5 Things to Consider Before Purchasing a POS

5 Things to Consider Before Purchasing a POS


Researching POS systems can be overwhelming, but making the right choice now can save you a ton of time and money later down the road. Here are five things to consider:  

1. Make Sure it is Easy to Install, Train, and Use

Your POS system should be easy to set up and simple to use. You’ll want a POS system with an intuitive interface to process sales quickly and keep lines moving. Training cashiers and managers should take minutes, not hours. Managing inventory should be straightforward and painless. Remember that any POS system that’s confusing to learn or complicated to use will decrease employee satisfaction and waste time that could be better spent elsewhere.

2. Assess the Quality of the Hardware?

The hardware that accompanies your POS system should be functional, durable, and stylish. Some POS vendors pair their software with second-rate hardware and peripherals to piece together the cheapest package. As a small business owner, the last thing you want to do is waste time struggling with a constantly jammed printer or flimsy stand that does not withstand your daily grind at the counter.

Quality hardware will pay for itself in short order and save you time and patience in the long run. Finally, be sure not to ignore the importance of having both a supremely ergonomical and elegantly designed stand. As one of the most visible elements in your business, the physical display should match the decor of your shop and streamline transactions for cashiers and customers alike.

3. Make Sure There is Good Customer Service

Be sure to ask about customer care when considering a POS system. Though uncommon, from time to time your POS system may experience issues. Without the ability to call someone to help you fix the problem quickly, you could lose sales. Likewise, any issues related to financial transactions may require immediate answers. Or what if you just want more help understanding a specific feature or setting up a barcode scanner? You shouldn’t have to go it alone! As the most important tool in your store, any questions about your POS system should be answered in a timely manner without additional charges for support or troubleshooting.

4. You Need to Access Your Data Easily

Recording sales and inventory data is a given, but having that information accessible where and when you want it is a real game changer. Traditional POS systems that require reports to be run from an in-store terminal aren’t useful when you’re at home, traveling, or simply anywhere outside of your store. The advent of cloud-based POS systems means your back office operations can now be accessible from any web browser, even if you’re halfway around the world on vacation. Additionally, the most convenient and tech-savvy POS systems will include smartphone apps that allow business owners to see real-time sales data in the palm of their hand.

5. Pricing Should Be Affordable and Simple

The cost of a POS system has historically been very high, preventing smaller businesses from replacing their cash registers. For years, POS systems typically required an initial investment of several thousand dollars, with many solutions costing well over $10,000. Add in the additional costs of required hardware upgrades, service calls, and warranty upsells and you can see why the cost was often prohibitive.

Today’s SaaS (software as a service) subscription model makes getting a POS system affordable, but the true costs are sometimes hidden in the details. Your POS system should have simple pay-as-you-go monthly pricing without long term agreements or cancellation fees.  Be aware that some POS vendors may mask subscription costs by forcing you to use a certain credit card processor. Transparent no-nonsense pricing is the hallmark of a reputable company.

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