How to Use Retail POS Software to Manage Your Business?

There are some specific things that can be done to make your business running better with retail POS software. It is especially important to use retail POS software at its best during COVID-19 to deal with the hiccups that you have gone through – 

Reporting – The reporting program of a POS system consists of a lot of information to manage operations and make strategic decisions. These reports can show the performance of loyalty programs, least-popular and best selling products, top-performing employees, and even more. Be sure to explore the reporting program when learning how to use retail POS and come up with a plan to use such reports. 

Marketing Plan – There is some sort of customer relationship management or CRM function in all retail POS systems that are worth their salt. This way, information can be collected and saved by POS systems about customers. This customer data can be collected with integration from loyalty programs and email or SMS marketing programs to offer discounts to regular customers and drive sales. A solid marketing plan is needed to make the most of the CRM features of POS systems, including targeted promotions and emails. A lot of POS systems also come up with in-house marketing solutions and integration with third-party programs. 

Contactless Selling – With the wake of COVID-19 and its increasing threats in this day and age, most modern POS systems come up with contactless selling features, such as doorstep delivery, online ordering, contactless payment, etc. Considering the present situation, it is clear that the pandemic will remain several years from now. For both convenience and safety, customers will definitely embrace these features. You also need to promote these features for increasing sales. 

Connectivity – You need to choose POS software that has a lot of connectivity options, i.e. with eCommerce platform, accounting software, payroll, etc. For example, you may look for a retail POS system that can work with QuickBooks. 

Important Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying a POS System?

A POS system should, at least, access and process credit and debit card transactions. It should also be able to run sales reports and give proper insights to business status. Above all, a POS system should also come with all essential features for your industry. For example, a clothing store may look for a POS system that can track inventory. A restaurant may want a POS that can show the number of tables that are open. There are different questions you need to ask when choosing a POS system. The key here is to narrow down things like software and hardware options, cost, number of payment modes, customer support, interoperability between software and hardware, etc. 

Is the subscription fee charged when opting for the POS System? 

It is up to the service provider you opt for. For example, Square needs only payment processing fees and hardware. On the other side, Toast requires customers to pay a subscription fee monthly or annually for using their platform. 

What to look for in a POS software? 

A POS system should, at least, be capable of processing credit and debit card transactions. It should, ideally, enable users to know the business status and run sales reports. 

How much do I need to pay for a POS system? 

The cost of a POS system can range up to $1700 for hardware and terminal cost can go up to $300 per month. Sometimes, POS software is available for free from some companies and some also provide hardware for free. But there are conditions applied in those systems. On average, you might need to bear up to $1300 as hardware cost for cloud POS, along with software costing up to $69 per month. 

What are the specific hardware requirements for setting up a retail POS system?

Here are some of the important hardware tools required to make the most of POS solutions – 

  • Barcode scanner – It is important to gather product specs, record price for invoicing, and adjust inventory level after finishing a transaction. 
  • Register display – It is important to show product database and transaction details. You can replace traditional, large monitors with iPads and tablets. 
  • Receipt printer – It prints purchase data of the customers on paper receipts. However, it can be replaced with text and email receipts. 
  • Credit card reader – It is required to process gift cards, debit and credit cards. EMV readers are also accepted in latest readers and they can also accept mobile payments like Google Pay and Apple Pay. 
  • Cash drawer – To keep cash payments secured. 

Types of POS Systems and their Areas of Application to Look For

Price tags are no longer needed thanks to the wide adoption of POS systems in retail stores. Employees just need to scan the barcode to apply discounts, change prices, and edit items. Loyalty programs and inventory management are other benefits of POS systems for businesses. To choose the best retail POS for your business, here are few of the recommended types – 

  • Mobile POS – Tablet and smartphone POS solutions can manage customer information and inventory and process payments. It often comes with a credit card reader. It is ideal for businesses which don’t have to manage inventory that much. 

Areas of application – Farmers or street vendors, event or fair vendors, contract or freelance workers, mobile services, limo services, daycare providers, lawn care services, etc. 

  • Terminal POS – It is often seen at the counter. Most of these systems need internet access and also cloud service. They usually come as all-in-one solutions like cash drawers, barcode scanners, and other inclusions. They can easily control internet access by employees as they can use it only for POS software. 

Areas of application – Busy retailers, full-service restaurants, boutiques, grocery stores, magazine or book stores, antique shops, spa, salon, electronic shops etc. 

  • Self-service kiosks – They are basically specialized solutions designed to serve specific purposes. For example, they can be installed for customers to make payments for parking space or time, book movie tickets, etc. A large retail store can also set up some kiosks to enable customers to check out the availability and price of products.  

Areas of application – Transportation passes, ticket sales, grocery stores, HR, product lookup, parking, movie tickets, etc. 

  • Multichannel POS – It is ideal for businesses that are not limited to only one physical or online address. Multichannel POS can integrate all the sales across social media, storefronts, and online stores. Hence, a business may not go out of stock easily. 

Areas of application – Physical stores that sell online too, e-commerce brands that have physical stores in different locations, and online sellers engaging in physical pop-ups.