Running a retail business involves keeping track of inventory levels, product prices, taxes levied, discounts, and of course, daily transactions. Doing this manually would be burdensome and consume much of a retailer’s time, which could be better utilised to expand the business.
This is where point-of-sale (POS) support comes in handy. POS technology is hardly new, and many businesses today readily embrace it for a more systematic approach towards managing their businesses. The appeal of POS technology lies in its interoperability – POS technology can function on desktops, laptops and tablets, as well as mobile devices such as Android phones, iPhones and iPads that function on different platforms, making it the optimal choice for small businesses, non-profits organisations and charities.
If you are in the retail business, one of your biggest assets would be your POS system. More than just helping to manage customer transactions at brick-and-mortar stores, POS support goes beyond connectivity with cash registers, receipt printers, barcode scanners and credit card terminals. Business owners can use POS technology to make an immediate assessment of inventory levels at the cash register itself, and manage returns and voided transactions. Certain POS technologies can also generate accounting reports and collect inventory and customer information at the time of transaction, providing vital data to improve businesses.
Having good POS support can help give small businesses a competitive advantage over the larger players, but with such a wide variety of POS technologies available today, how do retailers select the best POS software for their businesses? Each system offers exclusive features that serve a specific purpose. But knowing how to select the best POS software for your business entails, firstly, understanding the POS technology itself: its inner workings, ease of implementation, the package of services provided, and the POS support offered. Finding the best POS software for your business can be easy if you know what to look for in a POS system. To help you along, here are some key features that the best POS software should have.
The whole hardware package
It’s never an enjoyable experience to wait in line for a long time to pay for purchases, especially during peak periods such as weekends and public holidays. To keep checkout lines short, it’s important to ensure that every POS system comes with the requisite hardware such as the cash register, barcode scanner, receipt printer and credit card reader, and that it is designed to have a quick response time. Customers will greatly appreciate being given a choice on the mode of payment as not all customers will opt for cashless transactions. Having a complete POS system ensures quick turnaround times: The faster purchases are scanned, tallied and cleared, the happier your customer will be!
Robust inventory management features
Having a built-in inventory system allows you to keep track of inventory levels in real time. As soon as an item is purchased, it is automatically deducted from your current inventory, ensuring that your records are up-to-date. A good POS system should alert you when a certain product is running low, easily update the inventory as new items arrive, account for back-orders, and produce purchase orders for vendors.
Sales tracking capabilities
A key part of staying ahead of competition is to be up-to-date on your sales figures. The best POS software can provide updated and relevant sales figures and generate sales reports, allowing you to determine where you stand in terms of monthly sales. Good systems also generate data that informs retailers about the store’s best- and lowest-selling items to help them make well-informed inventory orders.
Accurate and timely data
The best POS software with advanced reporting features do not come cheap, and if you are going to spend a considerable amount on installing a good POS system, it should come equipped with the best data mining and reporting features. Successful businesses are businesses that have their affairs in order, and those whose owners are constantly on the ball when it comes to the numbers game. A POS system that can produce accurate and timely data will greatly contribute to the growth of the business. POS systems that come with recent technologies such as cloud computing can also give timely access to data, as required.
Safeguards and security features
Incidences of retail fraud are becoming increasingly common today, and in most instances, they start at the POS system. The reason for the proliferation of retail fraud is partly due to the lack of security features in POS systems. Investing in top-of-the-line POS systems that come equipped with secure POS solutions is surely one of the best choices retailers can make for their businesses. It is important to have a POS system that is compliant with industry standards and comes with data encryption technology. Recent payment technologies such as mobile wallets, e-tokens and near-field-technology (NFC) contactless payments are growing in popularity. Also, credit card transactions now require customers to enter their PINs, instead of providing their signatures. These payment methods are more secure, and you would be well placed to install a POS system that comes with the necessary hardware to accommodate these transactions.
Reliable POS support
The best POS software with the most comprehensive hardware package and the most advanced security features would be of no help if the user is unclear of how to operate them. Even the simplest of POS systems require customer support at some point. Daily usage also exposes the POS system to wear and tear, and it is bound to require servicing or repair at some point. Therefore, it is imperative to select POS system providers that offer POS support and after-sales service. Customer review sites available on the internet are also a good source of information on selecting the best POS system providers, so be sure to perform your due diligence before settling on the POS system of your choice.
Getting the right POS system to fulfil your business needs is the best thing that you can do for your business. With some careful planning and detailed research, you would be well on your way to a thriving retail business!
Nobody said running a business would be easy, but with the right POS system that works best for your company can very make things run smoothly. For more professional articles take a look at our blog ThunderQuote
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