Navigating the world of Point of Sale (POS) systems can be daunting, especially for small business owners. However, a modern POS system is more than just a tool to accept payments. A POS system is the central nervous system of your operation, affecting every aspect of your business from inventory management to payment acceptance to customer loyalty programs.

However, SMBs are not a one size fits all and have unique needs. It is critical to evaluate your specific needs and prioritize them to ensure that the POS system you choose aligns with your current operations and future growth goals.

1. What Do You Need?

To start the process of selecting the right POS system for your business, it’s important to take a step back and identify your exact needs before evaluating solutions.

If you are in a period of growth, be sure to consider where you see your business headed when assessing needs, as what you need to solve with a POS system could evolve over time.

A few key items to consider are:

  • What kind of products or services do you sell?
  • Do you need inventory management capability?
  • Are you a single retail store or operate across multiple stores?
  • How many payment terminals do you need?
  • Do you need a mobile POS system for on-the-go sales?

2. What Does a POS System Bring to the Table?

Once you have a full understanding of your current and future needs, it’s important to understand all the things the a new POS system can do for you. Today’s POS solutions, offer a wide array of features available:

  • Inventory Management
    Automatic stock tracking, low-stock alerts, product returns, inventory forecasting, historical purchasing records
  • Customer Management
    A new POS system allows you to leverage customer data with a customer loyalty program, profiles, purchase histories and customer relationship management tools. As well as being able to stay connected to your customer base with email and text marketing tools.
  • Employee Management
    POS systems offer simple employee management tools for scheduling, performance metrics, hours tracking, etc.
  • Real Time Reporting
    The right POS system will provide detailed sales reports, inventory reports, employee performance, supplier reports, and more to assist in making data driven business decisions.

3. But Don’t Forget the Payment Processing in Your POS System!

Payment processing is a fundamental component of your POS system. Ensure that your new POS software allows you to:

  • Accept a broad range of payments, including credit cards, debit cards, mobile wallets, checks, and cash.
  • Accept and process payments in person, online, and on the go.
  • Maintain complete transparency into any and all transaction fees.
  • Offer surcharging and cash discounting with dual pricing programs to help offset credit card processing fees.
  • Ensure PCI compliance for security.
payment service provider

4. Cost Considerations

When budgeting for a point-of-sale system, it is important to ask the following questions to ensure you have a complete understanding of all costs:

  • Are POS hardware costs (like cash registers, receipt printers, barcode scanners) included?
  • Are there monthly fees?
  • Are there upgrade costs if your business evolves and needs change?

5. Usability of Your POS System

The best POS system is intuitive and simple. The lesser the learning curve, the better for business efficiency. An easy-to-use POS solution reduces transaction times and ensures happy customers.

  • Your staff should be able to quickly learn and operate the POS system.  If the POS system is easy to understand, it reduces the amount of time you need to spend training each staff member. This not only reduces labor costs but also allows new staff to become productive more quickly. 
  • The interface should be intuitive.  An intuitive POS system means faster transactions, which leads to shorter lines and happier customers.
  • Your POS system should be simple.  Complex POS systems increase the risk of user error. An easy-to-use POS minimizes risks.

6. Scalability of Your POS System

Scalability ensures that as your business evolves, your POS system can adapt. Whether you expand product lines or open new retail stores, your POS system should evolve with you. It is important to ask about scalability as you evaluate POS systems to ensure, smooth operations, consistent customer experiences, and long-term cost savings.

7. Customer Support & Tech Support

When assessing POS systems, consider the availability of support, what communication channels are offered, as well as their average response time and resolution time. 

The quality and reliability of customer support should be a top consideration. It’s an essential safety net that ensures the business remains operational and efficient, even when challenges arise.

8. Safety First

Security in point of sale systems is non-negotiable. Ensure your POS system provider uses the latest encryption techniques, adheres to PCI compliance standards, and frequently updates their systems to protect against cyber threats.

Wrapping Up

The point of sale (POS) choice is pivotal for small business owners. Beyond processing sales, it’s about streamlining operations and fostering growth. As you venture into the vast world of POS system solutions, focus on what aligns with your current needs and future aspirations. The future of your business depends on the decisions you make today, so choose wisely!

Want to see how Clearent by Xplor can help choose the best POS system for your SMB?  Connect with us to start a conversation today.

Article by Clearent by Xplor

First published: October 26 2023

Last updated: May 30 2024