You know a point of sale (POS) system is crucial for running a business efficiently. But do you know how to choose the best one for your business?
If not, don’t worry. We’ve got everything you need to know about choosing a retail POS system right here!
More than almost anything else, the type of retail POS system you purchase is going to depend on the size of your budget.
The price of POS systems can vary quite a bit. Some basic, cloud-based systems are free, while others will cost you anywhere from $50 to $200 per month.
On the other hand, you can also pay a flat fee of anything from $1,200 to $2,500 for a more traditional system.
Clearly, there’s a lot of variety, and you’ll have to think carefully about the type of business you’re running before you make a decision.
For example, is your business a startup that doesn’t have a lot of money pay up front? If this is the case, you might benefit from a more flexible, subscription-based plan.
On the other hand, if you don’t want to deal with monthly payments, you might prefer a system that comes with a one-time licensing fee. However, you’ll have to keep in mind the possibility of signing a long-term contract if you go this route.
Retail POS System Features
When deciding on the type of POS system to buy, you’ll also need to think about which features you can afford and which ones will benefit your business the most. Read on to learn about some of the different features retail POS systems have to offer.
One of the most important things to consider is the kind of hardware you will be running your POS system from. Are you going to use an iPad or tablet? Do you need a conventional card reader?
When you make your decision, look at what you already have and think about the size of your business. Are you a small business with a few employees who can all easily work from a tablet? Or do you run a larger store with a more traditional checkout counter?
Don’t get sucked into systems that require the latest hardware; instead, think about what you really need and what will be the most cost effective choice.
This feature is great for business owners who have tangible products they need to keep track of.
Point of sale systems that offer inventory management will update your numbers after every transaction, so you’ll always know exactly how much of everything you have on hand.
Some businesses like to keep track of customer activity, too. Customer management features can help you get a better handle on your most popular products so that you can come up with a better marketing plan.
Some customer management systems even help you manage customer loyalty programs, so you can reward the people who frequent your business the most.
Returns and Exchanges
Many businesses can benefit from a retail POS system that makes returns and exchanges simple.
Not only will this feature make life easier for your employees, but it will also make your customers more likely to return to your business. You’ll learn very quickly that people appreciate an easy and efficient return and exchange process.
Credit Card Processing
It’s incredibly frustrating for customers when a business can’t process credit cards — in this day and age, very few people regularly carry cash on them. For this reason, a POS system that can process credit cards is practically a necessity.
eCommerce (processing payments electronically via the internet) is necessary for many businesses as well, so it’s important to ask about these features when you make your decision.
For example, if you have both in-store and online sales, will transactions automatically be synchronized?
Which shopping carts can the POS system integrate with? If you have a preferred vendor, you’ll want to make sure the system you purchase can integrate with it.
In addition to special features, you’ll also want to think about the kind of customer support offered by the company you’re considering purchasing the POS system from.
You’re almost guaranteed to need assistance with your system at some point, no matter how tech savvy you are. Because of this, it’s important that the company you purchase from has a reliable customer service plan.
Be sure to ask whether or not the company outsources its customer service. This can be a red flag, especially for people who are not very good with technology.
If the customer service is outsourced, you will likely be working with someone who does not have hands-on experience with system, which can be frustrating if you’re dealing with a unique or serious problem.
You’ll also want to find out what kind of service is offered.
Do they only allow you to call on the phone? Are there email and live chat options? Is customer service offered 24 hours a day, or only on certain days and between certain hours?
The type of retail POS system you purchase matters, of course, but so does the company you purchase it from.
In addition to customer service, you’ll also want to make sure the company itself is reputable and likely to be in business for a long time.
Ask questions about the provider’s experience and be sure to take into account their reviews, both positive and negative. When finding out what other people have to say about the company, be sure to look outside of their website.
If the only positive reviews they have been posted there, this might be a provider to pass on.
Security is also crucial, for you and your customers.
Is each employee required to have their own PIN to access the system? Is everyone given universal access to all parts of it? Is data encrypted so it’s never exposed to hackers?
Take the answers to these questions into account when choosing a POS system.
Contact Us Today
Now that you know a little more about what to look for in a retail POS system, it’s time to get your own. We can help you every step of the way, from design and implementation to ongoing customer support.
Contact us today to get started!