The Essential Features in a Small Business POS System
When you’re starting out with a small business, you may have limited resources to work with – both in terms of infrastructure and finance. You need a system that fits your budget but also provides all the features for your business needs. It should be easy to scale the resources as your business grows and expands.
Look For a Cloud Based Solution
Investing in hardware and other essentials for an in-house deployment can add up to huge costs. A cloud-based solution mitigates this problem as all the resources are on the cloud and you pay only for using the software and the backend infrastructure. It also makes it easy to scale as your business grows.
Factor in Monthly Subscription and Other Charges
Most cloud-based solution providers charge a monthly subscription fee for the usage of their software and resources. Additional charges like transaction fees and PCI Compliance fee might apply.
How Does it Handle The Inventory?
As a retail business, you need to handle inventory and always stay up-to-date on current stock levels. Your POS system should update inventory in real time and also provide alerts when stocks fall below the minimum levels.
Look for a Pos System That Makes it Easy to Sell Across Different Channels
Your POS system should also be able to handle sales in-store, online sales, social media sales, and even sales in temporary setups like popup stores. It must update inventory in real time and sync it across channels to avoid any discrepancies.
The POS System Should Allow You to Track Customer Data
POS systems like Shopify POS enable you to create customer profiles and track their buying patterns, the items they are interested and more, across channels and store locations. It must also enable sharing of this customer data and allow management of each unique customer under a unified profile.
Employee Tracking Features
The POS system should enable you to create and manage staff accounts for sales clerks and track their activities. They should have secure logins to access the POS software and use it to record sales and accept payments.
The Hardware Supported
Modern POS systems are moving towards mobile devices. Shopify’s POS works on tablets as the terminal interfaces, and also enable you to use the POS app on your iOS or Android smartphone.
Flexible Payment Processing and PCI Compliance
Your POS system should be able to integrate with different payment gateways, and also allow you to split tenders, accept multiple payments for the same order, and create custom payment types like store credit, gift cards, and gold coins. The POS system should also be able to handle various modes of payments like swipe card, chip (EMV) cards, and contactless payments. The POS system should be dully PCI Compliant for safe payment processing.
The POS system should have a comprehensive analytics dashboard that can analyze all the availabledata. It should be enable you to extract different types of product reports, retail reports like employee reports and customer reports.
Other Software Features
A convenient POS system, like Shopify POS, has tax rates integration for automatic tax calculations. It must allow the creation of different product variations as needed and also let you set up various discounts, create and manage gift cards. It should also enable you to create and manage customer loyalty programs.
Examples Of Good POS Systems :-
Let us look at the main features of two useful POS systems that are suitable for a small business:
This POS system works on Windows, Mac, iOS and Android as well as web-based browser interface. It has the ability to manage inventory, product catalogs, employee tracking, payroll, and customer data. It also includes an accounting module. With real time synchronization of data, it can handle multi-store scenarios and also enable ecommerce integration with your POS system. It has an all-inclusive analytics dashboard that can provide reports to help you assess performance and improve your business.
Shopify POS system works on iOS devices and Android phones. It also lets you integrate cash drawers, card readers, barcode scanners, and receipt printers. Shopify POS system lets you use the POS app on your smartphone, for ease-of use in popup-store situations or selling while on-the-go.
It handles inventory updates in realtime across channels, and allows you to create product catalogs, product variants, manage pricing, create discounts and promotional offers, create and manage gift cards. Shopify has a good reporting and analytics system. Shopify provides integration with more than a hundred payment gateways, so you can work with your existing payment processor or move to a new one. Shopify provides different subscription plans to choose from, to suit your needs.
For a small business, it makes sense to start with a low end plan on a dynamic POS System, and upgrade gradually as needs increase.