Key Features You Should Look for in a Point of Sale (POS) System

Point of Sale (POS) systems are a retailer’s best friend, offering so much more than conventional cash registers. They collect indispensable data and by integrating your Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution with POS software you create an end-to-end system, giving you a comprehensive understanding of customer behavior and ensuring your business is as efficient as possible. According to the 2015 Point of Sale Software Systems User Research Report, POS systems can save retailers an average of 10% annually but a staggering 64% of single store retailers still don’t have a POS system in place.

While it’s clear that having a POS is beneficial to your business, it’s important to understand the key features that a POS system should have and the specific benefits they bring, so you can make an educated decision when choosing your ideal POS.

Inventory Management
All POS systems allow you to process payments and track inventory, but to experience to the maximum benefits you need to select a POS system that integrates with your ERP software. Integration with your ERP will give you detailed insight into client behavior, as well as comprehensive details and control over your inventory. When a sale is completed, your inventory will automatically be updated so you always have access to reliable data in real time. Your POS system will also allow you to set up alerts that notify you when items need to be re-ordered, and when it’s time to re-order you can access your purchase history to refereance the most recent price you paid as well as the average price you’ve paid in the past. This information gives you the leverage to negotiate the best possible price with your vendors.

Additionally, the sales data collected by your POS will let you know which items are popular and which aren’t, so you can maintain stock levels accordingly. Since 83% of customers reported being likely to stop shopping at a store if it’s out of the items they were looking for, having too much or too little stock can be costly, making it clear that pro-active inventory management is crucial to the success of your business.

Use of Data
Information is key. One of the main benefits that a POS system brings is that it collects a whirlwind of data that you can use to bring your business to the next level. On top of improved inventory management, your POS will collect valuable data about your customers that you can use to tailor loyalty programs and promotions specifically to them. With 66% of customers likely to stop shopping at a store if they’re not recognized as a loyal shopper, it’s important to use data to your advantage and create promotions that target the wants & needs of your customers, leaving them feeling satisfied and valued. You never want to assume that you know your customers, so you need access to data that tells you their exact behavior and trends.

While each of your items have a standard price, varying situations such as loyalty programs, promotions or bulk orders often require a unique price to be applied at the time a purchase. While traditionally this would be calculated at the register, most POS systems allow you to keep track of price variations in your system so when customers are rung through, the appropriate price is applied automatically, decreasing the margin for error or inconsistencies.

Quick, Simple, Modern Technology
Even with the most basic POS systems, barcode scanners allow retailers to breeze through transactions quickly and efficiently. Most POS systems also offer mobile options, allowing retailers to complete payments on an iPad or iPhone, meaning you can process payments on the spot and where it is convenient! We live in a fast-paced world and with 82% of customers reporting that they are likely to stop shopping at a store after experiencing a long wait, it is important to prioritize quick and reliable customer service. Not to mention, slick mobile POS systems take up less space and look great!

Start Small and Grow with Your Needs
Small to medium-sized businesses are constantly experiencing growth, but everyone has to start somewhere. It is important to choose a POS where you can start with a basic set-up at a price attainable to your business, and later expand the features to meet the changing needs of your business as it grows.

Technology is constantly changing and advancing, and while sticking to the systems that have worked so well for you in the past may seem like the easier option, it is important to understand all of the benefits you are likely forfeiting for your company. Adding a POS to your business, particularly if you integrate it with your ERP, will save you time, money, and provide you with valuable insight into changes that need to be made in order to revolutionize your business. Your business has unique needs and it is important to find the right POS system that can accommodate them.