Are You Using the Right POS System?
In the world of retail, the right point-of-sale (POS) system can make a huge difference in your overall profitably, security and stability. The problem is that there are dozens of different platforms on the market, each claiming to do different things. Do you know how to choose the right one for your business?
Evaluating POS Systems
In today’s multichannel business world, having the right POS system can make a big difference in a number of areas, including sales, inventory management and customer support. With the right POS solution in place, you can ensure every area of your business — both customer-facing and behind the scenes — is running as smoothly as possible.
By now you know that you need a POS system. Which one do you choose? With so many options on the market, it’s not always easy to narrow down your choices.
You’ll certainly have your own set of criteria when it comes to evaluating various systems, but here are a few factors you’ll definitely want to focus on:
- Functionality: The biggest thing to consider is functionality. What do you expect to get out of your system, and is there a solution that provides everything you’re looking for? In addition to processing transactions smoothly and securely, you may also want a POS system that gathers customer data that can be used to assist things like marketing and customer service. Take this into account as you compare and contrast options.
- Hardware: If your POS system is doubling as both e-commerce software and a physical solution in a brick-and-mortar environment, you need to think about the type of hardware that comes with it. Not all hardware is created equal; you’ll be beyond frustrated if you choose a solution with sub-standard equipment. It’s also worth noting that some POS systems don’t come with hardware and allow you to use your existing equipment, such as iPads and laptops. This could be a positive or negative, depending on your situation.
- Budget: Practically speaking, money is always a limiting factor. How much are you willing to spend on a POS system? The answer to this question will likely eliminate a couple of choices, helping you zero in on some solutions that may actually be realistic for your business.
- Support: The significance of customer support can’t be overstated. When you experience issues with the system, you need to know that you can quickly get in touch with customer support and have the problem solved without delay. Having a support team that solves a POS problem in 30 minutes vs. three hours can mean the difference between closing sales and losing thousands of dollars in revenue. Read reviews and figure out which companies offer the best support. Doing so save you a lot of trouble down the road.
- Comfort Level: Ultimately, the decision comes down to your level of comfort with different systems. You need a POS solution that's intuitive, easy to use and practical. If everyone else loves a particular platform, but it just doesn’t make sense to you, then there’s no sense in wasting your time. Since most POS solutions offer some sort of trial period, you can always test out multiple options and see which one fits best. Your gut will tell you which direction to go.
Which POS System Will You Choose?
It’s important that you evaluate POS systems within the context of your specific needs and preferences. Just because another company in your industry is using one solution doesn’t mean you have to. It’s a highly personal decision that you should only make after careful evaluation.
Larry Alton is a freelance writer, whose work regularly appears in Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, Inc. and Adweek.
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