The right point of sale systems improve store revenue, collect valuable business intelligence, handle retail inventory management and prepare retailers for current and future POS technology trends. Meanwhile, the wrong POS system creates operational inefficiencies, complicates inventory tracking, and lacks useful features. Choosing the proper POS for a retail store is critical, as these systems are predicted to process $4.2 trillion in retail sales by 2018, according to Payments Cards & Mobile. When comparing POS systems, retailers need to consider point of sale support features, mobile capabilities and omnichannel integration.
During POS selection, many businesses focus on the features and cost. Support is an afterthought when it should be a priority. Without excellent support, a retailer can lose money due to service outages or data breaches.
Retailers need to compare support availability and responsiveness, as well as the support channels available. Some POS systems offer 24/7 phone support, while others have more limited availability. If support is offered through a ticket-based system or another delayed form of communication, the retailers need to compare how long it takes to receive a response from the vendor. Another support factor for retailers to keep in mind is whether support packages cost extra, or if they’re included in the subscription cost of the POS system.
Mobile POS features are a trending area for retailers, with 32 percent of US retailers adopting POS systems with mobile capabilities, according to Mobile Payments Today. Smartphone and tablet POS apps let retailers empower sales staff to help the customers away from the register when they’re ready to purchase. They also allow retail managers to access business intelligence away from the store locations and provide customer information through data integration with the rest of the POS solution.
Many retail shoppers use multiple channels during the customer journey, prompting many retailers to use an omnichannel shopping strategy. The right POS can support omnichannel strategies through real-time inventory data shared between channels, integration with eCommerce sales channels, and ship-to-store options. Business 2 Community reports 71 percent of customers are most interested in accurate inventory information, which is made easier through real-time inventory updates between eCommerce and retail channels.
The right POS provides retailers with the tools they need to improve productivity and revenue, while the wrong choice may lead to frustration and potentially large costs. Retailers need to look at several major factors when choosing a vendor, instead of going with the longest feature list or the least expensive solution.