Since the invention of the cash register by James Ritty in the 1800s, technology has played a vital role in retail business management. By the 70s, the simple cash register had merged with computers to offer even better opportunities, accommodating credit card transactions along with the usual cash sales. The technology got even better with the addition of bar code scanners in the 80s and 90s. And by then, PC-based POS (Point of Sale) systems were the norm.
The modern retail industry is nothing without the POS systems that include integrated Retail Management System Hardware that replaced old school cash registers. These terminals’ functionality goes beyond being a mere cash register. As a powerful computer, it also takes care of your inventory system, bookkeeping, analytics, and so much more.
These days, there are a variety of POS systems offered for the retail industry. From cash register terminals to tablet-based POS apps, you have endless options to choose from. So how do you know which POS system is right for your retail business? What do you need to consider before making that costly investment?
Understanding the Requirements of Your Specific Business
Not all retail businesses are the same. You have to be able to identify what your particular business needs are and see if they correspond to the different features of the POS you are interested in. Flexibility and customizability should play an important part in your decision. You don’t want to end up with a one-size-fits-all POS system with features that you don’t even need. It will just be confusing and hard to use.
Hardware and Peripheral Requirements
What’s included in the POS system? Do you need to buy a separate scanner, cash register, or printer? The compatibility of different peripherals may pose an issue with your POS system if they don’t come in a complete package. What’s more, you should also look into the networking capabilities of the terminals if you require more than one register. This is especially critical if you have other branches or locations. The system needs to integrate all these units to give you an accurate report on sales, inventory, and other business stats.
You don’t want to spend a lot of time training staff on how to use your POS system. The system must be intuitive and easy to use for everyone. Besides, with a well-designed user interface, you avoid expensive mistakes that could also ruin customer relationships.
As a business, you want the option with the best value for your money and not necessarily the cheapest. While a cloud-based app that runs on tablets or smartphones may be significantly cheaper or even offered for free, it may not be the best fit for your business. Consider a POS system package that offers a complete Retail Management System Hardware. These reputable providers are experts in their field and they can provide customized solutions that grow with your business.
Pop-up stores are … well, popping up everywhere these days. If this kind of setup is on your business plan, you may need a flexible POS system that’s deployable on the cloud. Cloud-based applications also provide a number of advantages such as the integration of your e-commerce websites and other online store accounts. In theory, you can monitor your business by accessing the system on any mobile device, as long as it’s connected to the Internet.
Like all computer systems, sometimes the system malfunctions so you need technical support from providers. Most of the time, this is what’s lacking in some of the cheaper or free POS apps. That’s why you need to do your research and opt for more established providers that offer technical support and maintenance. Back-up services are also critical so you don’t lose any of your precious data.
The POS System is a vital component of your retail business. It’s important that you take the time to consider your options and do some testing before final implementation. During trial runs, encourage your employees to give their feedback so you know what works and what doesn’t work. Most importantly, be honest about your concerns with your POS provider. They can help you develop a more efficient system that can take your business to new heights.