POS systems vary from brand to brand, and some offer more features than others. Choosing the right POS software for your business starts with knowing what you want from your software. If you’re looking for software that can do it all, you’ll want to know exactly what all consists of. Do you need basic features, more advanced features, or the most advanced system you can get? Here’s how to find a POS software that can do it all in a market full of competition.
What Can POS Systems Do?
First of all, let’s narrow down what “do it all” means by taking a look at the capabilities of modern POS systems. The basic POS systems of today offer similar features across all brands. Payment processing is obviously the core purpose of a POS and is, therefore, a standard feature; as is an inventory management system. That being said, some inventory control systems are more advanced than others, but most offer real-time inventory management and product customization.
Customer profile tools are usually standard as well, allowing you to collect data on customers, including personal information like emails and phone numbers, purchase history, outstanding balances and layaway information, and more. This useful tool can assist you in growing your relationships with your customers and provide a central point from which to gather information on their buying habits.
Knowing what your customers purchase makes for more accurate inventory ordering, as well as a more personalized relationship. Customers will feel like you know them when you’re aware of what their favorite items are, and you can offer discounts and promotions that cater to their specific tastes. Customers are more likely to stick with a brand that makes them feel valued.
One of the most valuable features of the modern POS system is its ability to gather priceless information and insights on your business. From sales numbers and trends over the last year to specific item sales, the information your POS system collects for you will be incredibly beneficial to your business.
You’ll know which times of the day/week/month are busiest, which items sell the most units, and how much your expenses are cutting into your profits. Information such as this would normally require third-party software and a lot of extra time, but POS systems make it easy by collecting information on every sale.
What Do You Need From Your POS?
Now that we know the basic functions of a POS system, it’s time to decide what we need from the system. What does “do it all” mean to your business? If you’re only looking for basic features, you’ll find the ones listed above in just about every modern POS system available. They’re usually standard and will be included with the price of the software. Additional features like CRM integration, bookkeeping software integration, and more are offered as well, but often by more advanced and feature-rich options.
Let’s not forget when shopping for feature-rich software that customer service should also be a consideration. You can have the best software on the market, but without the customer service to back it up, the software doesn’t mean much. You’ll want support (many companies offer 24/7 support for POS systems) when things malfunction or don’t work correctly. The last thing you want is to be left without your POS because of an error!
What’s Your Budget?
Take a close look at your monthly budget when considering POS software. Does the brand you’ve chosen offer monthly premium options, upfront purchase options, or both? Monthly premiums are normally more affordable and can range anywhere from $30 to over $100 per month, depending on your software, the number of units you need, and the features you want.
If you choose an upfront purchase, you’ll likely be spending a few hundred to a few thousand dollars; again, depending on certain factors. Companies like Square POS offer more affordable options, with a free card reader when you sign up and per-transaction fees instead of a monthly or yearly cost.
Choosing the Right Brand
Choose a brand with a commitment to customer service and quality. POS systems can be advantageous to any business, but without a good brand to back it up, you’ll have trouble justifying such a purchase. A good brand stands behind its products and supports its customers! Choose POS brands with a good reputation among both critics and customers alike. Check tech reviews and brand reviews on sites like YouTube or even Google to ensure you’re partnering with a company you can trust.
Finding a POS system that can do it all can be quite challenging when you don’t know what to look for. We’ve included the basic features of modern POS systems and what to look for in a brand so you can choose the product that’s right for you. Don’t forget that customer service should be a prime consideration when choosing your POS system!