Choosing the right point-of-sale system for your business is like hiring a new employee. Each POS system comes with its own resumé of advantages, tools, and features to help you run your business smoothly.
Unfortunately, choosing a POS isn’t as straightforward as reading resumes and interviewing your top candidate. Luckily, there are some key features to look for across POS systems. Here’s what to focus on in your search:
1. Task automation
The best POS systems do more than simply accept payments. Today’s configurations will help streamline your day-to-day operations, freeing up your time for big-picture tasks.
Traditional payment processing terminals are stand-alone equipment that process credit card, debit card, EMV chip, or contactless payments (like Apple Pay). POS systems, by contrast, combine traditional hardware with software to track transactions, manage inventory and employees, and harness data to provide insights about customer behavior. Look for a POS system, like Clover, that can automatically send and store digital receipts, build your customer list for loyalty and marketing, and track your sales from anywhere.
2. Centralized data storage
Depending on how your business is set up, POS systems that centralize your data storage can be a big advantage. The POS system is cloud-based, giving you the flexibility and space to grow your business in all directions. Are customers visiting you at multiple locations? Do you sell online and offline? Are you managing inventory at multiple locations? Look for a POS system that allows you to track sales, returns and restocking, all from one central system.
Most importantly: a centralized storage system ensures your data can be stored securely while you’re on the go. Look for a POS software that monitors sales, cash, inventory and employees, all in one clean report or centralized dashboard. The best POS systems will empower you to unlock new insights from each day and see how your business changes over time without risking your data security.
3. Customization capabilities
Every business is unique, and not every feature built into a POS will be right for your needs. Look for a POS that comes with powerful customization features, like app integrations and channel-specific customization.
Adding a new POS should be painless. That’s where app integrations play a huge role. The Clover App Market is your one-stop-shop for the tools you need to customize your POS system for your unique business needs. POS software with integration capabilities will allow your existing applications—like Quickbooks, your payroll software, and more—to speak directly to each other. For particularly tedious tasks like bookkeeping and payroll, your POS should be able to connect directly with your business set-up.
4. Mobile capabilities
Before you start feeling nostalgic for those vintage cash registers, consider this. Research suggests that people perceive wait time to be longer than it actually is. Go mobile to create a pleasurable payment experience and encourage repeat business! Food trucks, pay-at-the-table restaurants and similarly untethered vendors can take advantage of a flexible, mobile POS to process payments right at the point of sale, instead of making customers stand in line. Free your business to make a sale anywhere.
Many merchants worry that they’ll make a big investment in a modern POS system only to see it go out-of-date two years later. One month it’s EMV chip cards, the next it’s Apple Pay and touchless payment.
The right POS software will forever allow customers to pay in a manner that’s most convenient to them. Find a POS you can trust to keep up with your customers and will give you support no matter where your business takes you. Perhaps a year from now, you’ll want to take your POS to the next level. Worst case scenario, you have a problem that’s preventing you from accepting transactions. You want free 24/7/365 telephone customer support. A help app is also beneficial, too.
No matter what POS system you choose, Clover is here to help. Learn more about our POS software to see if it’s right for you![image: Jennifer + Justin by Corey Balazowich on flickr]
Clover is sold by leading U.S. banks including Bank of America, BBVA, Citi, PNC, SunTrust and Wells Fargo. You’ll also find Clover at our trusted partners including CardConnect, Restaurant Depot, and Sam’s Club. For more information, visit us at clover.com.