The technological advancements happening around us have changed the way we approach everything these days, including the way businesses, are conducted. More importantly, these changes happen at such a rapid pace, that it becomes imperative for the businesses to keep pace with the changing times. This is where IT tools like ERP software and POS systems come in handy, as they make businesses simpler and help them stay contemporary. Take for instance, for a business like retail industry, which operates at a very good speed, there is a constant need for improvement and streamlining of the processes, so that the retailers can clock more and more revenues. To match this pace, they opt for the right retail POS system or Point-of-Sale system.
The best of the POS systems allow the retailers to not only conduct the routine sales transactions but also handle a number of other activities like inventory management, returns and exchanges, tracking customer behaviour, driving new customers to purchase products, keeping existing customers loyal and making them come back again and again, etc. This not only helps improve the system in place but also speeds it up. With all the talk about the utility of point-of-sale systems, it is difficult to find the perfect POS system for your business with so many solutions available in the market. Through this blog, we endeavour to make this process simpler for you. So if you are in a retail, jewellery or garment business, read this blog which acts as a step-by-step guide to select the best POS system:
- Self-analysis: First things first, you need to know what your business actually needs and how to evaluate it. For the same, you must conduct a SWOT analysis, which will give you a fair idea of your business’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Besides, you must also try to find answers to a few key questions such as how effective or updated your current POS system is, whether or not it gives you insights into your stores’ sale patterns, i.e. which are the top-performing products, which are the ones witnessing lack of sale etc., does it provide you with real-time inventory updates, including notifications when there is a lack of stock of a certain product, does it helps track customer purchases and updates the online client data base, does it helps you effectively deal with product returns and exchanges, etc.In addition, you must also figure out whether you need to buy any hardware, or can do with a POS system that operates on your existing equipment, an iPad or a laptop, and the budget for the new POS system. It can depend on the size of your business (number of stores, customers, products, finances etc.) and the capabilities you require.
- Research: Once you have identified your business’ needs and set a budget for the POS system, you are ready for the next stage of researching, where you can design the selection parameters and start with your hunt. Some of the possible parameters which you must consider while looking for potential POS systems are their features, ability to integrate with other areas of your business, whether or not you can use it anywhere, ability to keep a track of analytics, good customer support, how easy they are to operate, etc. Based on these parameters, you can shortlist a few prospective POS options for the next step.
- Evaluating the options: Once you have your shortlist ready, you can move towards the stage of evaluating them. There are different ways of doing it. You can get some industry feedback by learning about the experiences of other similar retailers who have implemented a POS system at their store. Talking to them can help you understand how the POS system is working for them. You can also conduct an online search and check out the websites of shortlisted POS vendors thoroughly. Using social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn etc. is another good way to know more about the shortlisted vendors. Lastly, you can hear it from the horse’s mouth by calling the shortlisted vendors for an open-minded discussion and asking about their products, services, support and company in general.
- Testing mode: Once you are done with all the research, it is time to get the actual feel of the POS system. Ask your shortlisted vendors for a free trial, or schedule a demo, so that you can test out their software. It will not just give you a hands-down experience of all the features and benefits their POS system has to offer, but also a fair idea about the process mismatches. You can then ask the vendor for the fixes to those mismatches and proceed towards making the final decision only when you are completely satisfied.
- Decision making: After going through the entire process of analyzing your business processes, defining selection criteria and hunting for the right match, shortlisting prospective vendors and evaluating them on various criteria, you are ready to make the final decision. Weigh up all the pros and cons for one last time, seek answers to all your queries, and based on the perfect match to your business needs, pick one solution. Once you make up your mind, it is your responsibility to convey the final decision to the selected vendor as well as the unselected ones through proper channels. Don’t forget to negotiate hard before you sign on the dotted line.
Conclusion: A POS system that is a perfect fit for your business needs is not a luxury anymore, but a necessity. The sooner you understand this, the better for your business. And once you understand this, you will face the uphill task of selecting the best Point-of-Sale system for your business out of many available ones. Going through the five steps mentioned in this blog will help you in your quest. Meanwhile, BatchMaster Point-of-Sales system is one such potent solution, which ticks almost all the marks for your retail business. To know more about it, click here. You can also write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.