If you are the owner of a retail business, you might find yourself baffled by all the point of sale terminals, mobile software, and credit card processing options that are out there. If so, here are the top five things that you need to consider in order to choose the best point of sale system for a retail business.
Perhaps one of the most important things that your retail business will need to consider when selecting the perfect POS system is security. After all, the most easy to use and advanced POS system won’t be worth very much if you can’t keep the money from being stolen. It’s also important to keep your customer’s credit card information as safe as possible in order to maintain your reputation.
Most people working in a retail environment should be able to navigate a POS system, but having a system that’s so intuitive that anyone can use it is a major advantage. POS systems that cut out unnecessary complications and can be easily customized to your business and products will cut down on error, wait times, and frustration for employees trying to make a sale.
Beyond the Sale
Most businesses will have a lot of software already beyond their POS system, like accounting or business projection software. Make sure that whatever POS software you choose will work well with what you already have, or be able to completely replace your existing systems. Data that can’t transfer can’t be used to help you track your business and prepare for the future.
Some POS systems are designed to accommodate major national retailers that do huge volume. If this is where you want your business to go eventually, it might still be right for a small, local retailer who simply has less to keep track of to get a lot our of their POS system. Some software offers incredible features like labor reporting or POS with built-in customer loyalty programs. Even if you can’t see yourself using these features within the next week, keep the future in mind.
POS systems also come with terms associated with credit card payments. Make sure that your POS system works with a processor that has terms that are favorable to your customers and your business plan.
Recent surveys of top retail executives all confirm that last year had come incredible numbers and businesses can expect them to continue growing on into the New Year. With technology rapidly evolving along with consumers opening up their pocketbooks, it’s more important than ever for businesses to have a strong online presence and an advanced point of sale system.
Customer Centric Technology
Some surveys have shown up to 81% of retail CEOs claiming that mobile technologies and customer engagement are crucial to sustaining growth and keeping up in the marketplace. In 2014 it’s estimated that 25 percent of all online transactions occurred on a mobile device, leading a lot of point of sale systems and businesses to adopt a “mobile-first” strategy.
Mobile first strategy means moving POS software from a stationary computer, like a Verifone terminal, to a tablet or portable system like the Equinox m4230 wireless, as well as accepting payments made through mobile wallets that are used through smart phone apps.
Mobile POS technology is customer centric because it allows salespeople in a retail environment to move with customers all throughout the store and take payment whenever they are ready. It also cuts down on errors and wasted time in a hospitality environment where waiters can take payment right from the table.
Mobile and Growth
Moving to a POS system that is geared toward your customers will help your business adapt to growth in a couple of ways. For one, customers who are more and more accustomed to mobile POS systems and paying with their phones will be excited to see this technology brought into their favorite stores.
It also helps open you up to better marketing possibilities as many mobile POS software will come with excellent programming that can help you to better track your new customers and reach out to them with promotional materials.
Choosing a new POS system can make for a difficult transition for you and your staff, but moving away from the traditional cash register will be worth the trouble. The world is increasingly based on mobile technologies, and your business’ POS system will need to keep up with the times.
Receipts often feel like a waste that customers are going to crumple and loose, or hang onto only for the purpose of maybe returning an item some day. That’s why they can feel like a necessary evil of your POS system. However, since every POS system, whether mobile or paper-based, will include a receipt for the customer it should be used as an opportunity to promote your brand.
Paper and Colors
It might seem like something too simple to really make any kind of impact, but choosing a specific color for your receipts is a fun way to make your customer’s experience at the POS system a little more memorable. Marketing studies have shown that consumers are up to 78% more likely to remember a word or phrase printed in color. Simply making your business name in color on the receipt is a great way to make the name stand out, and perhaps keep it fresh in the customer’s mind a little longer.
There has also been extensive research done on various colors that affects they have on consumers. Experts encourage restaurant chains to use red, natural products to use green, and any businesses trying to target men should use blue. The color can also be used to make promotional announcements directly on receipts, and these should be in orange or yellow.
Increasing dependence on mobile POS systems using iPads, smart phones, and and more means that customers are often given the choice between a paper receipt and one emailed to them. Digital receipts an be better for customers and businesses who are trying to cut down on waste and make it easier to keep track of purchases. But just like the paper receipt can be an opportunity to further your brand, the digital receipt is a great new field for marketing.
Make sure that the digital receipts produced by your mobile ready POS system includes links to your social media presence, any information about upcoming promotions, and links to your website. This is a great way to catch your customer’s attention one more time even after they’ve walked away from your POS system.
Increasingly sophisticated technology means more and more transactions are conducted digitally. However, this also means that thieves and scam artists also have access to the better technology allowing them to create counterfeit bills. From the 90s to the late 2000s the percent of counterfeit money made with a digital printer rose from around 2% to almost 62%.
With newer workers using cash less and less, it’s even more important that counterfeit and fraud protection be included in your point of sale system training to make sure that these bills don’t sneak past your employees. Here are the top five ways to ensure that the money in your register is real.
1. Look – The first place to spot a counterfeit bill at a glance is in the borders, serial numbers, and seals. These tiny details should be clear, and highly visible—even with general wear and tear. Blurry images for any of these attributes means that the bill was not printed with the same quality and accuracy used by the treasury.
2. Feel- Dollars are printed on a special paper that is actually linen. They feature raised textures and are heavier than almost any attempt to print money at home.
3. Watermarks- Light will give your employees major clues as to whether or not a bill is real. Holding a bill up to a light source should reveal a second portrait of whichever president called a watermark. It should be clear and easy to spot. A watermark that is obscured or difficult to make out is a good indication that the bill has been home made.
4. Detector pens-The first line of defense against counterfeit bills in terms of technology is a simple and standard one, the detector pen. These pens will react to the starches in the paper, turning yellow if the bill is real and blue or black if it is a fake. A lot of retail stores find it useful to incorporate these pens as a POS counterfeit detection for use any time a customer gives a large bill.
5. POS Counterfeit Detectors- The POS industry has provided many advanced machines that go above and beyond the traditional ink pen. UV lights automatically and quickly examine bills showing any flaws or aspects that should alert you to a counterfeit bill immediately. For businesses with high volumes in cash, these counterfeit detectors will be a great addition to your POS services.