From improving transaction processing efficiencies to facilitating inventory tracking and more, a retail business point of sale (POS) system can play a major role in the success of your business. However, choosing the right retail business POS software and hardware necessitates a strategic approach. Part I of this blog post, offers five steps for selecting retail business POS software.
1. Identify must-have features.
Do you need a solution that will allow you to maintain a database of customers and their preferences? Or, do you require automatic order-generating capability? Or both? A good place to start when evaluating POS software is to list areas where your business is struggling. Common pain points include payment processing that takes too long, difficulty ensuring you have the right items in inventory, lack of inventory visibility across multiple locations, and problems optimizing labor.
Look for retail business POS software that has the features that address your pain points.
2. Research retail business POS software other businesses like yours are using.
Understanding how POS software works (or doesn’t) in a similar business can help you narrow the field of choices. Read reviews and speak to users if possible. Don’t limit your research to product features. You’ll also want to find out how difficult the solution was to deploy and use, and the support you can expect from the software vendor. For example, ask if the vendor responds quickly when there is a problem, and whether software upgrades are provided regularly.
3. Narrow down your options.
Make a short list of the retail business POS software solutions and their vendors you think will address your business’ needs. Check retailer references from the vendors for valuable perspectives about them and their solutions. In addition to speaking with references, assess each vendor to ensure that it has a solid base of customers, understands your business, and possesses a working knowledge of your industry.
4. Evaluate vendor training and support.
Consider only those vendors that provide installation, remote and on-site support, and data conversion (if you have an existing POS system). Look into whether vendors offer training in ways that work with your business, such as on-site, in a training center, or by webinar. Also find out if the vendor provides support through a help desk, online chat, or other methods.
5. Request a demo before making your decision.
You will most likely need to try the software first-hand through a demo to determine whether it is the right choice for your business. Look for short transaction times, an intuitive, user-friendly interface, and airtight data security. Compare features of the software you are considering side-by-side to draw comparisons that can assist you with your choice.
Following these steps will help you select the right retail business POS software — and make the process a little more manageable. Once you have chosen POS software, your next task will be to find POS hardware. Stay tuned for Part II of this blog to learn how to select the best point of sale hardware for your business.
For more help choosing POS software for your retail business, download our free POS Software Buyer’s Guide.