Payment processing and point of sale (POS) systems are vital tools for small businesses. Here are 10 tips and ideas to consider as you research POS systems for your small business.
We know the retail industry is extremely competitive. Having an intuitive yet robust point of sale can help you to streamline your business processes, increase revenues, and achieve your business goals.
That’s why you’re ready to upgrade to a point of sale (POS) that does more than just process transactions. Your point of sale should be able to take transactions for in-store sales, online sales, build customer loyalty, attract new customers, automate your marketing efforts, and increase your overall sales.
Choosing a point of sale that’s a right fit for your business can be confusing and time-consuming. Here are 10 tips that will eliminate confusion and help you understand all the benefits a robust POS system can bring to your business.
#1. Get a POS That Manages Inventory
Studies have shown that retailers can lose up to 14% of customers due to product being out-of-stock. An effective POS keeps your shelves well-stocked; it helps you forecast, automate, and consolidate your inventory management.
• Insight into stock levels per location
• Reports on best-selling products and brands
• Automated reminders when you’re running low on stock
• Easy workflow for making purchase orders
• Automatic imports from vendor catalogs
#2. Get a POS That Uses Tablets for Sales Support
Over 70% of today’s top retailers are using tablets to provide sales floor support. POS helps create an intimate, personalized shopping experience that builds brand loyalty.
• Support for iPhones and iPads to encourage store-wide customer interaction
• Quick look-up of inventory at all locations
• Upsell features such as suggestions for related products
• Customer database that tracks past purchases, preferred brands, sizes
• Features for keeping special notes on customers, like a pet’s allergies
#3. Look for Mobile POS System
Mobile is part of your customer’s buying experience, and it should be part of your sales staff’s as well. The right POS provides customers with speed and convenience, and should go where you go.
• Check-out capability on mobile devices like iPhones and iPads
• Wireless support for temporary locations like pop-up shops, street fairs, farmer’s markets, or special events
• Easy access to information for sales staff, including product availability, special notes, and companion products
#4. Look for a POS Bundle That Includes Hardware
Don’t let hidden costs sneak up on you. When researching point of sale systems make sure to add up all the costs associated before making a decision. For example, where are you going to keep all your cash? A cash drawer can cost anywhere from $50 – $175.
• All-inclusive hardware packages that include stands, cash drawers, printers, label printers, and terminals
• Latest technology including EMV and Apple Pay
• 24/7 Customer Service support on both software and hardware
• If installation assistance and product training are provided
#5. Get a POS That Syncs Between Physical and Online Stores
According to the National Retail Federation, 6 out of 7 consumers research products online before buying in a store. And most retailers agree that customers who shop both online and in-store bring in more revenue than those who shop via one channel alone. The right POS helps brick-and-mortar retailers build online stores and sell through any channel.
• Synchronization between web and physical stores when it comes to inventory, sales, and order requests
• Consolidated reports on total sales, sales per physical store, sales from e-commerce
• Extending your retail presence with custom, branded templates
#6. Choose a POS That Grows With Your Business
When it comes to buying technology, think about the long-term costs. While it can be tempting to go for the cheapest and simplest system when you’re getting started, you’ll regret it when you outgrow it in a year’s time.
• Support for multiple locations
• Integration with popular software, such as MailChimp,Google Analytics, and QuickBooks
• Open technology so independent developers can easily develop apps that you can add to your POS
#7. Choose a POS That Helps You Market Your Business
Research shows that fewer than 1 in 10 new prospects will make a purchase, while more than 6 in 10 existing customers will buy again. As a result, today’s leading marketers are no longer sending out generic email blasts – personalizing consumer conversations. The right POS helps you get with the times and send relevant communications tailored to your customers’ preferences.
• Customer database for capturing name, contact info, preferred method of contact, favorite brands, walk-in or online shopper
• Integrates with email marketing software for emailing customers and tracking click-through rates
• Features for segmenting your customer database, and tailoring promotions to fit those segments
#8. Get a POS That Provides In-Depth Analytics
Retailers used to “fly blind” – goods came and went, but managers had only a vague idea of profits. In today’s highly competitive environment, retailers can’t afford to take risks. That’s why a good POS will show you how well you’re doing, and where you can improve.
• Reports that show most profitable products, top-selling products, lowest selling products, top-performing sales associates, busiest store hours, top brands, and online vs. in-store sales
• Customizable dashboard
• Easy access to information for better decision-making, such as for purchasing and staff scheduling
#9. Make Sure You POS Comes With Training and Support
Every retailer has their own unique strengths and challenges. A good POS vendor will help you figure out the right software and hardware so the system you end up with is strong fit for your business.
• Multiple ways to reach the support team, such as over the phone, online tickets, and email
• Local channel partners — specialists who provide on-site consultation, installation and troubleshooting services
• Variety of training materials, including online help, step-by-step courses, videos, webinars
Marketing 360 Payments® Support:
• 24/7/365 customer and technical support including holidays and weekends
• One contract, one phone number, and one invoice
• Installation assistance
• One-on-one training for you and your team
#10. Get a POS That Empowers Your Staff With Best In Class Tools
Retailers know that employees must feel at least as empowered with information as customers and that smart mobile technologies are the way to accomplish that. A good POS shouldn’t eat up employees’ time or frustrate them with complicated, unnecessary features. They’re the ambassadors of your brand – don’t leave them out of the equation when you consider your store’s technology.
• Secure login for every employee
• Dashboards that can be customized for every employee
• Intuitive interface that minimizes training time
• Easy-to-use tools that employees feel comfortable using