The basic features of any product define what it can do for you. If you have a specific solution in mind, all you need do is match what you want with a brief snapshot of what’s on offer. That’s all good when you’re dealing with consumer-grade stuff with few differences, like coffee makers—do I want reliability or variety?—but when you’re dealing with the hub of your business, things can get more complicated.
A list of point of sale system basic features is going to get lengthy. So we’ve put together this list of 10 “must-have” features for any POS system to get you started. If the features outlined below aren’t front and center on your potential POS solution’s marketing materials, then you need to continue your search.
The 10 Critical Point of Sale System Features
Your POS system needs to do a lot of work so that you don’t have to. It should become the heart of your entire operation, linking your customers, your staff, your inventory, and your accounts within one always-accessible platform.
When you’re ready to upgrade the way you work, these are the point of sale system basic features that should act as your new business foundation:
Cloud-computing is a small business miracle. By relocating the storage and maintenance of leading business software to third-party vendors, any business can access the best digital solutions without having to pay crippling up-front costs, or employ an IT staff.
Once your POS system is set up in the cloud you can access it from any device you prefer, from your phone to your business register to an iPad on your store floor.
2. Touch-Sensitive Simplicity
Over the past 5 years or so, iPads became cash registers. Once you power everything through the internet and the cloud, you can access your information the same way you would any website. So, you can turn your register into a multimedia, touch-simple interface by simply pairing your POS system with a tablet and some handy hardware that delivers the receipts, the payment options, and the cash drawer itself.
As a bonus, you now have an interactive screen on hand at the point of sale to engage your customer with any kind of marketing marvels you can load online.
3. On Online Presence
Every business needs an online presence, be it for direct sales, bookings, inquiries, basic listings, or a digital lure. Your POS system can be the bridge between your in-store and your online dealings. You should be able to pair it with your inventory to give an accurate display of all you’ve got to give, and it can help save on floorspace by housing all the variations, sizes, styles, and more that your customers will want to know about.
4. Financial Independence
This is one of those you-don’t-know-until-you’ve-been-there bits of advice we often hear. If you’re considering a new POS system, try to find one that doesn’t lock you into a banking partner. Your POS solution payment options should not be tied to your subscription or service agreement. Rather, you should be free to partner with whoever offers the best rates on rentals, credit card fees, and transactions.
5. Automation Makes Life Easier
If you’re going to invest in a digital solution then you should go all in and embrace the easy living of automation. Many of today’s leading POS hubs have built-in automatic notifications and ordering platforms that take care of the mundane business necessities for you. These systems can monitor inventory and sales performance in real-time to warn you of any unusual behavior, and can be set up to renew purchase orders whenever specified thresholds are met—a bit like setting a reminder and then not having to actually be reminded until the stock arrives at your door.
6. Staff Management
Point of sale system basic features will always cover the inventory and accounting side of things, but the best offerings will also provide for your employees. You can place everything from timesheets and rosters to tip sharing and social media connections on your all-in-one solution and look after your staff with the same app you use to balance the books.
Some POS systems will also let you empower your employees to access and alter these basic settings themselves so you no longer have to get involved in the who’s-filling-in-for-who debate hours before a shift.
7. Real-Time Data Science
The real advantage of turning your business into a linked digital operation is that you can count every element that passes through it. Everything you bring in, everything that goes out, and all the things that don’t move at all are accounted for and assessed to provide insight into how your business is performing. All the information that is already moving in and out of your doors gets captured and turned into knowledge about what sells, who buys it, when they buy it, and what really happens when you introduce discounts, marketing promotions, or customer loyalty programs.
8. The Gift of Personality
Speaking of loyalty programs and discounts, a digital POS system can help you personalize your business. There are hardware considerations like barcode printers and iPad displays that can provide a physical touch and then there are bookkeeping functions that let you offer product bundles or spur-of-the-moment specials while still tracking the final cost/profit balance.
You can run your business your way, and still be accountable to the bottom line because everything you run across your digital register is accounted for.
9. Inventory Management
It almost goes without saying…almost. A key reason for considering a POS upgrade is to better manage your inventory. Today’s solutions are customizable, fully integratable with outside programs (you can keep your trusty Quickbooks programs, for example), and able to crunch every variable from wages to marketing collateral into a whole-of-business overview.
Yes, it is a point of sale system basic feature cliché, but if you’re not comfortable with the way a particular offering tallies and accounts all your goods then it’s not for you.
10. Easy to Use
There’s no point in pursuing a subscription for an all-in-one, automated, simplified hub network if you don’t feel comfortable using it. And it’s not just you who will benefit from this setup, either. Your customers, your staff, and even your suppliers should all be able to navigate through your system with just a few touch points and without having to ponder their next move.
Beyond Point of Sale Basic Features Lies Expert Support
Digital technology should make working life easier, more efficient, and more effective. Luckily, many subscription POS services offer free trials and demonstrations so you can get a feel for the potential of your new solution. Every business is unique and will have its own unique needs, but with a foundation of these 10 features, you’ll be set up for success, whatever your industry.
If these 10 point of sale system basic features sound right for you, get in touch with talech for your retail technology needs. We work with you to provide you with an innovative POS solution that provides your business with exactly what it needs to thrive. Reach out to us today to sign up for a demo and to learn more about how talech can be your valued POS partner.
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