Choosing the Right Retail POS System for Your Business

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When you’re running a business, a retail POS system is one of the most vital components. Explore key tips on understanding the needs of your store when choosing your Point of Sale system.

Your business needs to be versatile when it comes to accepting payments. Cash, Credit, Debit, Contactless, etc., there are many different ways that a transaction can be completed. Take note of the following factors when picking a new POS. Let us look at what you need for the right POS system that suits your business needs.

1. What is a Retail POS System?

To start, a Retail POS System is a hardware device loaded with software that helps you manage and process transactions made in your shop. It often takes the appearance of a standard cash register but it has more intelligent features and holds a wider range of capabilities.

POS systems come in various models and areas of specialization. For example, you have POS systems designed for food service and restaurants. These operate differently when compared to those used in retail stores or grocery stores, for example.

Despite the differences, all POS systems come with similar features. For software, these include payment processing, inventory management, and other administrative options. For hardware, these similarities usually include a terminal or computer, a receipt printer, a cash drawer, a customer display, and, most likely, a barcode scanner.

2. How Does a POS System Work?

To pick the right one, you need to know how they function. To understand how a POS system works, let us look at its components.

Hardware

The main component of the hardware is the terminal, or the computer that helps to run the software to accept payment and adjust inventory.  The most common forms of payment are usually cash, and credit or debit cards.  Other forms of payment that come to play include mobile payment or contactless payment, like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay, and other banking apps.

Besides the terminal, peripheral hardware components may include receipt printers, cash drawers, customer displays, and presentation or hand held scanners. These scanners would have the means to scan barcodes, UPCs, SKUs, and EANs. Newer 2D scanners have the ability to read QR codes, scan identification cards, and accept mobile coupons.

Software

The software handles functions such as viewing inventory items, performing transactions, sales reporting, managing coupon codes, staff management, etc. Some would even have the capability to sync inventories from different platforms. Some software is cloud based, and some software is on-premise.

Depending on your business, you will need to determine whether you want to run On-Premise software, or if you want a Cloud solution. There are advantages and drawbacks to each type of solution. Much of the decision will be based around things like the type of business you have, the size of your business, how big and diverse your staff is, budgetary constraints, and your understanding of software and maintenance. It is ultimately up to you to understand and decide which solution type is best for your business.

3. What Does Your Business Need?

Having a POS system is a real necessity for every retail business. It can provide for ease of processing transactions, help you accept different forms of payment, and make business management easier.

When picking a retail POS system, narrow down your choices according to specific needs. Here are some pointers that you should remember when choosing a POS model for your business:

Business Type

What kind of business are you running? There are specific POS models designed for your market. For instance, a restaurant needs features to help organize customer orders and present them on-time, and in sequential order, to the kitchen staff. A brick-and-mortar clothing shop needs a POS that has a live database to keep track of inventory within the store itself, as well as warehouse inventory, and keep track of outbound orders and inbound shipments.

Do You Need an Upgrade?

If you are currently running an outdated POS system, or if you’re still using a standard cash register with limited or non-existent reporting features, consider switching to an updated POS system. Improved technology may call for you to update software and hardware, but there are many benefits that an updated system can provide. Among the issues you may encounter that would prompt a system upgrade include performance and efficiency issues, staff and customer satisfaction, ease of data feedback and reporting, etc. Take a look at these signs to know when it’s time to make the change to and upgraded solution.

Ease of Use

An aspect of picking the right solution is in the ease of deployment and operation of the system, whether this is in the hardware, software, or both. In this case, you’re looking at customer support and ease of use for your employees.

When picking a POS, make sure that anyone can use it regardless of skill level. With simple yet pleasing aesthetics and functionality spreading throughout our society, the idea of universal usability stands out as an advantage.  A system that is more intuitive will benefit you in training time and user adoption.

4. Key Features

When looking for a Point of Sale solution, pay attention to the features it offers. For example, does it have an accessible database or can it transact PayPal payments? Consider the following key features:

Processing of Transactions

Pay attention to this basic yet crucial feature of a POS. Check if it can support common and emerging payment methods such as cash, check, credit, debit, mobile payments or contactless payments.

Also, look at the compatibility of the main unit with the payment processing hardware. Be certain you are using hardware and software that are compliant with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards Council, and be sure to maintain your PCI compliance.

Inventory Management

A POS system provides an improved way of integrating with and possibly managing your inventory. When looking for a POS system, you need to check for the ease-of-use and flexibility of the system. Take note if it can also manage inventory in bulk through the use of CSV or some other import/export method.

Look for other features like support for product variations for easier management, and how easy it is to add new products in to the system.  Organizational tools such as reorder triggers and alerts can help you sort your items, find out how fast they are moving, and when they need to be restocked.

Staff Management

A POS system also comes with some basic employee management tools. This may allow the staff to clock in and out without the need for a separate time clock. This might allow managers insights in to smarter scheduling and accurate payroll calculations. Also, make sure it isn’t too difficult to add or remove employees from the system.

You can also find features that will tell you which employees ring up the most sales, their average ticket amount, the average time each employee takes to process transactions, which ones have the fewest errors, and other analytics that will give you feedback to make the right choices for strategic scheduling during busy times, and other insights for managers to consider regarding their staff and processes.

Find a Retail POS System That Suits Your Business

The right retail POS system can make your business easier to manage. It is a matter of taking your time to research and find the right fit for the products and services you offer.

To make sure you have the right POS system, we can help you in your search for the right fit. Contact us today. We’ll be able to assist you when it comes to any POS solution you are seeking.