7 Easy Steps to Choose the Right Point of Sale System for Your Business


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Why upgrade your POS (point of sale) system?
How to choose the right one for a new business?

A modern POS can be a whole lot of awesome, going beyond accepting payments to simplify how you run your business by tracking, managing and syncing your inventory, sales and customer data.

Our 7 steps will take you through the decision-making process to choose the right POS system for YOU.

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7 Easy Steps to Choose the Right Point of Sale System for Your Business

  1. 1. 7 easy steps to choose the right Point-of-Sale System for your business brought to you by POSSYSTEMBUYER’SGUIDE
  2. 2. OPEN Why upgrade your POS system?! ! How to choose the right one for a new business?! ! A modern POS can be a whole lot of awesome, going beyond accepting payments to simplify how you run your business by tracking, managing and syncing your inventory, sales and customer data.! ! Let’s find the best one for you.
  3. 3. OPEN 7 Steps to choosing your POS system! ! 1. Define the needs of your business! 2. Take note of the required hardware! 3. Set a budget! 4. Audit and compare POS systems! 5. See the POS in action! 6. Get the set-up right! 7. Make the most of your POS system
  4. 4. Step 1.! Define the needs ! of your business.
  5. 5. OPEN First we need to identify all the features, functions, ! and services that you use to run your business.! ! That’s important stuff like your checkout process, ! inventory, and customer relationship management.! ! We’ll use a handy checklist to help.
  6. 6. OPEN Write down the features, functions and services ! required in the following aspects:! ! Payments 
 (accepting and processing cash, credit, debit, checks, etc.)! ! Inventory 
 (how product information is added, monitored, and updated)! ! Customers
 (how customer information is stored, managed, 
 and updated)!
  7. 7. OPEN Take note of problems or missing features that you have with your existing system.! ! Are there any cumbersome tasks in your business that need to be simplified? ! ! It’s best to talk to your employees as well.! ! What upgrades can you implement to ! improve productivity and efficiency ! in your staff?!
  8. 8. OPEN Write down any special needs that your business may have now and in the future, including:! ! Multiple locations! E-commerce site! Mobile! Coupons! Rewards programs! !
  9. 9. OPEN Finally, talk to your customers. ! ! Ask them how you can make shopping at your store ! a better and smoother experience.
  10. 10. Lisa Callaghan, CFO,! Interactive Accounting @interactiveaccg "It's so important to map out the systems from your customer creation, through sale, inventory adjustment and connecting into your accounting system. We find that our clients who do this, pick the right systems and strip the overheads out of their business, almost completely." www.interactiveaccounting.com.au
  11. 11. Step 2.! Take note of the! required hardware.
  12. 12. OPEN Here's where we work out what you need to make your POS work.! ! Some systems require you to buy hardware, others operate on your existing equipment, others still only need an iPad or Laptop.! ! Which will be right for you?
  13. 13. OPEN In addition to thinking about the hardware that you need, you may also want to consider the equipment that you can do without, depending on the nature of your business.! ! For example, some retailers choose to send receipts via email instead of issuing physical copies, thus eliminating the need for a receipt printer.
  14. 14. OPEN Itemize the equipment that you need in your store. ! Be sure to include the number of units for each piece of hardware.! ! Which of these items will your business require?! ! Terminal (PC / Mac / Mobile)! Receipt Printer! Cash Drawer! MSR/Payment Terminal! Barcode Scanner
  15. 15. OPEN Already have existing hardware and equipment in place? ! ! Write down each item’s brand and model for future reference when looking up various POS systems to see if they’re compatible.
  16. 16. Craig Aberle, Publisher, ! The Point of Sale News @ThePOSNews "No matter what type of POS hardware you want to work with, start by evaluating and selecting the software first. Then choose peripherals from that vendors approved list." www.pointofsale.com
  17. 17. Step 3.! Set a budget.
  18. 18. OPEN The costs of POS systems vary depending on the size of your business (number of stores, customers, products, registers) and the capabilities you require.! ! Some have one-off upfront costs and others charge ! a recurring monthly fee.! ! You will also need to factor in the cost of ! setting up your information, the cost of ! support and the lifespan of the product.
  19. 19. OPEN Generally speaking, for traditional desktop-based software, a single-user software license comes with a price tag ranging from $1,200 to $2,500.! ! Prices for modern cloud based POS software-as-a- service (SAAS) systems start anywhere from free, ! for a basic system, through to $50-$200 per month depending on the size and complexity ! of your business.
  20. 20. OPEN A one-time licensing fee might free you from any recurring payments but will usually require a long-term contract, and it won’t be as flexible as its subscription- based counterpart. ! ! A cloud based SaaS solution that can be upgraded, downgraded, or cancelled at any time is ideal for businesses that are growing or ! constantly changing.! ! Your choice will depend on the nature! and finances of your business.
  21. 21. OPEN Hardware-wise, traditional POS terminals can cost around $3,000 to $4,000 each. Additional equipment such as printers, scanners, and cash drawers can amount to $900 for each terminal.! ! iPad and cloud based POS systems are priced very competitively, with an 'out of the box' system ! of cash drawer, printer, stand and barcode ! scanner, starting at around $450, plus! the cost of an iPad (also around $450).
  22. 22. OPEN If you have additional stores, be sure to account for the hardware and software needed there as well.! ! Retailers spend an average of 1% to 3% of annual sales on their POS system - but don’t just think about how much you’ll spend. Also consider how much you’ll save with a new POS system. ! ! Upgrading your POS can boost efficiency ! and save both time and money, so if you ! pick the right one, you’ll find that it actually ! pays for itself.
  23. 23. OPEN An example budget calculation:! ! Total annual revenue (e.g. $100,000)! ! x average lifespan of POS (5 years) ! ! ! x percentage of sales you’re willing to spend (0.01 to 0.03 i.e. 1 to 3%)! ! $100,000 x 5 x 0.01 = $5,000! ! You would have $5,000 to spend on a long-term contract. For a SaaS (Software as a Service) model charged monthly or annually divide this cost.! ! $5,000 ÷ 5 year = $1,000 per year! $1,000 ÷ 12 months = $83 per month
  24. 24. Vaughan Rowsell, Founder ! & CEO, Vend @rowsell "Ecommerce startups are competitive because their costs to get started are low. The beauty of modern POS systems, is that budding entrepreneurs can now also bootstrap a retail business with just a good idea and an iPad, which means getting to market and finding your first customers faster." www.vendhq.com
  25. 25. Step 4.! Audit and compare! POS systems.
  26. 26. OPEN Do your research on the POS solutions out there.! ! This is the time to get some industry feedback and learn about the experiences of other similar retailers - if it was a game show it would be the bit where you phone a friend and ask the audience.! ! As you search, refer to the information ! you collected in steps 1 to 3 and create ! a shortlist of POS vendors.
  27. 27. OPEN There are many places to conduct POS research.! ! Conduct an online search for potential POS vendors.! ! Contact retailers in your industry and ask about their POS systems.! ! Start discussions on retail-related
 LinkedIn groups and ask other 
 members about their POS systems.
  28. 28. OPEN Contact your shortlist of vendors directly to ask about their POS solution.! ! As well as the features and functionality of their software, enquire about the company in general.! ! You may wish to ask about:! Areas of expertise! Years in business! Location! Customer support! Warranty information
  29. 29. OPEN Remember that customer service matters a lot, so get a feel for their support team as well.! ! Are they accessible 24/7?! What kind of support do they provide?! Can you call, email, chat online? ! ! As you talk to POS vendors gauge just ! how helpful, patient, and knowledgeable ! they are.
  30. 30. Amad Ebrahimi, Founder, ! Merchant Maverick @awaken "If the POS vendor is popular, then there will be a wealth of actual customer experience data about them on the web. Your job is to find that data and sift through all of it. Read as many customer reviews as you can and look for patterns, whether positive or negative." www.merchantmaverick.com
  31. 31. Step 5.! See the POS in action.
  32. 32. OPEN You know what the POS systems are all about on paper, now it’s time to see them in action. ! ! Look especially at whether the POS has what you need in terms of:! ! Speed! Accuracy! Ease-of-use ! Necessary functionality
  33. 33. OPEN Request local references from the POS vendors that you’re considering and reach out to these businesses to see how the POS works.! ! Can’t get in touch with other businesses?! ! Go the DIY route and ask for a free trial instead.! ! Most POS vendors let customers try their ! software for free, so you can see it in ! action first-hand.
  34. 34. OPEN As you observe each POS, consider whether you can see it getting along with you, your employees, and your customers.! ! Also think about how you will transition to the new POS. How does the process of transferring data about customers, products and suppliers work?! ! Ask other retailers how they did it, or ! request to see a demonstration from ! the POS vendors.
  35. 35. Jason Shico, Director, ! DigiCloud @digicloudaus "Reporting is a major factor when deciding the future direction of your retail business. When choosing a POS system, make sure the reporting features are comprehensive and use them to make accurate insights into your business, which in turn helps drive revenue." www.DigiCloud.com.au
  36. 36. Step 6.! Get the Set-Up Right.
  37. 37. OPEN You’ve chosen a POS vendor and you already have all the necessary software and equipment in front of you. ! ! Now it’s time to set up your new system and get everything up and running. ! ! The better you do this the better your entire future experience of your POS will be, so take ! the time and get the help to get it right.
  38. 38. OPEN Your set up process will vary, depending on your POS solution as well as the requirements of your business.! ! Before getting into it be sure to have CSV files of your inventory and customer data ready, as you will need to import this information into the system.! ! Your POS vendor should have provided instructions on how to properly set up the system but ! when in doubt, talk to your vendor. ! Let them walk you through the process.
  39. 39. OPEN If you need further assistance, see if you can use a template or dummy account first. ! ! You can also ask your vendor if they have any IT or technology partners in your area. ! ! Established POS vendors usually have networks ! of IT consultants and SMEs that can help ! customers set up and implement their ! new solution.
  40. 40. Tim Mullaly, Director, ! Universal PC Solutions @tgmullaly "Whether you are switching systems or implementing a POS system for the first time, the transition should be as seamless as possible. Test the system during “down time,” and make sure your employees are trained in using the system before you make the transition." www.universalpc.com.au
  41. 41. Step 7.! Make the most of! your POS system.
  42. 42. OPEN Once you have your new POS system up and running, it’s time to find ways to make the most of it. ! ! Look into apps, add-ons, or hardware that can enhance your POS and make your life easier. ! ! Are you making full use of the system? ! Re-evaluate and see if there are any ! features that you haven’t fully utilized.! ! Collect feedback from employees! and customers.
  43. 43. OPEN Talk to your vendor, tell them how you’ve been using the POS and see if there are more ways to make the most of it.! ! It’s also a good idea to start seeing your vendor as more than just a service provider. ! ! Make an effort to establish a relationship ! with them. See them as a long-term ! partner that can help you expand your ! business and expertise.
  44. 44. OPEN As well as technical help, your POS vendor may have free resources that they have for their customers. Do they conduct trainings or seminars? Perhaps they can send you free whitepapers or online courses.! ! In any case, asking for these things is completely ! free and takes minimal time and effort. ! The knowledge that you stand to gain by ! availing of your vendor’s resources can ! go a long way in your business.
  45. 45. Karen Moss, Editor, ! Retail Systems Magazine @RetailSystems "These days point-of-sale is about much more than taking payments, it’s about understanding your customer and their shopping habits with greater accuracy. Making the most of your POS systems means fully utilising the data it provides to enhance your visibility of stock and buying patterns, right down to the individual shopper." www.retail-systems.com
  46. 46. OPEN Good Luck!! ! There is a lot to think about, but the benefits of getting the right POS for you are more than worth it.! ! A good POS will save you time, money and let you know more about your business to make better ! decisions. You can spend more time ! looking after your customers and ! growing your bottom-line.
  47. 47. OPEN Looking for more retail advice? Retail tips, resources, training and a supportive community! to help you achieve business success. Vend U: Be the world’s best retailer! Connect with a community of 10,000+ Vend retailers