The decision to pull the trigger on an upgraded or brand new POS solution is not one to take lightly. Optimizing your business processes is a key consideration, but so is ensuring that the customer experience is improved by your project. The variety of bells and whistles on the POS market, while enticing at first glance, may not give you the bang for the buck you are seeking. You’ll need to run a POS system cost comparison.
Getting the most out of your POS software choice for as low of a price point as possible is the name of the game. You don’t want to sacrifice functionality in exchange for a cheaper solution, as this can cost you several times more down the road. You want to find that balanced POS solution that gives you the tools you desire but at a lower cost and without hidden fees, but how?
Knowing what to examine when considering multiple POS options will help you to realize a high ROI. The education you will receive as part of this process will also aid in the selection of the functionalities you require and will provide you with a flexible solution that allows you to adjust to adapt to changes in your business. Deciphering the code of what each solution really brings to the table is the most essential tool needed to make the right POS selection. Once you have cracked the code, you will feel confident moving forward with the choice you have made.
What ROI do the Functionalities of the POS Software Provide
Cost is only part of the equation when comparing multiple POS solutions. Knowing what functionalities are included in the base price of each POS platform bring considered adds a layer of complexity in working up the numbers. Some solutions may be more expensive, but if they include more features in their base price, this may make it more competitive. On the flip side, if the included software features do not include support or updating in the pricing, the cost analysis changes direction again.
Comparing multiple POS systems comes down to several key elements that must be examined.
- Are there any associated monthly or annual fees, such as to apply security patches to software or to get the support necessary for your operating hours?
- Does the vendor include software configuration as part of the initial cost, or is that a separate fee?
- How do the features in the base packages stack up against others?
- On a per cost basis, how much per feature are you really paying?
- Is training for you and your staff included, and if so what are the limitations?
- Does a POS software vendor force you into purchasing hardware or payment processing separately?
The list could go on, but you get the point. Researching these items helps you to decide what features are true requirements versus the nice to haves, and limits the amount of money you will spend on functionalities that will never be used in your business. This helps you to shed some light into the real costs of a POS solution and allows you to further pinpoint the exact features you need.
Determining the True Cost of your POS Hardware
Many of the same points of examination for POS software apply to POS hardware components and peripherals as well. The primary items that stand out when it comes to determining the true cost of a vendor’s POS hardware are servicing support and their responsiveness of issuing replacement hardware. Cost factors must be examined in both areas, including limitations such as short-term warranties or not offering to replace out of date hardware components, such as updating card readers or mPOS devices.
Support responsiveness can make or break your business. Vendor support must be able to address issues when they could potentially arise in your business. They must be available for support calls during your business hours at a minimum. Ideally, support hours will be more around the 24/7/365 variety. This allows you to swap out faulty or outdated equipment during your off-hours, reducing the impact on your customers and on your production day.
In the event of a hardware failure, you must be able to remain open and operational. Determining the costs of not just the support and logistical aspects of identifying and replacing faulty hardware, but also of the revenue impact to your business, are crucial aspects of the POS hardware you are considering bringing on board. Comparing these will give you a clearer picture around what the vendor perceives as being an emergency, and how it aligns with your own expectations of what they should provide in an emergency, hardware down, scenario.
Avoiding a Fall into a Payment Processing Trap
There is one potentially costly factor that must be looked at in-depth to avoid falling into a pitfall of leaking revenue, and that is how the POS system integrates with a payment processor. This is an area in particular that is not consistent across multiple POS vendors, and in fact, is one of the most likely places where you will incur hidden fees or unfavorable contract terms. We covered the ins and outs of selecting a payment processor in the past but will summarize a bit to help you in developing a complete POS system cost comparison.
There are three primary types of payment processing that may be offered as part of an overall POS solution, and each brings with them aspects that will impact your bottom line in either direction.
- Free. It can almost be guaranteed that a “free” payment processing option will never be free in the end. This option is most likely full of escalating fees and non-negotiable contract terms.
- Approved payment processors. A POS vendor may present you with a shortlist of payment providers and will use terms such as “approved” or “certified” to be used with their system. Some of these may offer flexible terms or present a minimum of fees, others may be stringent in terms and charge exorbitant fees. Research these options deeply before considering them.
- Free to choose. This is the ideal scenario. Your POS vendor allows you not only to select the payment processor you would most like to work with, but also allows you to negotiate your own terms. In this situation, you are able to negotiate freely and enlist the services of a payment processor that gives you the affordability and flexibility you desire.
The risks of choosing the wrong payment processor will be detrimental for a long period of time. Hidden fees, limited support options, and fee escalators will never allow you to fully control your business finances. The importance of selecting a payment processor that gives you favorably, flexible terms can easily elevate a POS solution you are comparing to the top of the pile.
POS System Cost Comparison Requires Guidance and Experience
Comparing the costs of a variety of POS software platforms is not as cut and dry as it may first appear. Diving into the real cost and usefulness of included features, as well as knowing what is in the fine print for your support and payment processing options, is imperative. Cutting through the tech-speak and legalese is something that you are most likely not fully equipped to handle, so it makes sense to obtain the guidance of an experienced POS consultant.
The consultant you select must be able to readily demonstrate the expertise they possess in your area of business and show that they have their finger on the pulse of what is new and great in the world of POS technology. Leaning on this wisdom will help to clarify the options laid out before you, and ensures that you will make a choice that will keep your business processes flowing smoothly for years while further enticing your customer base.
Enlisting the experience help that talech provides you with immediate benefits when conducting a POS system cost comparison. We serve as a partner and examine the aspects and details of your business to determine which POS system is a perfect fit. You achieve your POS goals without any hidden fees, long contracts, or gaps in support so that your business can grow and remain flexible to the quickly evolving business world. Contact us today to sign up for a demo and to learn more about how talech can be your valued POS partner.