Having a business is a dream for many people – but if you don't have a convenient way for customers to pay, that dream could fade quickly. The right point of sale system can gain you loyal customers, and put more money in your pocket. When consumers know they can pay for their purchases quickly and easily, they'll keep coming back – and they'll bring their friends. Choosing the right one is critical to making sure your business stays in the black.
If you own a retail store with physical products for sale, you'll want to choose a point of sale equipment that can scan via SKU or bar code. Other features should include gift card processing, discounts for customer loyalty rewards and product modifiers such as weight, colour, etc.
For businesses such as restaurants, you'll want features such as splitting cheques multiple ways, advanced reservations, floor layouts with seating arrangements, order tickets that are printed to the kitchen, and receipts with room for gratuities.
Regardless of the industry you're in, you'll need a standard set of point of sale equipment modules. These include the following:
- Point of sale software: This typically consists of a one-time licensing fee. There may be additional charges for ongoing monthly support and/or software upgrades.
- Point of sale hardware: You'll need several point of sale equipment components, such as mobile devices, cash drawers, barcode scanners, receipt printers and credit card readers.
- Integrations: Most POS systems have a basic set-up, with optional software integration as needed. This includes e-commerce compatibility, accounting software and social media add-ons.
- Credit card processing: If you're going to accept credit cards, you'll need to set up an account with a payment processor. The rates vary and will depend largely on the volume of business you generate. Some POS systems accept several different payment processors, while others only accept a select few.
Bad support can ruin an otherwise great product, so before you purchase a system, try out their phone and/or email support, both during business hours and on the weekend. It's important to know that in an emergency, you have quick access to knowledgeable staff that can help you. Take note of how long you're on hold, and how quickly your problem gets resolved. The efficiency and friendliness of staff can make a big difference when it comes to giving you the help you need.
Choosing the right point of sale equipment has a lot to do with the industry that you're in, and the volume of business that you generate on a regular basis. There are several options to choose from, so make sure you get the right system for your business. Don't be afraid to ask questions, and keep future business and expansion in mind when choosing.