5 Ways to Choose a Mobile POS
BY: CHITRAPARNA SINHA ON WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2017
The availability of mobile Point of Sale (POS) systems has revolutionized the retail industry. Retailers are increasingly investing in omnichannel solutions and in-store marketing programmes. These merchant ventures have proved to be an enriching factor for their customer’s shopping experience. With the availability of integrated POS system, we can anticipate retailers bridging the gap between digital and offline shopping channels.
What is a POS?
Point of Sale (POS) systems are computer-based, multi-purpose tools used to generate accurate, fast and convenient customer transactions, besides improving operational abilities of business.
POS systems are best suitable for industries that gather data for sale and business data analytics. Industries could be anything from a hotel chain to a beauty shop. POS is highly supportive of product positioning and building brand loyalty, and good customer relationship.
How does a POS work?
POS systems are a great combination of specialized software and hardware, to support and increase a business’ analytical capacity for their strategies, inventory, customer relationships and sales transactions.
You will see the POS system hardware at checkout points. The hardware includes barcode scanners, cash registers, credit card machines, receipt printers and touchscreens. However, it is essential to understand that it is the software that adds quality to business operations. By leveraging the emerging trends and customer buying trend, the data collected by the POS system software adds improvement to competitive strategies and value to the brand building. Read more about POS systems here.
Choosing a Mobile POS
Here are five brief pointers to assist with choosing the POS system.
#1 Understand the Requirements of your Business
Identifying all the essential functions, features and services used to run your business is the foremost step to choose an effective POS system. Your customer relationship management, inventory record and checkout process should be the basis of your selection. However, if you already own a POS system and plan to upgrade the same, identify what the existing POS lacks and upgrade accordingly.
If you see any unmanageable tasks that should be simplified, note them down. Also, talk to your employees to better understand the areas of difficulty. As said by Lisa Callaghan, CFO of Interactive Accounting:
“It is so important to map out the systems from your customer creation, through sale, inventory adjustment and connecting into your accounting system. We find that our clients who do this, pick the right systems and strip the overheads out of their business, almost entirely.”
#2 List the Required Hardware
You need to decide which POS is suitable for your business. Some POS software easily adapt to the existing business processes while others require complicated setup. Some of the POS software even work simply on a laptop or an iPad. As retailing processes become further agile on smartphones and tablets, companies like Lavu innovate and make iPad POS available to businesses owners. You should itemize the tools or equipment your store needs. "No matter what type of POS hardware you want to work with, start by evaluating and selecting the software first. Then choose peripherals from that vendors approved the list,” said Craig Aberle, publisher at the Point of Sale News.
#3 Set your Budget
There are multiple POS systems available in the market. Depending on the nature and size of your business, the price of POS differs as well. If you are looking for the traditional type of desktop-based POS software, a single user software license should cost you around $1200 to $3000. For the latest cloud-based POS, the price range may vary from Free to $200 per month. However, everything still depends on your finances and, the complexity and size of your business. SaaS models are available in more scalable options that can be easily cancelled, downgraded or upgraded with time.
#4 Compare and Audit
Before you opt for any POS solution, do your best research. To make the right choice, it is important to get some information regarding industry feedback. Talk to other retailers in the same industry and collect information about the product they are using and their experiences. You can also go for an online search and check out various POS system websites. Asking your fellow merchants and discussing on LinkedIn are some of the recommended options.
#5 POS in Action
Remember, features and specifications on papers could differ from what the system is in action. To see a POS system in action, you can simply request and visit your local references and check how the POS works. You can also directly ask the POS vendor a free trial, demo and check it yourself. What you need to check is the functionality, user-friendliness and speed of the system. Compare its functionality with your business needs and take the right decision.
It is important to choose the right type of POS system, as the correct choice will not only save your time and time but improve your decision-making power regarding your business.
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