Choosing a retail POS system can be overwhelming. It’s like walking into a huge store for the first time and not knowing where anything is or what you’re even shopping for. Narrowing down your options in the sea of retail POS systems is no easy feat.
Luckily there are many ways you can start to narrow down the options. By looking at factors such as price, features, usability, and security, you can find the POS system that streamlines business operations and increases customer satisfaction.
Keep reading to learn how you can shop for and find the best retail POS system.
5 Factors To Consider While Choosing the Right POS System for your Business
One of the first things to consider when choosing a POS system is the cost. While you want to get the best deal for your money, you don’t want to sacrifice quality and features for a less expensive product.
In most cases, the cost of a POS system greatly depends on the features and capabilities that it offers. The more bells and whistles, the more you can expect to pay. Your job is to figure out which features are most beneficial for your retail business and which ones you can live without.
If you run a small boutique clothing store, you likely don’t need a system that’s designed to allow multiple registers at multiple locations. The bottom line is to avoid paying for features that your business won’t benefit from.
2. Available Features
As a retail company, there are a lot of different features that you want to look for in a POS system. The diversity of POS systems is beneficial but also can be intimidating. With that said, there are some must-have features that you’ll want to ensure that the retail POS system you choose has.
Some of the top features that you want the POS system to offer include:
- Inventory management
- Offline capability
- Ability to process several payment options (debit, credit, and mobile pay)
- Gift card, coupon, and layaway support
- Ability to collect customer information
- Loyalty program support
- Time tracking
- Mobile support
While not every one of these features may apply to your retail store, these are general features that you’ll want to find in a retail POS system. With these features, you can make smarter business decisions, decrease transaction time, increase payment flexibility, and improve customer experience and satisfaction.
3. Local or Cloud-Based System
Cloud-based POS systems are the way of the future. Though more expensive, these systems are beneficial in that they offer frequent updates, quality customer support, and the ability to integrate 3rd party software.
Cloud-based systems also enable you to view reports, metrics, and data from a mobile device. This means you can be traveling on vacation while making data-driven business decisions.
On the other hand, a cloud-based system isn’t for every retail business. Locally installed systems are highly customizable and have less risk, which means improved security.
4. Customer Service & Support
Even top of the line POS systems can be problematic. To give you peace of mind, you want to choose a POS system vendor that offers top-notch customer support and service. Even if the POS system only breaks twice in two years, it’s awfully nice to be able to reach out to a support team that can get things back in working order.
When considering a POS provider’s customer service and support, you want to know which type of support is offered. Is support available around the clock? Is it online support or can a technician visit your store in person? How is communication handled?
Additionally, you want to know if the support team is in-house or outsourced. Sometimes an outsourced team may not have the direct knowledge of the system that’s needed in order to properly troubleshoot it. If possible, choose a vendor with an in-house support team.
5. Ease of Use
So you’ve found a retail POS system that fits your price range and offers all of the features your business needs. One factor you don’t want to overlook is the usability and ease of use of the system. As a retail business owner, you need to get buy-in from your stakeholders, which includes your employees and customers.
Before deciding on a POS system, go through live demos and test the system in person. Allow employees to participate so that they can get their feedback. A quality retail POS system should be intuitive with a simplistic interface. The system should also offer convenient features for workers such as product lookup and hotkeys.
The easier a system is to use, the more likely it is that your employees will be more accepting of the change. Remember, introducing new technology into a business is no easy feat, so focus on finding a system that is easy to use.
There are tons of retail POS systems on the market. Using the information above, you can choose a POS system that fits your budget, offers top of the line features, and makes transactions more convenient for your employees and customers.