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By Alberto Jessurun / September 16, 2020 / Blog

7 Questions to Ask When Implementing a New POS

Point of sale systems do so much more than facilitate sales. Here’s how you can use them to drive customer satisfaction and tap into insights that will grow your business.

Whether it’s at the neighborhood coffee shop on the way to work, at a bar with colleagues at the end of the day, or during a weekend grocery run, most people come into contact with POS (point of sale) systems many times every day without even realizing it. The POS is one of the most important systems in a retail business, or in any space where money is changing hands, and the usage of POS platforms is on the rise

As businesses continue to innovate, POS technology has improved to scale with business growth and adapt to flexible needs. After all, the modern-day consumer wants a seamless shopping experience with zero pain points during a transaction. Whether they are buying a shirt, booking a fitness class, ordering takeout, or returning an unwanted Christmas gift, customers want the retail experience in a brick and mortar store to be as easy as its online counterpart. This is where the right POS comes in.

For businesses looking to implement a new POS system, it is important to understand that the platform is more than just a glorified cash register — it is a customer service tool, an inventory tracking specialist, and an analytics expert. 

When choosing and implementing this crucial piece of technology, here are seven questions to ask: 

 1. What is the right POS for my needs?

There are many POS options. Choosing the right one comes down to balancing desired features against budget. If one is not choosy when it comes to features, it may make sense to go with the lowest cost option. This is acceptable for a business that operates on a small scale, especially one without many employees. But be aware that a low-cost POS platform may not be extremely user-friendly or able to adapt to your other systems. 

When choosing a POS, read reviews and ask for references. Ideally, you will be able to speak to someone within your industry who is already using the POS you are considering. For example, a clothing retailer might benefit from hearing a POS review from another clothing retailer. A review from a restaurant, on the other hand, might not prove as instructive.

 2. How will the POS provide data analytics? 

Look for a POS platform that goes above and beyond making sales. Your POS should also analyze those sales by taking customer data and shopping trends and turning them into real information you can use to make decisions around everything from purchasing to scheduling to staffing. 

 3. What payments does it accept?

In the interest of creating a seamless transactional experience for the consumer, a POS should accept whatever method of payment the customer wishes to use. Types of payment should include cash, credit cards, gift cards, mobile payments, and may include alternative options such as Bitcoin or loyalty points.

 4. Which additional features do I want?

The best POS platforms work to integrate with a business’ existing systems and future needs. This is where it is important to pay close attention to the available features. Additional features on a great POS might include compatibility with online ordering (especially via third-party apps), ability to process returns, invoicing, age verification for retailers who sell age-restricted items, scheduling integration, digital inventory of products, online reservations, accounting tools, and of course, credit card processing. 

 5. What hardware is involved? 

The desire for a wall-mounted POS versus tablets — or something else entirely — varies by industry. It is important for businesses to consider their POS hardware needs when shopping around. Many modern retailers and restaurants offer customers a tablet with a card reader attached. This allows employees to move freely throughout the store and eliminates the need for customers to line up. Other businesses may want multiple POS stations to allow for faster transactions than a line of consumers at a register. 

 6. What about staff training?

Even the best POS in the world is nothing if employees do not understand how to use it. Businesses must ensure that there is a plan in place for employee training once the POS is implemented. Whether this is handled by the maker of the platform, a third-party, or in-house by managers, it should leave employees with a clear understanding of how to use the POS. 

Ask if a demo is available, if training is available, and what resources are in place (such as a printed or digital manual) to ease the learning curve once the POS is online.

 7. What can I expect in terms of ongoing support?

After you have selected a POS, gotten it up and running, and trained employees on how to use it, you should have a point of contact available in case you have questions or run into troubleshooting errors. Be aware of who to contact, how to reach them (phone, email, live chat, etc.), and when they are available.

For retailers interested in selecting the right POS platform, learning about options, or pursuing other technological solutions, Unisol’s online catalog is a great place to start. We ship worldwide and are happy to provide quotes and turnkey project development. Contact us to get started.

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