What to Look for in a POS
To appeal to all type of customers, merchants should use POS systems that allow many different payment options, including cash, debit and credit cards, and contactless payments, like Apple Pay.
A POS also should offer back-office functionality. For instance, a system that allows merchants to track employees, customers, and inventory can be very useful. As sales are made, a system should have the functionality to track what’s been sold, how many of the items are left and offer a notification as to when a product should be reordered.
Analytics is another important feature. This feature can tell businesses who are buying, what they are buying, and when they are buying. Knowing this information can help merchants make smarter purchases. For example, analytics can tell a store owner when it makes the most sales of specific items. This feature also can predict when a store may need more employee support.
When a POS collects customer information, businesses can use it to target markets, promote specific products, and create loyalty programs.
Having the ability to operate offline also is essential for any POS system. Networks can drop at any time, and it can be especially troubling if it occurs at a vendor event. POS systems that operate offline allow a business to continue to make sales, though other features may not be available when a network is down.
What’s Needed for Processing Credit and Debit Card Payments
Businesses that plan to accept debit and credit card payments need a provider to process those payments. Some POS systems, like Square, offer this at no charge. Others, like Shopify, charges a monthly subscription rate for the use of the software, as well another fee for processing payments. Others rely on third parties to handle the processing.
Before choosing a POS system, a business needs to make a decision about processing. Merchants that are already working with a payment processor want to make sure that the system they choose integrates with it. However, a merchant that is new to accepting debit and credit cards and need a quality payment processor should move ahead with a POS system that offers an all-in-one service. This can be the most convenient option.
What to Do When a Problem Arises
It’s not “if” something goes wrong, it’s “when” something goes wrong, who does the merchant call for help? Though most POS systems are user-friendly to operate, things do go wrong, especially when a problem arises with a feature, like employee management.
POS systems that offer 24/7 support is always a plus and vitally important to any business that operates after-hours or on weekends. The last thing any business wants is to turn away sales because the system stopped working, and the provider offers no support on the weekends.
Additionally, quality POS providers also offer good resources, like troubleshooting videos, FAQs, and customer forums, where businesses can get the assistance they need. Many of the vendors also offer set-up help with their packages or for small fees.