What small businesses should consider before acquiring a POS System?

A POS system is considered to be a great way to manage the process of checkout for retailers. A POS for small business is a lot better than that. It serves as a conduit to improve customer relationships. You need to choose the POS system which combines all the best features on a scale and budget which is vital for your organization. Here are some of the features and factors vital for any small business when looking for a POS system – 

  • Hardware, Software and other components 

It goes without saying that some of the POS systems can work with different hardware systems, while others need their own peripherals to work with. These include full-service terminals, connectivity to the device, and credit card reader. You have to keep in mind the type of hardware that is needed to run your desired POS along with whether you are buying or leasing hardware. In addition, look for different types of POS platforms that are out there. 

Cloud POS platforms are very attractive as they have inclusive and simple pricing and they can easily be accessed on the go. You can upgrade them with small downtime. The vendor is the owner of software and cloud POS is not ideal if you don’t have a proper internet connection. 

  • Pricing 

A lot of modern POS systems are best suited for small businesses as they have subscription-based plans. With such types of plans, you can budget for your expenses when you don’t have much cash.  You can ask about the coverage of each subscription fee and if they have something additional as la carte, such as hardware, service plans, updates, and customizable features. 

  • Inventory Management 

A lot of top quality POS systems have inventory management programs of some type. Some of the services are capable of managing a lot of units and providing advanced features for inventory management, while others simply manage basic tasks. You should understand your needs in detail while shopping for any technical solution. Estimate how many SKUs can be managed with your system and figure out what you need to improve operations. 

  • Customer Relationship Management 

It is important for your front-end staff to access and update the account details of your customers. Your POS system must have CRM functions to know and target the most loyal base of your customers. You need to choose a POS platform that has smart CRM tools. This way, team members can easily edit and view customer profiles while interacting with them without using another system. 

  • Customizable permissions and user profiles 

Different employees should have different access and rights to use unique features. So, you may look for a system that has options to set user profiles. Some of the advanced systems have options to integrate user profiles for groups of employees or individuals. 

Cloud vs. Native POS systems – Which one does your business need?

If you own a retail store and buy a new POS system, you may want to choose between an on-premise or cloud-based software.  A flagship POS is a huge investment of both money and time. So, it is really very vital to research on your own and to choose the best option for your business. We are going to cover both cloud POS and traditional POS. 

Native POS 

Also known as traditional POS or legacy POS, a native POS system is used to store information on your own database. It stores the documents or reports on your own computer. The main issue is the lack of portability. You cannot access the same from any other place. 

Cloud POS system 

With cloud POS, data is stored in the cloud. It means it is accessible from any place with a stable internet connection. Some of the best examples are Dropbox and Google Drive for cloud storage. SaaS model is also used with the cloud. It is vital to keep in mind that you cannot find 100% cloud-hosted hybrid platforms. On the other side, there are true cloud applications that are SaaS systems. These systems are hosted centrally and are based on subscription. This is why SaaS is very easy and cost-effective to maintain in comparison to hybrid systems.  

Native vs. Cloud POS

 Investment – High upfront cost is one of the main issues of on-premise POS. The hardware, maintenance, and re-installation totally add up the upfront fees. In addition, native POS software is expensive unless you can use it in the long run.  Usually, cloud POS software needs a very small upfront cost. It is known to have automatic updates and managed by the vendor. So, you don’t have to worry about maintenance costs. But the charges of cloud POS providers are based on different factors, such as employees, inventory, and a number of stores. Cloud POS can be expensive if you need to build it as per your store. 

Data Accessibility – In this factor, there are some disadvantages with native POS solutions versus cloud POS. It goes without saying that data is stored on a local server. So, data can be accessed only when you are in-store or on-site. There is no need to be in-store to check reports and change the inventory if you have cloud POS. 
Updates – You need to update native POS manually and it may need tech support onsite. It takes a lot of money and time and it is quite disruptive. You cannot use POS while updating it. On the other side, cloud POS can be updated in the background. It gives real-time updates. It saves up maintenance costs and keeps the software up-to-date.

Effect of COVID-19 on POS Market Worldwide

A POS terminal or Point of Sale Terminal is an electronic device which is widely used in retail operations to process card payments. Generally, a POS terminal reads customer data off their debit or credit cards. It also ensures the customer’s bank account has sufficient funds before transferring the funds from their account to merchant account. It also keeps a record of transactions and provides a receipt printout. 

An extensive analysis has come out by the research report of Point of Sale Terminal Market on top market leaders, major drivers, regions and key segments. The experts have come up with a competitive scenario by studying various geographical regions deeply to help top market players, new entrants, and investors to support growing economics. In the report, these insights would help key players to form future strategies and get superior position in the market. 

Effect of COVID-19 on the market

In December 2019, the Coronavirus had affected over 100 countries worldwide when it was declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization. The global impacts are being felt already and the extended lockdown situation will drastically affect the POS terminal market in the near future. COVID-19 or Coronavirus can hit the international economy in three ways – by creating disruption in the market and supply chain, affecting demand and production, and by financial impact on financial markets and firms. The report also keeps track of the impact of COVID-19 on POS terminals. 

The report states how the POS industry has achieved such great progress over the years with huge developments to boost significant growth in the market. The report has been prepared on the basis of in-depth industry analysis conducted by experts. This report could be valuable for investors, stakeholders, marketing executives, product managers and other experts looking for factual information on demand, supply, and future predictions. 

In the marketing, there was high competitiveness in the market before Coronavirus as the prospects of industrial growth were growing at great pace thanks to the rise in investments by a lot of end users. The industry has seen a lot of vendors making entry into the market and existing ones focusing on scaling up their business. In the POS terminal market, there is an intense competition with several regional, international and local players gaining more and more customers. Currently, the retention ratio is quite stable. Only few players are known to have large shares in this fragment market. 

Some of the leading players these days are Pax Technology, Verifone, Hp, Castles Technology, Cisco Systems, Elavon, Panasonic Corporation, Newland Payment Technology, Touchbistro, Citixys Americas, Zebra Technologies, and more. It is very vital to study the POS terminal market before making any investment. The POS terminal industry has been segmented on the basis of applications, product type and regions on global level.