A POS system is a vital piece of equipment and software for many modern businesses nowadays. With technological developments and advancements that have been made in point-of-sale systems, there are now many options to choose from.
Point-of-sale systems can help to accept and process payments quickly and in a secure manner. As such, the software it’s been forecasted to achieve $18.1 billion by 2027, so if a business was looking into POS systems, now is the right time to invest in them.
In this guide, we’ll explore what systems are out there to choose from and how to pick the best one for your business this year.
What is a POS System?
A POS system is traditionally known as a point at which your customer makes payment for the products they’ve bought. However, nowadays, it can do more than just accept and take payments. It’s able to generate invoices, track inventory, do your account and even produce reports.
Even though in its simplest form, it’s where sales are made, there is a lot more that can be achieved today thanks to the technology that’s available to us. They’re no longer stationary and instead they’ve leveled up, with the ability to go mobile and operate via cloud-based networks.
As a result, all of its operations can now be made on-the-go, which is useful for many businesses in today’s market. With multiple forms of payment being available to use through these systems, it’s only increasing the flexibility that businesses can have when it comes to processing customer transactions.
The benefits of a POS System
There are many benefits that can come from a POS system, so before going into the options available and how to choose the right one, here are some advantages to having this system in place.
It makes you more reputable and competitive as a business
With technology, it’s a forever fast-moving industry and it’s important for businesses to do what they can to stay relevant and updated with the latest technology. Depending on the budgets that’s available, implementing a POS system can keep the business in a competitive position.
As payment landscapes evolve and become more diverse, the humble and basic cashier is not going to be able to keep up with the demands and expectations of the customer. With a point-of-sale system, you’re able to increase the variety of payment methods used by customers and that enables more sales to occur.
A study found that payment methods for global online shoppers are predominantly eWallets at 36%, credit cards at 23% and followed by debit cards at 12%. Using physical cash has certainly dropped down the list in preferred payment.
Regardless of whether you’re just starting up or you’ve been operating as a business for a while, a POS system can provide credibility with customers that are shopping with you for the first time. When a business has a modern and ease-of-use system, it can really help to improve the customer’s shopping experience.
Improving your customer’s experience from start to finish is crucial because it may influence their return to your business. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to pay for something and the cashier at the checkout is having problems processing a payment or having trouble with the system.
Helps make sales tracking and analysis simple
As it’s already been mentioned, POS sales do more than just take transactions. They can also help track sales and analysis to help businesses gather more data on their sales and the relevant information needed to help boost profits going forward.
They can also provide insight in employee productivity and perhaps which staff members are pushing certain upsells or perhaps making the most money. From helping understand consumer behavior to tracking inventory, these POS systems do much more than traditional cashier systems have done in the past.
How to choose the best one for your business
Now that you’ve learnt all about the POS system benefits, it’s time to find the right one for your business in question. There are a few questions worth asking in order to assess your company’s requirements when choosing a system that works best.
What are the weaknesses or struggles you’re facing?
Every business has weaknesses within their business processes, so consider what yours are when it comes to management of your customers and sales. Any investments that you make into your business are something that you want to benefit your business as much as possible.
What benefits can the POS system bring and simplify?
A POS system can certainly bring a lot to the table when it comes to benefits but it’s worth considering what tasks and day-to-day tasks it can simplify for your business. You might find that tracking your inventory is a bit of a mess or perhaps could be streamlined by using this system.
What is the current state of affairs with your business?
The type of system you buy will depend on what the current state of your business is. If you’re opening up a new business, then you might want something fairly basic and simple. For businesses that are more established, you may want a system that’s more complex in it’s features and ability to simplify any business processes.
The type of business
The POS system you choose is likely going to be down to the type of business you operate. For example, you might find that a food truck may only be adaptable for a single terminal and restaurants may need multiple terminals at various points around the venue.
It’s important that your customers are getting the best service possible and for many, a fast service is essential. The number of terminals you have available is something that is worth thinking about when it comes to choosing the right system.
What is your budget?
Budget is an important one because as a business, what you have available to invest in a POS system will be completely different to another company. Cost will help you narrow down the available systems for you to purchase. So whether it’s the number of stores/venues owned to the features you require, this will affect the number of systems to choose from.
Things to consider when shopping for a POS system
With those questions answered, you’ll then want to meet a certain criteria in what you’re looking for when it comes to the system itself. After all, you could end up picking a popular and reputable POS system but that doesn’t work for the business in question, or it’s employees.
Ease of use
For your employees, a POS system needs to be easy enough to navigate and use. When you have new starters, you also want to have an on-boarding process that’s manageable and simplified to the best of its ability.
The type of system you pick should be something that everyone of all ages and technology backgrounds should be able to understand fully.
The type of software and hardware used
The type of software and hardware used is useful to consider because you want something that can manage the expectations of your business on a daily basis. Having a system that’s capable of taking on what your company needs is essential and so it’s worth reviewing the internal elements of the system.
Think about how it can also be integrated into other parts of the business too, particularly when it comes to other software and systems that you use.
Automation is a favorite nowadays for many businesses who are looking to reduce manual processes where possible. A good POS system should be able to automate itself when it comes to the supply chain and doing updates to your inventory and any order information.
Encryption and security measures
A big factor that many customers will consider when it comes to buying from a business is their level of security measures in place. End-to-end encryption is something that most businesses will have when it comes to their data. Having the right firewalls and security measures as part of the system is also important to keep customer confidentiality.
It’s also worth considering a customer support option for when your employees run into problems with the system. This also is worth having 24/7 to help cater for those issues found not only during the opening hours.
Depending on how much you require, it’s worth considering all the various features that a POS system can provide. From inventory tracking, invoicing and billing, refunds and returns, the list goes on!
Purchasing a POS system is very much a tailored experience. It’s necessary to factor in your businesses’ requirements and needs before you start shopping for the systems that match the criterias.
Reading the reviews can be helpful when it comes to doing research online and you may want to look at your competitors to see what they’re using when it comes to POS systems. Lastly, it’s useful to take advantage of trial opportunities and demos that will give you a brief insight into how it works and whether or not it is useful for the company.
A POS system can be a crucial investment into your business, so make sure you pick wisely.