With the world changing at “breakneck” speed, store owners should know their retail technology “inside and out”!
In today’s digital world, it seems there is an overabundance of new technologies and services being introduced regularly. This is just one reason why it’s so important for business owners to choose the right point of sale software. Other reasons include increasing business efficiency, improving customer experience, and gathering data to make better decisions. But how do you know which point of sale solutions will allow you to accomplish all of these goals?
“By taking the time to get to know what POS solutions offer and how they differ, business owners can gain a powerful advantage. With all the new technology being introduced to the market, it’s critical to invest in the right one for your business.”
– Michele Salerno, Director of Marketing, Asst. VP,
POS software is no longer a simple tool to collect payments; today’s POS solutions act as an engine that connects all areas of a business such as: Inventory, marketing, accounting, customer engagement, etc. But how deep you can or should integrate your retail software depends on your ambitions and the capabilities of your POS provider.
Here are some key questions to ask each POS provider you evaluate…
1) Is your POS system user-friendly?
The first question you should ask when investigating what retail technology to adopt is “Can my employees and I use it easily?” A user-friendly system will allow you and your employees to accept the new changes easily. Look for a POS solution that focuses on maintaining a clean, easy-to-use interface, and as a bonus, one that offers a hands-on demo.
2) How is your POS priced, and is it scalable?
As always, price is of the utmost importance. However, in regards to retail technology, price could be misleading. A lower price might end up costing a company more in the long-run if the POS solution is tied to a certain piece of technology; while a higher price might end up being more economical if the POS solution is flexible and allows use on a wide-variety of devices. Retail software that offers robust architecture will give your company the confidence it needs to be able to scale seamlessly.
3) Cloud POS or Onsite POS?
How should a company store its data? The Cloud has been gaining popularity in recent years and with good reason, as it provides backup opportunities. But if your company’s internet connection is not stable then you should look for POS software that offers local redundancy so that your company can operate without any hiccups, even if the internet connection is interrupted.
4) What capabilities does your retail software offer?
The power of retail technology cannot be understated. It can empower salespeople with suggestions of cross-sells/up-sells, and create a wonderful shopping experience for customers by engaging them through an integrated rewards program, among many other things. However, not all retail technology will have these features, so it is imperative that business owners know exact which features are offered by the different POS system providers.
5) Is your retail technology evolving?
Retail software should always be evolving to keep up with an ever-changing commercial landscape, and that means business owners should rely on POS software companies that are committed to providing regular updates and best practices to help accelerate growth and efficiency. Also, business owners should be able to customize their POS software to better serve their customers. These features are vital; they allow companies to feel confident using the same POS provider for years, even with all of the dynamic and unexpected changes that might come along.
6) What POS security do you offer?
Many retailers were left confused about what to do about the 2015 EMV Compliance Mandate, especially with all the required technical and legal changes. A credible POS company will be able to give direction on how a company should adapt to new laws and regulations.
This is yet another reason why choosing a trustworthy POS software provider is crucial.
Retail technology is not complete until the entire POS environment is secured, which could be a headache to a small retail business unless the right amount of time and care is devoted to conducting security testing. Strong password policies, SSL protections, and limited remote access are all necessary to avoid any kind of breaches. Therefore you should choose a POS company that takes security seriously.
7) Why is this all important?
All of these areas and issues require thoughtful attention. Choosing the right POS is a massive undertaking and it should not be taken lightly. Going through the various POS solutions will take up time but it will be worth it in the end. Not only will your retail business improve its omnichannel strategy, you will increase efficiency, while preparing for the future.