Operating a retail business involves tracking many different metric, including prices, taxes, stock levels, discounts and of course day-to-day sales. For all but the smallest of retailers this involves employing some form of point of sale (PoS) system.
Modern PoS technology really started with electronic cash registers that allowed you to print out a summary of the day’s transactions. Today’s equipment is much more sophisticated and is increasingly likely to be mobile.
Choosing a System
A good PoS system can have a big positive impact on your business, so it’s important to choose carefully. Before contacting a supplier, and also looking at in store media, you should consider what you want from a system.
First of all, think about the hardware you require. As a minimum you’re going to need a cash till, a barcode reader, a credit card reader and a receipt printer. It’s important that all of this is properly integrated so that transactions are smooth and easy to complete.
As well as the customer-facing front end, you also need to consider the back-office functions. These include inventory management so that you get alerts when stock levels are running low, and of course sales tracking so that you can see what is selling and how your performance compares with previous weeks and months. A well-implemented system will also show you which lines are moving fastest and allow you to target promotions accordingly. To be effective this data needs to be accurate and up to date.
Security and Support
The retail industry is not immune to frauds and cyber-attack, and any PoS system, as well as your In store Media, will need to be properly secured. It also needs to be compliant with technology such as data encryption to ensure that information is protected.
It needs to incorporate the latest secure payment systems too, including the use of contactless cards and NFC payments from mobile phones. Any system also needs to be future-proof so that it can take account of new payment systems as they emerge.
Your business relies on its PoS system – without it you can be losing money. So you need to ensure that whichever supplier you choose offers a level of support that will get you working again as quickly as possible in the event of a problem occurring.