More and more retailers are seeking out point of sale software reviews as they look for ways to streamline their operations. They know that recent POS innovations deliver more features, better integration, and lower costs.
Yet despite the many innovations in POS software in recent years, a great number of retailers continue to use outdated POS networks. A recent survey reported by Finances Online found that 63% of fixed payment POS terminals and 37% of store POS networks are between three and five years old.
The global POS system market is forecasted to nearly double in the next six years, increasing from $15.64 billion in 2019 to $29.09 billion in 2025. Two of the factors driving the market’s growth are mobile POS systems and cloud-based POS systems:
- Mobile payment transaction values are projected to have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30.1% between 2019 and 2023.
- Cloud-based POS systems accounted for more than 60% of POS system purchases in a recent six-month period.
One of the tools retailers rely on when shopping for a POS system upgrade is point of sale software reviews. In most cases, the reviews are designed to allow head-to-head comparisons of features, functionality, and cost, among many other factors. However, it’s not always easy to know which reviews are relevant to a particular retailer’s needs and circumstances.
Here’s a quick guide to finding the information in POS software reviews that will be most valuable when comparing how well various offerings meet your business’ needs.
Breaking Down Point of Sale Software Review Sites
To help retailers sort through the many features and configuration options offered by various POS vendors, software review sites typically include a “buyer’s guide” section that includes detailed descriptions of POS features and benefits. The guides also give retailers a breakdown of the price points for different POS options.
Most review sites classify POS systems by hardware, software, integration with backend office systems, payment processing capabilities, and the level of support provided by the vendor. Sites such as Software Advice offer a downloadable 2020 Retail Pricing Guide (registration required) as well as head-to-head comparisons of popular POS options.
Similarly, Business News Daily’s POS software guide features predictions about the POS market in 2020 and beyond, along with an FAQ on POS shopping considerations and a rundown on important factors in the POS buying decision. Business.com’s extensive POS buyer’s guide includes sections describing the features of cloud-based and server-based POS systems, plus hybrids of the two types.
Factors to Consider When Comparing Point of Sale Software
When retailers start the process of shopping for POS software, their first two considerations are ensuring the system has the POS features the business needs, and finding a solution with those features at a price that’s within their budget. However, there are many other factors that contribute to choosing the best POS software for your store’s needs.
These are the typical features offered by modern POS software:
- Payment processing, including mobile, online, and contactless payments.
- Sales tracking to monitor the performance of sales team members and ensure sufficient stock levels.
- Inventory management, including alerts when stock runs low and automatic reordering.
- Customer relationship management that features personalized promotions, loyalty programs, and discounts for frequent customers.
- Barcode scanning, receipt printing, and automatic handling of returns and voids.
Base prices for POS software fall into three general categories:
- $0 to $25 per month, typically for the smallest retail operations.
- $26 to $60 per month for retailers with more employees, inventory items, and customers.
- $60+ per month for multi-location or large-scale operations.
Multi-store retail management, advanced sales analysis and forecasting, added inventory management, and promotional events management are among the features that add to the cost of POS software for large retail chains.
Other Point of Sale Software Purchasing Considerations
POS software may offer all the features a store needs at an affordable price, yet still be a poor choice for a particular retail operation. These are among the other factors that determine which POS solution is the best for your business:
- Customer service: Retailers have to keep in mind that even the most reliable POS systems sometimes encounter problems. When shopping for POS software, examine the customer service standards the vendor follows to ensure help will be available when it’s needed.
- Cost-benefit analysis: A standard part of any business purchase decision is conducting a thorough cost-benefit analysis that considers not only expenses and revenue, but also usability, training and support costs, compatibility with external systems, and other intangibles.
- Customer testimonials: Retailers can learn a great deal about the products and services a POS vendor offers by learning about the real-world experiences of its customers, which provide a glimpse of what retailers can expect from the products.
While it’s natural for retailers to focus on their immediate needs from a POS software purchase, they must also prepare for future upgrades and enhancements as the business grows and new technologies arrive. That’s why it’s important to find a POS vendor who will serve as a partner and will work with you to find the ideal POS solution for your business today and tomorrow.
One of the most defining characteristics of the retail industry is its ability to adapt quickly to new and changing trends, technologies, and conditions. The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates the value of having systems in place that make employees more productive and business processes more efficient. It all adds up to a tighter operation that’s laser-focused on meeting the needs of customers—that is the ultimate goal of POS software.
In a period of change, talech has a number of POS solutions that can help your business adjust operations smoothly. From reaching new audiences to engaging with your existing customers more often, we give you the tools to adapt quickly and with confidence. Get your free personalized demo to see how you can benefit from talech POS.