If you’re a retail shop owner, your point of sale system is your best friend. Or, at least it should be.
We know that not all retail stores are created equal. However, your shop does have one very important thing in common with every other store out there. Here it is:
Whether you own a high-end clothing boutique, sporting goods shop, or even a shoe store, you need a secure, reliable way to process customer payments.
Is your current solution reliable? If it can’t make it through a day or week of sales without breaking down, the answer is no. Does your current point of sale help you manage your business? If it constantly causes headaches and confusion for your team, the answer is no. Point of sale solutions like these aren’t really solutions at all – they’re big problems.
If this is sounding all too familiar, you’re probably realizing that your point of sale system is not a friend after all. If you feel like your current point of sale system is more like an enemy, this post is for you!
This page is packed to the brim with point of sale expertise! Click on one of the links below to jump to the section that most applies to you, or just start reading from the beginning.
Table of Contents
- What is a Point of Sale System?
- Essential Capabilities of Retail Point of Sale Systems
- Functional Considerations for Your Retail Business
- Grow Your Business with MaxxPay®
What is a Point of Sale System?
A point of sale system is what your customers use to pay you for the products or services they choose to purchase.
You might be thinking, “isn’t that just a cash register?” Well, yes and no. Yes, because you do use it to store cash and calculate change. No, because it is so much more.
A point of sale system serves as a central hub that brings every important aspect of your retail business together. It merges employee management, inventory, sales, and payment processing into one comprehensive solution to not only help you accept payments, but help you grow your business.
Any point of sale solution you choose will include both hardware and software components. These components all work together to make the daily operations of your retail shop easier and faster. Here are five of the common pieces you should expect to see in a POS system:
1. Monitor or Tablet
Depending on your needs, your POS solution will come equipped with a monitor or tablet. This displays your product database and includes other functions such as employee time-tracking and quick views of sales reports.
2. Barcode Scanners
These scanners integrate with inventory stock levels to help you seamlessly keep track of what you have on-hand. They also automate the checkout process by pulling product info and adding it to the customer’s order total.
3. Credit Card Reader
If you’re accepting credit cards, you need a secure, EMV-compliant card reader. Without one, you face potentially catastrophic losses due to fraud liability.
4. Receipt Printer
This connects with the system to print a snapshot of a customer’s purchase. It also provides a way to request customer feedback and proof of purchase in the case of a return or chargeback.
5. Cash Drawer
The classic cash drawer safely stores cash you accept from customers and calculates any change due.
Software components will vary depending on your needs, but it’s important to remember that integration is important. You want a system that can grow and change with your business, so make sure the system you choose has integration capabilities.
If you’re feeling wary about automating processes or tasks that you have always completed manually, we get it. Implementing new technology can be unpredictable and daunting. However, as technology advances, so do the tools available to business owners like you. And we believe that in the end the value to your business will be unmatched.
Next, we’ll explore some of the technological tools that will help you choose the right point of sale solution for your retail business.
Essential Capabilities of Retail Point of Sale Systems
As a retail business owner, your point of sale needs will differ from the needs of a restaurant or salon. That’s why you need to know exactly what features you’ll need before you start shopping.
If you’re new to the point of sale world, you might not know all the capabilities of a truly innovative system. That’s why we’re here. We’re happy to share some of our point of sale knowledge and expertise to help you build the list of features you want in a POS solution.
Here are four typical features of innovative point of sale systems:
1. Sales Reporting
Most systems will allow you to view sales. The difference between systems will be in how the data is presented. In general, you’ll want a system that can give you quick snapshots of your business performance and generate detailed reports based on:
- A specific time frame
- Total cost of items sold
- Total retail amount
- Net profit
- Profit percentage
- Gross margin
2. Inventory Management
This could be the most important point of sale function for your retail business. It allows your POS system to calculate inventory digitally, so you always know when you need to place an order or if you have a surplus. With inventory management, you can:
Manage your stock by creating product variations (i.e. size, color)
Identify pieces of inventory with a unique serial number
Track inventory levels across multiple locations
Set custom reorders of best-selling products
3. Customer Management
Your point of sale system can even come equipped with a customer relationship management function (CRM), to help you track all data and purchase behaviors. If you’re hoping to build more committed customer relationships, look for a system with the power to:
- Attach a sale or transaction to a specific customer
- Keep track of your customers’ purchase history
- Capture unique information such as the customer’s name, birthday, phone number, and email address
- Use email marketing to keep in touch with your customers
- Reward frequent visitors with a built-in loyalty program
4. Employee Tracking and Management
Yes, the right point of sale system can even help you manage your employees. Use it to identify your top performers, who needs be better about getting to work on time, and more. The right POS system will make it easy to:
Add employees to your system and manage permissions
Create and modify schedules for employees based on forecasted activity (i.e. holidays or busy weekends)
Email schedules to employees
Track employee hours (weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.)
Functional Considerations for Your Retail Business
Now that you understand the baseline for retail point of sale systems, let’s talk about some additional things you should consider before going shopping.
Cloud vs. Server-Based Systems
There are more point of sale options available than ever for retail businesses like yours. The sheer amount of options can be overwhelming, unless you know the defining differences between them.
One of the biggest differences is in the type of technology that supports the system. Most traditional solutions are server-based, meaning that all your store’s data is stored on a physical server. This can be risky, because if your server crashes or falls victim to an unforeseen disaster, you’ll lose all your store’s data.
Today, many retail shop owners are switching to cloud-based point of sale solutions. These solutions securely store your data in the cloud. The cloud is a digital space that can be accessed anytime, anywhere, on any web-enabled device. This style of solution is a great option for any retail business but is especially helpful if you have multiple locations or frequently create pop-up shops. All you need to link your locations is an internet connection!
Would you like to invest in a point of sale solution and then struggle with a complicated interface? Of course not! No retail store owner wants to pay for something that will cause stress in their business. Make sure the point of sale solution you choose is easy to use! A simple interface will serve you and your employees well.
A user-friendly point of sale solution is important for employee and customer satisfaction. When your solution is user-friendly, your team can spend less time consulting the manual and more time selling. Plus, customer transactions can be completed quickly and efficiently. This sends the customer out the door on a positive note.
Room to Grow
Your point of sale solution should not only have expansion capabilities but should be equipped to help your retail business grow!
Reliable point of sale solutions will be prepared to grow with your business. If you’re considering a solution that only allows a limited number of registers or barcode scanners, you’re doing a disservice to the future of your retail business. There’s no way of knowing right now where you’ll be in the future. Your business could expand to multiple locations or become so popular that you need to add more cash registers and staff. By choosing a point of sale system now that has plenty of room to grow, you’ll be setting yourself up for simpler expansion in the future.
No technology is going to operate flawlessly, 100% of the time. Something will always come up, and usually at a most inconvenient time. Therefore, it is very important to choose a point of sale solution that includes top-notch customer support.
Your point of sale provider will be more than just another vendor serving your business. They will become a very important business partner. Enter into that partnership carefully. You should feel confident that your point of sale provider will have your best interests in mind and will be there to support your business in times of struggle.
One Size Does Not Fit All
It just doesn’t. Stay away from point of sale systems that claim to fit every business. You deserve a solution that can be tailored to the specific needs of your retail business!
Grow Your Business with MaxxPay
Here at Electronic Merchant Systems, we’re experts on all things payment processing. We’re also passionate about helping small businesses like yours reach their full potential and grow their financial well-being.
We are dedicated to providing all our merchants with reliable payment processing solutions that are secure, simple to use, and offer impressive functionality. Our merchants spend more time investing in their business and less time worrying about payment solutions or training employees on complicated point of sale solutions.
One of the unique point of sale solutions we offer is MaxxPay®.
MaxxPay® is a cloud-based point of sale solution designed to seamlessly connect your entire store with your customers. This simple solution can be tailored to any small retail business and is always scalable.
There are three variations currently available with MaxxPay:
The MaxxPay® Premier point of sale system offers retailers a complete solution for a fraction of the cost of other systems. This system boasts uncompromising quality and functionality to help take your business to the next level. Additional benefits include:
- Access to business analytics from your cloud-connected portal
- Real-time sales, inventory, and customer reports
- Capability to export data to Excel
MaxxPay® Pro is a complete point of sale solution that offers top performance in a compact package. This system makes getting paid easy and is always secure. Trust MaxxPay® Pro to help your business grow! Additional benefits include:
- A PCI-certified, integrated payment device
- Innovative point of sale software
- The ability to personalize receipts with your logo and custom messages
MaxxPay® Mini is the perfect all-in-one payment solution for the busy retail business owner. This solution makes accepting payments simple and helps you manage your business, all while fitting in the palm of your hand. Additional benefits include:
- Small footprint with big functionality
- Easy-to-use interface
- Cloud-based back office for reporting and management
Each one of these solutions is equipped to help you grow your retail business. Plus, they are all EMV-compliant, PCI-compliant, and backed by our 24/7/365 live customer support. Whether you call at 3pm or 3am, you will always be connected to a real person who is dedicated to finding a solution to your concerns. Electronic Merchant Systems truly is here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, because we are a business partner who always puts you first.
If you’re ready to learn more, contact us today!
Click the links below to check out more resources for your small retail business: