When weighing the pros and cons of various POS systems, retailers have to consider which POS features and functions are most important to them, how much the business can afford to spend on the system, how well the POS software will integrate with the company’s existing systems, and many other aspects of the purchase.
What may get less attention is how much training the POS system will require for employees and managers to use it. Many of the potential benefits of a POS system to a retailer can be lost if the POS hardware and software is difficult to learn and use. Not only can this frustrate employees and cause longer waits for customers in line, but a non-intuitive POS system can also prevent the business from taking advantage of sales reporting, inventory management tools, customer relationship management capabilities, and other key features of modern POS products.
Fortunately, new cloud-based POS systems that use tablet and smartphone apps are usable right out of the box, requiring little or no POS system experience. When shopping for a POS system, retailers should look for a vendor who makes easy setup, operation, and maintenance a high priority.
Tips for Getting Started Using a Modern POS System
Some of the questions retailers should ask before they decide on a POS system for their stores include:
- Does the system work with my credit card processor and card readers?
- Does the vendor offer POS apps that run on Android and iPad tablets?
- Does the system integrate smoothly with my accounting software and payroll service?
- If the store is replacing an older POS system, will the new software support uploading and integrating the retailer’s existing data?
The journal notes that cloud-based POS systems are the easiest type to set up, requiring only that the POS app be installed on a tablet or smartphone, after which you create an account and connect a card reader, barcode scanner, and receipt printer wirelessly or via a hardwired link. Configuring the software likewise requires only a few steps:
- Create custom receipts by adding the business name, logo, and other information.
- Configure the local sales tax rate.
- Choose whether to require signatures for transactions.
- Depending on the type of business, add tipping options.
- Assign roles and permissions for employees and managers, and make it easy for employees to switch roles as necessary during the course of a workday.
- Configure any required third-party integrations.
Gauging the Value of Previous POS System Experience
The common belief is that new technology always comes at the price of acquiring the new skills necessary to apply the technology. That was once the case with POS system experience, but the latest generation of POS software and hardware is bringing that assumption into question. The complicated terminals, printers, readers, and scanners of earlier POS products have been replaced by full-featured POS systems that are as easy to use as a typical tablet or smartphone app.
One of the greatest benefits of easy-to-use cloud-based POS software is that it allows sales staff to keep their focus on the customer they’re serving rather than on the system they’re using to complete the transaction. When the customer is waiting to complete the sale, the last thing the retailer wants is for them to become impatient as the sales associate attempts to troubleshoot some glitch. Modern POS systems anticipate these situations and build in workarounds that ensure even exceptional transactions are completed in a few seconds.
Today’s POS software interfaces avoid making employees scroll through a long series of menus to find the option they need. Complete product information is easy to find with a single search, and product returns, refunds, and exchanges can be processed with just a few clicks or taps, including partial returns, all with or without a receipt.
Modern interfaces avoid presenting employees with dozens of options at once and instead anticipate their actions, which shaves seconds off each transaction. This keeps customers happy by preventing unnecessary waiting, and it boosts the productivity of workers by allowing them to complete more transactions in the same amount of time.
How POS Vendors Help Their Customers Get Started
Any change in an employee’s work routine can stir some feelings of anxiety and confusion as workers abandon the old and adopt the new. POS vendors help retailers prepare their employees for the new work processes by ensuring that the business has the proper foundation in place for the system. A POS tutorial has three goals:
- Take advantage of the data the POS system collects by generating reports that provide insight into sales patterns, employee performance, inventory management, and other aspects of the business.
- Apply the data gathered by the POS system to enhance customer experiences by offering clients personalized discounts, custom bundles, and other specials.
- Boost productivity by automating repetitive manual tasks such as employee scheduling, calculating tips and sales commissions, and preparing payroll records.
A POS vendor’s Getting Started guide will explain clearly all the steps required to install, configure, and maintain the POS system. It will cover such issues as password management, data security requirements, registering the application, and special services and features for specific industries or applications. Other topics addressed in the guide are typical daily operations of users and managers, application updates, and how to change credit card processors.
It’s always a good idea to become familiar with a POS system’s features and capabilities as part of the evaluation process. By understanding the requirements of the system’s installation and use early, retailers avoid unwelcome surprises later. Look for a POS vendor who will guide you through the initial information-input phase, and who builds training modules directly into the system.
Most importantly, choose a POS vendor who listens to and understands your business’s unique requirements. That is the single most important factor in ensuring a speedy and trouble-free transition to a thoroughly modern POS system.
When you partner with talech for your retail technology needs, we devote our time to identifying your business challenges. We use this information to work with you to apply an innovative POS solution that levels the playing field. 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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