurants, ice cream shops, boutique retail operations and hair salon chains in North America – although the company has a few customers in other parts of the world as well.
Customers include Runza, Beef Jerky Outlet, Real Deals, Chicken Express, Deli Delicious, Pet Planet, Pro Image Sports, Gateway Newstands, Pigtails & Crewcuts, Murad, EZ Links and Facebook. Although Facebook is not a franchise, it uses the Franpos platform to operate its cafeterias across the globe.
The Franpos platform includes a variety of standard features such as point-of-purchase, multi-unit management, loyalty programs and gift cards, CRM, royalties and ACH, third-party delivery, enterprise reporting, third-party integration and a financial connector.
One notable feature is Impulse Buy, a solution designed to increase the average ticket value of a transaction. The Franpos interactive customer-facing display, which features Impulse Buy, encourages customers to buy more. In a sense, it is “upselling” items that it thinks the customer would like and it can also encourage them to join the brand’s loyalty program.
“It’s a digital sales person built into your POS register,” Gupta says. “It’s an interactive and collaborative system that will allow customers to add on sales items by pressing it on their side.”
Another notable solution of the Franpos POS platform is its royalties feature. Since franchisors have multiple locations, the system will calculate royalties for each one and can charge the royalties through an ACH payment.
“That’s an important benefit we bring for the franchisor,” Gupta says, adding that franchisors typically see an increase in royalty fees because the system keeps franchisees honest about their gross income. “The data comes directly from the POS. We will report how much each of your franchisees owe you and can automatically pull the money out of the franchisee account. There’s no need for invoicing or additional reconciliation.”
On average, franchisors have reported a 4 to 7 percent increase in total royalties after installing the Franpos POS platform. They’ve also reported a decrease in royalty processing time from a week prior to Franpos to only 15 minutes afterward. “Clearly, that’s a huge value for the franchisor,” Gupta says.
Another benefit of the Franpos platform is its enterprise reporting feature that provides real-time reporting from one or all locations in an instant. It has the capability to create trusted, sanctioned and highly controlled production reports and dashboards, which can then be automatically distributed to large numbers of users.
“We work with many private equity firms and provide them with a multi-brand portal,” Gupta says. “When they go to our platform, they can see everything on one dashboard to find out how all their brands are doing.”
Third-party delivery is another popular solution for franchisors. The solution syncs all third-party deliveries – like from GrubHub or UberEATS – into the Franpos cloud platform.
“Third party delivery is becoming a big deal,” Gupta says. “This means they don’t have to do any data entry and the order will be sent directly to the kitchen. Roughly 30 percent of orders in restaurants in metro areas are take-out so this is important.”
New and Improved
Although Franpos has been around for more than a decade, it wasn’t always known under that name. It started as a company named iConnect POS in 2011.
As of Jan. 1, 2018, iConnect POS officially became Franpos. The new name comes from the company’s dedication to providing the best cloud point-of-sale solution for franchise businesses around the world.
Over the past few years, the company has connected with and served countless franchisors and franchisees – an experience that has enabled the company to build a platform that meets the industry-specific needs of these types of businesses.
Not only does the company have a new name, it has a new look and a new direction. “We have added more and more brands,” Gupta says. ”In 2017, we wanted to focus on only one thing – franchises. Today, everything we design is for our franchise customers.”
Since becoming Franpos, the company has completely redesigned user interface and a development focus on tools, features and support. All these changes were incorporated while keeping the needs of franchise businesses front and center.
Franpos can help franchise businesses in a variety of industries, including retail, quick service food and health and beauty. The company is producing all-new training modules and videos to help franchise businesses specifically, with topics ranging from “Impulse Buy” functionality, to multi-location inventory management, to appointment booking settings – to name a few.
Franpos attributes much of its growth to the relationships it has established with private equity firms. “We are partnering with private equity firms to provide an all-in-one platform to manage all of their brands,” Gupta says. “Last year, we grew by 250 percent. This year, we plan to double that figure. Our ultimate goal is to become the No. 1 operating system for franchises around the globe.”