The era of carrying around wads of cash has been over for quite some time now. People have moved to convenient credit and debit card systems that enable them to access their bank account in a much more secure manner without the need to count out the bills. To adequately respond to this trend, retailers have installed their own Point of Sales Systems that can handle these types of transactions. Even if the customer elects to pay in cash, a good Point of Sales System ensures that inventory management is properly done and that everything can move forward smoothly for both the retailer and the end customer.
These points of sale systems are engineered by outside companies which are then licensed out to retailers to use in their own stores. They get their name in that they concern themselves with everything that happens during the final process of buying a product, or the point of sale. Bigger corporations tend to have their own in-house Point of Sales Systems, while smaller retailers need to find one that suits their needs for a software company. Not all POS systems are created equally, one that may be great for a restaurant would be abysmal for a corner store.
For this reason, there are many attributes to consider when choices a Point of Sale System:
Even the most advanced POS system with as many bells and whistles as possible isn’t of any use if the person operating it has no clue how to get it to work properly. A good user interface with a Point of Sale System will reduce employee mistakes, increase the amount of utility an employee can deliver to a customer, and keep things flowing smoothly. A difficult to use system will make purchasing items from your business needlessly longer to complete and increase the chances of something going wrong along the way.
How quickly a Point of Sale System processes a transaction can have huge ramifications on your business. If your system requires inordinate amounts of time to communicate with your customer’s bank and back, you risk customers lining up to pay and having a poor experience with your store overall. Keeping things flowing is important to any business, so if your customers regularly have to wait around for their transaction to be processed, they’ll end up finding somewhere else more convenient to shop.
Your customers are entrusting you with the extremely sensitive data found within their cards. If you are not adequately protecting them from people trying to access your POS data, you risk compromising their cards. That’s just from a retailer to customer perspective, from the other way around, you risk fraudsters making off with free products if your POS system is unable to detect fraudulent cards or cards without enough balance to pay. Some of the more unscrupulous bargain bin style points of sales system will do anything to make you think a transaction went off smoothly when in reality you haven’t been paid at all.
If there’s anywhere worth spending some extra money, it is in a quality Point of Sales System from a reputable company. While it might seem like you’re saving a few bucks picking a lesser system, you’ll end up losing money in the long run in lost customers or fraud/legal claims if you choose an absolutely abysmal POS system. Extra training of employees will also cut into your bottom line if your system is nearly impossible to use. If at all possible, get a demonstration of what the POS system is capable of and how quickly it is able to complete tasks before committing to installing it in your place of business.