Published On: Tue, Aug 27th, 2019

How to Choose a POS System

Choosing a POS system can be challenging in a world where there are literally hundreds of options available; from the simplest card scanners to the most complex store-management systems. Choosing the right POS for your store is simpler when you know what you’re looking for. Here we’ve put together a list of tips to help you make the right choice when looking for your store’s next POS system. 

Identify Your Specific Needs

POS systems come in many varieties. Some are geared towards specific industries (like restaurant POS’s) while others are “blanket” systems, covering just about any industry you can throw at it. Figuring out which one best suits your business starts with identifying your specific needs. Are you running a restaurant or a retail store? A retail store will likely require a different POS than an ice cream shop. 

Industry 

First and foremost, identify any specific needs associated with your industry. You’ll want to be sure the POS system you choose will meet those needs, so pay close attention to the features of the system before you buy. Don’t be afraid to give the sales team a call to discuss the details further. A well-informed purchase is preferable to one with limited information. 

Inventory Management

How do you currently manage your inventory? Are you still performing manual counts on a daily basis with pen and pad? Are you using proprietary inventory software that doesn’t integrate with any of your other management tools? 

These methods are time-consuming, costly, and, let’s face it; outdated. The days of walking up and down the aisles, manually counting inventory each morning are on their way out. Cue the rise of automated inventory management, like you’ll find with most modern POS systems. 

Modern POS systems update inventory in real-time, meaning you’re always aware of changes to your stock. The numbers are tracked within the software, so if you need a quick glance at your stock numbers, you’ll have it with just a few swipes or clicks. Many POS systems are even portable, so if you find that an inventory count seems off, you can take your mobile device into the storage room and compare the POS numbers with your own. 

Mistakes in inventory management can cost you precious time and money. When someone miscounts stock, someone else has to go back in and recount everything to verify what numbers are correct and where the mistake was made. Essentially, you’re paying two or more people to do one job twice (or more, depending on the competence, or rather incompetence, of whoever performed the counts). 

Take away the worry and cost of manual inventory management with your POS system. Stores and restaurants alike can benefit from better inventory tracking and real-time updates. This will not only help keep management informed, but also employees and customers. Customers will want to know if their favorite items are in stock, and if they aren’t, when they’ll be back on the shelves. 

Marketing

Your POS system can be a powerful marketing tool if used correctly. You can create and email promotional items, apply discounts and coupons, and even use prompts to encourage employees to upsell or cross-sell items. Does your old cash register do that?

Customer Profiles

Knowing what products your customers purchase is vital to creating focused marketing efforts and getting to know them on a personal level. Customers appreciate it when they feel welcomed and well-known at their favorite stores; it makes them feel like a home away from home. 

With POS systems, you can create customer profiles that will give you an in-depth look into your customer’s purchasing habits. You’ll be able to save transactions to identify pattern buying and better focus your marketing efforts to appeal to their individual tastes. 

Outdated Machines 

Just how old is your current cash register? When you call the customer support number, is the line disconnected? If your machines are outdated, the maintenance costs and lack of support alone should be enough to encourage you to at least look into getting a modern POS system. Find a POS system that integrates well with your bookkeeping and other management software to greatly increase the value of the software and the efficiency of your management process. 

Compare Prices 

The cost of your new POS system will be a huge factor in your decision to make the purchase. Some POS systems charge per transaction, while others will charge a monthly service fee of some kind. Depending on the size and needs of your business, one style may suit you better than the other. It’s best to look at your budget first and decide what you can afford; that way, you know the POS system you’re purchasing won’t break the bank. 

If you’re unsure how to create a budget or manage your store’s finances, you can hire a financial advisor to help. You can compare financial advisors in San Diego on Carefulcents.com

Customer Support is a Must 

Whichever POS system you choose must have a dedicated customer support staff to stand behind it. You will most likely run into an issue or question at some point during your use of the product, and without support staff to address it, you’ll be left dead in the water with a malfunctioning system. 

Not to mention, a company that stands behind its product with support staff is more likely to care about the customer. Wouldn’t you be concerned if a company didn’t stand behind the products they made? 

 

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