Running a business can be a challenge, but the rewards can be well worth it. Luckily for you, modern technology helps you tackle the challenges of owning and operating a retail business in innovative and efficient ways. Handling transactions is one of the most important aspects of your business. Point of sale programs let you be efficient with your time and your resources so you can get customers in and out with the products they want. A POS system also helps you keep track of sales and other data so that you can better understand market patterns in order to project profit margins. When shopping for retail point of sale programs, you want to make sure that the software you buy includes the ability to perform several functions.
One: Streamlined Checkout
If you have been in business for a while, then you have probably noticed that for many of your customers, the quicker the checkout, the happier the customer. With how fast-paced life has become, most people no longer have the patience required to wait for each item to be entered into a cash register by hand. The best point of sale programs won’t require your cashiers to key too much information, allowing your customers to breeze through the final steps of their shopping experience.
Two: Inventory Monitoring
Part of being able to provide your customers with the best experience is giving them access to the products they want when they want them. Closely monitoring your inventory keeps you abreast of what items are selling fast so you can order replacements and get them shipped before anxious customers start looking elsewhere. The ability to review your inventory is provided by the best retail point of sale programs, making it quicker and easier for you to time your orders according to supply and demand.
Three: Clientele Data Collection
Repeat customers are the lifeblood of a business, so you want to be able to tell what keeps bringing them back. The right POS system helps you track which customers tend to buy what and how much of it. From this data you can more accurately predict which pieces of merchandise are more or less profitable and what promotions or sales help bring in more customers. You can also use this data to design a rewards program that will keep more reliable customers coming back for more.
Four: Computerized Purchasing Power
Step two mentioned the necessity of being able to monitor your inventory in order keep the right amount of stock in your back room. In addition to telling you when some supplies are getting low or space is available for extra merchandise, look for retail point of sale programs that let you automatically order new products from your suppliers without a fuss so you and your team can focus more on customer service and sales.
Five: World Wide Web Connection
These days, people hardly go to the corner market or the gas station without a way to access the internet via a smart phone or a tablet with a data package, so why should you, as a retailer, be behind the times? Internet access through your POS system makes it easier to integrate website marketing with overarching team or company goals and allows you more flexibility with advertising so you can get more done from one location.
Six: Security Features
As technology and businesses continue to get smarter, so do criminals. Staying a step ahead of the bad guys and using point of sale programs that are PCI compliant helps you protect both customer and company information—information that could be devastating if it should fall into the wrong hands. Companies that don’t keep a tight grip on sensitive information such as credit card numbers, run the risk of allowing patrons to be targeted for identity fraud. Because the risk and fear of identity fraud is high among the general populace, any cases resulting from negligent business practices could lead to the kind of bad publicity that will be hard for your PR team to combat. Instead, show customers your commitment to keeping their information secure by ensuring your POS system is PCI compliant.
Seven: Multiple Reporting Options
When you need to stop and take stock of where your business is at, the right information is crucial to painting the whole picture. Your PoS system program needs to be able to access all kinds of data, from how much the company brought in last month to promotions running five months ago to the year’s most popular piece of merchandise.
Bonus: Restaurant Point of Sale Programs Must-Have Feature
If you own an eatery, bakery, café, or restaurant, then look specifically for a restaurant point of sales program. Look for POS software that not only includes the features previously mentioned but that also allows you to easily change program options to account for menu changes or daily specials. On top of that, remember that the best restaurant point of sale programs will support a touch screen. Touch screens make it a snap for cashiers or servers to place an order with the kitchen, and the sooner customers gets their orders, the more pleased they’ll be with your service.
Being in the market for point of sale programs doesn’t have to be a stressful thing—as long as you know what you are looking for. Shop around and talk with different providers about their products. Be sure to ask about how the checkout process works, the kind of inventory monitoring the software provides, and how much and what kind of information the program will allow you to collect from your clientele. Make inquiries about the software’s ability to make automated purchases, connect with the internet, protect customer and company information, and generate reports. For restaurant owners, don’t hesitate to get more information about programs that allow you to easily change up menu options for touch screen ordering systems. When you take the time to search out a POS program with all these features, you can be sure that the software you choose will provide your business with the options and flexibility it needs to take business to the next level.