For you, that means that everything’s recorded automatically, giving you time to focus on other essential business tasks.
The flexibility and mobility of POS systems mean that you can accept payments quickly, too, helping you win back more time to make more sales with shortened queue times.
As we briefly mentioned earlier, the best POS systems also include a CRM or customer accounts, which allows you to manage customers - and reward their loyalty - through intuitive software that simplifies the process.
Regardless of your retail business size, you’ll know thatinventory managementis one of the most challenging things to get right.
“Have I ordered too much?”
“Will I run out of stock?”
Those are just some of the questions you’ll have no doubt lost sleep over in recent years as you try to get to grips with inventory management.
And that’s what makes a POS system like AirPOS pretty special; it will take care of all the sales, not just in one store, but also across multiple locations and even online (very few POS systems do this).
Our POS system will also monitor stock levels and management of your inventory and will alert you when you need to re-stock.
In a world of data breaches, hacks and embarrassing leaks, it’s no surprise that every POS system should focus attention on fraud prevention.
A good POS system will act as your first line of defence in fraud prevention; it will stop people from entering the wrong amount into card machines and at till and ensures the correct change is given.
Your POS system will also track which employees sell which items using unique employee logins. You can even track employee performance and offer further training where necessary, helping to grow your revenue.
And like most of us, accounting is never going to get the pulse racing or the adrenaline flowing; it’s a necessity that we grudgingly carry out. The good news is that a POS system will dramatically simplify accounting by integrating seamlessly with accounting software such as Xero.
Key features to look for in a retail point of sale system
Like any industry, there are a wide variety of different POS systems available.
And not all of them are suitable for your requirements.
Therefore, it’s always a good idea to first understand your specific needs before opting for a POS system.
Yes, some might have all the bells and whistles, but you mightn’t need all of them, and ultimately, you’ll be paying for features that you will never use.
However, there are some things that every good POS system should have, and for you, these should be non-negotiable.
Integrated accounting: All POS software should integrate with your accounting system, for example, Xero, Sage, FreshBooks and QuickBooks.
Contactless payments: In our post-pandemic world, contactless payments are an absolute necessity to keep up with changing consumer behaviour.
Omnichannel sales (online/in-store): Customers now expect a consistent experience no matter how they engage with retailers, whether on your website, app, desktop, in-store, telephone or tablet device.
Customer management and loyalty: You can increase the lifetime value of a customer by using gift cards, loyalty points and discount codes, all of which should be included in a good POS system.
Inventory management: A good POS system should help you seamlessly manage stock across multiple stores and through omnichannel sales.
Business reporting: Low on stock? Losing money? What are my best selling products? You won’t know all the vital information unless your POS system includes sales & business reporting.
Integrations: Good POS systems should include all popular integration capabilities, for example, payment and accounting integrations and marketing and CRM integrations. Selling on Shopify? Make sure your choice of POS integrates with your Shopify store!
Support: Mistakes happen. Confusion is common. And that’s when you’ll need high-quality support from your POS provider. Research all options before opting for one and read customer reviews.
What is the average cost of POS software?
Every retailer has different needs.
A multi-store retailer employing 130 people has very different requirements to a single-store restaurant with eleven employees.
As a result, costs can vary wildly depending on your circumstances.
But, as a general guide, AirPOS software starts from as little as £29.99 per month.
Other popular providers like EPOS Now start from £25.00 per month for software (however be aware of the additional fees for support and integrations, so it’s normally closer to £50 per month before hardware, see our full guide here), and Good Till by SumUp software starts at £29.00 per month (again pricing goes up as soon as you add more features, which can be pricey).
A general rule of thumb, if you can’t find a pricing page on a supplier’s website, or if pricing is at all unclear, be aware that you’ll probably be spending more than you initially thought. Oh, and make sure that you’re aware of support costs (our’s is free).
What hardware do you need for a retail POS system?
Now that we’ve covered the important topics, what are our 3 top recommendations for POS systems in the UK & Ireland that focus on retail?
Epos Now processes an impressive £2bn in transactions annually.
Retailers can move from single-site solutions to multi-site solutions with minimal fuss.
Straightforward software that is easily used even by the most tech-adverse
Essential hardware is included
Single-fee package options
Free 30-day trial so you can try before you buy
You have to pay for advanced 24/7 customer support; not ideal if you encounter any issues.
Poor support, with 1 star reviews happening daily
Long term contracts with no exit clause
Pricing is not transparent, what appears to be £399 normally costs over £850
What should I know about Epos Now?
Packed with features, Epos Now is an all-in-one POS solution that promises ‘scalable solutions’.
Epos Now has an app store and offers in-depth reporting, and accepts all payment methods.
Retailers using the system have access to customisable dashboards, data to help you manage sales, KPIs and the ability to keep track of employee information.
You’ll also be able to perform stock control checks and set minimum and maximum stock level alerts.
Accounting is relatively straightforward with Epos Now, too, with the ability to automatically run quarterly and end of year tax and VAT returns and vital financial data on profits, margins, staff pay and cash flow.
Epos Now’s CRM integration capabilities allow you to maintain customer databases and engage them in various ways.
How much is Epos Now’s retail system?
If you hate the idea of more monthly subscriptions coming out of your bank account every month, then you’ll love Epos Now’s payment options.
As an example, in July 2021, Epos Now is offering a deal where you have the option to pay an upfront fee of £399 for their hardware and software.
Be aware that this price is only available for those users who take the highest tier support package of £39 per month making the total cost £867 per year.
What you get in the bundle:
The £399 bundle includes:
Epos Now Pro-C15W terminal, including water-resistant touch screen and solid-state drive
Epos Now Retail Software
80mm Thermal Epos Now GX Receipt Printer
High quality secure all-metal cash drawer
Installation, configuration and training
Who is Epos Now best for?
Epos Now is ideal for small or new businesses and those with big ambitions to scale.
It’s also an excellent option for those with smaller budgets who need a straightforward, cost-effective and efficient system.
Just be aware that you will be locked into a fixed-term contract (normally 3 years), and to get any offers you need to take their support packages costing upwards of an eye-watering £468 per year (on top of your offer price).
AirPOS allows you to sell anytime, anywhere, both in-store and online
Built by retailers for retailers, AirPOS is perfect for small and independent retailers.
With a handy end-to-end business management app and intuitive software, you’ll be comfortable selling in-store or online.
Easy to use and packed full of helpful features, retailers enjoy straightforward integrations and can manage inventory, make sales and analyse their business all in one place.