RETAIL POINT OF SALE HARDWARE
Retail success starts with the right hardware and software systems
Picture this — you are about to open up your very first location for your upcoming retail empire. In just a few short months, you are going to present your vision to the public and start selling your wares to throngs of customers. You are so excited that you don’t even stop to think about what should be an obvious question: How are they going to pay for it?
The practical realities of running a business, especially things like point of sale (POS) systems, often escape us. That being said, running a business depends on these practicalities running smoothly, moving customers in and away from the register. Not only does your retail point of sale hardware reassure customers of your professionalism, it can also project your brand. For example, replacing your old register with sleek tablets gives your store a more modern and open feel.
That being said, the needs of your business often change depending on your industry. Here are several retail point of sale hardware and software features that connect you with your customers.
Get the most out of your day-to-day operation
No matter the industry, there are certain features that every business can benefit from. These features mostly refer to daily operations, such as data storage, analytics and software integration. These features are the lifeblood of your business, making sure that every cog fits into place without disrupting employee workflow.
POS systems are just like any other piece of technology — they are comprised of both hardware (the physical devices themselves) and software (the program being run on the hardware). You want to make sure that your hardware easily integrates with various kinds of software from the start. This will allow you to test out various POS methods without having to buy a new device each time. This ensures that you are able to find what works best for you.
In an ideal world, your retail point of sale hardware will never break. As for the real world, you want to make sure that your POS has support and protection, including:
- Service Level Agreement (SLA)
- Replacement policies and warranties
- After-hours support
Data Encryption & Storage
Modern POS systems have moved online, providing extra security for your data than the traditional register provides. This also increases data accessibility, allowing you to view it with any device that can connect to the cloud.
One of the most confusing aspects of running a business is developing a strong strategy for what to do next. Modern POS systems collect the purchase data of your customers and catalog it to help you make those difficult decisions.
These features perform the daily operations needed to keep the lights on. In addition, they ensure that your data is protected if something does go wrong and that you can easily pivot. They should also offer to replace the retail point of sale hardware as part of the legal agreement. Finally, you want some kind of guarantee that the vendor will be there to help. Fundamentally, this gives you peace of mind as you and your team begin to tackle more specialized challenges.
In the world of retail, inventory counts
Regardless of industry, any business owner will tell you that inventory is an ever-present thorn in their side. Oftentimes, your retail point of sale hardware cannot manage the upkeep necessary for a strong inventory management strategy. Similarly, the specialized tools procured specifically for inventory management might not integrate with your existing equipment. These can lead to several problems with your inventory, including:
Dealing with changing demand
Having too much/too little of a product
Not processing refunds or voids appropriately
Poor relationships with vendors
Inventory not being counted often enough
Missing deadlines for re-ordering
Inventory is similarly tricky in that it cascades; the issues you have with one thing often bleed over into another. For example, a clothing retailer may run out of a piece of a combined set of clothing. Otherwise interested customers might not purchase the remaining pieces since they wouldn’t have the whole set. This means that while the retailer is reordering the missing piece, the others are taking up space on the shelves. In other words, a retailer may find themselves losing out on three items rather than just the missing one.
The solution to your inventory management needs, however, is found in your retail point of sale hardware. Using on-hand devices such as smartphones or a tablets, modern POS systems allow for:
Integrated item tracking allows you to scan and monitor items from arrival to sale using a smartphone or tablet. From there, the item is automatically added to your online inventory, where you can check its status at any time. This includes the quantity currently in-store to the actual location within the store.
One of the central challenges of any business is managing your overheads. A significant part of this process is determining the cost of putting a product in front of shoppers. Retail point of sale hardware provides this information by scanning the product into your system, doing the heavy lifting.
Modern inventory technology allows you to set a predetermined limit on merchandise, alerting you to reorder or reordering for you automatically. This ensures that the shop never runs out of products without risking having too much at a time.
Keeping a tight rein on your inventory management benefits more than just your incoming stock. Using modern inventory management solutions helps check for lost or missing items, all with just the touch of an iPad. This is true regardless of how long it’s been in the store as well as where it is being stored. Retail point of sale hardware allows you to keep separate inventories; what’s in store and what’s available online.
These solutions keep your retail business alive. With item tracking, comprehensive analytics and automation, retail point of sale hardware gives you a heading of where to go.
You can’t afford to not have these payment options
At the end of the day, your business depends on customers paying for your goods and services. It is crucial, then, that your business makes this process as intuitive and easy to use as possible. If not, customers are likely to notice — payment issues are a common issue customers have when visiting a new store. Customers who experience delays are not only not likely to return to your store, but they are also even more likely to advise potential new shoppers against doing so.
Luckily, retail point of sale hardware offers several options to ensure that the shopper experience is kept straightforward and convenient:
|Payment acceptance options|
From cash to digital wallets, modern customers have a wider expanse of payment options available to them than ever before. Your POS needs to be able and ready to accept these payment types at a moment's notice. Furthermore, retail point of sale hardware needs to be intuitive enough that staff can navigate it when the need arises. Modern POS systems work with:
All these payments are handled through a single piece of retail point of sale hardware. This is typically done through a tablet, but modern solutions work with a card reader USB attached to a tablet. Whatever the method, customers have come to expect the adaptability that comes with taking these payment types. Without it, they are likely to see your store as dated and not return for a second visit.
|Discounts and promotions|
|One of the most reliable ways to keep customers coming back to your store is by offering them specials. This can be done through a loyalty program using the purchase history of the customer. Conversely, you can use inventory data to offer discounts on your best-selling products. All of these options, however, need to be available at the touch of a button. Modern retail point of sale hardware makes these payment options easily accessible for your staff behind the register. In addition, you can pre-set custom discount amounts which can later be applied by your staff at any time.|
|Invoicing isn’t as common a need for retailers. When it is needed, however, your POS needs to be able to accommodate them. Modern retail point of sale hardware allows you to generate
Traditional registers offer few, if any, of these options; for that reason, owners are quickly moving to replace them. Alternatively, some seek cooperative setups in which both methods of payment are available. The best retail point of sale hardware, then, adapts to either setting, serving as standalone or supplement.
Learn how retail point of sale hardware and software are changing the game
Between operational, inventory and payment options, modern retail point of sale hardware is a central asset in your arsenal. These options not only attract new customers, but they keep old ones coming back through your door. This builds a strong foundation upon which you can start the process of growing to multiple locations or new markets.
Sometimes this process is easier with a trusted partner. POS vendors like talech provide you with more than just a top-of-the-line retail point of sale hardware. We also provide you with decades of know-how we’ve attained through years of helping small businesses realize their business goals. We offer a 24/7 support line and the features to build a strong POS solution to meet your needs. Contact us to learn more about our retail-based POS solutions and to ask about a free demo.
MOBILE POINT OF SALE
Mobile Point of Sale Terminal: What Hardware Do I Need?
There are a few other points to consider when choosing the best fitting mobile POS terminal for your purposes to achieve the most gain.
RETAIL POINT OF SALE
Top 5 Features of Retail Point of Sale 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.
POINT OF SALE SOFTWARE
Point of Sale Software System Requirements, Specifications, and Hardware
This will give you the perspective you need to make a decisive choice about the POS technology you should be using within your own business.