Refreshing the point of sale hardware you rely on can be an exciting project. First, there is the process of discovering all of the exciting innovations that have taken place since you made your last purchase. Then, you enter into full-on daydreaming mode as you start to envision just how perfectly your new hardware could work with your POS software. The efficiencies that can be realized are nearly limitless, but so are your POS hardware options.
The search for the best retail point of sale hardware for your retail business has to have a starting point. We have found several important features that small and mid-sized retailers have found to be crucial in making the most dynamic, forwarding-thinking decision about POS hardware. These characteristics will help you to build a solid foundation that will elevate the effectiveness of innovative POS software on the results and service your store provides.
1. Mobility Has Moved from Optional to Required
As consumers rely more heavily on their smartphones to get things done, you must take a page from their book when choosing your POS hardware. The bulky legacy registers of previous decades are not only considered to be past their prime, but can deter customers from doing business with you. The sleek and sophisticated look and feel of tablet-based POS terminals projects a sleek, high-tech feel that today’s consumers are growing to expect
Leaning on tablet-based POS terminals gives you other benefits besides catching the eye of a would-be shopper. Staff can quickly detach the tablet to assist customers wherever they are in your store, performing all manner of services from inventory searches to placing special orders. The freedom of movement this gives to your staff, plus the ability to better craft a personalized shopping experience for your customers, sets you up for long-term success.
2. Exciting New Hardware Is Only as Good as the POS Software It Runs
You wouldn’t purchase a new TV without a remote control or a way to hook it up to a cable provider or the internet, so why purchase new hardware that runs on lackluster POS software? Simply focusing your hardware selection based on what the best-ranked hardware is can leave you in a bad place. Software compatibility must be considered as well—including operating system requirements—before making a hardware choice.
The best way to alleviate compatibility and functionality concerns is to purchase your POS hardware from the same vendor that can provide the cutting-edge POS software to come along for the ride. This way, you can be confident in the performance of your overall POS platform. You can be assured that your hardware will flawlessly integrate into your software solution. Also, you will sleep easy at night knowing that your support chain has been shortened to a one-call-that-fixes-all model.
3. Hardware Support Is Your Lifeline
An important feature that your point of sale hardware can offer is comprehensive and easy to use product support. Hardware breakdowns are an inevitable part of conducting business, so you want to be sure that the hardware devices you choose come with support options that will quickly resolve any issue in a time frame that is convenient for you. This must include a well-defined service level agreement (SLA) as well to help avoid any misunderstandings around a vendor’s support obligations.
Some of the other important items to thoroughly examine include hardware replacement policies, warranty length, and coverage, as well as after-hours support. Having these align with the exact support needs of your business, including avoiding intrusive support steps while your doors are open, will ensure that any hardware issues you encounter can be handled quickly and cause minimal interruption.
4. Well Defined and Regular Lifecycle Management
As you are most likely well aware of, eventually hardware will either age out of simply stop working completely. It is important to have your hardware remain compatible and functional for as long as possible, but without sacrificing performance. You also need to be confident in the reliability of your hardware, and that it will remain operational when you need it the most. This makes lifecycle management an important feature to seek out in any POS hardware you consider.
Your POS hardware vendor should offer you a lifecycle management program. This way, you know that the hardware you have is near the beginning of its lifespan and that reliability will be high. When you purchase your hardware from the same place you get your POS software, you gain additional benefits. Your hardware and software can all be refreshed as they age out of their useful lives, making the transition and management of your entire POS solution much more complete and effective.
5. Device Security Is an Important Consideration
At a glance, hardware security may not appear to be a feature of prime consideration, but it would be a mistake to ignore this important piece of the puzzle. Hardware security is critical for any retailer, especially when PCI DSS requirements are added to the mix, and does not stop at ensuring its physical security. In fact, that is only the start towards creating a powerful security strategy to protect the data of your business and your customers.
Data encryption on your hardware is important, and must protect information while in transit, residing on the screen, or when stored. Cloud-based POS solutions reduce the chances of a stored data security incident, but that does not make you immune to a data breach. Many breaches occur when data is still locally stored on the device. In addition to physical security, find a POS software that uses advanced authentication methods in addition to recommended physical security methods.
Let Us Help You Select Your Retail Point of Sale Hardware
Selecting POS hardware can be even more confusing than selecting POS software. Our consultants will guide you towards the best POS hardware for your store’s needs. We take into account the level of support and lifecycle management you need, as well as keeping security and aesthetics at the forefront of planning. This way, we give you a complete POS solution that is flexible and reliable for now and through the lifecycle of your hardware.
Retaining the expert consultants that talech can offer will give you the confidence you need to enhance the reputation of your brand. We will examine your store processes and business requirements to develop a solution that effortlessly integrates into your business model. Contact us today to sign up for a demo and to learn more about how talech can be your valued POS partner.