Point of sale systems (POS) are a dynamic tool that not only processes credit card payments but also assists with business management and customer relations. Choosing a point of sale that ideal for your business is of the utmost importance, as it can boost productivity and profits immensely.
Regardless of the type of business you own, a point-of-sale system can be easily integrated into your operations to begin achieving impressive results rapidly. Beauty salons, law practices, restaurants, and retail outlets are just some of the types of businesses that can benefit from point-of-sale adoption.
If you are business owner struggling with the decision to purchase a point-of-sale system, you can ultimately boil the matter down to money and time. Point-of-sale systems save businesses (no matter what kind) both time and money while increasing profit and improving relationships with the client.
The archaic cash drawers of long past no longer are sufficient for today’s modern and contemporary times. With the explosion of wireless and mobile technology, world citizens have readily embraced things such as mobile phones, wireless networking, and far more. As the populace becomes more attuned with the latest developing technologies, expectations for the retail industry have changed to reflect the needs and expectations of new consumer behavior.
Today’s consumers expect retail establishments, restaurants, and anywhere else where goods and services are provided, to have point-of-sale systems in place for speedy, convenient, and secure payment.
In stark contrast to less-modernized establishments, POS takes businesses and increases efficiency in a multitude of ways. For example, a busy restaurant unequipped with POS can take exceedingly long to obtain cash or other form of payment from a customer, take it to the register, count the change, and bring it back to the customer.
The entire process takes far too long, and to make matters worse, is reducing the efficiency and productivity of the restaurant by slowing down operations. Imagine hundreds of payments made to that same busy restaurant that does not have POS equipment, and it becomes abundantly clear how much time, energy, and overall resources are wasted in the simple task of receiving payment.
Point of sale systems, however, expedite and streamline the process for business owners, employees, and for your valuable customers. With a simple swipe, customers are able to instantly pay for their food in the exact amount without the expectation of change, in addition to very quickly inputting a tip amount for servers.
Within mere seconds the transaction is finalized - customers are happy and satisfied with their experience, employees can spend more time with other customers, and business owners are benefitting from boosted productivity, profits, and happy customers.
It’s of crucial importance to note that POS offer far more benefits than just rapidly processing payments. The vast majority of POS have integrated reporting suites that provide business owners incredibly useful data such as:
Choosing a Specific Point of Sale System for Your Business
While point-of-sale systems are appropriate for nearly all types of business and can bring forth transformative beneficial change for owners, the unfortunate reality is that there is no one-size-fits-all POS solution for all business types.
Most point-of-systems come readily equipped with a multitude of features that business owners need without costing a fortune. POS decision making really comes down to narrowing the vast selection of point-of-sale systems down to a particular system that best suits your business and clientele.
Bearing in mind that a POS cannot be all things for all types of businesses, owners need to search for systems that are geared toward their specific type of business, whether it be restaurant, bar, club, office, or otherwise.
The 9 Most Important Features You Should Look For in a POS
1. Reporting Features:
Ensure that your point-of-sale system has efficient, accurate, and quick reporting abilities to best help you manage your business operations. Reporting features should include your best-selling items, slow-selling items, labor reporting, inventory tracking, and more. The information-packed reports from your POS will serve to help you make informed business decisions to improve your overall bottom line and profits.
2. Credit Card Processing
Perhaps the single most important reason why businesses purchase POS systems, credit card processing makes payment transaction from customers to merchants easy, secure, and convenient. With a simple swipe and sign, customers can rapidly pay for their goods and services without any extended wait and be well on their way having had a pleasant experience at your establishment.
Software – This is the most transparent part of the price. You’re either going to pay a one-time licensing fee with additional fees for upgrades OR a monthly subscription fee that is essentially made up of the licensing fee, upgrade costs, and support costs.
Comprehensive customer service support and assistance is very important for POS owners. As with any equipment composed of multiple hardware and software elements, POS systems can malfunction, experience downtime, and need maintenance and repair. The POS system that you purchase should have plenty of support, whether it be in the form of 24/7 customer assistance, online help portals, or easy-to-understand troubleshooting guides.
If and when your POS system goes down, you will need to ensure that you have the proper tools at your disposal to remedy the problem and be up and running as soon as possible. Failure to do so can lead to customer satisfaction, loss of customers, and ultimately lost profits.
5. Customer Database
Customer databases are an incredibly powerful tool benefitting business owners and are an imperative part of a top-quality POS system. With customer databases, business owners can compile crucial information about customers, their habits, preferences, likes, dislikes, in addition to contact information such as telephone numbers and addresses. With this collection of data, business owners can easily (and non-invasively) reach out to customers to inform of specials, discounts, and coupons, as well as catering customer service to their specific needs.
6. Inventory Tracking and Management
The tracking and management of inventory is an essential part of any successful business. Long gone are the days when workers had laboriously count, sort, and notate inventory counts. With today’s POS systems, inventory is digitized and streamlined in real-time. Business owners can count on their POS systems to count inventory precisely, target low stock, indicate overstock, and discover which stock is out of date. With this powerful tool, POS systems provide users with an in-depth view of inventory as a collective whole to further save money and boost their financial bottom line.
7. Durable Hardware Built to Last
Durable hardware is absolutely essential on any POS system. While cheaper POS systems might provide the tools and software that are desirable to business owners, those things mean very little when the POS system hardware is flimsy, shoddy, and not built for long-term use. Your POS system should be viewed as an investment - one that can stand the test of time, perform reliably, and serve your business needs efficiently.
Bear in mind that your POS system will likely be handled by multiple people including yourself, employees, vendors and maintenance or repair personnel. Along with consistent handling will be an increase in overall POS system use as your business grows. As such, you will want to ensure that your system is built for longevity.
To make this determination, make an effort to see the POS system before you finalize your purchase. Take note of the hardware elements, the sturdiness of the construction, and if all pieces fit seamlessly together.
8. Gift Card Integration Functionality
Gift Card Integration functions in POS systems are easy and effective ways to create gift cards for customers. Gift cards have the potential to increase sales, bring in new customers, and boost overall profits. Creating gift cards in your POS system is far more prudent due to the fact that gift cards made on cash registers or by hand take significantly longer to produce and can potentially reduce accuracy in tracking funds.
9. Customized Menu Capabilities
Not all businesses will need the same tools and software that come in pre-configured POS systems. When making your POS purchase, it is important to discover if the system has the capacity to customize its menu, options, and various tools to best suit the needs of your enterprise. Additionally, you will want a POS system that has an easy-to-use, intuitive interface that employees can easily navigate and customize on their own if needed.
Quick Checklist for the 9 Most Important Features You Should Look for in a POS System
Other important considerations for making your POS system purchase include:
Pricing: POS systems are readily available at a wide array of price points. From the base model, pre-configured options to top-of-the-line machines costing tens of thousands of dollars, business owners need to make the best-informed decision possible before making a POS system investment.
Smaller business will obviously benefit from a lower-priced POS system that comes readily equipped with all the essential tools and software small business owners need, while larger companies will need a more dynamic POS system that can handle an immense amount of data.
Before settling on a price, consider briefly mapping out the functionalities you will require for your business via your POS system and the various tools and software you desire to assist, expand, and streamline your business. From there you can make a well-educated purchase without any second-guessing. Some points worth considering are things such as the following:
Answering all these questions can go a long way towards helping you figure out the essential tools and software you need in a POS system, in addition to the price tag most appropriate for your needs.
As with any significant purchase, research reigns supreme. Fortunately, there are a wealth of resources and reviews available on the internet that go over every aspect of the most popular POS systems on the market right now.
Some great resources include:
Point of Sale: www.pointofsale.com
National Computer Corporation: www.nccusa.com
POS Portal: www.posportal.com
Software Advice: www.softwareadvice.com
POS systems are dynamic tools that serve to assist business owners in myriad ways. Equipped with an assemblage of dynamic software and tools to help business owners strategize financial success in addition to streamlining a number of business practices, POS systems have become an indispensable part of businesses worldwide.
With just a bit of research and thoughtful consideration, you can easily choose the best POS system for your needs, at the price that is most appropriate for you, and with all of the most desirable elements, you need to grow your business in today's competitive market.