Choosing The Right Point-Of-Sale System For Your Business
Point-of-sale software systems, also known as POS systems, are essentially computerised systems that streamline the retail process for a business. POS systems provide a fast and effective way for customers to make payments, while simultaneously monitoring inventory and categorising sales.
If you're looking at acquiring a POS system (a combination of software and hardware), chances are you own a small business that is looking to expand. When deciding on the right POS system for your business, the most important thing to consider is your business type. Different types of business have different needs. You probably fit into one of two industries: retail or hospitality. The required functions of your POS system will vary accordingly.
If you own a café, pub, or restaurant, there are certain specific functions that your POS system will need to be able to carry out. The payment system should be able to split checks in a number of ways, as well as leaving room for tips and gratuities. Furthermore, the software should be able to handle having several tabs open at the same time.
While the above are the base requirements of a hospitality POS system, it is possible to acquire a system with more advanced capabilities. A good POS system can also handle reservations (synchronised with a table layout), send orders directly to the kitchen, keep track of inventory, and even store customer information to streamline takeaway orders (or deliveries, if you offer that service).
A retail business differs from a hospitality business in a few key aspects. In retail, you will only have one transaction open at a time (or, for larger businesses, one transaction per checkout station). Additionally, tips and deliveries aren't generally part of the equation.
In retail, your items will most likely be labelled with barcodes. Your POS system should be able to quickly and easily scan and process barcoded items, while being able to manually key in items that lack a barcode (such as fresh produce) or are damaged in some way. Further considerations for a retail business involve easily syncing up with reward cards/gift cards and coupons. Inventory tracking is also critical for a retail business, so you should select POS software that automatically handles that aspect.
Find A System With Good Customer Support
No matter how easy and intuitive the POS system is to use, there will undoubtedly come a time when you will need to carry out a function that you haven't previously encountered. For this reason, it is imperative that the system you choose has a solid customer service reputation, so that any inquiries or problems you may have in the future will be promptly resolved.