So, you’re looking for a POS system to implement in your business. You don’t want just any software, though—you want something fast and reliable. There are countless platforms available, so how do you know which one is the best for you?
Shopping for such a system can be complicated because you might not be 100 percent sure what you need, and you don’t want to buy something that doesn’t work out. Here are a few tips for finding POS software that is swift and effective:
Look into the features
When browsing, one of the most important things you should look at is the features. What is the system capable of? Many platforms overlap, but some offer different features that might suit your needs better than another option.
Some basic features include sales reports and analytics, customer relationship management tools, inventory management software, promotions and gift card functions, payment acceptance capabilities, and integrations with external platforms.
You can use these features to manage multiple aspects of your business without overwhelming yourself. While you may have created sales reports in the past, a POS system can do it for you in a minute. Instead of using a spreadsheet to keep track of inventory (which leaves room for human error), use technology to stay on top of how much stock is on-site.
The best POS systems should enable you to accept typical payment methods, like cash and credit or debit cards, but also checks and mobile payments.
Is it customizable?
Some POS systems are customizable or industry-specific, too. What features that benefit a food truck will probably be different than what a clothing retailer needs. If you want a reliable system, then it needs to be capable of adjusting to your needs. A restaurant, for instance, will be interested in a POS system that includes table layout functions.
Pay attention to the benefits
Next, take a look at the additional benefits. If you are opting for a cloud-based system, what does the provider include in the package besides access to the software itself? Hopefully, it provides access to customer service representatives who can help you when you have questions or issues arise.
One of the best perks of cloud-based software is that you don’t have to update it yourself, so inquire about how often the provider updates their system and what each upgrade includes (such as enhanced security and bug fixes).
What equipment do you need?
When you’re looking for fast and reliable software, don’t forget to consider what kind of equipment you will need. The software won’t do as much as it can if you don’t have the pieces necessary for your business’s operations, such as a barcode scanner. Do you have all the parts you need? Will the software integrate with all of them? If the answer to the first question is no, check to see if the provider has equipment for sale.
Read reviews from past and current users. What a providers’ other clients say can tell you a great deal about what to expect. If they say that the system works quickly and efficiently, then it’s worth looking into further. If they say it’s slow and glitchy, then it’s best to stay away. Reviews probably will have a mix of positives and negatives, so weigh what other users say compared to what your needs are.
Consider your budget
Of course, it’s crucial to factor your budget into your decision-making. Many cloud-based systems charge a monthly fee that might seem inexpensive, but it might only be for a basic package that doesn’t include the platform’s entire range of features. Some companies have pre-set prices, while others might create a quote on a client-to-client basis.
It’s also important to consider if you want to buy a year’s subscription upfront (which will probably come with a nice discount) or pay on a monthly schedule. Other providers might not charge a monthly fee, instead of asking you to pay a small percentage of every transaction that you process.
You want the most value for your money possible, so compare prices to determine which provider offers the most features—and the greatest speed—for your budget.
Sign up for a trial period
If you are inclined toward a particular system, check to see if it offers a trial period. Feel free to take advantage of it. This way, you can test the system and decide if the software includes features you will regularly take advantage of and works as quickly as you need.
There are countless POS software options available, and many of them are fast and reliable—but you want something that is fast and reliable for you. What do you hope to see in your business’s POS system?