There are many POS systems on the market today. But knowing which one is best for you will take some work. So, when you’re starting your search, it’s often best to start by sorting through the basics. There are a few things that matter regardless of which POS system you use. When you’re considering any POS system for your business, make sure to look into these 5 factors.
1. Reporting Capability
A point of sale (POS) system that will help your business grow must come with the reporting features you need. The reporting interfaces of the best point of sale systems make it easy to know how much you’ve sold and how much is left. Comprehensive reports are the new norm for POS systems. So, the best POS systems can produce a lot more than simply basic reports. They can also provide reports on inventory levels, employee performance, profit, and much more.
Some systems offer even more specialized reporting. For example, good restaurant POS systems can report on the meals that bring in the most profits. Other categories include top-selling items, discount effectiveness, refund reports, and customer profiles. Many excellent POS systems also include automatic reports for items you’re running low on. Some go a step further and can be set to automatically place orders for an item that is running too low.
One great way to compare POS reporting options is by watching video tutorials for POS reports. Most POS companies create tutorials and post them on their website or YouTube Channel.
2. Customer Support
Most point of sale systems offer several customer support channels. But the need for great customer support is often overlooked until it’s really needed. Some POS companies only provide great support options to customers that pay for premium subscriptions or extra customer support subscriptions. It’s important to understand the customer support you can expect with the POS subscription you purchase.
The basic support channels you should have access to include:
- Live chat
- FAQ sections
What’s important is having reasonably fast access to at least one support channel. Many POS companies offer 24/7 support for at least one of the options listed. If you have access to 24/7 phone support, your business will be much better off should something go wrong during business hours. But as long as you can access support 24/7, you should be fine. When you place an inquiry to your POS provider’s customer support, they should have a specialist contact you within a few hours at most.
Good customer support is critical, even if its use isn’t realized right away. Any problem that interrupts your business’s sales will cost you. If the problem can’t be addressed quickly, it could spell serious problems for your business.
Fortunately, many POS systems come with great support included. It’s not just the biggest, richest POS companies that offer comprehensive, fast, 24/7 support. These features are now so common that it’s almost expected that even small POS system providers include them. Take the example of Lightspeed, which offers exceptional customer support.
Shopkeep is well-known for its customer-centered business model. The scope of their support is wider than most other low-cost POS systems. With Shopkeep you can access 24/7 support via live chat, email, or text.
3. Ease of Use
Point of sale systems can include every reporting feature relevant to small businesses. It can also include comprehensive, instant 24/7 phone support. It can be perfect in every way – on paper. But if you and your employees can’t wrap your heads around how to use it and all its great features, it’s still useless.
This is another area where browsing the many online video tutorials can help. You can have a peek at a POS system’s interfaces through the company’s website or YouTube channel. For the most part, the most successful POS companies also create the simplest products. That shouldn’t be a surprise. Ease of use is especially important to businesses with high employee turnover. If you have to regularly train new employees, a difficult POS system just won’t work for your business.
A POS system can have more complex functions and still be easy to use. What matters most is that navigating all functions is easy and straightforward. The most common and important functions must also be displayed in a way that makes them easy to find and use. Many top-of-the-line POS companies also offer free training over video or in person. If the company you choose to work with offers that, take them up on their offer. We can use Shopkeep as another example, as they offer a very easy-to-use system. All interfaces are inviting and finding even the least used interfaces isn’t challenging.
4. Fair Pricing
The cheapest POS system that meets your needs isn’t necessarily the best. But you need to make sure the POS system you choose offers fair value. Fortunately, 2020 is a good year to enter the POS market. These days, you can find excellent POS hardware with great monthly or annual rates. For small business owners, now is the best time to start the search for the POS system that you’ll grow your business with.
It used to be hard to set up a good POS system for a small business. Now, even the biggest POS companies offer reasonable monthly rates to use one POS register and have access to the most important POS features.
When it comes to comparing POS systems by their prices, it’s important to look at their transparency. Fortunately, there are dozens of great systems that transparently present all their plans, their prices, and what exactly they include. The only downside is that now there are simply so many POS systems that it’s hard to compare them all. But most systems focus on certain kinds of stores, making it easy to compare all the features you get and what you have to pay for them.
If you want a simple POS system for a small catering business, Toast offers a great deal. With $75 per month, you can run one terminal that handles all the basic needs a small business has. But no POS system on the market currently offers a better deal than Square. You can use Square for no monthly fee. They also offer a great value; for a small percentage of your card sales, they offer a wide range of useful features.
5. Useful Integrations
Most point of sales systems on the market today has at least half a dozen integrations. This is an important fact for businesses using other tools to run their business. Many POS systems integrate with accounting software. This is an incredibly useful combination for any business owner. While you’re looking for the POS system you want to use, check multiple systems to make sure your accounting software can be seamlessly integrated to produce maximum efficiency.
Other common integrations that are useful include eCommerce tools and digital marketing tools. With some combinations, you can use the loyalty rewards of your POS system alongside your digital marketing accounts. Many integrations can be made with the best-selling POS systems. Even less-known POS systems often come with a few integration options.
Integrations can work both ways – software you’re already using might have integration capabilities with multiple POS systems. You can refer to the software you’re using for integrations lists. The key when using integrations is to keep your entire process as simple as possible. If you can seamlessly integrate an accounting system with a POS system with excellent reporting, you can save a lot of time. But integrations shouldn’t be chased just for the sake of it. Upserve offers one of the longer and more diverse lists of integrations that you can find. The software can integrate with 31 different tools for accounting, organization, online tools, and more.