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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.