Point of Sale (POS) software has become an integral component of a wide variety of establishments. From restaurants to retail, POS systems have solidified their position as an irreplaceable element in the sales process. Given the sheer volume of retail transactions that take place each day, it is no surprise that retail POS software have become ubiquitous.
Billing software has become a necessity for retail establishments. The deluge of retail POS software flooding the software market today certainly indicates this state of affairs. And this can certainly overwhelm retailers. But if they know what essential features a good retail POS should have, which of those pertain to the needs of their own business, and which of those could help them grow, it should not be such a feat to find the perfect retail POS.
Let’s take a look into some of the features your retail POS software should possess in order to be a valuable investment for your organization:
1. Multiple Payment Modes
We’ve come a long way from cash and credit as modes of payment. Depending on the volume of your business and the preferences of your regular clientele, your ideal POS system should contain multiple modes of payment. It should accept mobile payments as easily as cash, credit or debit. Moreover, customers should have the option to split their payment across various modes. Your billing software should facilitate such transactions easily.
2. Mobile Access
The world is becoming increasingly mobile with every passing day. And your retail store should too! Your retail POS solution should have mobile capabilities. It allows associates to move through the store and record a sale anywhere, without having to be physically present at the sales register. The sales register becomes mobile. A mobile retail POS software will allow much more flexibility while also being cheaper in terms of hardware costs incurred by the outlet.
3. Digital Receipts
When is the last time you remember getting a paper receipt from a retail outlet and using bit for anything meaningful? Paper receipts are not only bad for the environment, they truly add nothing to the retail experience, imparting no particular utility to either the buyer or the seller. Your billing software can simply send copies of the digital receipt generated in a transaction to the buyer. In doing so, it will also function as a CRM tool, in that it will save the customer’s name, contact, and other pertinent details. This can serve as the convenient starting point of establishing a successful customer relationship and enhance the customer experience.
4. Defined Permissions and User Accounts
Unless you’re a sole proprietor, your retail outlet has at least some sales representatives and other staff not directly connected to sales. The retail POS software should allow for the creation of multiple users who can individually access their accounts using a unique ID and password. With such a system in place, you can track each and every sale made, or discount given by your sales reps. This allows you to ascertain their actual productivity and how well they are meeting their sales goals. It gives a complete view of their performance, helping the supervisors/managers decide if a particular sales rep needs additional training or a change in his/her job role.
5. Inventory Management
Inventory is of prime importance when it comes to retail. No POS system, be it a restaurant POS system or a retail POS solution is worth your time if it does not possess inventory capabilities. You would have to invest separately in an inventory software for no good reason. Your POS system should definitely have basic inventory systems such as stock visibility and integrated accounts, auto-ordering, product variants, and more. For larger outlets/ businesses with multiple stores, a greater variety of features such as stock transfer, barcode scanning and printing, etc are needed. The point is that your retail point-of-sale system should have inventory capabilities in line with the needs of your retail enterprise.
6. Tax Compliance
Proper compliance with tax laws and government directives is essential in order for your business to remain above board. It makes auditing more efficient and easier. For businesses with stores in multiple states, it helps the business to manage the tax regulations of different states. Sales Tax and other taxes that might be levied on different kinds of products will all be taken care of in a systematic manner.
Reporting is an essential component for retail. Reports help businesses track performance across every department, be it sales, marketing, operations or finance. A good retail POS software should provide product reports, employee reports, customer reports, and any other kind of custom reports that you might require in order to get a 360o view of the organization’s performance. Most cloud-based retail POS software provide flexible reporting capabilities which can be customized to fit the needs of your company.
8. CRM Integration
One of the main benefits of a retail POS system is that it can effortlessly capture customer data with every sale. If your organization uses a CRM or ERP software, which it most likely does, being part of the retail industry, your POS solution should have the ability to integrate seamlessly with the CRM tools. This way, the managers are able to manage customer data better, be it from the store front or the back-end.
9. Discounts, Coupons, and Gift Cards
Discount schemes, coupons, and gift cards make for excellent supplements to promotional and loyalty programs for any retail store. Your POS system should provide easy-to-use functionalities regarding these features. The system should store the price changes and calculate discounts quickly so that customers don’t have to wait for hours in a line. Similarly, coupon generation and scanning should be seamless. It will make the checkout process much faster for both the customer and the cashier. If your POS software can generate gift cards, you will be able to get quite a few new customers you would not have gotten organically. So, a good retail POS system can help enhance your sales as well!
10. Offline Mode
Your retail store may not be open 24/7 but for the hours that it is functional, it has to run without interruptions. Inevitably, interruptions continue to plague operations, but your store can take effective measures to combat the same. Especially when it comes to point-of-sale. Suppose you’ve got a long queue of customers waiting to get checked out but there have been problems with the internet. In such a situation, your retail POS software ought to be able to process payments and generate receipts offline too. The absence of such a feature will cause huge inconvenience to the customer and reflect badly on your store. To avoid such a scenario, your retail POS solution should offer robust offline capabilities in addition to the features mentioned above.
In the retail industry, it is all about meeting the customer’s needs. But with better tech comes better service and higher expectations. To manage these expectations, and deliver the best customer experience, investing in the right retail POS system will go a long way. Make sure to keep these features in mind when on the lookout for the right POS system for your retail store. A retail POS solution with features that align with the specific requirements of your business can do wonders for your retail store!