A POS or a point-of-sale system is a combination of software and hardware that enables your business to process sales more efficiently.
The hardware generally includes a central terminal system connected to peripherals. Peripherals can include barcode scanners, receipt printers, and card machine. A POS can be installed directly to your computer terminal or can be set up in the cloud allowing you to monitor and control sales across locations.
A POS system can be customized depending on your requirements to help with stock control and management specific to your industry.
So why do we need a POS?
POS software gives the business a new level of control on operations; thereby increasing efficiency and boosting profits!
With tons and tons of POS systems available in the market, the challenge would be on selecting the best fit POS. It goes without saying that first, you need to drill down on the must-have business-related features depending on the industry.
Here are some common features to look into while buying a POS for any Small, Medium or Large Business:
- Fast Checkout: checkout is the last opportunity for a retailer to make a positive impression. Be it a self-checkout or a manned one, the POS system should be able to effortlessly manage the checkout process. POS should accept cheques, gift cards, credit etc and offer a flexibility of tender types.
- Inventory management: This will help you manage your cost and revenue. The POS can help you track in real time not only what you have but also what’s going out. This helps the business to stay on top of cost changes and adjust your margins appropriately. The POS should also be able to give easy to use triggers so that you know when, what and how much to reorder and from which supplier. This way you can forecast better to make sure you are not short or overstocked.
- Customer relationship management: Your POS should be able to easily capture customer data. If you can associate any individual data with the transaction, you can take that info and be actionable in the future. You can use that data for email marketing. This helps build loyalty programs and manage the inventory efficiently. The key is to Drive loyalty with existing customers rather than generating new relationships.
- Mobility: your POS should be accessible across multiple locations and platforms to help manage it better from cross- locations. This is a useful feature if you own multiple stores!
- Employee Resource Management: This is one of the most overlooked but a crucial feature while choosing a POS. This will hep you track sales performance, identify the best people, and also identify theft by doing employee monitoring! Managing your employees will decrease the overhead cost of the workforce.
- Sales reporting and analytics: Reports take raw data and convert them into actionable information that helps you make better business decisions. Reports can give you insights on what products run well and what don’t, resource allocation, promotion depending on certain days etc.
By implementing these must-have features, small retailers can eliminate most of the manual and tedious steps from their processes, resulting in more time and resources to focus on growing key parts of their business such as improving customer service experience or attracting new customers.
What is Vend?
Francesca: Vend is a cloud-based point-of-sale (POS) and retail platform that gives retailers the tools they need to manage and grow their business. Vend enables retailers to accept payments, sell in-store and online, manage their inventory, reward customer loyalty, and report on their business in real time. You can learn more about Vend by clicking here.
What are the important considerations when looking for POS and retail management system software for multi-store retailers?
Francesca: I think the top consideration would have to be the nature of the business. So as a retailer, you have to consider the type of business you have, the products you’re selling, and the customer experience you want to provide. Then when you’re looking at POS systems, you should look for features that can support your needs.
For example, if you have a number of stores, then you’ll need a system that lets you manage multiple shops. Or let’s say you have a brick and mortar store and an e-commerce site; if that’s the case, then integration between your online shopping cart and POS would be a big consideration for you.
So the first thing you should do is look internally to identify your needs then use that when you’re selecting your POS.
There’s also pricing. Obviously, the cost of the system is an important consideration for retailers, and you should go with a system that’s reasonably priced depending on your needs.
My only caveat here is to not base your decision on price alone. Don’t just go for a system because it’s cheap. Doing that could lead to you being very inefficient or having to do a lot of workarounds, and that’s going to end up costing you even more.
While having a budget is important, you want to make sure that it’s reasonable enough and it allows you to select a system that ticks all the important boxes.
The third consideration — and this is something many people overlook — is customer support. You could have an amazing piece of software that covers all your needs, which is great, but you also have to anticipate having to turn to customer support at one point or another.
Maybe you’ll have a question down the line or you just want to learn more about the software. Whatever the case, you want a vendor that’s going to be there for you. So just try to get a gauge of their support offerings and make sure that they’re in line with your technical capabilities.
If you’re not very technical, will you be ok with just email or live chat support, or do you need 24/7 support? Have a think about these things and factor them into your decision.
What are must-haves and good-to-have features in a POS for retail stores and supermarkets?
Francesca: This would depend on the retailer. One store’s “must-have” may not be the same as another’s.
My advice? Examine your current processes and requirements. Also, have a thought about where you want to take your business in the future, then use those insights to craft your “must-have” and “good-to-have” list.
And if you’re not sure where to start, we’ve put together a post talking about the features that retailers should consider when choosing a POS: Features for retail management business
Is Vend POS system Customisable to meet different needs?
Francesca: Vend works for a variety of retail store types and can suit their different needs. It’s compatible with a wide range of hardware and devices. To find out if Vend would work for your specific requirements you can contact our sales team at email@example.com or sign up for a free account.
Is the software multi-location and cross-platform?
Francesca: Yes, Vend works great for multi-location retailers. It gives multi-store and multi-channel merchants a comprehensive solution to run their stores – with point-of-sale, product, and advanced inventory management, customer management, and reporting that gives actionable insights. They can easily add new users, registers, sales channels, or locations as they grow.
Is Vend installation and configuration possible across the globe or is it area specific?
Francesca: Vend’s key markets are the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand, though it certainly works in countries from all over the world. Retailers who want to double check if Vend works in their area can get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
Retailers have limited time and limited resources! Investing in technology such as a POS system can help you improve your marketing, help you better reach customers, help you manage your inventory and your employees.