This is a guest post from our POS integration partner Lightspeed.
In today’s competitive retail landscape, you need tools that are as multifaceted as your business. Your point of sale (POS) should do more than just process transactions; it should follow you across retail spaces, grow as you grow, build loyalty, increase sales and help bring in new customers.
There are many POS systems on the market, but as a busy entrepreneur, you probably don’t have time to sift through an endless array of options. Make things easier by remembering these 7 questions to ask when shopping for a POS.
1. What features am I looking for?
As in any situation, it’s easier to find what you need when you know what you’re looking for. Painting a full picture of your business and what’s missing at all levels will give you an idea of what your POS should do for you.
Think about the specifics related to your business:
- Do you plan on opening other locations?
- Do you have any particular workflows that are unique to your industry?
- What would make their life easier?
- Do you plan to sell online?
- Are reports an important part of your planning process?
2. How does the POS manage inventory?
A good POS keeps your shelves well-stocked; it helps you forecast, automate, and consolidate your inventory management.
- Insight into stock levels per location
- Reports on best-selling products and brands
- Automated reminders when you’re running low on stock
- Easy workflow for making purchase orders
3. Can the POS go mobile?
The typical American shopper will leave a store if they have to wait too long in the check-out line. The right POS provides customers with speed and convenience, and should go where you go.
- Check-out capability for mobile devices like iPhones, iPads or tablets
- Wireless support for temporary locations like pop-up shops, street fairs, trade shows, farmer’s markets, or special events
- Easy access to information for sales staff
4. Does the POS sync the in-store and online shopping experience?
The worlds of online and physical retail are now one and the same with omnichannel.
Most retailers agree that customers who shop both online and in-store bring in more revenue than those who shop via one channel. The right POS will bridge the gap between brick-and-mortar and e-commerce.
- Inventory, sales, customers and order requests are synchronized between in-store and web
- Professionally designed, easy-to-use templates that do not require any technical skills
- Built-in mobile-responsive website
- The ability to sell on Facebook and other online marketplaces
5. Does the POS offer deep analysis and actionable reports?
A good POS will not only show you how well you’re doing, but help you communicate more effectively with your customers and identify opportunities for business growth.
- Reports for most profitable products, top-selling products, lowest-selling products, busiest store hours, top brands, online vs. in-store sales, etc.
- Reports that show customer purchase history and employee performance
- Predictive inventory analytics
6. Is training and support part of what you’re buying?
An onboarding session with a product specialist is key to getting started on the right foot and continued access to technical support will see you through any issues
- Local partners who can provide on-site consultation, installation and troubleshooting services
- Variety of training materials, including a help center, community forum and online resources
- Published customer satisfaction ratings
7. Is the system cloud-based?
A cloud-based POS system allows you to access your reports data from wherever you are. It is also scalable, and offers significantly lower infrastructure costs.
- The ability to access your point of sale from any device, from anywhere
- Automated cloud-based data backups
- A system compatible with all types of computers and mobile devices
With the right technology, an independent retailer can make a big impact, but there are important factors to consider before making a decision.
Next time you’re in the market for a new point of sale, remember these questions. They’ll help you find a system that will support your success.
Bottom line, the best POS system for you will make your life easier.