Top 7 things to consider when Selecting a retail POS System
The POS or Point of Sale system has shown a steady rise in its importance since its advent into the business world. With constant upgradation in both the technical and robust features, POS systems have been able to stay engaging and relevant in the market. Making the restaurant outlets, retail stores, etc as its main buyers, POS systems aided the businesses to pick up pace and serve the customers with ease.
Now the POS systems have become the central hub of a business, much beyond just being a customer purchase assisting machine. Businesses with POS systems are able to integrate and simplify important business operations while being provided with invaluable customer purchase data. This data can further be utilized for making informed business decisions for the expansion or maintenance of the business. In addition to this, a proper POS system will assist you in administration, management, marketing and help you in keeping track of your sales, ensure that there’s enough stock in the inventory, monitor your employees and make monthly sales reports. Incorporating the latest system of point of sale finance, will come handy to manage your finances. This will help you in managing your installment plans along with abolishing the “put it on cuff” way of selling. You will know how much each customer owes you along with the due date. All in all, the POS system ensures that all your operations are going in a uniform way. Retailers investing in this system are sure to succeed.
With such importance in the businesses, no wonder many businesses strive to get the right POS system for themselves. Most businesses struggle to find the best POS software and some businesses have a lot of concerns and queries despite having efficient software in place. As choosing the right POS systems greatly increases your chances of your business survival, here are 7 crucial things to consider for selecting any POS system.
Compatibility with existing software
With POS system integration becoming extremely important for the businesses, it is imperative for you to find a software that works well with your business, easy to use by your employees and third parties as well. To avail optimum services from the POS system, it needs to be integrated with other existing software in the company. Failure to integrate this causes more delays, making the whole system highly inefficient.
The running cost of a POS system is typically low. However, the initial costs to set up is relatively higher. You need to spend money on choosing a software compatible with your existing software, inves on purchase of new barcode scanners and so much more. If you are running low on your budget, then successful POS integration will be of your benefit. Be sure to ask the vendor about the integration process.
POS systems are used by different businesses, ranging from cafes, restaurants to retail stores. Each business comes with unique needs and goals that vary drastically from others. So, you need to be careful while selecting a POS system for your business. Be sure to choose the right one that fits your business needs. It should be adaptable to all your business needs and must provide an all in one solution to all your daily operational problems. For this, you need to make a list of your business needs and the features you are expecting in the software. Assessing your needs and requirements in the initial stages will help you in choosing the POS system for your business. Always look out for your competitors or similar business models as yours to understand what is working for them. Be sure to ask the software provider about the available features in their system.
Tracking the inventory
Traditional methods of controlling and tracking the products in your inventory can be a laborious and time consuming process. However, the coming of POS systems have made this an easier task. POS systems help you in managing the stock in your inventory. This proves extremely beneficial if you are operating in multiple branches or have multiple warehouses. The POS system keeps you informed about the current stock, incoming stock and other inventory related information that is necessary for daily operations of your business. Having the right inventory tools from the start of your business is crucial if you intend to scale your business. Most POS systems come with basic inventory features. So, be sure to check that the system you choose eliminates the need of multiple systems along with any potential restrictions between the two unintegrated systems.
The mode of payments has undergone drastic changes. With mobile banking and the advent of online wallets, there is a rapid rise in online transactions. This has brought changes in the way people make their transactions. As a business, you need to offer multiple payment options to keep up with your competition. Managing all of this might look scary. But not when you have a POS system in place. With the growing demands, the latest point of sale software is going beyond the normal cash payments and credit card processing. It is helping the retailers incorporate mobile POS features, contactless payment options , ecommerce integration capabilities and much more. To make it even more convenient for the customers, POS systems recently came up with point of sale finance, which assists the customers to purchase products on installments or credit basis. It is best for you to opt for POS software that supports multiple payment methods like cash payment, credit or debit card payment, mobile payment, etc.
Decide on the type of POS system
The current day software is moving fast towards the cloud technologies due to its flexibility and transparency. The best part of cloud is that it can be accessed from any corner of the world if you have a proper internet connection. If you are opting for an online POS system, you need to ensure that you have a stable and reliable internet connection.
Besides cloud based POS solutions, you have an option of physical software that can be accessed only from a specific terminal. Opting for a physical POS software will make it difficult for you to access the sales data. You can only access the data specifically from the terminal. This doesn’t make cloud based POS solutions any better. As mentioned earlier, it relies on a stable internet. Any disturbances in the internet will cause disturbance to your POS system as well. However, there are some cloud based POS systems that enable you to continue trading for a brief period of time, despite a lost internet connection. So, if you are opting for a cloud based POS system make sure that you choose a software that does not cause any hindrance when the internet connection is lost.
No one wants to invest in a technology that is difficult and highly impossible to use. Having this kind of technology in place will complicate the whole process and will need you to look for skilled and knowledgeable candidates to hire them as your employees. To avoid all these scenarios, it is preferable to choose a POS system that is simple and easy to operate without having to switch back to manual processing even for a single day. The software you choose should be usable by people with even minute technical knowledge. This is extremely crucial for your store as the operations are generally fast paced and involve working of a larger staff.
Apart from this, easy to use software is essential to keep your staff satisfied and have high employee turnover. Having a complex mechanism in place in an already pressurised environment like that of a store will make it incredibly frustrating and annoying for your employees to get accustomed and work with the technology without making any errors. So, having a good quality, usable POS system will help you with staff retention and prevent you from receiving poor feedback and complaints from your customers. Additionally, having a usable POS system will reduce the amount of time you will spend on training your staff. It should also be easy for you to access day to day information on sales, returns, partial payments, incoming stock and so much more. You should be able to do all of this without having to refer to the manual from time to time.
When you are choosing a particular POS system, you are not just buying the software. It is more like you are entering into a relationship with the vendor or software provider. The software provider should be able to assist and support you when you face any difficulties. The crucial factor that you should be checking while opting for a POS software is the customer support. You may or may not be well versed or skilled with the technology. There will be some common issues and problems that hamper the functioning of the software. POS problems cost you your time and money. Having someone who possesses the knowledge and skills is extremely crucial to help you get out of the glitches you are facing. So, you always need to have customer support to back you up and help you solve these issues. Choose a software that comes with 24X7 support on all 7 days of the week. It will be an added benefit if you have the access to email and live chat support from your software provider along with access to extensive guides and tutorial videos. Be sure to check if your software provider offers the following technical support services-
- Hardware and software support over call
- Live chat support
- Access to tutorial videos and guides
- Regular maintenance of hardware
- Maintenance of network cables
- System changes management
- On site technical support and services
With changing times, everyone is getting familiar with the usage of electronic gadgets. The workers you employ wouldn’t need much training to get accustomed to these devices. The POS system will increase the efficiency, accuracy and speed of your business, putting it on the path of success. Choose a POS system that offers you great and useful features and one that fits your business needs. The above mentioned tips will assist you in choosing the right POS system for your business.