Retail companies of all sizes have been using technology in their stores for years. And, with every passing year, that technology improves by leaps and bounds. Point of sale systems, in particular, have come a long way in helping businesses ranging from shoe stores to cigar shops to wedding boutiques streamline their business operations. So, there’s really no longer a good reason not to upgrade your hodgepodge of manual systems.
The most essential features of POS software for retail stores will do more than help the day-to-day run smoothly. They’ll save you time, energy, and needless paperwork as well as help improve the customer experience—all the more reason to implement a POS system. What are these features? Let’s take a look.
Essential Features of POS Software for Retail Stores
Many of the following features are available with some of the most affordable retail POS systems. That’s a good thing to keep in mind as you read through the list. You don’t have to stretch your budget thin to buy point of sale software for your clothing store. You also don’t have to sacrifice critical—or just plain desirable—features as you work to modernize your vintage record shop’s operations. To bring your company out of the past and into the future, just make sure your retail store’s point of sale software has:
- Reporting capabilities for product sales, staff performance, customer demographics, and other data that provide detailed insight into the health of your business. You should be able to filter by date or keyword and view data in a summary or spreadsheet. Downloading and sharing reports must be easy and fast, too.
- Inventory management for all store locations that lets you quickly and accurately assess stock levels and speed up reordering. Specifically, this feature should allow you to:
- Import bulk items into the POS system
- Create variants for details like colors and sizes
- Generate barcodes and labels for printing
- Transfer product from one store to another
- Add refunded or exchanged items back into stock counts
- Receive notifications when product is low
- View available inventory at a glance from any device in the store
- HR functionality that removes the need to micromanage employees. This includes the ability to create and view schedules as well as export timesheets to your accountant. Tracking hours, sales, and tips must be easy, too. Easily accessible training materials and a built-in time clock feature are also helpful to staff.
- Integrations with third-party apps to keep all aspects of your business running efficiently. If you use accounting software, like Quickbooks, or a labor-management platform such as Homebase, you don’t have to give them up. As long as your POS system accommodates integrations, you can keep doing business as usual.
- Tools that improve the customer experience so that you can reduce churn rate and generate new business by word-of-mouth. This level of robust customer management includes more than just having an elegant and interactive customer-facing display at checkout (though that is important). It will:
- Collect customer information and keep it safe
- Link customers to their transaction and track their purchase histories
- Handle multiple forms of payment and split checks between people
- Process returns and exchanges quickly as well as generate refunds fast
- Help create, then automate, loyalty programs
- Help to craft and send custom marketing emails with coupons and announcements
- Be searchable at the touch of a button
- Cloud-based technology to enable system access from anywhere, including across store locations. Cloud-based POS software is also more secure than storing sensitive data at an on-site server. Plus, this feature gives customers a multi-channel experience, so they can buy product while in the store, shopping online, or from their phone.
- An open API that permits you—or a developer on staff—the flexibility to customize the system’s features to reflect your exact needs.
- The ability to scale as your business expands. Your pet supply shop might be small now or you may have only one location, but that could easily change. If and when it does, your point of sale software should be built to seamlessly adjust.
- Customer support that is 24/7/365 for your hardware components, software features, and integrations—or anything else that makes your day at the office and the customer experience easy.
Your POS System Should Make Everyone’s Life Easier
One feature of POS software for retail stores that is not essential is payment processing. There may be some POS vendors that tell you otherwise, but that will be because they offer that feature and want your business. But, whether you’re charged a flat rate for this service or have to pay per transaction, you could end up spending too much. You’ll get a much better deal on processing customer payments by shopping around for a separate vendor.
In addition to ensuring your POS provider offers some flexibility, make sure they also take your company’s specific needs seriously. They should be as interested in helping your retail shop flourish as they are in simply getting your business. If the software can be tailor-made to help your operations run smoothly, then you’ve found the right fit—and that makes the shopping experience for everyone easier.
At talech, we want to hear what you have to say about your business needs. With that information, we’ll work to provide you with point of sale software that fits your retail store so that you can focus on serving your customers. Take a moment to sign up for a free demo today to see how much easier life in retail can be—for everyone.