How Do You Pick a Point of Sale System for Your Retail Store?

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( — November 25, 2018) — Selling in person, either in a permanent set up or in popup stores, presents many challenges.You need to have sales clerks record the sales, have the sales records and inventory synchronized with your backend databases, track customer records, manage Point Of Sale employee records and more. So, how do you choose a good POS System?

The Criteria for Selecting a Good Point of Sale System

Point of Sale solutions need to handle many things besides recording sales. These systems become the central management points for your in-store operations. They should be able to track and manage inventory, POS personnel records, customer records, record and sync inventory, and even integrate in-store security solutions.

There are numerous POS Systems like Square, Erply, Vend, ShopKeep, LightSpeed etc, with comparable feature lists, so it can become a challenge when it comes to deciding which system to implement in your shop. You can go for in-store implementation, but the current trend, especially for SMEs, is to go for cloud based solutions. So, what are the points you should consider before picking one of the many Point Of Sale Systems in the market?

The Five Points to Consider

There are many different factors you can look into while making your decision. However, to make things simpler, you can filter down your list and pick a solution after considering these five points.

The Feature Set

Now, POS solutions are not just glorified cash registers. These systems help you manage the entire operations of your stores. So, look for features that help make it easier to run the business and enhance the store’s performance. Look for solutions that make it easy to keep track of and manage processes like sales, inventory, customer data, and employee records. These systems should also be able to integrate with your backend store management system to update the databases. This is especially important to sync inventory, sales, employee and customer data for better management, for better targeted promotions, and to ensure you never have discrepancies in stock levels.

Integration with Other Business Solutions

The Point Of Sale system you choose should have the ability to interface with your other business processes, that is, it should be able to share data with your accounting software, supply chain management solution, email marketing solution etc. This eliminates the need for an extra layer of work to copy these data manually to these other systems.

Cloud-Based Implementation

These are the ideal solutions for SMEs, you do not need to bother about IT infrastructure, backend administration and maintenance, software updates, etc. The solution provider has deployed the software on the cloud and automatically takes care of the administration, updates, security patches  etc. This makes it ideal for even small businesses to implement high-end POS systems and scale easily as the business grows

Free of Contracts

Steer clear of Point Of Sale systems that require long term contracts, you will need to try out the solutions and see if they work for you. If you are not comfortable with the system, you want to be able to switch to another product quickly, without the hassle of issues associated with breaking long term contracts. Many cloud-based solutions offer monthly subscription plans with no binding contracts. Also, avoid equipment leases. Instead, buy the hardware outright, you can use them even if your switch over to another Point Of Sale system.

Third Party Integration

Choose a Point Of Sale system that does not make it mandatory to use their own processing solutions like credit card processing equipments, payment processing systems etc. This prevents you from getting tied down to these solutions and gives you more flexibility to search for good equipments and payment processors that may be cheaper and/or more suited to your business.

Other factors to look into include your monthly costs, the devices you can use with your POS systems on the checkout counters etc. For instance, while most merchants now use tablets at their POS terminals, some solutions work with iOS devices while others work with Android devices. Consider which mobile platform you prefer and choose accordingly. Some Point Of Sale systems provide you the flexibility to use either iOS or Android devices.