You need more than a cash register to ring up sales and accept payments for your small business. You need a point-of-sale (POS) system that can record sales data, manage inventory, generate reports, and store customer contact information.
When it comes to finding a new point of sale (POS) system, you can get pretty overwhelmed these days. There are hundreds of options available online, each offering a wide range of features. It can be difficult to decide which is right for you.
POS systems aren’t just used for processing sales. With their features, you can analyze sales data, track inventory, connect with customers, and manage employees.
The software includes or has integrations for email marketing, loyalty programs, and other features that streamline processes and save you time. Customer support is available round-the-clock from the best POS vendors, so even if your business has irregular hours or you work late, you can receive assistance.
Benefits of Retail POS Software
Retail POS systems offer retailers many benefits beyond simply processing transactions. Some of these benefits include:
- Analyzing and reporting sales: Giving retailers insight into their sales, enabling them to make informed decisions that strengthen their business.
- Managing inventories: Automates stock control and helps retailers determine optimal quantities of top-selling products and when to reorder them.
- Capabilities for managing customers: Automatically collect and track valuable customer information, so retailers can build stronger relationships and encourage repeat business.
- Grow your business: POS solutions can provide retailers with key insights into their business. Based on this information, the scale can identify the best-selling products and the most valuable customers.
- Improve efficiency: POS systems allow shop owners, operators, and managers to spend more time training their employees and interacting with customers due to their operational efficiencies and automation.
11 of the most popular POS features
Apple and Android applications are available for most POS systems that allow mobile checkout via smartphones and tablets. Consequently, retail employees can ring up customers wherever they are on the store floor, and waiters can accept orders and payments at the table.
Some POS systems are only available for Apple or Android, while most are dual-platform. When selecting a system, keep your preferences in mind.
Management of inventories
The type of inventory management your business needs will determine the type of POS system you should invest in, no matter whether you’re in the foodservice industry or retail and need to track product quantities.
While most POS systems include inventory management functionality, some are more comprehensive than others, while others are industry-specific. Make sure your POS system has an advanced inventory management option or integrates with your choice of inventory software if your business requires one.
Do you need to collect a lot of customer data for your marketing efforts? In addition to collecting email addresses, phone numbers, and mailing addresses, POS systems track sales data such as purchase histories and buying trends. In this way, you can create specific, targeted offers to encourage your customers to shop with you again and again.
Data from advanced POS systems can be used to generate just-in-time marketing, tailored to the individual customer at the checkout counter. Based on a customer’s recent purchase, the system might generate instant coupons.
POS systems do not usually include loyalty programs as part of their core functionality. Many systems offer them as an optional add-on, and others integrate with third-party loyalty programs.
Gift cards are frequently added to POS systems by businesses. A gift card, either in person or online, can be a great way to increase sales and customer loyalty.
Permissions and user accounts
POS systems are useful for businesses with multiple employees. System administrators manage the access of employees to different POS features. Various tasks, such as issuing refunds or voiding transactions, can be assigned to specific employees or positions.
Employee management features are available in most POS systems, such as tracking work activity, sales, and performance. Your top earners can be easily identified, and those who need further training can also be identified. These tools can also be used for competitions that reward your best performers.
POS systems can book appointments, although it is not as common as it used to be. A website or mobile application can be used to book an appointment. After booking an appointment, you can manage sales and appointments all in one place. It is especially useful for those who work in professional service industries (such as, nail salons, wellness spas, repair shops).
You’ll want a POS system with the right analytics for your business since the depth of reporting varies. Are you looking for basic metrics such as sales per hour or inventory management?
Select a system that offers customizable reports with the ability to filter data by date range and other factors. As well as allowing you to customize how the data is presented, you might also want the ability to schedule automatic reports to be sent to you via email.
Sales reports, accounting reports, employee management reports, inventory reports, store comparison reports, and general reports are some of the types of reports often produced.
Retail operations management relies heavily on point-of-sale systems, but modern cloud-based POS systems are data-driven, which lets you use retail store data for digital marketing. Marketing tools built into POS systems will streamline your marketing efforts so that you can sell more.
As your retail operation grows, look for point-of-sale software that can scale with you. POS systems should offer the following features: the ability to handle high transaction and inventory volumes, international tax settings, multi-currency support, unlimited stores, selling zones, and stock allocations.
Your POS software will allow you to scale and grow. POS software may have a limit on users and stores, which means that you may need to upgrade or switch to another POS if you outgrow your current one.
Following the features above will help you determine which solutions are right for your store. List your top choices and see if the software providers can provide additional information based on your knowledge.
All these features are part of a great retail management system, so you can focus on growing your business rather than worrying about things you can’t control. Do not settle for anything less.