There are many factors to consider when choosing a retail POS system for your business, and dozens of options to choose from. And while you may be tempted to think that all systems are the same, this is not the case.
What’s more, POS systems vary in their intended industry. For example, a system designed for restaurants may not be ideal in a retail setting, and vice versa. You know your business better than anyone. Consider your specific needs and determine what’s most important to you.
We understand that with so many options, it can be difficult to choose. Savvy retailers know that there’s a lot to look for when choosing a POS solution for their business. Consider these points and you’ll be on the right track.
Your system should be intuitive and user-friendly. After all, a system is only as good as your ability to use it. Entering new products, removing old ones, or changing prices should be simple and efficient. Training your staff should likewise be a quick and painless process.
Tracking & Reporting FunctionsOne of the benefits of any retail POS system is having the ability to tracking sales, employee hours, or inventory and generate different reports that aid your business decisions.
It is almost always easier to centralize your systems. Technology is great, but why use 5 different programs when you can do it all with one? If your POS system incorporates an inventory management system and can also track labor; you’re heading in the right direction.
Also, consider the options for tracking and reporting that are available, and whether these align with your business needs.
Online and Mobile OptionsWith more retailers venturing into e-commerce, the ability to process orders online is more important these days. If e-commerce isn’t a concern, consider the options for processing orders through tablets or mobile devices.
Will you need a mobile POS system? Do you ever attend trade shows, fairs, or other events? If so, you likely aren’t taking your entire POS system with you! Consider if, and how often you’ll want to process orders via a mobile POS, and choose a system that can deliver.
Even if you aren’t planning on setting up a booth at the local fair, this is still a great option to have. During high-volume periods, the ability to quickly process orders becomes crucial. A system that can handle mobile transactions is like having an extra register in your back pocket.
This is a win-win. Your business can process more sales and your customers don’t have to wait in line forever.
Training and SupportEven the savviest of retailers may need the occasional helping hand. Having a certain amount of training and support from the POS company is always a good thing, even if it’s never needed. Look for systems that offer training sessions for new clients as well as other support channels.
ScalabilityNot all retail POS systems are created equally. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the types (and sizes) of businesses the system is built to serve. What may be more important, is whether it can grow as your business grows.
If you have plans on expanding your business, the last thing you want is to have to go shopping for a new POS system all over again. Having to train your staff on a new system, buy new hardware, etc. doesn't sound like a great use of your time or money. Look for a system that is designed to scale with you, has options for larger businesses, enhanced upgrades, etc.