Last Updated On November 06, 2020 / Written By Chloe Henderson

How to Choose a Retail POS System- Features to Prioritize

Retail POS systems automate daily procedures, such as payment processing and inventory management, to streamline workflow and improve efficiency.

In a retail business, there are multiple operations taking place simultaneously. When these processes are maintained using manual methods, management can become overwhelmed, resulting in delays and increased human error.

Stores that utilize retail point-of-sale (POS) systems can automate and standardize routine tasks, such as transactions and customer data collection to improve sales management.

What to Look for in Retail POS Systems

There are countless retail POS solutions on the market, making it difficult for business owners to choose the best option for their company's needs. There are many functions POS systems can perform, aside from processing payments.

In order to get the most use out of a solution, owners should look for a POS system that also handles-

  • Employee Management
Many retail POS solutions enable management to assign numbers and pins to each employee, allowing the software to track workers' hours and activity. Supervisors can also grant different access levels so that certain employees can monitor inventory levels and cash drawers.

This feature promotes employee accountability and enables management to determine which workers were present when fraudulent activity was detected.

  • Loyalty Programs
Advanced POS systems are programmed with loyalty programs that stores can customize. By recognizing loyalty members, businesses can boost retention rates and repeat purchases.

It also provides marketing teams with valuable customer data that can be used to develop targeted campaigns and email promotions. Some retail POS software even offers gift card features.

  • Inventory Management
With every transaction, POS systems record what items were purchased to update inventory levels. When the solution is integrated with the warehouse software, managers can track stock quantities that are in-store and in the distribution centers.

This makes ordering inventory more accurate to avoid over and understocking and enables stores to track each item's location to orchestrate transfers.

  • Reporting Tools
With all of the information retail POS systems track and store, they are able to generate detailed reports to provide insights into various business functions. This enables owners to identify potential risks, monitor performance, and assess each process's strengths and weaknesses.

Parameters can be customized to report employee productivity, profit margins, inventory turnover rates, and customer retention.

Questions to Ask Before Choosing a POS System

Businesses need to evaluate their needs in order to choose the best retail POS system. A solution should enhance a store's strengths and improve their weaknesses to promote operational efficiency.

Business owners should ask themselves-

1. What are the must-have features?
Organizations need to make a list of features that their ideal retail POS system must have. Some businesses focus on collecting customer data, so they need a POS system that tracks personal information, purchase histories, and item preferences.

On the other hand, other retailers may want to improve their inventory management, so they need a solution that will integrate seamlessly with their existing stock software.

2. What solutions are competitors using?
Retailers should also consider what solutions competitors are using and why. Competitors typically have similar business models, product lines, and clientele, meaning they also have the same needs. By referencing what competitors use, retailers can determine how their system helps sales.

3. What solutions include installation and training?

Companies can waste valuable time manually implementing software and trying to navigate their way around its infrastructure. Therefore, management should ensure that their POS system includes installation, data transferal from established systems, and training.

4. How many transactions will the POS solution need to process daily?

Stores should have a good idea of how many transactions they handle on a daily basis to ensure a POS system has the capacity to process sales efficiently.

Choosing a solution with limited capabilities can result in lagging processes, buffering, and malfunctions. These technical difficulties are not only frustrating for the employees but for the customers as well.
Retailers with light to moderate traffic should find a solution with 1.83 GHZ processing speed, whereas heavier traffic requires at least 2.0GHz.

5. What payment forms does the solution need to process?

Owners also need to make sure that the POS solution can process various payments, such as cash, credit card, and mobile wallets. Software that claims to handle these forms should be compliant with processing regulations.

For example, solutions that process Europay, Mastercard, and Visa must be EMV compliant to ensure secure transactions.

6. What is the retail environment?

Retail environments tend to vary, from traditional department stores to mobile vendors. These conditions have a direct impact on what type of POS system a business should implement.

Harsh environments that subject equipment to high temperatures, excessive dust, or moisture require robust POS hardware that can handle these elements.

7. How fast is the business planning to grow?

Even if a business is not planning to expand immediately, they need to prepare for the future. A POS solution should be able to grow with a company and promote scalability rather than limit growth. Even if the initial software isn't sophisticated, the provider should offer upgrades, add-ons, and components when the store is ready.

Plum POS Features and Benefits

Plum POS is a cloud-based software that features a user-friendly interface with several functions, such as employee management, payment processing, and detailed reporting.

With sophisticated data management tools, Plum POS can generate reports on profit margins, employee performance, and inventory to promote data-driven decision-making. The system also guarantees seamless integration with existing solutions to streamline back-end processes, such as inventory control and orders.

With Plum POS's functionality, retailers can enhance the customer experience, improve data accuracy, and simplify daily operations.