Home Business How to Select the Right Point of Sale Platform with These 5 Tips

How to Select the Right Point of Sale Platform with These 5 Tips

by Olufisayo
Point of Sale Platform

Most retail store owners rely on point-of-sale systems today. However, if they select the wrong system, employees won’t want to use it. As there are countless systems offered, how can a person know which one is right for their organization? The following tips can help narrow the available options.

Designed for Your Industry

Look for a point of business platform designed with your industry in mind. What works for a grocery store might not be suitable for a jewelry retailer. Hotels have different needs than restaurants, so the POS system must handle the specifics of your sector. Companies that keep stock on hand need a system that helps with inventory management. In contrast, a POS system for a bar needs to help with table management. One POS system cannot do it all. If one claims to work for any industry, it’s best to keep looking for a solution.

Unique Business Needs

Before looking at various POS solutions, you must know what your goals are for this purchase. Are you looking for help with inventory management or do you want to set up a customer loyalty program? A business just launching has different needs than a company looking to upgrade its current POS system. Once you know these goals, it’s time to list the features and functions needed in the program.

Consider existing and potential pain points when listing these features and functions. Each should address a pain point or simplify daily operations. If a feature or function doesn’t achieve one of these goals, it is not necessary.

Furthermore, a single store has different needs than a chain of stores. Each store within the chain must be able to communicate with others and the right POS system can help with this. These stores must work together to standardize pricing, manage inventory, and handle promotions. An effective POS system will help the stores in doing so.

Transparent Pricing

POS systems vary greatly in terms of pricing. Once the needed features and functions have been identified, the list of potential programs has narrowed. Now it is time to begin looking at prices. When doing so, you want to ensure the system provider is open and transparent when it comes to this pricing.

Several options might be offered. One provider might state you need to purchase a software license while another wants you to install the system on your premises. This can lead to the need for a major investment in new hardware. You may be asked to pay an annual service fee or to sign a multiyear contract. Learn whether software updates come with an additional charge and if there is a fee for customer service. All costs must be known upfront to ensure you make the right choice.

Consider using a cloud-based POS system. Most providers of these systems allow you to choose a monthly or yearly subscription. Tiered pricing is common in the industry, so you only pay for those services you need. As the business grows, the system can be scaled. Ask about discounts for paying a year in advance. Retailers with multiple locations should ask about volume discounts. Often, these discounts will allow the retailer to upgrade the system while remaining within its budget.

When researching providers, ask about pricing. Some companies post this information online so potential and current customers will see how much they pay for each tier. However, certain companies might not share this information readily. You need to call and request pricing. If you do so, ask that they provide the prices in writing, so nothing changes once you commit to working with the company. Calling in to get this information also allows you to learn more about the company’s customer service.

Onboarding Process

The onboarding process is of great importance when choosing a POS system. A successful transition will move smoothly from start to finish. Look for a system that comes with training sessions and migration tools. The provider might take on many tasks, such as handling data migration.

In addition to training, the company should offer around-the-clock customer support, as consumers shop when it is convenient for them. The retailer must be available to assist them at any time or it risks losing business. This support may be offered in many forms. Some companies have users send in a support ticket, while other providers have staff members available to take phone calls day and night.

This system should allow for updates, particularly when specific features are needed. The company needs to be responsive to user feedback, as those who interact with the system daily know where improvements are needed. In addition, autonomous training on an ongoing basis should be an option.

Onboarding goes beyond the initial implementation of the system. Choose a provider that offers automatic updates regularly. These updates need to make security a priority, and the provider should use SSL protection for your safety. This is of great importance as cybercriminals are constantly finding new ways to access systems. Your POS partner needs to make securing your customer information a priority.

Integration Options

POS systems come with many capabilities but they cannot do it all. No software program can. When looking for a new POS system, see if it will integrate with the systems already in place. For example, you may need it to integrate with your CRM, warehouse management system, or ERP. Talk with the provider to see if this is an option or if the program comes with an open API. You don’t want to purchase a system and put it into place only to find you must replace other systems so they can work together as a whole to improve operations.

A POS solution is of great benefit to many companies today, particularly those in the retail industry. However, you must find the right program for your company’s specific needs. This may take some time, as there are countless programs to choose from. If help is needed in this area, turn to a professional software procurement specialist. They can help you evaluate the different choices to find the POS system that will help your business grow and thrive.

Photo by Blake Wisz on Unsplash

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