Are you looking for a new point of sale system this year?
Your current system might look like nothing more than a traditional cash register. Still, it counts because it’s a piece of technology that enables transactions between you and your customers when they are ready to make a purchase.
Modern POS systems can do so much more than accept payment and apply discounts, though; they can help you run multiple aspects of your business from one place.
How do you find the best one for you, though? You’ve undoubtedly noticed that despite many similarities, there are significant differences between them. Here are a few tips for finding the best POS software in 2020:
Consider what features you need
One of the first things you’ll do is check out what features a platform offers. There are a few standard ones you should look for, such as inventory management, sales reporting, and customer relationship management.
Inventory management tools help you keep track of your products as they move along the supply chain. You should always know how much of every product is currently available for sale, even as a customer is purchasing something. It also helps to know where online orders are as they are being delivered.
You use sales reports to assess your business’s performance and decide if there’s anything that needs to change. The ones you make yourself are open to error, though, and you probably only make them every month or so.
POS systems can give you real-time information about your sales so that you can amend your business plan accordingly.
There are also industry-specific features you may want to look for, too. If you’re a restaurant, then customizable digital floor plans can help you track which orders go to which customer. If you’re an outdoor goods retailer, then you’ll want to keep track of customer sales history and offer individualized promotions.
What are your goals this year?
Having practical tools at your disposal isn’t going to automatically do anything. It all depends on how you use them. Now that you have in-depth sales reports, how will you leverage the data? What adjustments will you make to your business strategy that will help you grow? How will you apply customer relationship management tools effectively?
For instance, your sales reports might reveal that a product you thought was a best-seller is not selling as well as you thought it was. Now you can do some experimenting: is it something about the products, or the way you sell them?
You can try relocating them to a different section of your store, decreasing the price, or including them in a bundle of other items.
If the experiments aren’t successful, then you know not to order as much of this product next time. This way, you aren’t wasting effort on marketing or money on storage. Instead, you can focus on marketing your other products to drive foot and online traffic. Use the tools and data in your possession to achieve the goals you are setting for this year.
Factor your budget in
Of course, you’ll need to keep your budget in mind. Just because the software is robust, advanced, and popular does not mean it’s inherently the best for you.
It might come with an assortment of features you are paying for but never use, or functions that overwhelm you because they’re not necessary to your operations. You might also find a platform that does fit your needs, but it’s more expensive than another that provides the same things.
You want the best value for your money, so make sure your choice is as comprehensive as possible, but only pay for what you will take advantage of. Look at a provider’s pricing model, too: the company might charge monthly, a flat rate per transaction, or something else that affects how much you pay for its software as a service.
Read reviews from past users
Past users are an excellent source of insight into a platform. Are the testimonials glowing? That’s great—but are they from business owners like you, or people in another niche? Pay attention to what people think of the features, the cost, and customer service.
Negative reviews might not necessarily indicate that you should look elsewhere, either, so read critically and decide if partnering with the company is an experience you want to try. Also, look for free trial periods; this way, you can test out a service for a few days before committing.
There are more POS systems available in 2020 than ever before. Some are pretty general, while others offer unique features that could benefit one business type more than another. Research diligently, don’t be afraid to take advantage of free trials and decide on the POS system that fits your needs. What kind of POS software will you look for this year?