The shopping process for a company has to go through several levels. A business may receive customers that simply walk in the door, or customers may see an enticing product on the display. Most customers find a business while doing online research. Regardless of how a customer reaches out to your business, anyone who decides to buy from your store ends up in the same place and the Point of Sale (POS System). A POS system is the point when the purchase is completed and the business hands over the products to the customer.
Needless to say, the point of sale is a vital step in a shopping journey, which is why it’s vital to provide your customers a great shopping experience. To make sure that your customers have the best possible experience is to have the right POS system.
We’ve created a guide for you to choose the perfect POS system.
What is a POS System?
A POS system is a component that supports the point of the sale process. A POS contains both hardware and software that you can use to boost sales. At its core, a POS system operates as a cash register that can register and record sales, take payments, and provides receipts. As technology has evolved, so has the POS system. The latest POS systems offer inventory management, analytics, CRM capabilities and so much more.
Features of a POS System
Getting a POS system for your business can help your team and customers in a number of ways.
Without a POS system, there won’t be a checkout and no way to record your transactions. So a POS system is essential to keep track of your business.
A good POS system also offers reporting features that can provide useful insights about your products, sales, customers, and so on. With enough information and data, a business can make smarter decisions.
Modern retail POS software and restaurant POS systems offer additional features like stock control, customer management and some even help in marketing. Using a powerful POS system can provide your business with tools and services that you’ve never experienced before. Some POS systems come with a built-in loyalty program, thus allowing you to reward returning customers.
Which Businesses Need POS System?
1. Entertainment & Hospitality: Businesses that charge money for providing experiences often use the POS system. Businesses such as hotels, cinemas, museums, theme parks, etc.
2. Service Providers: Salons, spas, and other businesses that offer personal services can use a POS system
3. On-the-go Merchants: Retailers and service providers that work while traveling (traveling salesmen) often rely on the POS system.
What to Look Out for While Choosing a POS System?
To make sure that you choose the best POS system according to your business needs, there are a couple of things that you should keep in mind.
1. Figure out Your Business Needs
Before you go online and start researching the best POS systems, you should figure out the needs of your business first. Doings so will help you figure out the features that you need more than ever and which you don’t. It’ll help you narrow the options.
2. Existing System’s Weaknesses
If you’re already using a POS system for business and looking for an upgrade, then start out by making a list of all the features that you think your current system should have. Let’s say if your system isn’t able to accept gift cards, then your upgraded system should have that functionality.
You can discuss with the member of your team the common shortcomings of the existing POS system to make a wise decision.
Some of the best POS systems can be extremely expensive, so it’s not possible to upgrade to new hardware. The best thing to do is to look for a software solution that can boost the efficacy of your current system.
Make sure you check the POS system you choose works well with your existing hardware like credit card terminals, drawers, printers, barcode scanners, and so on.
4. Build a Roadmap
It makes sense to invest in a POS system that can cater to your current needs, but as your business will grow your needs will change. It’s wise to also keep your future needs in mind. The best way to do so is to build a roadmap outlining the possible future of your business.
If you plan to expand your business to new locations, then your POS system should have multi-store support. If you want to change the customer loyalty program in the future, then your POS system should provide you with enough flexibility to do so.
As we mentioned above, a POS system can be expensive. So obviously you’d want a system that doesn’t force you to step out of your budget. Some solutions charge a subscription fee as well so you’ll have to take that into consideration as well. Some providers work on a commission model and they take a certain percentage out of the sales you make. There are some POS system providers that operate on both subscription-based and commission-based models.