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6 Things to Look for When Buying a POS System

6 Things to Look for When Buying a POS System

Searching for a new POS system for your retail store can be a complicated process. How do you know what you need to ask? What features are absolutely necessary to help your business grow and prosper? Before you make a decision and risk investing in something that may not be what you need, do your research. We’re offering some advice on what to look out for when embarking on this hunt.


1. How does the POS system sync your online and retail store?

According to the National Retail Federation, 6 out of 7 consumers research products online before buying in a brick-and-mortar store and there’s little doubt that retailers selling both online and in-store bring in significantly more revenue than those who sell via one channel alone. Imagine a store that never closes – that’s the power of running an omnichannel retail operation. The right POS helps brick-and-mortar retailers build online stores and sell through any channel.

What to look for

  • Synchronization between the web and your physical stores when it comes to inventory, sales, and order requests
  • Consolidated reports on total sales, sales per physical store, sales from your eCommerce business
  • The ability to extend your brand consistency between sales channels

Shoes on display in a store


2. Does the POS system empower your staff?

Customers have every resource at their disposal, from the internet to their friends and family. Often, before actually coming into a store, they have already conducted their research and are loaded up with questions to ask — ready to come in and get out. Retail employees need to feel as informed as the customers they work with, and smart mobile technologies are the way to accomplish that. A good POS system shouldn’t eat up employees’ time or make them want to pull their hair out. It should offer them the information they need, immediately, so they can serve customers and move people through the store. They’re the ambassadors of your brand – don’t leave them out of the equation when you consider your store’s technology.

What to look for

  • Secure login for every employee
  • Dashboards that can be customized for every employee
  • Intuitive interface that minimizes training time
  • Easy-to-use tools that employees feel comfortable using


3. Are training and support included?

People are different. Retailers are different. The principles may be the same, but each store and employees have differences and come with their own preferred workflows, challenges, preferences, requirements and goals. A good POS vendor helps you figure out if the software fits your needs (if it will help your store succeed) and will help you with onboarding sessions as well as offer technical support for those times when something just doesn’t make sense. You shouldn’t be left alone as soon as the purchase is made, so always make sure to ask about what kind of post-sales support your vendor offers.

What to look for

  • Multiple ways to reach the support team, such as over the phone, online tickets, and live chat
  • Local channel partners — specialists who provide on-site consultation, installation and troubleshooting services
  • Variety of training materials, including online help and product information, courses, videos or webinars
  • Published customer satisfaction ratings and online product reviews
  • Onboarding sessions for managers and employees
  • An online social media presence for communicating more closely with the organization


4. Does the POS system offer reporting and analytics?

Retailers used to fly blind – goods came and went, but business managers had only a vague idea of profits. Times have changed. In today’s highly competitive environment, retailers can’t afford to take risks. That’s why a good POS will show you how well you’re doing, and where you can improve.

What to look for

  • Reports that show your most profitable products, top-selling products, lowest selling products, top-performing sales associates, busiest store hours, top brands, and online vs. in-store sales
  • Dashboards highlighting the information you need
  • Easy access to information for better decision-making, such as for inventory purchasing and staff scheduling


5. Can the POS system enable help you to run targeted marketing campaigns?

Research has shown that fewer than 1 in 10 new prospects will make a purchase, while more than 6 in 10 existing customers will buy again. As a result, today’s leading marketers are no longer sending out generic email blasts – they’re crafting consumer conversations and pinpointing what their customers actually want to know about. The right retail POS system helps improve relationships with your shoppers and send relevant communications tailored to your customers’ preferences.

What to look for

  • Customer database for capturing name, contact info, the preferred method of contact, favorite brands, walk-in or online shopper
  • Integrates with email marketing software, like MailChimp, for emailing customers and tracking click-through rates
  • Features for segmenting your customer database, and tailoring promotions to fit those segments

Woman on laptop


6. Will the POS system support your business’ growth?

When it comes to buying technology, think about the long-term costs and what you may need in the future. While it can be tempting to go for the cheapest and simplest system when you’re getting started, you’ll regret it when you outgrow it in a year’s time. Retailers need scalable systems that can grow as their business does.

What to look for

  • Registers that you can add as you need, whether it’s for a permanent new location or for a pop-up shop
  • Support for multiple locations, integrating inventory reporting
  • Integration with common and useful software, such as MailChimp, Google Analytics and QuickBooks
  • Open technology so independent developers can easily develop apps that you can add to your POS

Storefront from street

As you implement a new POS system inside your retail store (or multiple stores), you need to make sure that it’s you won’t need to update in a month. A business management tool that helps you move online and add locations as you need, is a tool that you’ll be happy training your staff on and be able to use for a long while moving forward.

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