Grocery stores and supermarkets have unique business requirements compared to other retailers, and as such, they require specific point of sale (POS) system features to operate effectively. Finding the best retail POS solution can be a challenge—with POS brands offering hundreds of features, trying to provide the ultimate all-in-one solution. “But paying for features you don’t need or complicating screens with unnecessary functions can have a negative impact on your budget and your operation. There are, however, some POS features that are must-haves for grocery stores and supermarkets.
The best retail POS systems for your business include functions that enable tight inventory control, offer scale and scanner integration, allow for a tailored loyalty program, and provide critical data through back office reporting.
Keeping accurate inventory is critical, as you monitor products with shorter shelf lives compared to most other retail establishments. Over-ordering could result in trashing product that goes bad before you’re able to sell it. Under-ordering, however, could mean that you lose sales—and could lose customers for good. When patrons’ favorite items are out of stock, it could mean they don’t return, turning instead to a grocer that consistently has their items on the shelf.
The best retail POS will have the capability to keep track of items for you, automatically deducting items from inventory as they are sold. Grocery-tailored point of sale systems will also track bulk items, which are more challenging to manage because they are sold by weight. Supermarket POS should have the ability to deduct bulk items from the inventory’s original weight, allowing for more accurate tallies on current inventory.
Scale and Scanner Integration
Because grocers are one of the few retailers that sell product by weight in addition to prepackaged goods, you need a point of sale system that integrates seamlessly with scales for precise pricing. The best retail POS will integrate with NTEP certified scales, which means that you will precisely weigh produce, deli orders, and bulk foods, charging the customer the correct amount as well as minimizing shrinkage. With scale and barcode scanner integration, your POS system can identify the item by barcode, display the weight on the cashier and customer-facing screen, and show the exact price.
Obtaining new customers is an expensive and time-consuming process, so it’s more cost effective to retain current customers. A simple way to do this is to reward consumers for their loyalty to your grocery store. Loyalty programs increase average purchases, allow you to keep in touch with customers regularly through targeted marketing, and provide incentive for customer referrals. Your point of sale system should easily integrate with your loyalty program or have a loyalty program built in, allowing for quick scans of loyalty cards and easy rewards redemption.
Back Office Reporting
To operate effectively, you need to be able to obtain a snapshot of your business at any given time. The best retail POS will enable you to quickly and easily pull reports on sales, labor, and inventory—all within real time. This data will provide critical insights into your business, allowing you to forecast future sales, manage labor effectively, and know exactly when and how much to order for maintaining inventory levels.
Investing in the best retail POS system for your grocery store or supermarket is vital to efficient and profitable operation — and to ROI. Carefully evaluate your options and ensure the POS system you choose has the features that are essential to your business.