10 Factors to Consider When Buying a POS System

  • By Danielle Dixon
  • Jul 20, 2023
  • Establishing Your Business
POS System

As a new business owner, you can make numerous decisions that influence your company’s growth and profitability.

One crucial decision is choosing a point of sale (POS) system.

Your POS system can help you get your business up and running quickly and empower you to streamline operations. In addition, the right POS system will help you be more efficient, provide better customer experiences, and maximize your profitability.

It’s not a decision you should take lightly. However, with numerous POS solutions on the market, choosing the right tool is not an easy one to make, especially if this is your first business or you don’t have experience with POS technology.

Fortunately, we’re here to help. This comprehensive POS buyer’s guide will simplify the decision-making process and provide you with a roadmap for choosing a POS system. The considerations that we outline will provide you with a clear understanding of key POS features to look for, the costs involved, and questions you should ask potential POS vendors.

Armed with this information, you’ll be better prepared to choose a POS system that’s aligned with your business’s unique needs and objectives.

choose a POS system

10 Things to Consider Before You Buy a POS System

These are the most important questions to ask as you shop for a retail POS system for your business:

  1. How is inventory managed by the POS?
  2. Can you link your brick-and-mortar to your online store?
  3. Are you able to provide a personalized customer experience?
  4. Does your team feel empowered by the POS system?
  5. Is technical support included in the service?
  6. Will you have access to your back office wherever you are?
  7. Does the POS system provide analytics and reporting?
  8. Does the POS offer integrated, simple-rate payments?
  9. Can you carry out targeted marketing campaigns using the POS system?
  10. Can your business expand with the help of the POS system?

Now, we’ll explore these POS questions in more detail to help you understand the key features you should look for. Ultimately, these questions are designed to help you narrow down options and land on a solution that will help your business grow.

1. Does the POS system include inventory management tools?

When you buy a POS system, it should simplify the inventory management process, helping you to efficiently identify bestsellers, when to restock items, and which items should be discontinued

In particular, the POS should make it possible to manage complex inventory. For example, if you sell bracelets with various hues and patterns, you need inventory management software that helps you visualize stock levels for each variation and track serialized items.

In addition, you should be able to provide custom tags to products so you can group them together thematically even if they aren’t categorized. For instance, if you have seasonal inventory, you don’t want it to clog up your POS after the season is finished. Inventory that can be tagged will be easier to find for archiving.

Inventory management POS features to consider:

      • Built-in purchase orders, reorder points, and native purchasing features such as the capacity to record vendor information
      • The capacity to manage serialized inventory
      • A stock setup tool that imports items rapidly
      • Tools for organization like reusable categories and tags
      • Updates your inventory in real-time

2. Can you like ecommerce and brick-and-mortar?

Consumers want omnichannel shopping experiences. They expect seamless navigation between all channels for browsing, shopping, checking out, and returning.

Integrating your POS system with ecommerce will offer a consistent brand experience and maintain a consolidated database of all inventory, sales, and customer information, allowing you to see your company as a whole and eliminating manual effort.

Ecommerce POS features to consider:

        • Inventory, sales, and order requests are synchronized between your website and actual stores
        • Reports that combine data from your eCommerce business’s overall sales, sales per physical location, and other sources
        • The capacity to maintain brand consistency across all sales channels

3. Can you customize customer experiences?

A key benefit of POS systems: You can transform the customer experience. Make sure when buying a POS system provides customers with an excellent experience that matches what it can provide for your staff.

To enable your staff to provide specialized product recommendations, the system should keep track of customer profiles and purchase histories. Customers want personalization, and they count on you to know what they want—usually before they do.

It makes no difference who is working shifts or how senior a sales associate is once you have those customer profiles in hand. Every customer who enters the store can feel like a regular, devoted customer.

Look for a POS that has a CRM integrated into it, giving you access to custom fields, data-rich customer dashboards, and integrations with leading loyalty and marketing platforms. It will be easier for you to promote to, engage with, and keep your customers if you have a complete understanding of their habits, interests, and buying journey.

Customer experience POS features to consider:

          • Integrated customer profiles that keep track of past purchases
          • The iPad’s POS functionality enables staff to serve customers wherever they are in the store
          • Loyalty integrations that allow you to utilize your customer data to its fullest

point of sale system

4. Is the POS system user friendly?

A good POS system shouldn’t be time-consuming or frustrating for staff members. For them to assist consumers and move them around the business, it should provide them with the information they require promptly. They are the face of your company; when thinking about the technology in your business, don’t forget about them.

Employee management POS features to consider:

      • Every employee’s logins are secure
      • Dashboards that can be customized for every employee
      • An intuitive interface that cuts down on training time
      • Integrating your loyalty program to maximize the use of your customer information

5. Is technical support included?

Even though the fundamentals may be the same, each store and its employees are unique and have their own preferred processes, challenges, preferences, requirements, and goals.

When buying a POS system, a reputable vendor will assist you in determining whether the software meets your needs, assist you with onboarding, and provide technical assistance when necessary. After making a purchase, you shouldn’t be left on your own, so be sure to always inquire about the after-sale help that your merchant provides.

For example, if you experience POS network issues, you need a support team that can help you get back up faster. Or if you’re experiencing issues with the internet, you need a system with offline POS functionality.

Technical support POS features to consider:

        • Local channel partners: professionals who offer consultation, installation, and troubleshooting services on-site
        • Manager and employee orientation sessions
        • Publicized customer satisfaction scores and online product evaluations
        • Several options to get in touch with the support staff, including the phone, online tickets, and live chat
        • A social media presence online to facilitate closer interaction with the organization
        • A variety of training resources, including online courses, webinars, videos, and product information

6. What back office tools are available?

You have two main options when buying a POS systems: On-premise POS or a cloud-based solution. An advantage of a cloud-based system: You can access it anywhere you are. Remote access tools help you best serve your business and resolve issues more quickly.

With POS software that is cloud-based, you may access your data from your home office, a warehouse, another business location, while traveling, or even while on vacation. Real-time access to the data is also required. Hours that may be spent on something as essential are lost if you must wait for a manual sync or download.

Remote access POS features to consider:

          • A cloud-based POS system that allows you to perform tasks whenever and wherever

point of sale system

7. Does the POS system provide analytics and reporting?

Retailers don’t always have a complete picture of their business using legacy systems. Although goods arrived and departed, managers of businesses had only a hazy understanding of earnings and performance.

Retailers now face fierce competition and cannot afford to take chances. Only 16% of business decision-makers think they are experts at utilizing the data they use, despite the fact that many now do so.

The most useful systems provide relevant insights into your business operations. Therefore, you can set up POS reporting that helps you identify your strengths and areas for development. Additionally, you ought to be able to go deeply into the data that your POS processes daily to identify, at the very least, top sellers and overall sales success.

Analytics POS features to consider:

    • Dashboards that showcase the data you require
    • Easy access to data for enhanced decision-making, such as in the areas of staff scheduling and inventory purchasing
    • Reports that highlight your best-performing salespeople, best-selling items, lowest-selling items, busiest store hours, top brands, and online versus in-store sales

8. Does the POS offer integrated, simple-rate payments?

If you’re paying too much for your payments or, worse, if they’re ineffective and unintegrated, your POS system isn’t helping you enough. This is true even if you have the most sophisticated inventory management system in the world and the best customer loyalty programs.

Because the amount due is automatically sent to your payment terminal, integrated payments lessen the chance of human error. Additionally, you use half as much receipt paper and spend less time at the register as a result.

So that you always know what you’re paying, you’ll want those integrated payments to have an easy-to-understand charge structure as well. Because you can never be sure what fee a specific customer’s card will have, interchange plus rates can be hazy and perplexing. A flat-rate structure lets you plan your budget precisely.

You won’t ever need to switch companies if you ever have a question if your payment processor and POS system were created by the same company.

You won’t ever need to switch companies if you ever have a question if your payment processor and POS system were created by the same company.

      • Time-saving integrated payments
      • Credit card processing
      • Reports on your payment information from your POS
      • A free structure that is simple to predict
      • A team of experts available round-the-clock who are familiar with your POS and payments

9. Does the POS system include marketing tools?

Returning customers are more valuable than acquiring new ones, and they’re more likely to make a purchase. Because of this, today’s top marketplaces no longer send mass emails to anybody who has ever done business with a company. They are creating consumer dialogue and identifying the topics that their customers are most interested in learning about.

You should be able to build loyalty programs with your POS system. This will help you build stronger bonds with your customers and send communications that are relevant to their preferences.

You’ll want to be able to integrate with loyalty programs so that you can send out specialized promotions like anniversary rewards using the customer information you have in your new POS system.

Customer loyalty POS features to consider:

        • Allows for the sending of emails to customers and the monitoring of click-through rates
        • A customer database that records a customer’s name, contact information, preferred contact method, favorite brands, and whether they shop in-person or online
        • Tools for segmenting your customer database and creating promotions that are appropriate for each segment

10. Is the POS system scalable?

Consider the long-term costs and any future requirements when buying a POS system. When you first start out, it can be tempting to choose the simplest and cheapest system, but if you do, you’ll regret it when you outgrow it within a year.

Retailers require solutions that are scalable and that can grow along with their business. In the end, you’ll pay in time and money when you need to switch POS systems if you don’t budget for one now that is built for long-term success.

Scalability POS features to consider:

          • Integration of inventory reporting and support for numerous locations
          • Integration with QuickBooks and other widely used programs like Google Analytics and MailChimp
          • Open technology, which makes it simple for independent developers to create applications you may add to your POS
          • Registers that you may add as needed, whether they are for a pop-up shop or a new permanent location

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, buying a POS system is a great investment in your business that should not be taken lightly. There are many factors you need to consider before buying, such as features, hardware compatibility, scalability, and cost. Do your research to make sure you are selecting the right solutions for your business’s needs; ask questions, think about how it integrates with other software or programs you are using, review custom options, and try to find the best point of sale system that will benefit both you and your customers. It is crucial to have questions to ask about POS systems.

Are you ready to take your business to new heights with FTx POS? Contact us today to schedule a consultation and discover the power of our demo!

With FTx POS, you are on the path to achieving unparalleled success!

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Danielle is a content writer at FTx POS. She specializes in writing about all-in-one, cutting-edge POS and business solutions that can help companies stand out. In addition to her passions for reading and writing, she also enjoys crafts and watching documentaries.

Danielle Dixon

Content Writer
A New Solution Coming To FasTrax

Matthew Davis is a content marketing specialist for FTx POS. With experience in marketing, brick-and-mortar retail, and ecommerce, Matthew enjoys writing about strategies and technology retailers can use to grow. Previously, he managed retail operations for a sports/entertainment facility and worked in marketing consulting.

Matthew Davis

SEO Specialist/Content Writer

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