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Why retail businesses have to use POS systems?

A retail POS system can be a great asset for any retail business selling goods or services to the public. While cash registers allow for the simple processing of payments, a state-of-the-art POS platform can help you not only manage transactions, but also track sales, inventory, customer information and purchase history. It’s a smarter, faster, and better way for businesses to use the data provided by customers at the point of purchase in order to serve – and market to them – more effectively.

Important POS Features for Retail

Sales history

A computerized POS system for retail allows for detailed reports of customer purchase history in a way that traditional cash registers cannot. It provides instant, point of sale updates of inventory, allowing businesses to stay abreast of changes in stock at all times, and adjust marketing and sales accordingly.

Less hardware

Many POS systems today are on digital, handheld devices like tablets or smart phones. This means that businesses no longer need a central check-out counter, and can have a mobile check-out point servicing customers wherever they are inside the store.

Improved inventory management

POS systems help empower employees by giving them extensive information at their fingertips about inventory and other store features, helping boost their ability to service – and upsell - customers in real time. With such information now only a click or a tap away, employees no longer need to ask for supervisor assistance or go rifling through the inventory by hand.

For instance, at a clothing store, an employee holding a POS tablet can approach a customer and instantly check if the item they’re looking for is available in their size, saving them a trip to the stockroom. If the business is part of a chain that is hooked up to a centralized retail POS system, they can instantly search all other branches in the general area to find a store where the customer can find the item in their size, increasing chances of making that potential sale.

Better customer interaction

Digital platforms also allow for greater interaction with the customer after the transaction. With traditional cash registers, the interaction between merchant and customer typically ended at the moment of purchase. With a POS system, the business is able to digitally collect more extensive data from customers at the point of sale, which allows for more effective future marketing and follow-up by way of email, text, and other avenues.

Promotions 

For businesses geared towards children, such as toy stores or indoor playscapes, information like birthdays and emails can be collected and used to advertise special offers for birthday parties, discounts, and the like, increasing chances that one-time customers will become regulars.

Considerations Before Moving to a POS System 

When considering moving to a POS system, a company first needs to determine their needs. POS systems can manage labor reporting and run advertising campaigns, but if these bells and whistles are beyond your company’s needs, then a simple, traditional cash register may be a better choice. This is especially true considering that an advanced POS platform can cost a business far more than a cash register, even several times more, with monthly fees continuing after the initial purchase.

Fees 

Credit and debit processing fees can be expensive for business owners, so make sure that the retail POS system you chose has favorable rates.

Complexity 

When weighing which system to purchase, it’s wise to check how complicated it will be to operate and if there will be a learning curve for employees. In addition, the system may need to be updated quite regularly.

Integration 

You also need to find a system that can be integrated with the other software your business uses, such as for accounting. If the systems aren’t compatible, you could be in for some headaches.

Security 

Security is another major consideration, and one of growing importance for savvy consumers. It is imperative that you find a tested, well-regarded POS system that will protect customers from fraud, identity theft, and other financial crimes and has a service desk that is responsive and capable of solving any hardware problems that may occur.

Reviews of some of the top POS platforms for retail businesses can be found here.

Here are some industry leaders to meet your retail business’ needs:

LightSpeed

LightSpeed Retail POS is geared towards the retail industry and yet has excellent detail. Manage inventory with pre-loaded catalogs and a synced product history both instore and online. Accounting integration with Quickbooks takes only a few clicks. Manage special orders and discounts from your Mac or iPad, and include special touches like branded receipts. Powerful analytics and reporting on customer behavior make it a complete package.


Clover

Clover POS has all of the features you'd expect from a POS system, including built-in payment processing, order management, and customer management system. There are even marketing campaigns, loyalty programs, and birthday promotions to help grow your customer base. Clover offers other tools like shift management, scheduling, and register activity logs, as well.

Clover provides both stationary and portable hardware devices, so you can select the type of hardware that works best for your business needs and layout. Clover POS is also tot