What Should Retail Businesses Look for in a Point of Sale System?
Point of sale retail systems have come a long way from the old, clunky registers of yesteryear. Credit cards were processed using a hand-operated device, making a carbon copy of the form of payment. Depending on the transaction amount, the cashier would have to call the credit card company to authorize the amount.
These days, a point of sale system (POS system) can do everything from taking orders to offering real-time credit card processing, a long way away from trading or using an intricately carved tablet from ancient civilizations. And when it comes time to buy one for your retail business, there are many things you should look for. Let’s take a look at some considerations for choosing a point of sale retail system.
Considerations for a Retail POS System
When you’re looking for a point of sale system, there are several things to consider. Start off thinking about the size of your retail store. If it’s a small business and only has one or two employees, there aren’t too many business needs compared to a bustling boutique in the middle of a big city. However, if there are many employees and/or multiple locations (like in retail), then it might be better suited for a more robust retail point of sale system that can handle larger volumes of traffic and data processing.
- What kind of POS hardware options do I need?
- Will the new system need a wireless network?
- Are barcode scanners attached directly to the screen like an iPad, or are they separate?
- How will gift cards and credit/debit cards be processed?
- Do I need a cash drawer, a full cash register, or solely touchscreens?
- Will this system grow as my business does?
- Do I want to incorporate a customer loyalty program or save customer profiles?
- How many forms of payment do I need to accommodate?
By honest answering these kinds of questions; a business owner needs to choose the right POS system that meets its specific needs, streamlines operations, provides omnichannel processes, and increases sales. Selecting a point of sale system that doesn’t cover all your needs means lost sales.
Add-Ons and Integration Options
A good POS system should be able to integrate with other software and hardware. Integration options vary depending on the POS system, but some of the most common are:
- Accounting software (such as QuickBooks)
- Inventory management systems (such as Lightspeed Retail)
- CRM systems (customer relationship management)
- Payment processing platforms (like Square or PayPal)
Customizable features are an important part of any POS system, as they allow you to tailor the system to your business. A good POS system should have customizable features that allow you to add or remove unnecessary items and add needed features. You should also be able to change the layout of your point of sale system as needed.
Employee management is an important part of running a retail business. It’s also one of the most time-consuming aspects, and can be difficult to manage effectively.
A point of sale system can help you keep track of employee hours, schedule employees more efficiently and accurately, provide accurate paystubs and benefits information for all employees, as well as keep track of performance reviews so you know when it’s time for raises or promotions.
Inventory management is a huge part of any retail business. If you don’t have the right tools in place, it can be difficult to track sales and inventory, and know when something needs to be ordered on top of that. Some features that you should look for include:
- Ordering – The ability to easily create new orders or update existing ones with the click of a button
- Tracking – Monitoring sales trends so that you can adjust your inventory accordingly
- Forecasting – Predicting future sales based on historical data.
Payroll and Accounting Features
A good point of sale system will include a variety of payroll and accounting features.
These features can be used to manage employee time cards, track hours worked, generate reports based on hours worked, and more. Some systems even have built-in tax calculations that allow you to pay your employees automatically when they reach certain milestones or thresholds.
Some point of sale systems also offer reporting functionality that allows you to view sales data by store location or product category, helping you identify trends in your business as well as emerging opportunities for growth and expansion.
Cloud-Based Versus On-Premise Software
Whether you choose cloud-based or on-premise software is up to your business. Both have their pros and cons, but each option has its own benefits for different types of businesses.
Cloud-based point of sale retail systems are more convenient because they allow you to track inventory remotely and access it from any device that has an internet connection. However, this means that if there’s an outage in the cloud server where all of your data resides – or even just one individual store location – your whole system will be offline.
On the other hand, if you opt for an on-premise point of sale system with no connection to the internet (and therefore less chance of being hacked), then someone would have physically broken into both locations before being able to access any customer information or manipulate sales numbers on your behalf.
Security and Protection
Security is a major concern for any business, and the retail pos system should be able to protect you from malware attacks. Malware is software that infects computers and networks to steal data or disrupt operations. It can be difficult for businesses to avoid these types of attacks, but it’s important that they do so because they can result in lost revenue, damaged reputations, and costly cleanup costs.
SkyTab POS Solutions
Through Pineapple POS, expect in-person support for SkyTab POS, which is owned by Shift4. For a monthly fee of $29.99, you can expect:
- Contactless payments (including Apple Pay or payment through your Android)
- Organized sales data
- A customer loyalty program
- Employee management
- Online reservations
- Email marketing
- Order and pay online
- Easy in-store checkout
- Social media management
- Hardware options (card readers, receipt printers, touchscreens)
How Other Systems Stack Up
It’s important to shop around for systems because each has its own set of unique POS features. Not all systems are created equal, and each system has its own strengths and weaknesses. By shopping around and evaluating multiple options, a retail business can find the POS system that best fits its specific needs and budget.
- Block (formerly Square) – a mobile system common with small businesses. A small, block-like attachment connects to your mobile device, keeping track of transactions and inventory.
- Clover POS – multiple POS terminals add to the cost. There is reported limited flexibility with customizing processes.
- Shopify POS – While there’s no free plan, users still have to pay for hardware but not transaction fees. Shopify is commonly used for ecommerce.
Pineapple POS Solutions Will Handle Your Transactions
With a better understanding of the different features available with point of sale retail systems, you are now in a position to make an informed decision with your purchase.
Our team of POS experts is always accessible to answer any questions or concerns that may arise throughout the set up process or down the road while using your system. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions! Contact us today to understand how Pineapple POS can revolutionize your restaurant, food or retail business!