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.
Choosing the wrong point of sale system can be an expensive mistake. So we’ve put together a guide on how not to get stuck with the wrong point of sale system, including the 10 questions you need to ask before choosing a point of sale system.
Questions to ask every POS provider before buying
- What support does your company offer? Phone/email/24 hours? What is the cost?
- What payment providers do you integrate with?
- What integrations do you have? Do the integrations cost extra?
- Can I sell online? Do you have an eCommerce integration?
- Do you also supply POS hardware? If so, what are the costs?
- Can I speak to one of your current customers? Where can I see reviews?
- Do you offer an integrated loyalty program?
- Do you offer customer accounts?
- How long does it take to set up your system and train staff?
- What are your contract terms?
How do you know what you need?
The following guide explains how to choose the right point of sale for your business. Before making any decisions, take an outward look at your company and define what you need. We have put together a list of the questions you should be asking yourself when defining what you would like from your point of sale so you can find the perfect solution for your business.
What system do you currently have if any?
Firstly you must consider what system you currently have. Are you replacing your current system, or is this your first experience with an EPOS system?
If you already have a POS system, why are you wanting to change it? 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 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.
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 your 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 it 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 levels 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 fundamental 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.
Does your POS create loyal 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. It’s 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 accounting software like Xero so that all of your reports and accounts are synchronised 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.
Can your POS scale with your business?
No matter the business, growth is the goal. This may be opening new locations, increasing 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 scale 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.
Does your POS work with your industry?
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 in 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.