Are you considering purchasing or upgrading a point of sale (POS) system? Choosing the right POS experience for your customers and employees is crucial to your business’ success.
A great POS system can make the purchasing experience better for customers. It also can make running your business easier. Take a walk through these five key steps for choosing the right POS system for your business:
Step 1: Make A List Of Your Unique Business Activities
Every business is different. So, before you start shopping for a new POS system, brainstorm a list of your most frequent business activities and determine which POS features align with those activities.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- How do I manage inventory?
- How do I monitor sales and understand purchasing trends?
- Do I need to easily process returns?
- How do my customers pay for products and services?
- Do I want to offer gift cards during the holiday season or as customer rewards?
- Does my business have a digital loyalty program?
- Will my POS system sit on a counter or need to be mobile?
- Do I need to include e-commerce transactions?
- How do I track and manage employee attendance and performance?
If you already have a POS system, add the pros and cons of your current system to the list. That will help you find features you like and solutions for the challenges you’ve experienced. Think about where you want the business to be in one, five or 10 years, then plan for growth.
In an article published on FitSmallBusiness.com, retail design consultants Kizer & Bender suggest that the system you choose should cover today’s needs while also having the capability for future needs.
“Think frequent shopper programs, inventory management, purchasing histories and the ability to collect email addresses — the list is endless because it builds as your store grows and changes,” they told FitSmallBusiness.com. “You want a POS partner that understands the expanse of knowledge you need now and in the future.”
Step 2: Think About The Data You Need To Collect
The list of data you need to collect probably includes many of the business functions you and your team do every day.
Also think beyond the daily chores to the data that helps you plan for the future. As you move through the day’s transactions, what data would you like to collect? What do you need to know at the end of the work day, end of the month and end of the year?
Ray Riley, who is now chief executive officer of Progress Retail, told FitSmallBusiness.com that “successful retailing is about having the right data about what is selling, at what price, and ultimately who is purchasing.”
Pinpointing which reporting metrics can help you run your business better will also help you choose the best POS system. For example, tracking inventory might be less of a chore if you add a printer and barcode scanner to your POS setup.
Or maybe your best option is a basic payment processor that is great at tracking sales accurately. Either way, look into the future and think about the data-driven decisions your POS system can help you make.
Step 3: Decide What Types Of Payment You Will Accept
Next, hammer out the details about how payment processing will work for you Ask questions such as:
- What types of payment do I accept now?
- Are there any payment types I would like to discontinue or add for the future?
- How do cash and check transactions work for my business?
- Does my credit card processing include magnetic strip swipes and EMV chip inserts?
Think about mobile payments and if it’s important for your customers to be able to use contactless payments like Apple Pay, Google Pay and other mobile payment methods arriving on the scene. Don’t forget this key feature.
You may not have all the answers to these questions yet, but it’s good to know what payment types are valuable for your business operations. Discuss the pros and cons with potential POS providers as you research the right system.
Step 4: Evaluate The Kind Of Hardware And Software You Need
Choosing the right type of hardware and software can be challenging. A good POS provider will walk you through options, but it’s wise to have a general idea of what you prefer.
If you have POS software and hardware you already use and like, work with a company that makes it easy to integrate what you use with their payment processing system. Decide if you want to commit to purchasing specific hardware and software, or to try a flexible approach with a versatile cloud-based POS system that offers free equipment and a subscription to POS software.
This is also a good time to check your list and see where you’ll be placing your POS devices. That way, you can determine what size hardware will best fit your space.
Step 5: Get Quotes For Your New POS System
Way to go! You’ve made a rock-solid list of business needs and can be confident you’re asking the right questions as you get quotes and explore POS options.
What should you look for in payment processing partner? Ultimately, you should team up with a company willing to listen to your needs. Find a partner willing to develop custom pricing and product options for you, and that provides top-performing technology and customer service.
So, get out there and book time to talk with companies like Talus Pay to find out how their solutions fit with your business. You can even request a demo or trial period to see the POS system in action.
If you stick with your list, take good notes and are thoughtful about reviewing all options, the right choice for your POS system will emerge from the pack.