Must-Have Features for a POS System

A point of sale (POS) system is where the magic happens, but at its most basic, a POS system allows businesses to deal with monetary transactions between a buyer and seller. This includes taking payments and returns. 

However, this software is capable of so much more and comes with a multitude of options. So, you’ll want to make sure you are choosing the right POS capabilities and integrated features for your small business. 

Top 10 Point of Sale System Features to Watch Out For

Whether you own a retail business or operate a restaurant, certain POS features will hold you in good stead for any situation you find your company in. From running loyalty programs to managing inventory, integrated components that work with your point of sale POS and accounting or business management software can make your life easier.

1. Invoicing

Invoices are crucial to small business accounting because they enable you to record your sales transactions for bookkeeping purposes. An invoice defines payment terms such as unit or service costs, shipping/handling, payment due dates, and any other conditions outlined during a transaction between the buyer and seller. Here are a few examples of the different types of invoices you can do with a POS system.

  • Sales: A sales invoice provides information on the business transaction between a buyer and seller. Offering a record of the services or products provided to a customer, when the payment took place, how much money is owed, and when that money is due. It may even go into details of the product or service if necessary.
  • Orders: If your customers want to buy a product that is not in stock yet, or that you don’t normally sell in-store, you can use your POS system to record this order in an invoice. Once the product becomes available in your inventory, you’ll have the necessary information to inform the customer. 
  • Repairs: Some point of sale software allows you to monitor customer items that you repair in your shop. For example, you will be able to repair items such as watches or jewelry and track a variety of custom repair statuses – i.e. how much the repair is going to cost, when the item needs to be repaired, and which parts need to be repaired etc.
  • Rentals: If you offer rental options (such as bicycles, skates, or skis), certain POS systems let you keep track of products that have been rented in your shop through an invoice. You can keep track of the details of the rental agreement, such as late fees and damaged items, more easily. 

2. Inventory Management for Retail POS Systems

Tracking inventory through a POS system is perfect because the minute a customer makes a purchase or return, this will be updated in the inventory management system. Other benefits include: 

  • Keep a detailed eye on inventory: Keeping a keener track of inventory will increase business profitability by clearly seeing what items you need more or less of.
  • Generate reports automatically: Both sales and inventory reports can be generated for any time period.
  • Allow for remote management : If a business has more than one location, the owner or manager doesn't have to worry about inventory theft since the POS system keeps track. See if your preferred system offers mobile and smartphone capabilities so that you can check stock levels from anywhere. 
  • Creates lower ordering costs: A POS system helps keep ordering costs low by telling you when exactly to order.

3. Customer Orders

Let’s say a customer is at your store and they want something delivered to their home. Or they pre-purchased a product that they want to be delivered to your store so they can pick it up at a later date. With a POS system that supports customer management and orders, you can easily provide these services. 

Sometimes customers will refuse to buy a product due to inconvenience. So small businesses may also benefit from the use of customer orders because they minimize lost sales since the merchandise can be delivered or picked up at a different time or place.

4. Order Management

Easily manage customer data with comprehensive order management integration. This is when an employee registers a customer’s order, and the entire process gets tracked from the moment the order has been placed to the moment the package or service has been collected. 

The order management system offers visibility to both the customer and the business, so both parties can feel secure and are able to check in on orders at all times. 

5. Customizable Reports

If you run a small business, you understand the importance of collecting data in a timely manner. Your ability to gather information and analyze it quickly provides you with the enhanced ability to make informed business decisions. For example, you may pull business data to determine which products are in high demand so that you can keep them in stock, move them to a more strategic location in the store or even create a special promotion.

Generally, POS systems allow business owners and managers to generate customizable reports that compare different types of data, such as: 

  • Number of sales
  • Value of sales
  • Mean, median, and mode of sale values
  • Current inventory
  • Change in inventory
  • Number of promotional transactions (e.g. payments using coupons, gift cards, sales, special offers, etc.)
  • Individual customer loyalty statistics
  • Most popular items

Report capabilities allow small business owners to keep a detailed record of their business management activities to provide greater insight into strategies and revenue generation. 

6. 24/7 Customer Service Support

When making the decision to buy point-of-sale software, you want to ensure you are getting the support you need. If there’s an issue with the POS system, you need to know that someone will be available to help you solve that issue ASAP. Time is money! Here are some good questions to ask the supplier before making your purchase. 

  • Can I reach support during nights and weekends/which hours will support be available? 
  • How can I reach support? By phone, email etc. 
  • Is there a long wait time before I receive support?
  • Does someone need to come in physically or will I be guided through a procedure? 

7. Push Notifications and Auto Order Suggestions

A feature for your POS software to look out for is if they offer push notifications for low stock items and offer auto-order suggestions. This could be helpful in reminding you when you need to restock on items as well as making the process quicker and easier. 

8. Multiple Users

Comprehensive POS software can have multiple users with varying levels of access. In a multiple-user POS system, two or more computers share common information and resources. For example, this could be used if you have a retail store, with one computer placed in the front and one in the back. The one in the front can be checking out a customer, while the one in the back can be printing a report, preparing a mailing label etc. 

Some benefits of connecting two or more computers for your retail POS include:

  • Shared storage of information gathered by each computer.
  • Shared access to all stored information.
  • Shared use of printers or other devices.
  • Shared use of software, which is installed on the server and can be used by each station.

9. Customer Database and Order History

A way to retain customers is by getting to know them. Being able to pull up order history easily is essential, but there are also other necessary features that cover your customer database. For example, when customers use a credit card and request a digital receipt, their contact information should be added to your list. 

Your POS should make it easy to get your customers’ permission to reach out to them -this could be done by tapping “follow” on their digital receipts. It should also allow you to quickly update customer information like birthdays, anniversaries, food allergies, etc. You can also use it to collect information on shopping habits to see if they could qualify or benefit from a loyalty program. 

10. Run Sales and Discounts

This feature can run in collaboration with the customer database and order history feature. For example, suppose you own a small tea shop and your POS system tracks that a certain customer frequently buys raspberry tea online. In that case, you can organize an email list to promote sales and offer discounts on raspberry tea to that customer. 

If a customer is doing in-person shopping, discounts can be automatically applied on the point of sale device – speeding up the checkout process for you and your customers. Also, any customer added to a customer group with an associated discount will automatically receive the discount during a transaction.

You need the equipment that runs your business to keep up with growing demands from customers. This includes making sure all aspects of your business work together for maximum organization and profitability. Seamlessly sync your POS system with your accounting software when you use QuickBooks Online, and get the same level of reporting with comprehensive financial statements. Start your integration today with a free trial now. 

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