The right POS features will make it easier to run your business and streamline your processes. Here are some features you should look for in a POS system.
Most businesses begin looking for a POS system because they need a way to complete customer transactions. Many POS providers go beyond accepting credit and debit card payments, also allowing you to take online and contactless payments. You’ll receive detailed insights about your daily sales in the process, so you’ll always know how your business is performing.
Basic POS systems may only support a product catalog, while others can track inventory at the component or ingredient level. Some plans include purchase ordering and vendor management features to simplify your reordering process. Consider whether standard inventory tools will be sufficient or if you need advanced features to keep your business well stocked. [Learn more about how POS systems help with inventory management.]
POS systems have varying customer management features. Some allow you to capture basic information, such as your customers’ email addresses so you can build an email marketing contact list. Others have CRM features that let you create customer profiles, including contact information, purchase histories, preferences, birthdays, and notes.
If you prefer more extensive customer relationship management than you can find in a POS system, consider one of our picks for the best CRM software.
To ensure a loyal customer base, you need to reward your best customers. A POS system enables that with built-in loyalty software. The top POS systems can track information on your customers’ shopping and dining preferences, then help you create loyalty and rewards programs around that data. You can customize rewards based on how frequently the customer shops at your store and the products or services they purchase.
You can usually add your employees to the POS system and manage their access to various features and information. Some systems have role-based access controls, while others let you customize the controls for each employee. Some have built-in timeclocks, which let your employees use the POS system to clock in and out. Others can track individual employees’ sales or manage tips. [If tracking your employees’ time is one of your main needs, consider the best time and attendance software.]
All POS systems have reporting capabilities, but some are basic, with just a handful of preconfigured reports and limited customization. Others are advanced, with dozens of reporting options and filters to help you analyze data for your sales, inventory, customers, and staff.
The best systems have real-time reports that you can access from any device with a browser or mobile app. Before purchasing a POS system, make sure it offers the specific reports you need to run your business efficiently. [Related article: 5 POS Reports Every Business Owner Should Run]
Add-ons and Integrations
POS systems often have a lot of features, but they may not be enough for your small business. That’s where add-ons and third-party integrations can be helpful. You may, for example, want to use a specific email marketing platform, sync the sales data with your accounting software, or offer a customer loyalty program from a certain provider. The best POS systems give you a ton of integration and add-on choices so you won’t be limited as your business grows.
You should be able to contact your POS provider around the clock to receive help with the system when you need it, even if your business keeps irregular hours or you’re working on the weekend. Look for a POS provider that you can easily reach via your preferred mode of communication, whether that’s phone, email, live chat, or social media. The best companies even offer 24/7 support.