The days of using cash registers are long gone. Businesses can now benefit from an advanced point of sale system that makes processing payment much quicker and more efficient. These days there are all sorts of POS systems to choose from, and picking the right option can make or break your business.
Keep reading to learn the ins and outs of choosing a POS system so that your business can flourish now and long into the future.
1. Understand Your Business Type
With so many different POS systems on the market, it’s likely that there are several that offer all of the features you need at a reasonable price. But, narrowing down your search to find the ideal POS system for your specific business is most important.
First, consider what category your business fits into. Are you a small cafe that sells coffee, tea, and bakery items? Do you run a food truck or do you have a permanent full-service restaurant? Does your business operate online or at a brick and mortar store?
Depending on your business type, you’ll have different needs that will be best addressed by a certain POS system. For example, if you operate a food truck, you may want a cloud-based and wireless POS solution.
2. Know What Features Suit Your Business
Before buying a POS system, you want to map out what functionality you need and want. Simple things like a digital menu or a self-checkout kiosk can have a real impact on your business and overall customer satisfaction. What’s important is that you don’t purchase a bare minimum system, as it’s likely to fall short of what you need.
If you operate a restaurant, you’ll likely want a POS system that offers features such as:
- Loyalty programs
- Tipping feature
- Online ordering
- Back- and front-house communication
If you’re a service-based company, you likely want a POS system that offers e-commerce integration, calendar, online reservations, advanced scheduling, and gift card support. Retail businesses would benefit from a system that offers shipping features, advanced inventory, gift cards, and customized SKUs.
3. Consider the Price Point
As with anything that’s related to your business, you can expect a POS system to cost you some money. Before choosing a system for your business, you’ll want to take your budget into consideration. It’s also important to understand vendor pricing.
While a POS system may claim to be free, it’s more likely that you don’t have to pay a licensing fee, but there are other costs you’ll incur such as a receipt printer and a cash register.
For example, you’ll need to consider costs such as hardware, software, credit card processing, integration, and support. To determine how much a new POS system will cost you, you’ll want to keep all of these expenses in mind.
By taking all of these costs into consideration, you can choose a system that you can afford on a monthly basis without leaving your business strapped for cash or low on funds.
4. Technical Support from the Vendor
While no one wants a problematic POS system, technology has a way of not working when we need it the most. Even top of the line POS system needs vendor support at times. Before choosing a POS system, you want to be well aware of the technical support that is available from the vendor. Most offer support during normal work hours, usually 9AM-5PM.
For your peace of mind, you want to find a POS system company that offers support during your business’ peak hours. This way in the event that the system breaks, you’ll have technical support to reach out to.
5. Ease of Use
We live in an area of connected tools, Siri, and smartphones. What makes these devices so popular is usability. When shopping for a POS system, be sure to find one that is easy to set up and easy to use by customers. Usability is one of the most common complaints in regards to POS systems, so take the time to find one that is very straight forward and easy to understand.
The key to determining a system’s usability is to thoroughly test it. For Apple users, an iPad-based system may be a breeze to operate. But, for those who use Android or Google phones, the user interface may be a little confusing.
Because most POS system companies offer free trial versions of the full product, you can get a good idea of how the system works and if it fits your business’ needs without committing to a purchase.
Choosing the right POS system for your business greatly improves customer experience. They can speed up the checkout process and make doing business much more efficient for you. Be sure to keep these factors in mind when selecting your POS system.