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What to Know Before Choosing a POS System

An integral part of every business, the Point of Sale (POS) system tracks payment, sales, inventory, and customer data. While all POS systems have the same basic functionality, there are definitely a few things to keep in mind when choosing a POS system. Follow these tips, and you’ll be on your way to increased productivity and better sales.

Ease of use

You should be looking for a POS system that has easy to use hardware and software. Avoid POS systems that are too complex and overwhelming. You don’t want to be spending time training new employees on a complex system.

Cloud-based system

Having a cloud-based system should be at the top of your list. Not only will this backup your information, but it will also allow you to automatically update your system, so you’ll always have the latest software and features.

Remote business management

It’s important to have all your information available to you, wherever you need it. Many POS systems have an app that integrates with their software. That way, you can have all the information with you on the go.

Detailed sales reporting

Any POS system will report your sales, but some will detail your best selling items and categories, as well as show costs and margins so you can measure the effectiveness of your pricing. Make sure you’re finding reports that you can export as well, so you can review them at a later time.

Secure payments

Any time you are accepting payments, there is a risk factor associated with it. Data security should be one of your top priorities, as it gives you and your customers peace of mind.

Here are a few other important factors to consider when choosing a POS system:

  • Initial Setup Cost
  • Payment processing costs
  • Other fees related to processing
  • Equipment costs and rental fees
  • Software fees
  • Software features
  • Mobility and size
  • Ability to accept chip cards and mobile payments

What is a POS system?

A POS system allows you to accept payments and make sales. It can be broken down to the following three components.

  • Hardware — a POS has hardware that allows you to accept payments. Ideally, they accept cash, credit cards (especially chip cards), and mobile payments. They should also print receipts, store cash in cash drawers, and scan barcodes.
  • Software — POS software is the central hub for all commands. This allows you to find items in your inventory and also ring up sales. Depending on the model you get, there are also options for sales reporting, customer engagement, inventory management, and more.
  • Payments — POS systems also take the payments you receive and route them to your bank account after each sale.

When do you need a POS system?

If you want to streamline your process for accepting payments, and tracking sales, investing in a POS system is in your best interest. Being able to store it all electronically will be beneficial as well. It can be done without one, but it is much more challenging.

Do I need to pay a monthly fee for POS software or to use a POS system?

Most POS systems are partnered with other companies, which may have their own set of fees. Keep that in mind, as some POS systems may require a monthly fee as well. These should be disclosed on each POS site.

What’s the difference between POS systems and cash registers?

At the basic level, POS systems also accept payments and forward them to your bank account. POS systems have the ability to help small businesses run and grow their entire business. From a small business standpoint, it’s almost a no-brainer.