Gone are the days when people needed to enter every detail of cash flow, sales, and product inventory in a register. The retail industry is moving towards and adapting technology in every possible way. One such technologically advanced solution for them is a POS or Point-of-Sale system. It has made keeping track of sales, product inventory, and even customers easier for both small and big retail businesses.
Its features are not just limited to recording sales data or checking out customers. It has been designed to become a hub for retail businesses by storing sales-related information, product inventory, customer, and employees’ data in it.
If you are running a retail business and are not using POS systems, getting them installed in your outlets will make it easier for you to manage your business efficiently. There are different kinds of POS systems available in the market. So, making the right choice for your business is not as easy as it may seem. You need to consider several factors before choosing the most suitable POS system for your business.
Does this sound overwhelming? You need not worry. Here are five key tips you should keep in mind while choosing a POS system –
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1. Check for Its Specific Features
To run your retail business efficiently, you need a POS system that fits well into its specific needs. It should have features that help you streamline the business-related processes, such as customer checkout or order management. Most of the POS systems have basic features such as credit and debit card acceptance, inventory management, and reporting.
But you should also know that one POS system may vary from another because of the differences in its features. So, it is vital for you to think about what sort of distinct features you are looking for.
Let’s say you run a restaurant. You may need a POS system with the ability to split checks, add tips, receive orders online, track status of products delivered, make table reservations, etc.
If you feel like you must have the POS features specific to for your business, you should spend time researching about the most preferred system. You can request a quote from the POS companies about the best product, which can fulfill your present as well as future needs.
2. Look for Cloud-Based Systems
While using a POS system and even otherwise, a common concern raised by retailers is of loss of data related to customers, inventory, orders, sales, and profits, etc. This can happen because of data breaches at retail stores or hardware malfunction.
You certainly do not want this to happen to your business. Saving all the business-related data on the local systems or servers means a higher risk of data loss. To prevent it from happening, it will be best for you to opt for cloud-based POS systems available in the market.
Take the case of QuickBooks POS hosting, which masters at keeping different retail stores of one brand fully organized. You can have a centralized product inventory in it and complete sales data saved on the cloud. Also, regular automated backups of data stored in the cloud ensure that your data will always be safe there.
In case you had already bought a non-cloud-based POS system to support your business, you can still integrate it with the cloud. All you need is a helping hand from a cloud hosting provider to host your POS system on the cloud and give you the related benefits of cloud computing.
3. Avoid Buying POS Systems On A Contract Or Lease
This is something very important. You will only get to know if a chosen POS system meets your needs after using it for some time. If it doesn’t fulfill your expectations, you will most probably look for a better alternative and switch as early as possible.
POS systems available on a contract or lease will prevent you from doing that during the lease tenure. You may get stuck in the lease for a specific tenure without getting the benefit of the system as expected.
So, it is always better to choose a POS system for which you will need to pay on a month-to-month basis. You can even buy the system outright. If you feel the chosen system is best for your business after using for a few months, you can then think of asking the POS company for a better deal that lasts longer.
4. Consider Third-Party Software Integration and Hardware Compatibility
While looking for POS systems, you may find some POS companies only allow the vendors to use their credit card processing services and related hardware. Choosing their POS systems may seem like an expensive choice for you. Also, the hardware they provide may become unusable in case you wish to switch to some other POS software later in time.
It is true that the software and hardware you get with a POS system offers a whole lot of useful features. But you should also consider their compatibility with other third-party software and hardware to streamline your business operations. Ease of third-party integrations and compatibility with commonly used devices can simplify several day-to-day tasks related to your retail business dramatically.
Take the case when your POS system can be easily integrated with some marketing software. You can then retrieve customer data from the POS very easily. This data can then be used to send promotional emails and notifications to the customers.
5. Look at The Scalability Factor
You may be having your current retail business limited to just one outlet or store. But it is nearly obvious that you want to grow it further and have multiple outlets located in different regions. You must be having some plans for business growth in the time ahead.
There are certain POS systems which restrict the number of outlets you can govern using them. Choosing them may mean putting a limit to how far you can grow your business. Also, investing a considerable amount of money in buying multiple POS systems for each of the stores is not a wise decision.
As a solution for it all, prefer buying a scalable cloud-based POS system that can support multiple stores and registers. This way, you won’t need to worry if the chosen system will support your business growth. Once all your retails stores are enabled in the system, you will get a single central dashboard with all the data in it that you need to run your business.
The right choice of a POS system from the very beginning will make it easier for you to plan the growth of your business. Alongside, it will also simplify the tasks of running it in its current form. With the help of important tips mentioned above, you can get helped in choosing a POS system.
Do you want to opt for a cloud-based POS solution? Talk to our Solutions Consultant now.