How to avoid getting stuck with the wrong Point of Sale

With so many options on the market how do you ensure you are choosing the right provider for your point of sale? The decision is crucial which is why we have composed a guide of everything you must consider before making your choice and the questions you need to be asking.

AirPOS
AirPOS
9 min read

A point of sale system is more than just another piece of hardware in your business, it is integral to making sales, managing stock and tracking your daily data through simple integrations. When you begin using an ePOS system it will take time to get the hang of the software and input your inventory therefore you want to ensure you get it right the first time. Time wasted trying multiple different providers is time that could be used to master one system and sell more. We have put together a guide of all the questions you should be asking before choosing a provider and important considerations when conducting your research.

Define your wants and needs

The following guide explains how to choose the right point of sale for your business. Before making any descisons, take an outword look at your company and define what you need. We have put together a list of the questions you should be asking youself when defining what you would like from your point of sale so you can find the perfect solution for your business.

What do you currently have?

Firstly you must consider what system you currently have. Are you replacing your current system, or is this your first experience with an ePOS systems.

If you already have a POS system, why are you wanting to change? Is there any hardware that you can bring across to a new system? Have you had a bad experience with another companies support?

If you have little to no experience, you want to make sure you take time to research different companies and take advantage of free trials. Once you have opened a contract with a point of sale company and input your stock, it can be time consuming to switch so therefore you want to get it right the first time. The following points in this article highlight the key areas you should be looking out for during your search.

Can you use your POS anytime, anywhere?

Although this may not seem like an essential for many brick and mortar stores, having offline capabilities can be incredibly useful for any small business. Many ePOS providers will enable users to make sales and manage inventory offline which means that they can sell anytime.

This will open any business up to a multitude of opportunities such as selling at local markets, at large festivals or even providing coverage if the wifi connection goes down in your store.

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How easy is it to use?

This may seem obvious but when searching for your point of sale system you want to ensure that you and your staff can use the software.

Nothing will irritate your customers more than slow service at check out with staff who are struggling to process sales.

It is all well and good that you understand how to use the system but you staff are those who will be responsible for the day to day running of your businesses.

If you want to be able to take time away from your business knowing that you can rely on your workers to operate the point of sale with ease is important.

By choosing a point of sale that is easy to set up and use you are removing any of the time spent on training which will come at a cost to your business.

Does if offer reports?

Business reports play a vital role in the decision-making process within a company. They provide visibility that will allow you to plan strategically and have a better understanding of your business.

Your point of sale will be one of the most important tools in your business. It will help you process sales and manage your inventory, as well as reporting capabilities.

One of the benefits of choosing an ePOS system over a traditional push-button till is its ability to store data. Therefore you will want to ensure the point of sale system you choose is able to provide you with real-time reports so that you can stay ahead of your competition.

Through easy integrations you can manage your stock levles by tracking your best sellers and manage staff hours by analysing busy periods and productivity.

Different providers will offer different levels of reporting capabilities, however this is a fundemental functionality and one of the most important questions you should be asking.

AirPOS not only offers superior reporting capabilities through its POS but also through the mobile Reports app that enables users to keep tabs on their business anytime anywhere.

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Does your POS care about your customers?

Loyal customers are the most valuable asset to any organisation, choosing a POS with loyalty tools is super important. Some point of sale companies, including AirPOS will offer unique customer management functionalities integrated into your point of sale solution, for example, custom loyalty schemes.

Do you want to be able to give back to your customers? If so you can choose a provider who allows you to build such schemes rather than build this through another company and attempt to run simultaneously to your POS.

Another customer management feature you may want to consider is customer accounts which will allow more flexibility in payments and give you visibility on what your customers are buying. Both tools allow you to increase your business revenue by encouraging customers to spend more with you.

Can your POS integrate with all areas within your business?

Building a business set up that meets your specific needs is crucial, and importantly a system you have confidence in and can easily use.

You may already have ePOS hardware and if so you will want to ensure the new provider you choose integrates with these tools. Also as you grow you will take on more pieces of kit to manage customer demand. Its important that you choose a provider whose POS software will scale as you do.

Integrations are great as they can automate many parts of your business. Part of the beauty of ePOS systems is how they make life simpler for you as a retailer. Epos providers such as AirPOS integrate with accouting software like Xero so that all of your reports and accounts are sycronised making accounting simple.

What level of support is available?

Choosing a point of sale system with quality support is as important as the system itself. You may believe you are choosing a company that makes economical sense however you may not realise the hidden support fees.

Your point of sale will be integral in your businesses sales and therefore you don’t want to be stuck in a situation when the software/hardware is experiencing issues and you can not get through to company support.

At AirPOS we recognise how vital support is for small businesses which is why we offer our support service completely free 7 days a week.

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Can it grow with your business?

No matter the business, growth is the goal. This may be growth in number of locations, number of sales or even the variety of products/services offered. Even if you are a new business you want to ensure you choose a point of sale that will grow with you.

Choose a provider that offers easy to scale options like AirPOS. This way you can add more devices or reduce the number easily as you grow.

What industry are you in?

Every industry is different and therefore requires different functionalities from its POS. Yes, there are some fundamentals such as usability and a speedy check out process but there are some features that will allow you to sell more effectively.

If you are in the hospitality industry you may benefit from table plans or customer accounts in order for customers to pay on a tab. Similarly if in retail you will want to have comprehensive inventory management and custom loyalty packages.

There are many POS providers on the market who will specialise on certain industries if you are in search of a POS with specific functionalities. If you would like to read more about industry-specific ePOS systems check out our guide on our community site.

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Considerations when researching providers

Contracts

When researching different point of sale providers you will come across many companies with very low costs however you must ensure that you read the fine print as there can be hidden fees and long contracts.

Put simply, signing a contract before you’ve given a POS system a real-world trial is like getting married before you’ve had a first date.

There may be savings up front, but the long term costs of getting stuck with the wrong system will be higher. Worse yet, as a business-to-business purchase, you don’t have the same rights of return or refund as you would if it were a business-to-consumer sale. You could be stuck with a lot of useless equipment and system that doesn't work for you.

Price

As mentioned the ePOS market is highly competitive with many different providers all at different price points. Most businesses will have a tiered pricing structure, you will need to consider your needs and then decide what is reasonable for your business.

There are some companies who offer their software at a very low price however there will be hidden costs or strict contacts as mentioned previously. It is crucial to read the fine print before making your final decision and take advantage of any free trial periods.

On the other hand some providers will charge a premium price for their software however this is usually balanced against unique features and attractive interfaces. Although these providers can offer unique industry specific features, you will need to consider whether this is a necessary expense for your business.

Choose a company with a simple and transparent pricing structure and it will save you any headaches in the future.

Hardware Packages

Buying new hardware, like printers, cash-drawers and barcode scanners, can be expensive. A lot of POS providers will offer you discounts on hardware, or leasing options to reduce your capital expenditure cost. But often this hardware is tied to the provider’s software, so if you find you need to switch, you’ll have to pay to replace all of your hardware anyway. Make sure any hardware you’re buying is compatible with any POS software provider.

At AirPOS, we don’t tie you down with hardware, we let you make that choice yourself, and our software integrates with almost all industry standard hardware. Interested in choosing the right hardware for your POS or want to upgrade your system, check out the AirPOS hardware page with Storekit.

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Where is the company based

Although ePOS software can be accessed from multiple locations with the rise of the digital age, where your provider is based could have an impact on your business.

The location of a provider will have an impact on their company support hours, the contracts they offer and the culture of their business. This does not necessarily mean that you must choose a local ePOS company but it is a good idea to find one with the same business hours as you.

Reviews

Reviews are one of the most reliable resources available when searching for an ePOS provider. You will be able to access honest opinions from customers who have first-hand experience with the company.

Many companies will have reviews on their site however it is important to also search externally for unbiased reviews.

To make it simpler Reviews.io and TrustPilot both provide thousands of reviews of all the different ePOS providers. These will act as a one stop location for any companies you were considering.

Online publications

For as many ePOS software providers that there are in the world there are also as many online sites discussing the different options and the benefits of different systems.

Before committing to one company ensure you do thorough research to hear what those within the industry say about the company. Similarly to reviews you can also turn to social media, check out the company’s online presence, whether they are active and also join any communities which talk about this subject for further guidance.

The internet is a never-ending source of guidance and if you take the time to read the articles, or scroll through reviews you will be in a much more informed position to make a decision.

Shedule a free trial/ Book a demo

Before you make your final decision on your ePOS software provider make sure to take advantage of the trial periods offered and book in for a free demo. These services are usually free of cost and will allow you to see how a system can fit into your business and whether it can meet your needs.

Free Demos are crucial before a free trial, lessening the amount of time it will take you to get the hang of a new system enabling you to begin making sales straight away.

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Try AirPOS for Free

Want to work with a company that believes in try before you buy? You’re in the right place, here at AirPOS we believe in allowing you to test our product before you commit to any long term contracts. Even better we have a no-contract policy, we share as much risk in your business as you do, which is why we want you to succeed.

Sign up for a 14-day free trial and test out our software, or book a demo with one of our team so we can explain how AirPOS can work for you.