Update 25/06/2019: This post has been updated with the latest must know Point of Sale (POS) software features for retailers.
Millions of retail and hospitality businesses are using Point of Sale software. A right POS software will give the business a new level of control over operations. It will increase efficiency, boost profits and will help to fine-tune its business model. The wrong system, however, can be a waste of money, time and a source of frustration.
The mistake often made by retailers is to buy software that is not intended for their industry and this confusion mainly arises from the wide range of features available in thousands of software in the market. For example, a gift shop has different needs than a car dealer and a POS for restaurants will not be the same software as a clothing store. So the same POS software will not be compatible with all of them. The differences in features and intended uses of a POS can have a huge impact on your business.
Organizations need to narrow their search to the specific industry and it will be well on its way to money spent and a Point Of Sale software that makes your life easier and business more profitable.
Here are 20 common features to look into while buying a POS for any Small, Medium or Large Retail Business:
Must Know POS Software Features for Retailers
1. Fast checkout
A retail POS software should be able to simplify the checkout process. This means that it should not take the sales team’s much manual effort to complete a transaction. If there is still a manual process that the team has to go through, then the POS software needs a replacement.
2. Inventory tracking
A POS should also serve as a good inventory management software and make the process effortless. One should be able to monitor all the critical information about the store from individual transactions to purchases. This will make ordering easy from vendors & the inventory manager would not waste time calculating the reorder level.
3. Customer Data
A good POS can help convert the data on the customer’s profile into information. It should abolish the need for a CRM software for your organization. As a use case, it will let the purchasing team know what products the customers buy more frequently and thus the team can place orders accordingly. The data can also help the customer relations team build an effective loyalty program, which can increase sales in the long term.
4. Automated Purchasing Program
A good POS allows the business to have a streamlined process of connecting with suppliers. For example, if the retail outlet is running low on a critical product, with the help of an automated Purchasing Program, the POS can easily get connected with the suppliers in no time and place the order for the required quantity. It as an e-procurement system for your organization.
5. Capabilities for multiple location / Mobility
A good POS should also offer online access which helps you stay connected with the business from anywhere remotely. It is a convenient feature for franchises and business having more than one location.
Looking for POS Software? Check out SoftwareSuggest’s list of the best POS software solutions.
6. Payment Card Industry (PCI) Agreement
It is one of the most important features which can help the business build trust with its customers as it will protect customers’ credit card details. An organization may face legal issues if the POS does not have this feature.
7. Reporting tools
Every retail POS should have a reporting feature which is user-friendly. It should store information such as product styles or models, weekly sales, monthly sales, annual sales and hourly transactions.
8. Real-time X-report
With Point of Sale Software, You can view registers total with a breakdown of payment type with real-time data! Real-time updating means anywhere at any time the administrators can view the current numbers.
9. Digital Signage
This feature helps to generate additional revenue by selling advertisements to vendors or suppliers. It also promotes feature sales, impulse merchandise, cross-sells products. Deliver messages to enterprise-wide or target specific audiences in key locations. Display advertisements on LCD pole displays, full-size LCD displays, and pin pads.
10. Shipping Integration
The Point of sale helps to ship products to customers with different services. Shipping module communicates directly with shipping carriers to get real-time shipping quotes. It applies shipping methods, and print out shipping labels right at your register. Customers receipt prints out with tracking details.
11. Mobile Payment on Site
One of the fastest growing trends in the retail business is mobile payments. The reason behind is that it allows for faster checkout rather than making your customers wait in line. You take the checkout device to your customers.
One of the core benefits of it is that it not only saves people time but also makes your business profitable. While a customer is checking out a product, your sales rep can educate them about it right there on the shop floor. And if they look interested, the sales rep can check out at the moment itself before they change their mind.
12. Employee Management
You need a system that enables you to create an account for each of your employees and track their sales record. The biggest advantage of it is that it lets you manage your staff efficiently and optimize productivity by keeping a tab on what and when they are working.
You can set goals for each of them and see if they are being productive at work. The system should also be able to password protect the account. There are many stores where sales rep are expected to move out from the desk once a sale is over. In that case, they would need to protect their account from anyone else trying to use it.
13. Easy Installation and Integration Capabilities
It is essential that any POS software you decide to implement, it doesn’t interrupt your existing business. The most important feature of any POS software should be easy installation and an intuitive interface. It allows for even a non-tech savvy person to easily operate the software without much difficulty.
And the next important thing is that it should seamlessly integrate with other third-party apps or services you use, such as e-commerce solutions or accounting software. This results in easy functioning as you are able to manage all your tasks from within your system.
14. Return and Refund Policy Feature
In today’s time, if you are looking to make your customer happy, then you need to have a good return policy. According to eMarketer reports, more than half of all customers don’t want to do business with the companies that have strict return policies.
A store’s return policy is crucial to its success. That’s why your POS software should be able to implement a shopper-friendly return policy as you desire. It should provide you with flexible options to return items for both store credits or refund amount directly to their bank account.
15. Product Variant and Composites
Most of the retail brick-and-mortar stores are also trying to make their presence online. That’s why they open up e-store as the online marketplace is evolving.
As a product dealer, you may have the same products in different variants. Your POS software should be able to display all the variants in a single product link rather than displaying it as different products.
Plus, when you are running promotional offers, there are times when you club the products together to get an extra discount. So instead of showing the products differently and doing the discount calculation, the system should be able to collect the deal as an item itself at that lower price.
16. Bulk Stock Imports
Almost every week or month, you need to update your stock. Imagine uploading all the products manually one by one can be such a time-consuming task. That’s why get a system that allows for bulk uploads at once. This is really helpful during the sale season as well, as you won’t have to go through the tedious process of manually updating each sales items.
17. Customer-Facing Display
If your retail shop offers a customer-facing display screen, it would be nice to have that feature embedded in your system. Though it’s not necessary, but customer-facing displays allow transparency into the transaction. It makes it easy for customers to point out if any mistake is made in the order before it is finally placed.
18. Loyalty Programs
Loyalty programs help improve customer retention, and thus, it’s gaining all the right momentum. Giving out store points or rewards every time a customer makes a purchase, they will keep coming for more. Not every POS software comes with a built-in loyalty program feature. But it should be compatible enough to seamlessly integrate with third-party service in case.
However, it’s easy if you look for a solution that comes with a built-in loyal program software.
For POS software to be effective, inventory management is crucial. And for inventory management to work efficiently, it should have the capabilities to print barcodes, or any other labeling methods, so that you can keep a track on each product. The barcode system allows the system to know exactly where the items are.
Promotions are run for a limited time offer so that it lures customers into the store. Every time you decide to run a discount offer or any other kind of exciting deals, it can get tedious if you have to manually update price or product info. That’s why get a system that lets you easily run a promotion without creating much fuss.
The Bottom Line
These 20 features are essential for any POS software and ensuring the above features will increase the effectiveness and efficiency of any Retail or Supermarket. You can also check different ways that help you in selecting the best POS.