It’s 2019 and more businesses are leaning on modern technology to assist with their daily operations now than in previous years. From day-to-day tasks, to big-picture strategies, there’s a vast array of new software out there.
For many retailers, a great place to start is with your point of sale (POS) system. The POS system serves as the hub for all business operations, so finding the right solution can improve your store in a variety of areas.
What Exactly is a POS System?
The POS system serves as the center for all transactions in most businesses. It’s comprised of software and hardware, with additional peripherals such as receipt printers, scanners, and credit card machines. Typically, a cashier is in charge of operating the POS system at the checkout.
All data is often securely stored in the cloud. This keeps it safe from theft or destruction, but more importantly, allows you access from any location. It’s this data that powers your POS system to perform the 10 functions below.
Inventory Management Features
For any business that carries more than a few products, it’s vital to maintain optimal inventory levels as problems may arise without proper management.
-Understocks mean that shoppers won’t have access to the products they want.
-Overstocks lead to packed stock rooms and diminished cash flow.
-Poor inventory management leaves more room for theft or other shrinkage.
A robust inventory system can manage vendor relations, automate ordering, and send critical stock notifications. Gone are the days of spreadsheets and painstaking manual entry. Keep track of your products by scanning them into one central database through your POS system.
Product Performance Reports
It’s important to understand how valuable your products are, especially if your business has a large inventory. Detailed product reports can help identify the following key performance indicators (KPIs):
Customizable KPIs help businesses better monitor their performance with real data, rather than hunches.
Promotions and Discounts
Many modern POS systems include easy ways to set promotional pricing, time-sensitive discounts, bundled deals, and more. Additionally, all pricing changes are reflected in POS reporting, so that all inventory and sales data are correct. This helps measure the success of each campaign.
A POS system allows for growth and development by scaling with new locations or franchises. When a store expands, transferring product data can be completed with just a few clicks. It’s important to be able to see how each individual store performs, but it’s critical that all data is kept under one unified umbrella.
Staff Reports and Permissions
Just like product performance, employee performance is a critical metric. Employee reports can break down a shift in numerous ways, such as:
-Sales by hour
-Voids and comps
Returns and Refunds
A return policy is a difficult business operation to determine. When a business decides on a policy, it must be reflected in the POS system. Product returns should alter sales and inventory accordingly. Whether it’s a payment return, exchange, or credit, it’s important that the system processes it quickly and accurately.
Payments are no longer limited to putting cash in the drawer. There’s now a large array of payment options available. Start by integrating credit card machines into your POS system. Swiped credit transactions have even become obsolete. Instead, offer EMV and contactless machines to protect against chargebacks. Some POS systems also offer payment processing, while others integrate with third-party processors. Look for solutions that give you a choice.
Training and Customer Support
No POS system is complete without a great training and support system. Look for solutions that offer a free trial or demo. Make sure that they offer assistance with installation and training so your store can be prepared and your staff can feel comfortable.
Hopefully, this gives you a good starting point for your POS system shopping. After all, it’s not an easy purchase. Consider the items on this list and determine which are most important for your business. Educate yourself on what a POS system can do and go into the process knowing what you want.