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By Alberto Jessurun / May 11, 2022 / Blog

How to Choose the Right POS for Your Business

Any business with a retail footprint and inventory hinges on the ever-evolving point of sale system. Here’s how to find one that fits your needs.

Key Takeaways:
  • POS systems range from the relatively simple to performing multiple complex functions
  • Simpler systems cost less but will lack certain features and levels of support
  • A POS must become a seamless part of existing operations and a complement to future ones
It’s hard to overstate how much impact the point of sale (POS) system has on a business. The POS is where every aspect of marketing, store presentation, and product strategy literally pays off ... or doesn’t. The right system delivers the smooth transaction consumers want at checkout and enhances their retail experience. The wrong POS can sink all hope of a sale and replace a done deal with a dissatisfied customer.

This makes selecting the right system for your business essential to your overall success. There’s also much more a quality POS can do for a business beyond ringing up purchases. Our guide will cover the key POS considerations to help build positive consumer relationships and streamline operations.

Criticize and compare

Choosing a new POS system might begin by taking a critical look at the one you currently use. Is it in line with what customers want and expect at checkout, especially in terms of contactless transactions? It’s a good time to replace the POS if it isn’t.

Almost 75% of small-to-mid-sized businesses expect contactless payments to be the preferred payment style for consumers while 44% of shoppers would refuse to use a store that doesn’t provide it. Other basic things customers look for in a POS are chip reading and the ability to accept gift cards or foreign currency, so consider upgrading if you lack those.

Perhaps your current POS handles payment options well but little else. Today’s systems can handle other key customer and employee-centered functions, like inventory access and management, data analytics, and payrolls. They can also be used to run customer loyalty programs or help multi-location businesses keep tabs on operations across branches.

If those are areas where you could improve, then an upgraded POS could help. Generally speaking, the more your POS can do, the more it’s likely to contribute to public satisfaction and professional performance. So, compare several systems. A plethora of features doesn’t always indicate the right POS system for your business, however. Further critical appraisal is necessary to avoid unnecessary expenses.

Clarify the needs of your customers, employees, and operations

Customers have made their needs clear. The next step is speaking to employees to discover how your current system is simplifying or complicating their job. Can they:
  • Easily understand and operate the current POS?
  • Execute transactions as quickly as possible?
  • Efficiently keep track of and adjust inventory?
  • Confidently help customers with product/service queries?
Next, consider which further features could be of practical use. For example, does your business have the framework in place to successfully utilize the impressive CRM features of a modern POS? A wealth of data can be valuable but only if you have the means to actionably process it. Payroll features on a POS may also be moot if you already have a solid accounting structure.

An important element to consider here is that while some POS system features may seem unnecessary today, they could become indispensable tomorrow. As your business expands, it may prove beneficial to have a POS already in place that can go the extra mile in the future.

Integration is another prime selection factor. A POS must connect seamlessly with your wider technological framework in terms of hardware and software. The more business aspects you want the POS to be part of, the more comprehensive integration must be.

Consider the cost to implement

Buying a POS system isn’t a one-and-done purchase. Beyond the hardware and software needed to get started are the ongoing monthly operating expenses. NerdWallet gives a good overview of a number of popular POS providers that covers the various costs and highlights how their payment models differ. Most of these companies take a percentage of every transaction made while others offer free software as a perk where competitors don’t.

Costs are also system-specific. Review the complete list of pros and cons for a particular POS to decide if the system’s start-up costs, benefits, and monthly fees will be worth the investment.

Perhaps the most important feature of any POS is the quality of its customer support. The most feature-laden system will be useless if they go down without readily accessible assistance from the provider. The 24/7 service option may cost extra, but it could save you much more in the face of potential downtime losses, especially if shelves are stocked overnight.

Make security a priority

Sensitive computer and company data flow through your POS system and each must be protected. Hackers can infiltrate a POS via network attacks and make off with valuable PII and PCI to exploit consumers and businesses alike. Optimizing system security and PCI DSS compliance are thus vital concerns when selecting a POS package.

Your consideration is best given to POS systems that:
  • Require multi-step authentication and employee password access.
  • Offer cloud connectivity with the associated perks of regular software updates and enhanced security.
  • Block any integrated system aspects which may compromise POS security.
  • Notify administrators of any abnormal POS processes.
  • Encrypt data at point of entry with decryption occurring exclusively at the payment processor’s end.
Don’t forget that when you select a POS package from a provider they become a third party to (and a potential weak link in the chain of) your business operations. Ask them for a detailed breakdown of how they handle customer security from their side before signing with them.

Contact Unisol International for the best in POS systems

Unisol International is here to help whether you’re choosing the first POS for your business or considering switching to a new system. We can help you compare and contrast the leading POS brands to make sure your store functions more effectively after the implementation.

From engineering and project design to deployment and management, our team can help you implement a POS system that meets customer expectations and performs as you need. Just contact us to learn more.

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