3 Must-Know-Rules for Retailers Choosing a POS System
Choosing a POS system is a real balancing act and these three rules can help you make the right decision for your company.
In our recent blog on technology we mentioned that Melrose is now using iPads and running a custom POS system in our showrooms. In this follow-up blog, we want to share how a POS system can be beneficial in retail, and three criteria to consider when purchasing your own.
To start – what is a POS system? At its simplest, POS software integrates what happens at your cash register with what is happening in your inventory. And what does that mean for retailers? Retailers can use this information to make smarter ordering decisions, create custom sales reports, and even design customer rewards programs. But choosing the right POS system can be confusing and choosing the wrong one can be expensive.
How to choose the right system?
- Consider your inventory. Any POS system will allow you to track inventory but a great one will let you setup alerts so you know when perennial product is running low. It should also be easy to add in new product inventory to the system and account for back orders.
- Think about ease-of-use. We often assume that if we go for the highest-end model we’ll be getting the best-of- the-best solution. However, with a POS system you want to think about how your employees will actually use it and what functionality you really need. If you get something with complicated features that never get used, you are over paying.
- Keep looking forward. Starting with the base model is a great choice, just ensure the system will be able to grow with you. Maybe that means starting with a credit card reader and barcode scanner and then adding on a printer for inventory tags later. If you start small you should be able to save money with a system you can install yourself, and then get help upgrading to a more complicated solution when, or if, you need it.
To sum it all up: when choosing a Point of Sale System, pay close attention to how it tracks inventory, make sure you’re getting only features you need, and balance that with the ability to grow the system later. With these three tips, a little online research, and even talking with other retailers in your area, you’ll be on your way to a new, more efficient, POS system in no time!
A final thought. For many considering a POS system, The Square-with its trendy white square credit card reader- immediately comes to mind. While this system is a great first step, the long term functionality of the product might not be so clear. For instance, it does not currently connect with programs like QuickBooks. Also, the flat pricing model can be a boon for some retailers and a bust for others (see “Should Small Businesses use Square?” from VentureBeat). After reading that article, you should know if the Square will work for your business.