The best retail point-of-sale (POS) systems serve as a centralized nerve center for the business, compiling, automating, and streamlining operations so retailers can deliver exceptional customer experiences and achieve their sales objectives. That makes choosing a retail POS system one of the most important decisions retailers make as their business evolves.
While processing retail sales transactions remains at the core of what POS systems do for retailers, today’s systems also provide much broader capabilities. Knowing what to look for starts with understanding the features and functionality that are available – and then assessing what your retail business needs, both today and as it grows. To assist with what can feel like a daunting decision, use this checklist of the essential considerations for choosing – or upgrading – your retail POS software.
Payment processing: It’s all about options
Customers have choices when it comes to how they pay for their purchases. From old-school cash, check or credit and debit cards through contactless digital payments and gift cards, shoppers expect retailers to accept their payment method of choice. (Almost half will not make the purchase if their preferred payment option is unavailable.)
Along with offering a range of payment options, look for a retail POS system that makes the point-of-sale experience seamless with features that enable quick keys, split payments, invoicing, buy-now-pay-later, and discount options. And don’t forget about security. Make sure your POS system provides payment security that complies with the Payment Application Data Security Standards (PA-DSS) on how customer payment data is processed and stored.
Related: Retail Payment Preferences: What Today’s Customers Expect
Integration: A multi-channel must
Expect your POS system to do the heavy lifting when it comes to providing the centralized information hub you need to serve your customers and run your business. Today’s POS systems should integrate sales, customer, and inventory data across e-commerce and brick-and-mortar locations. For additional operational ease, the best retail POS systems also provide easy integrations with top e-commerce, accounting, and marketing platforms so that you have the big picture views and drill-down details you need.
Mobile Retail POS System: Extend your reach
Empower your retail sales associates with the ability to serve customers, process payments, and lookup inventory from a smartphone or tablet. From personalized customer experiences through increased staffing efficiencies, mobile POS is quickly moving from a “nice-to-have” to a “must-have” capability for retailers. Make sure mobile options are available as an extension of your overall POS system, so there’s no added work required to bring the data together.
Related: Mobile POS: Meeting Retail Customer Expectations
Inventory management: Attention to detail
Of course, your POS system should track purchases and give you an all-in view of your in-stock inventory across online and in-store channels. But that should only be the beginning of what it can do to enhance your inventory management. Look for POS systems that can adapt to the specialized needs of your business, such as the ability to track products with multiple style attributes or items that can also be sold by the case or by partial measurements.
The inventory management capabilities through your POS system should also save you time with automation, such as uploading and adding multiple items to inventory all at once, setting automatic low-stock alerts or re-order triggers, printing custom barcode labels, and tracking serialized inventory.
Related: Optimize Your Inventory: Debunking the Myths about Inventory Management
Customer data: Shopping experiences get personalized
Shoppers expect retailers to recognize them as they move between online and in-person shopping. And they value personalized service all along the way. From customer profiles and purchase history through reporting and analytics, your POS system should capture and compile the data points you need – and make them easily accessible in real-time. Then, you can turn the insights into personalized recommendations, shopping experiences, targeted marketing outreach, and more. The effort will pay off. Retailers who create highly personalized customer experiences see an estimated boost in revenue between 5 and 15 percent.
Related: POS Data: The Power to Personalize
User friendly: Support when you need it
Making the most out of your POS system shouldn’t take time away from running your business. As you evaluate POS systems, put user-friendly at the top of your list. Along with providing ease of use for you and your associates, seek POS software providers who offer expert support from initial setup and training through ongoing assistance, updates, and resources.
POSIM is a retail point-of-sale and inventory management system that addresses all of the above considerations – and then some. Discover what’s different about POSIM. Contact us for a demo today.