In a retail environment, successful operation requires an effective cash management system, efficient payment processing, accurate inventory control, and good record keeping. Options for cash management include traditional cash registers, electronic cash registers, or computerized point-of-sale (POS) systems. While a cash register is a low-cost option for a start-up or small business with a small budget, a point-of-sale system affords a much richer array of benefits to any retailer. POS for retail can save significant amounts of time and money as well as provide a better long-term solution that can grow with the business.
The benefits of point-of-sale for retail include improved accuracy, better inventory tracking, and more detailed reports. Since all transactions take place on the computer, the retail POS solution can automatically update inventory and sales information. The POS system can also be used for inventory notifications and ordering. Retail POS software can also offer customer management solutions to help a retailer maintain and improve customer loyalty.
A retail business should consider its various needs before making a decision about a point-of-sale solution. They should consider how many stores and departments they have, how many products they carry or plan on carrying, taxes they will have to collect, types of payments or coupons they want to accept, how many registers they will want, etc.
Decisions about point-of-sale for retail should be made with the awareness that POS hardware and POS software must be compatible. After you have made a list of your retail business needs, it would be helpful to consult an experienced professional before making any purchases. This will ensure that you get the most value from your investment in a point-of-sale solution. Choosing a VAR (value added reseller) to help you make a decision will might also help with training and support as well.
There are many considerations to make about POS software for retail. Some POS software is meant to be installed on your computer, while other software is cloud-based, meaning your data is stored on a remote server to be accessed from any online location. This might be an important consideration if you have multiple locations or need flexibility in how you access your point-of-sale system.
Cost is another consideration. A retail point-of-sale solution, including hardware and software, can run anywhere between $1,500 to $20,000. Some software solutions can be implemented on existing equipment, which could save money. Many retail POS software providers are willing to tailor the POS solution to fit a retailers needs and budget.
Mobility is becoming a very popular consideration of retail point-of-sale as well. Many POS software providers offer mobile solutions that are compatible with their software. This allows a retail business to utilize mobile devices such as hand-held scanners or mobile computers, and recently even tablets and smartphones. Mobile POS in the retail environment can benefit retail managers, employees, as well as customers.
To summarize, there are as many point-of-sale solutions as there are businesses. You just have to find the solution that works best for you. Taking time to consider the needs of your retail business, now and in the future, exploring the numerous options for POS software available, and seeking expert advice from a POS software provider or reseller will ensure that the investment in a POS retail solution will serve your business well for years to come.