A point of sale system (POS) beats pen and paper any day when it comes to running a retail shop. But where do you start when it comes to choosing the right system?

Here are 3 things you want to look for when shopping for a Point of sale.

POS system
photo credit: LightspeedHQ

1. It increases efficiency

Your POS system should do a lot of the heavy lifting for you and increase efficiency in your day to day. Better operational efficiency leads to happier employees and more revenue — #winning.

  • Strong inventory management: Disorganized stock can be a huge drain on your finances, time and energy. Make sure you can categorize products by multiple variants, for example, style, size, and color, and add relevant custom labels. Other things to look for? Built-in vendor catalogs, quick item import, low stock alerts, and smooth purchase order workflows.
  • Mobility & Cloud: Using a mobile device like an iPad creates a flexible checkout process, works as a line buster during peak periods and makes inventory counts a breeze. Cloud software lets you check your daily sales from your home computer or from the road on your smartphone.
  • Insights and reports: Don’t waste time fussing over spreadsheets. For purchasing decisions, staff scheduling and beyond, your POS should have customizable reports that are easy to generate and quick to interpret.
  • Easy for your staff: You want software that’s intuitive and easy for your staff to use with minimal training. You want to empower them, not frustrate them.

2. It can grow with you

With time, you don’t want to outgrow your system and have the burden of starting over with a new one. Find a POS that can handle you when you’re small and scale with you as evolve and grow.

  • Built in eCommerce: It’s no secret that omnichannel (selling in-store and online) is the key to success for independent retailers. You may not be ready to sell online right now, but, like a lot of things, you want the option. Find a company that offers an eCommerce system that seamlessly integrates with your POS (think centralized inventory, customer data and reporting).
  • App network: Staff scheduling, email marketing, loyalty programs — you name it — your POS should integrate with whatever additional functionality you need from quality applications.
  • Extra locations: If you open another location, can your POS handle it? It can if it has features like centralized purchasing, customer data, inventory tracking and reporting.
  • In the long run: Find a company that’s been around for a while so you know they’re reliable. If your software provider goes belly up, where does that leave you?

Customer service officer

3. Great customer service

The company you’re buying from is just as important as their software. Look for one that’s rated for quality customer service and make sure it’s included for free.

  • Onboarding: You don’t want to left on your own to learn the software. Find a company that has solid onboarding. Let’s face it, in the early stages of software adoption, it’s nice to have someone hold your hand through the process.
  • 24/7 phone support: Technology problems can be very frustrating. When you inevitably run into a hiccup with your software, you want help right away and not from a bot. Find a POS company that offers 24/7 support from real people.
  • Community forum: Being able to reach out to other software users is a huge help. More experienced users can help you find advanced workarounds or supply tips and tricks for special workflows.

There’s a lot of retail technology out there that can bring your business to the next level. When it comes to choosing a POS, do your research to find one that makes your day to day easier, it’s scalable for your future, and has people who can help you out when you run into trouble.