As a startup or small business, a point-of-sale (POS) system is added advantages since it will enable you keep a record of important information on customers, employees, inventory and sales data about your business all under one system. In addition, a POS system helps the business by supporting customer relationship management through data forms included in the POS system to give leads that can serve as the basis for gaining immediate feedback, know what products customers prefer most, thus a key to running the business in a more efficient manner. You can initiate loyalty programs to offer customers gift cards from the POS system thus a powerful marketing tool. Besides you now will have accessto essential analytics from the sales reports, see which products to order the more, hencea continuous supply is maintained
The capabilities of a POS system should extend from just accepting credit cards to managing inventory as well as a continuous reporting. And in the recent times of need, the inclusion of contactless card reader within POS can be of a great help. In order for a POS system to accrue all these benefits to your business, it consists of hardware, software and payment components that work hand in hand to transform how things are done in the field of commerce. In choosing the POS system consider each component as elaborated below: –
The hardware has a role to ensure the system accept different mode of payments. When choosing a POS system ensures that it supports credit cards and USSD mobile payment platforms and also the cash mode of payment. Does the hardware print receipts? Does it include a bar code scanning module? Does the hardware include a safe cash drawer where you can store notes and coins?
A POS software should be compatible with tablets and iPads if you are running an over the counter business model. The software makes you control how the POS system functions and provides a database to store data on the available inventory, each with a unique identification number. Be keen to check the different functionalities that have programmed into the software. Are you able to search items on the database library and process receipts? Is the user interface easy to use and attractive enough to you? What feature is included for sales reporting as well as lead capture forms that can engage customers?
A secure payment component of a POS System should be able to capture payments from every sale in real time and allow you to route the funds into the specific business bank account. Also, a special login with administrative rights should be provided in the payments system for you to authenticate return sales at a customer’s request.
Key Factors to Consider in Choosing a POS System
- Is it a Cloud-based System?
You should know that cloud-based systems not only save you on upfront costs by paying the monthly subscription fee as compared to buying an expensive software license, but they also offer access to inventory management and sales reporting tools from any place at any time. Another advantage is that in most cases compatibility is enhanced on Android devices, laptops, iPads, Windows tablets and MacBooks, thus you might give it a thought when signing up for a POS system.
- Does the POS Software Support Integration plugins of other Business software?
Be keen to look for a POS system that allows for easy integrations whereby you connect it with business systems such as the accounts software, also the email marketing software. It will be more convenient, efficient and time saving since the different business software gets to share a wide collection of important information without the need to manually download and upload the data. The account steam can use spreadsheets on sales figures to perform sale analytics and project the amounts in graphs, pie charts that can be used to evaluate your return on investment. The email marketing team can access customer contact information to create new product awareness, send newsletters, and inform customers on upcoming loyal programs.
- Available POS features depending on your business model
When you know what your business does, it makes you evaluate the specific features that are not common for other types of businesses. A POS system should, of course, offer basic credit and debit card acceptance, sales reporting and inventory management. For example, if running a liquor store, you will require age verification on the system. A business that works on delivery tracking commodities will require the POS to feature dispatch, delivery, acceptance, and payment. You can request a special functionality to be added to the POS system if it is currently lacking, of which your query will be addressed to the best of their capability.