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 cards and debit cards, allowing you to take online and contactless payments. In the process, you’ll receive detailed insights about your daily sales, so you’ll always know how your business is performing.
Basic POS systems may support only a product catalog, while others have POS inventory management features that allow you to 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 will need advanced features to keep your business well stocked.
Customer management features vary among POS systems. Some allow you to capture basic information, such as your customers’ email addresses, so you can build an email marketing contact list. Other POS systems are CRM-enabled, with features that let you generate CRM metrics and 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, read our reviews of the best CRM software
to find a solution.
To ensure a loyal customer base, you must 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 and help you design customer loyalty programs and rewards programs around that data. You can customize rewards based on how frequently customers shop 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 time clocks, which let your employees use the POS system to clock in and out. Others can track individual employees’ sales or manage tips.
All POS systems can generate POS reports. However, some systems have only basic report functionality, with 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 POS systems have real-time reports that you can access from any device with a browser or mobile app. Before you purchase a POS system, ensure that it offers the specific reports you need to run your business efficiently.
Add-ons and Integrations
POS systems often have many features, but they may not be enough for your small business. That’s where add-ons and third-party integrations can help.
For example, you may want to integrate your POS system with the best credit card processors, the best accounting software and top marketing platforms. Or you may want to use a specific email marketing platform or offer a customer loyalty program from a specific provider. The best POS systems give you many integration and add-on choices so you won’t be limited as your business grows.
If your business uses QuickBooks for accounting, look for a POS system with QuickBooks POS integration
to easily sync sales data and save time.
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 you can easily reach via your preferred communication mode, whether by phone, email, live chat or social media. The best companies even offer 24/7 support.