Whether you own a single or multiple location business, an ideal POS system can optimise your retail business, by processing sales, tracking inventory, taking care of reporting and accounting of your business and managing your inventory effectively. Rest easy with POS sales system that manages every aspect of your retail store. Robust functionality and unmatched features of POS systems are designed to help multiply your revenue and your business.
When you are finding the best point of sale system, it’s crucial to determine the sorts of tools you need to run and grow your business. For instance, an apparel store has diverse needs to a café or bar. A POS system that works perfectly for a hair salon might not make sense for a fitness studio. An ideal POS system enables you to process every sale securely and has the right software which takes care of your administrative tasks efficiently.
If you are on a look out for choosing the best POS system for your business, your prime consideration should include factors like cost, security, PCI compliance and usability. Before moving further, let’s just understand POS system in detail.
What is a POS?
A point of Sale system is a combination of hardware and software components that streamline retail operations by calculation and storing sales, and accepting payments. You can call it as a cash register with brains. It can be segregated into two basic components:
A point of sale system (POS for short) has hardware that enables you to accept payments. POS system accepts all kinds of payments including cash, mobile payments and credit cards. So, make sure your new POS system must accept all forms of payments. Your POS system should also store cash in cash drawers, print receipts, and scan bar codes. Retailers use a wide variety of hardware tools like cash registers, car readers and barcode scanner to process point of sale transactions.
POS software enables you to ring up sales and find items in your library. Robust POS solutions offer valuable tools like inventory management, sales reporting, customer engagement software and more. POS software systems allow you to control and update inventory right at the cash register. This helps in keeping inventory records up-to-date. Also, when you are updated with stock levels, you can make better merchandising and ordering decisions.
Understanding the potential of a POS system.
With a POS system, you can:
➤ Analyse sales data, keep check on inventory levels and figure out inventory replenishment cycles, and therefore adjust purchasing levels accordingly.
➤ Maintain sales record and history. This will allow you to adjust your buying decisions as per seasonal purchasing trends.
➤ Enhance pricing accuracy. When you integrate credit card authorisation ability and bar code scanners with the POS system, you automatically improve pricing accuracy.
With POS software systems, you can integrate devices at your checkout stations. Software solutions come with integrated accounting models including accounts payable and receivables, general ledger, purchasing, and inventory control systems. In simple terms, a POS system can save your countless hours by keeping track of cash flows.
Features to consider in a POS system:
Ease of use: Your POS software should have user friendly graphical interface. It should be easy to use so you don’t need to go through manual every other day. You can run a thorough check of the software by the way of the free trial versions that vendors offer these days. Although it won’t be same as running the software through the motions at the time of peak selling hour, but this will give you an idea about the usability of software.
Entry of sales information: Most POS sales systems allow you to feed inventory codes either automatically or manually with the help of barcode scanner. Once you enter inventory code, the POS systems call up the sales price, calculate the price at multiple quantities and provide a running total.
While other POS systems provide ease of entering sales manually when required by enabling you search for inventory codes based on a manufacturing code, partial merchandise number, description.
Pricing: There are numerous ways of keeping track of pricing that POS systems generally offer. By ways we mean add-on amounts, margin percentage and custom formulas and percentage of cost. Also, multiple prices for each item can be set up, if voluminous discounts are provided.
Updating product information: POS systems that have accounting enabled automatically update accounts receivables and inventory records on entering sale.
Sales tracking options: Different business owners prefer diverse ways of getting paid. For instance, service shops prefer to keep invoices open until the work gets completed. So, their preference will be a system that enables them to put sales on hold.
If you run electronics shop or sell expensive items that allow instalment purchases, you might require a loan calculator that tabulates payments monthly. And if you are offering rent to own items, you may require a system that is capable of handling rentals as well as sales.
Data Security: Data security and safety should be among the vital factors you consider when buying your POS system. Make sure that your POS system maintains strict safety in terms of protecting customer data. It should not store credit card numbers of your customer. Also make sure that all transactions made should be fully encrypted.
Data Safety issue has become even more relevant with rising high-profile hacking incidents. If you are handling a retail store, you will want a system that can keep tight control on cash receipts to prevent theft. Many POS systems provide offer audit trails so that problem can be traced. It is your prime duty to ensure safety of your customers’ data. You must check for the safety of your data in every POS system that you buy, specifically around transactions.
Taxes: If you are running mail order business, then you must be dealing with taxes for more than one state. Many POS systems are built to support this need as they support numerous tax rates.
Perhaps the most promising way POS systems help you gain complete control of your business is through their reporting features. You can modify sales data in variety of ways just to figure out what products sell maximum at a given time. Reporting features of POS systems can help you determine everything from the best ways to arrange displays and shelves to which promotions are working. Also, you can track the best time to change seasonal promotions through reporting features of POS system.
If we talk about the reporting capabilities available in POS systems, then they are quite a huge. Reporting capabilities include costs, sales, and profits registered by individual salesperson, inventory items. Further reporting capabilities in POS systems include profit registered by category for the day, moth and year to date. You can also generate special reports that include sales for each hour of the day.
Robust and widespread functionalities of POS systems also include report creation of multiple formats for invoices, price tags and accounting statement. Additional reports that can be created using POS functionalities include day end cash reconciliation worksheets and inventory management. You need to examine a plethora of POS packages to determine which meets your needs more appropriately.
Every business is unique; you need to find POS system that suits your business needs the most. That’s why industry specific POS systems are available in the market to cater varying needs of different business owners.
You can find different POS package for auto retail shops, video rental shops, restaurants, bars and cafes, beauty and nail salons, video rental stores, dry cleaners, apparel stores and more. Also, if your requirement is unique, then fortunately some POS system manufacturers can tailor their POS software as per your needs.
Most importantly, when choosing a POS system, you should consider its initial set up cost, payment processing costs, other monthly processing fees, equipment or rental fees, PCI compliance, mobility level, ability to accept chip and PIN cards, POS software features, NFC payment acceptance ability like Android Pay, Apple Pay and contact less cards.