Cloud-based POS software tends to be designed with the user experience in mind. An intuitive system will prevent frustration, loss of time and productivity, and potentially extra money spent on customer support. However, not all vendors are offering the right product for your needs. Read on to find out how to choose a POS for your business.
Only Work with Trusted Vendors
Only work with a vendor you can trust. Do searches on them and continue even after you’ve selected their product. Do searches on a regular basis. This will prevent a poor choice of a costly, time-consuming system that will require endless staff training. Your vendor should have a proven track record. Don’t choose them if they’re not offering support and updates, for example.
Consider the potential payoff
A POS system can be a big commitment. When analyzing the impact the new POS may have on your bottom line, you should look at the time spent on staff training and data alignment and if the system will reduce waste. Does it include inventory management tools?
A system that doesn’t let you send registered customers targeted campaigns or support loyalty program implementation won’t help you increase repeat visits.
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Fast and reliable
Good business is all about speed and quality. You don’t have time for a slow or unresponsive POS. It should be able to accept different types of payments, have a relatively low time per transaction, have an intuitive interface, and enable customization to each staff member’s role. Ask if the system can work offline. Will you still be able to take orders and process sales?
Ask about Customer Support
You might need customer support at often as once every few weeks, even if you decide to buy more advanced POS software (and maybe especially if that’s the case). Some vendors tend to offer very costly customer services, poor ones, or none! However, most cloud-based POS system providers value customer service very highly. When choosing a POS system, check if the customer service staff is friendly, available, and professional. Ask if 24/7 service is available if you think you might need it. Ask how much support costs, if anything, and what method of support (online, phone, etc.) they offer.
Think about the Price Carefully
Of course, you need a POS system with a pricing structure that works for your business apart from the above features. You also need it to be compatible with your existing hardware and data migration support. To ensure an easier transition, make sure the new provider will import your data into the new system.
A new POS system is a big commitment, and good ones can be quite costly. Make sure the system will pay itself off. If you don’t want to commit to a very expensive system, don’t, but don’t choose the cheapest POS either. It’s like the British say, “We’re not that rich to buy cheap goods.” Examine the Return on Investment (ROI) you could achieve before buying one.
If you’re aiming for a full upgrade, the issue of hardware compatibility might not be relevant. Most hardware, like barcode scanners, is compatible with the vast majority of POS systems. If you have any specialized equipment, you should give what system you’ll be switching to some serious thought.
Depending on the needs of your business, other features you might need would be a POS that doesn’t require frequent software updates that interrupt your business or one that improves the integration between your online and offline business services.
Look for an Optimal Number of Features
POS systems normally go above and beyond the functionality of a mere cash register that simply records payments and processes transactions. It can be a key tool that can increase loyalty, speed up operations, streamline labour, improve customer experience, and manage inventory. It, therefore, shouldn’t come as a shock that many features are offered by average, modern POS systems.
Even for a small business, the list can be endless. Most small businesses need at least a few of the following: employee time clock, fingerprint login, mobile POS, online ordering, management of recipes and ingredients (for businesses in the food industry), and management of customer databases. These all sound like great features to have. You need to decide which ones you need for your business. Businesses can vary in their needs even within the same industry. Even within the dining industry, a full-service restaurant and a fast food one will have very different needs.
Decide on Functionality
Before you commit to buying a POS, decide what features you really need. Which functions are a priority for your company? Make a list of your needs and choose a system accordingly. You will save lots of money and time in the development phase, during staff training, and even after that because too many or too few options offered by a POS might deter your employees from performing their routine tasks.
Look at Data Alignment
Time wasted in data alignment can have a very adverse effect on day to day business. What do we mean by data alignment? If a company is using one system to manage sales, another for vendors, a third for staff rosters, and another for inventory, it will end up wasting a lot of time trying to make sense of its numbers. A simple system that combines all of these functions into one single data platform and source will simplify your accounting, help you get more insight from your data, and generally save you a lot of time and stress.
If you have high staff turnover, user-friendliness of your Point of Sale system is crucial. It will make it quick and easy to train new staff and bring about major savings as a result. Finally, a POS system should include inventory management tools. Businesses can save a lot of money by using what they already have more efficiently.
Thank you for reading our tips on how to choose a POS system. We hope they’ve been helpful. Is there anything important we didn’t mention? Do let us know!