All-in-One Retail POS System: How to Choose the Best One

by 2022-01-31

Point-of-sale system
Share

In this technological era, point-of-sale(POS) systems are essential to run a business. They can help you process and accept various types of payment methods securely and quickly. In general, more than 68% of businesses depend on retail POS system for capturing new sales.

At present, POS systems are handling many payment transactions. They are helping with many aspects of your business like:

  • Inventory
  • Reporting
  • Invoicing
  • Accounting

What is a POS system?

Traditionally, a point of sale would be a cash register where sales simply made. Also, POS systems are no longer stationary in today’s world. Whether you are an experienced merchant or setting up a retail business for the first time, having the right point of sale (POS) system is needed to become successful. 

The POS system is referred to as a central component of your business. A good POS system can simplify and merge crucial operations of your businesses and provide steady data streams that can be used to make business decisions.

Here are a few features of a good point of sale system:

  • Customer Management
  • Employee Management
  • Inventory Management
  • Sales Reporting

POS hardware components:

The basic hardware components include a computer terminal, a server, cash drawer, keyword, debit card swiper, and credit card swiper in the point of sale systems. Some other devices depend on your business requirements, including automated data input, barcode scanner, weighing product scale, and a customer-facing display. With the advancement in wireless technology, you might be willing to invest in many efficient devices like tablets, monitors, and smartphones.

Benefits of a POS system:

A POS system can be beneficial for the small business in many ways:

  • Reduces administrative costs and increases worker productivity.
  • Saves time by streamlining various operations with the central system.
  • Decreased human errors by using automated systems.
  • Provides detailed data analytics and sales reporting.
  • Increases the customer experience

Cloud-based POS system:

It is defined as a solution of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) that can be used to store your data in the cloud but not on a computer. You can process the payments, access data, and can get automatic updates through the internet.

Besides, there are some other benefits of the cloud-based POS system:

  • Sales reporting and inventory tracking in real-time work.
  • Your data can be accessed anytime, anywhere through the internet.
  • The lack of licensing, maintenance and software upgrades can save you money.
  • Data backups and automatic upgrades can avoid costly downtime.

As discussed above, the cloud-based POS system helps you to take the business all the way. Even if there’s an interruption in the internet connection, you can continue to collect the payments from the users. Your system can sync and track your data once you’re back online. It can also make the cloud-based platform ideal for the owners of small businesses who travel to the farmers, craft fairs, and trade shows to sell their products.

If you are not comfortable with cloud migration, choosing on-premise software solutions is a preferred choice. You can purchase and install the software applications by using this method. Ensure the software that you select for your start-up must be customizable with your requirements.

Having several POS systems, how would you know which is best for your business?

If you are looking to upgrade to a new one or looking for the first POS system, searching for the right POS is hectic. Here are the ten things that you must take into consideration while selecting a retail POS system:

Features according to your requirements:

POS systems are used in many businesses, from salons and cafes to retail stores and gyms. The features that a retail business requires are different to many other types of merchants that may need a POS. You must ensure to have the right system features to run your business successfully. Make a list of what you need most from the POS and search for it.

Have compatibility and cost with hardware:

The initial costs to set up a good POS system are more than you expect. Apart from investing in the software, you must invest a considerable amount in the barcode scanners, new cash drawers and so on, if your chosen POS is not compatible with the present hardware. 

What if I want a cloud-based POS system?

At present, many businesses are switching over to cloud-based POS systems. The cloud-based software can store all the data in the cloud, whereas it’s not possible for the conventional POS software. Digital space can be used to access anywhere and anytime; all you require is a proper internet connection.

Few people who are not aware of the cloud concept worry about security. The reality is that data is secured on the cloud and gets encrypted. Hence, they protect the information/data for several users; they also invest greatly in the best security possible far beyond the company’s affordability.

Usability of your selected POS:

No business can be afforded to invest in a system that can be impossible to use, hence selecting one that can be operated without a need for referring manually. This is very much essential in fast-paced environments that have a good turnover of staff.

Actually, a usable point of sale is essential in the staff satisfaction at work. It is often frustrating spending your days using a difficult and complex system. Hence, a usable Point of Sale (POS) may help in preventing the customers from having a bad experience in the registration.

The procedures of simple training:

The retail is often renowned for its great staff turnover rate, especially during the Christmas season when the temporary staff are added to the business to code according to the demand. The extensive training is a serious drain on the organization resources as experienced employees take off the usual roles to demonstrate and educate newer team members. The user can streamline the training process by choosing a retail POS system that offers plenty of training resources and is very user-friendly. 

Supporting your business growth:

There are a few POS systems that can restrict the number of registers and outlets that can be often used; it means that there’s a limit to how long your business can grow before you are required to invest a considerable amount in a brand-new point of sale that can be used to accommodate the candidate’s expansion.

Inventory tracking:

Conventional inventory control is a time-consuming process; most point of sale systems are used to make managing the stock a simpler task. This is essential if you have many warehouses or branches with incoming stock, current stock, and stock at other retail locations that are required for your operations every day. A good POS would do more than tracking your inventory. Now, many offer options like restock reminders, purchase order creation, and stock transfer between the locations.

Third-party software integration:

Although the software that comes with a quality point of sale system must offer you great features, you also have to consider the best way to integrate with third-party software. Integrations can help to save a lot of manpower in terms of triple or double entries and instead mean that all of the accounting information, customer data, or sales figures are stored in a single central system. For example, you would be able to use the customer data from the main system if your POS integrates with the marketing software. Alternatively, your point of sale (POS) could integrate with centralizing all orders, eCommerce store, and stock figures. Third-party integrations are dramatically helped simplify your business processes; it’s your responsibility to check the integration area available to select a retail POS system. 

Reporting:

To be successful in your business, you have to know its structure well. It will empower you to make the best decisions. The more reporting options that a POS has, the deeper it can drill down to get some specific data you require to have an awareness of the business.

Customer support:

When you select a point of sale (POS) system, you are not just buying into software but can maintain a good relationship with the provider that can be used for long-term business success. Customer support is one of the essential services that a good POS provider can offer. Although your POS is easy to implement and install to operate, there are still times that you may require the advice of a professional who knows everything about your system.

Do you want a retail point of sale (POS) system that can be powerful and affordable?

For the retail shops, the best POS system includes all the tools you require to manage your independent retail store at a reasonable price.

Often the small retailers have several priorities in addressing as they always seek to thrive in the present competitive marketplace – especially as the online retailing and mortar retail sector continues its growth. Typically, priorities contain selecting the location of the retail.

Selecting a point-of-sale system is one of the greatest priorities. Previously, the small retailers selected the POS system as per the recommendation of their merchant bank. But today, the option ranges are overwhelming, and the product differences in the point of sale are dramatic. As the retail customers are accustomed to having several ways to find it, it’s becoming critical that your point of sale provides all the support that you require to meet all the expectations. In fact, today’s POS systems offer many capabilities. 

Here, we are going to focus on the processing side of POS and payment acceptance. The four factors that are relating to processing and payment acceptance must go into the selection process of the POS system:

  • Evaluate the providers
  • Know the requirements
  • Review the systems and security
  • Understand the needs

Evaluate the providers:

It’s essential to consider the core management requirements for examining the providers. In few cases, the POS system is used with a large number of processing services and merchant banks, but in other cases, the system may get tied to a single specific vendor.

One of the greatest things to consider is whether to use the third-party companies that are emerging or using the merchant banks. This latter group consists of Intuit Payments, Square, Stripe, and PayPal. The main differences between these two business models are greater than most businesses realize. It has a huge impact on several factors.

Know the requirements:

Every business selection process has to begin with a good set of baseline needs. Assume how complex your inventory management is when your business is selling the products in the store as well as online. What is the software that you intend to use in tracking the products? How many SKUs that you are going to carry? How complex or robust will you exchange and return procedures? Each one of those needs will benefit from the complete evaluation.

Review the systems and security:

Besides considering the options that are against usage needs and provider options, you have to take a hard look at how the systems behind each option of the point of sale are set up and the security they offer. Ensure to walk via typical transaction scenarios with the point of sale. The user interface quality can break or make the employees work reliably with the POS with minimum errors. 

Also, you must ensure to know the security implications of every system that you evaluate. In today’s technological era, the retail industry targets cyber-attacks, and point of sale (POS) systems are regarded as the vulnerable spot for hackers. Small retailers can’t afford the compliance costs like large retailers. Ensure to take the time in asking about data encryption and software security.

Understand the needs:

It’s easy to forget how your POS needs quickly may evolve in the early days of a new retail business. At present, you can think of accepting payments at a single location, but in the future, your requirements might change. Also, there’s a chance of opening a second location, so it’s good to know your usage requirements.

Conclusion:

Hope the above helps you to know how to choose an all-in-one retail POS system. If you have any queries, comment in the section below.

FTx Solutions was formed out of a need that Darren and I had as retailers to find solutions that would work for our business. When we couldn't find the right solutions, we ended up building our own, which enabled us to help our fellow retailers and wholesalers as well as ourselves.

Douglas Nolan