Interview with Bianca Marton: Owner of Bianca Marton Chocolates & intelligentpos User
We spoke with Bianca Marton, owner of Bianca Marton Chocolates, located in Brentford, London. Her shop is well-known for its high-quality artisan chocolates, which are all made in-house. In this interview, she describes how she uses her POS system, intelligentpos, to help manage her inventory and process payments, and the benefits that it offers over traditional cash registers.
Can you tell me a little about yourself and your business?
My name is Bianca Marton. I have two employees who work with me at my shop, and we make all the chocolates we sell.
It's artisan chocolates we make, specializing in dairy-free and vegan products. We sell truffles, pralines and most other types you find at normal chocolatiers.
It's coming up to three years that we've been running, but only at the one location so far. We are growing to include an online presence however, and we’re looking to expand into corporate sales as well.
The retail location will still be very important to us in the future though. Because it's not just where we have our shop, it's where we have our workshop too.
When you were searching for a POS system, what were the most important features that you were looking for?
I was looking for reliability, ease of use, fast access, value for money and for something that would be available online and on mobile. When I was initially looking I was selling the chocolates at the market as well as the main store, so it was important to have access to the payment system while on-the-go.
What POS do you use? Why did you ultimately choose it?
I use intelligentpos by iZettle. It's a product by a Swedish company and they were recommended to me. I knew a few people who were already using the system at the markets I sold at, and they showed me how it worked. It was easy to use and fast. And they don't tie you in to a long contract. You pay a reasonable monthly fee, which was a key selling point for me.
The whole solution can be used via an iPad and a mobile app and it does everything a cash register does in any case.
What other systems were you considering at the time?
I did look at traditional cash registers, but I was sure I didn't want one of those. I did a bit of research online but because the intelligentpos system was recommended and I was able to test it before I committed. After testing it, I just went with it.
How does your current system compare to other systems you’ve used in the past? Is it better or worse?
This is the first system I used to be honest. Because I was happy with the system, I didn't continue looking for an alternative, and I've been using the system for 3 years.
What do you think can be improved about intelligentpos? Is there any missing functionality you wish it had?
There's always something that can be improved. I have a retail business and a few of the features are more appropriate for the food/beverage service sector. I wish I could change some of the settings in that respect; but to be honest it's not that difficult to adapt your use. It's a minor inconvenience.
The export also always seems to be undergoing updates and changes, which means my data always comes out in a different format. That does get a bit annoying but I understand that they're continually developing and they'll want to change and update things from time to time. And the customer service is really good.
How would you rate their customer service (1 to 5 with 5 being best)?
It's a 5 - I'm a happy customer. There's never a system outage, it's always backed up properly. Whenever I have had any issues or concerns they helped immediately.
We are a very simple business and very small. So, for me it works well. The system allows you to set up your products in categories, departments and a variety of ways. You can assign inventories, cost structures, taxation or anything else. It integrates with Excel and with a number of other spreadsheet solutions too.
Would you recommend this system to others?
How well or poorly does it integrate with other applications (payments processing, accounting, reporting, or other order marketplaces like OpenTable, Seamless, etc.)?
I don't really use any other applications at the moment. I currently only need to export the data from the system into Excel. It works perfectly fine for that.
How much did you pay for the system?
It's a monthly subscription fee, fairly standard (£39/month +VAT iPAD license). Most importantly there are no tie-ins, so if I decide I no longer want to use the intelligentpos I can leave and go with another product. That, as mentioned before, went a long way in swaying me. I think anybody wanting to tie you in to a long-term contract is missing the mark.
As one of my friends put it - a Finance Director for a major firm actually - if someone is still in business after only committing their customers to one month at a time then you can safely go with them.
About intelligentpos by iZettle
The intellegentpos system by iZettle provides an affordable electronic point of sale system that's used widely by start-ups in the retail and hospitality industry. It combines the necessary functionality to start selling quite quickly, which you can use on a standard iPad. The company also provide hardware such as readers, stands, loyalty cards and receipts etc. And their app provides the function for customers to order and pay through their smartphones. Subscribers can then use the back office function to gain business insights from their transactions.
To learn more about intelligentpos, you can visit their website here.