As we’ve discussed in the past, a POS system should be geared to the business that you are running, and a large part of that is understanding the different payment methods available to your customers and where they like to use them. The recent Consumer Payment Choice Study released findings of adults in the US and what payment methods they used where. To see some of the interesting results, take a look at our breakdown by payment method below:
Debit remains one of the most popular forms of payment for a variety of different circumstances. The normal everyday or weekly purchases for a household are usually made on a debit card such as supermarkets, gas stations, and discount stores. In each of these areas more and 35% of all purchases are made with a debit card at these locations, meaning that any POS system for businesses in these areas must include reliable debit capabilities.
Second behind debit cards, credit cards remain extremely popular, especially in purchases made based on want, rather than necessity like debit cards. These types of purchases are most commonly made at department stores and restaurants. In both instances though, credit cards only slightly edge out debit with little more than 30% using their cards. The area that credit cards far edge out all other forms of payment is online shopping where 41% of all purchases are made with a credit card.
The former king of payments, and of course one of the only ways to complete a transaction, has fallen from being used ubiquitously but remains popular in certain domains. 39% of all customers at a fastfood restaurant will choose to pay with cash, but also discount stores and dine in restaurants see around 20% of customers choosing to pay with paper. Business owners in these areas should be mindful of a POS system that will help them keep track of bills.
Paypal was the only other method measured by the study, and every category it scored close to 2% except for online shopping, which should come as no surprise. Online, 22% of a customers chose to pay with Paypal. Despite the fact that the numbers are low, business owners should be mindful of the fact that services like Apple Pay could significantly increase these statistics by the next survey.
The massive number of POS systems available make it extremely difficult to choose. Do you need a single Verifone credit card machine? A full computer terminal? Or something that will work with the evolving world of mobile payments? Usually the specific demands of your business will determine what kind of POS system is right for you, but here are some areas to keep in mind while you consider.
Ease of Use
POS systems, from the simplest credit card machines to the most advanced terminals, should be easy to use. Intuitive software is essential to ensuring that your employees can easily learn the program and manipulate its features quickly when a customer is present. Another important thing to take note of when purchasing a POS system is the amount of customer care available. No system is perfect, and you’re sure to encounter problems with the new system. Makes sure the company offers adequate, easy to access support for their systems. This will also help your employees if they get into a bind processing a purchase in front of a customer.
Ready For Tomorrow
All technologies are changing day by day, but POS systems especially change at a pace so rapid that it feels like they are completely different by the time you have your staff trained on a new one. Far from a joke, it’s best to be prepared for the possibility that “the next best thing” is just around the corner–that’s why it’s best to be looking ahead with every system you consider. Many experts believe that mobile payments might overtake credit card payments as the preferred method within a decade. So be sure that any system you purchase, even a basic system, was designed to be forward thinking and accept software updates or emerging technologies.
Most POS systems will offer up reporting systems and data storage to help you better manage your books, track your inventory, and more. Ensure that any reports generated by your POS software are easy to use and tailored to your convenience. DO you prefer graphs and charts or spreadsheets? Do you need data to be exported to certain other software programs like a bookkeeping system? Keeping in line with our second point about having an eye on the future, it’s always advisable to go with a system that has built-in cloud support, a growing technology, which will allow you to access information about your business from anywhere.
Growing your business involves a lot different factors, but one of the most important aspects of your increasing clientele is ensuring an excellent experience. Here are 5 ways that your can enhance the customer service among your employees in your retail store:
Do Your Customers Know You?
Customers want to be able to put a face to a business in order to trust it, and that means either having a physical presence or a little bit of honesty to show people they can trust you. For salesman this can come down to giving out some basic personal information, like family or where they went to school.
Are You Available?
Perhaps even more important than your inventory is your availability. Customers should be able to call you with ease to inquire about anything they might need. Encourage your team to give out their work number so that customers feel that they can call and ask for something when they need it.
Do You Offer Special Services?
There is something to be said for rewards, and that is certainly true of your best customers. When one or two people in particular are willing to drop quite a bit of money in your store, you should give them incentive to do so again. Rebates, special offers, and a little bit of VIP treatment for regular customers can go a long way.
Is Your Team Knowledgeable?
Connecting with customers requires a lot more than just talking about the product most of the time. Customers want to feel that they are in the hands of someone who really understands the product and the market. Encourage your employees to stay on top of relevant trends, competitors, and always look for subjects they might share with potential customers.
Is Your POS System Efficient?
Of course, you will want a POS system that can handle intense volume in order to bring in as much money as possible, but the second function that a good system serves is in making your customer’s experience as smooth as possible. Rejected payments, long wait times, or items that ring up incorrectly all add considerable time and frustration to your customer’s experience in your store–not just at the register. Make sure that your POS system is updated and ready to handle the volume heading your way.
Whether you have a restaurant or a retail shop, taking payments will always be your top priority. That’s why most often new shops get the latest and best technology from Verifone or any other big name brand of POS system–to make sure that payments get taken by employees as easily and quickly as possible. At first, all should go well with your payments and processes, but what about after a few years? These days technology changes so fast that a POS system which once seemed unbeatable might feel like a dinosaur by comparison to other, newer systems. But advancing technologies isn’t the only sign that it’s time for an upgrade. here is our list of the top reasons to invest in some new technology for your business and profits.
- It’s All In the Timing: Routine procedures should be expedited by your POS system, not slowed down. A POS system that’s up to date and working for your business will make the amount of time your employees spend with each customer at the register shorter. If you noticed lines building up around the check-out, speak to your employees. If they aren’t doing anything differently then the blame probably lies with your software or equipment. Start paying attention to page loading times on the computer. If it’s taking more time than you would normally anticipate, it’s time for an upgrade.
- Scanner Malfunctions: Another thing that can easily slow down your employees are scanners that don’t pick up a barcode on the first try, or bring up the wrong item altogether. Test scanners regularly to ensure that the correct item is being brought up–a mistake that might be easily missed by a distracted employee and lead to a customer being mischarged.
- Rejected or Delayed Payments: Credit card swipes often require a certain amount of time to process payments, especially on older models, but newer technologies are making this time shorter and shorter. If your customers are standing around waiting for their payment to clear, you’re not doing your business any favors. This is time that can easily build up frustration in your customer causing them to not return–even more frustrating are payments that get rejected or denied when the fault is really in your network connection and not with a customer’s card.
Updating your systems to meet with the times is the best way to ensure that customers are happy with your services and ready to come back again soon.