5 Must-Have Point-of-Sale (POS) Features & Why?

5 Must-Have Point-of-Sale (POS) Features & Why?

Google keywords such as “Point-of-Sale” or “POS”, and no doubt, there would be dozens of listed search results pertaining to a variety of solutions. For new retail business owners, the countless options available in the market may be overwhelming. Varying features and price plans make it especially challenging for comparison as businesses seek to select a solution that is cost-effective, beneficial to their operations and most importantly, reliable.

While some business owners may opt for the cheapest POS solution first and then change it when their needs are not met, we would encourage retail entrepreneurs to carefully consider and research for a suitable platform that truly satisfies your business needs. This is to avoid possible operational disruptions that may occur between solution switching. Also, it is advisable to plan ahead while reviewing future possibilities. It would be ideal if your selected POS solution is able to offer opportunities for growth or scalability.

Stressing on the idea of “doing it once and getting it right”, in this post, we highlight 5 key features that you should be looking out for in a retail POS solution.

If you are an aspiring entrepreneur, check out this article on “5 Fundamental Mistakes You Should Not Make as an Entrepreneur”.

1. Sales Reports & Analytics

Data consolidated from your sales reports and analytics can help businesses find trends and boost business strategies.

What is this about?

Understand the performance of your sales, inventory and customers’ demands with reports and analytics that capture data of your store checkouts, stock movement and sales performance of your products.

Why you need this.

Rather than using the old fashion way of physically recording every transaction or – even worse – depending on guesses, data collected and consolidated in reports can tell you more about your customers’ behaviours and preferences. Being able to study and understand consumer patterns allow you to identify business opportunities and make strategic decisions that can help improve sales and profits.

From bite-size visual reports to in-depth performance tables, this feature is highly recommended for entrepreneurs that seek to understand and better various aspects of their retail business.

2. Inventory Management

Inventory management systems are put in place to ensure stocks are kept in the right balance.

What is this about?

A retail POS that comes with a good inventory management system helps to automate mundane and repetitive tasks. It also records product movements and keeps track of stocks.

Why you need this.

It is every retailers’ nightmare to find out that stocks are sold beyond availability. A POS solution that comes with an inventory management system offers a clearer overview of stock count, which minimises the chances of overselling.

Similar to overselling, overstocking on certain products would become an inventory issue as well. If the products are slow-moving, this could possibly drive up the cost of excess inventory storage and expose the items to obsolescence. Information on inventory turnaround would be advantageous for maintaining decent amounts of stocks for sale.

Retail POS systems with inventory management capabilities can also help to weed out discrepancies during stock taking. Below are some common causes of stock discrepancies:

I) Theft

II) Unrecorded Withdrawal

III) Misplaced Stocks

IV) Inaccurate Data Entry

V) Incorrect Labelling

VI) Mishandling of Returned/Faulty Goods

VII) Stock Mix Up

An inventory management system informs businesses about potential inventory issues and allows businesses to act on the problems by looking into ways to improve inventory security, or implement stricter policies with transparent inventory handling workflow.

3. Membership for Marketing  

Membership and promotions are aspects of marketing that promote customer loyalty.

What is this about?

Membership records and groups customers into segments for targeted marketing. Not only is this a useful tool to market relevant products and services to your members, it also strengthens the relationship between company and consumer, while nurturing customer loyalty.

Why you need this.

POS systems with membership capabilities are able to drive customer engagement through loyalty programmes that promote customer engagement and association with the brand.

With information gathered fairly through membership sign-ups, businesses are able to further maintain relationships with customers. An example of this includes sending relevant marketing materials through emails. According to the Direct Marketing Association, emails that were tailored and targeted campaigns towards specific segments of audience generated more than half (58%) of all email revenue.

We barely scratched the surface on how businesses can achieve better results with segmentation. If you are interested, do check out Hubspot’s article on “30 Ways to Slice Your Email Database for Better Email List Segmentation”.

4. Solution Reliability & Offline Capabilities

Reliability of solutions helps businesses to push forward with operations.

What is this about?

Your choice of solution should fit well with your checkout and operational processes. Most importantly, it should not hinder but improve your customers’ checkout experience.

Why you need to consider this.

With the accessibility and convenience brought about by technology, consumers are getting more impatient by the day. If your retail POS system is taking too long to process payment or goes through frequent system hangs, then it is high time you look into another solution to avoid dealing with angry customers.

According to Irisys’ article, the average customer is only willing to wait between 5 and 10 minutes before abandoning the line. Make sure your chosen retail POS solution is reliable and powerful enough to assist you in clearing queues.

Speaking of reliability, if your area is prone to bad weather which affects internet connectivity, you may wish to go with a POS solution that supports offline operations. This would be ideal as it allows you to continue business as per usual despite waning or weak internet connectivity.

5. eCommerce Integration

eCommerce is a platform that has the potential to bring your business into the international stage at a low cost.

What is this about?

eCommerce integration with your POS system allows you to control your online and offline sales channels over a single platform.

Why you need this.

eCommerce is on the rise. According to eMarketer, in 2017, eCommerce revenue in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region made up 14.7% of the total retail sale in APAC; an upward trend is predicted to continue till 2020.

As omnichannel retailing starts to take off, retail brick-and-mortar owners are also looking to explore online opportunities. eCommerce integration can help to widen your retail business’ reach. By putting the customer experience first and allowing customers to enjoy the ease and convenience of shopping online, you are opening your business up for even more sales potential.

To find out more about the importance of bringing your business online, check out this article on “4 Reasons Why Retailers Need to Get On eCommerce”.

Conclusion

Choosing a POS solution can be a tedious process. Unfortunately, there is no single “Best Point-of-Sale” solution for all retail businesses on the market. With the above 5 pointers, we hope you find a suitable POS system that can help make running a retail business much easier.

For small retail business owners, reconsider investments in a traditional POS system as it could cost you several thousands of dollars. Instead, opt for a subscription-based solution. Most importantly, please remember to evaluate your retail business’ needs carefully.