A Point of Sale app or POS is a trending solution to the convenient running of today’s retail shops. A POS app gives you practically everything you need to run your store effectively. It is essentially a system that enables you to sell your products to your customers while tracking and managing your inventory to let you know when to restock. In addition to selling, a POS system also helps you manage other business matters like staffing, payroll, marketing campaigns, among others.
Reasons why a POS is an excellent solution for your store
In addition to processing card payments, it helps you reduce management allied costs by providing a one-stop business management solution. A POS helps you accept and process cash, credit, and cardless payments enable you to keep up with your inventory and keep it stocked, and keeps your staff aware of all changes that you may have in your store.
What makes up a POS system?
A POS consists of a cloud-based software or app that you can install to your computer, Smartphone or tablet. Their services are usually charged monthly or by quote.There are also pieces of hardware for scanning barcodes and swiping cards that are provided by the POS software vendor.
What features to look for in an effective POS:
Many POS offer some basic sales functions, such as inventory and payment processing, but to get the highest possible value from a POS, look for one that provides more features like:
Fast sales management: your POS should offer you the fastest, most reliable check out features for both you and your shoppers, and store every relevant piece of information regarding the transactions.
Convenient inventory management: in addition to tracking your inventory, a good POS will send you an email or text when a particular product is running low.
Professional report generation and analytics: an effective POS system will readily create reports for you regarding your sales, transactions and other essential information to help you make better marketing decisions.
Employee management: the right POS should be able to manage your staffing activities; from payrolls to shifts and scheduling and tracking employee performance.
Marketing options: some unique POS enable you to market your store through email marketing and newsletters.
Loyalty programs: these programs enable you to give back to return customers by offering discounts and gift cards.
Retail POS hardware
The right POS will also come with a dedicated set of hardware to complement the software. For smaller stores, two iPads and a simple card-reader that can fit into the iPad’s jack will suffice. However, larger stores and franchises will need routers, monitors, separate card readers, and receipt printers. However, many POS send e-mail receipts to relieve you of having a printer.
6 of the best POS software
Square provides you with a free iOS app to track your sales, inventory, send e-mail receipts, and handle customers’ purchases. For a larger store that may need more functionality, Square offers a $60/month package with a transaction fee of 2.5%+10¢. This package comes with hardware (card reader and stand), and 24/7 email customer support, report generation, and unlimited staff access.
Shopify is the most popular e-commerce service provider in the market, and it’s POS system allows you to integrate e-commerce functionality to your store. With Shopify POS, you get a full-fledged branded online store with multi-channel selling, inventory and staff management, reports and analytics, a robust mobile app, and discount codes for loyal customers.
Shopify has a 14-day trial period, after which you can choose their basic package at $29/month that offers you great features to jumpstart your store. As your store grows and requires more advanced features, their $79/month package will give you everything you need. Another reason to choose Shopify POS would be their reliable 24/7 customer support, which is available via e-mail, live chat, and phone.
Vend is a robust POS that offers you a wide selection of third-party plug-ins to extend your POS’ functions beyond the ones available by default. For instance, you can integrate PayPal, Shopify or Square to process payments, which vend POS does not have on its own.
Other features available on vend are sales and inventory tracking, customer profile creation, e-commerce functionality, split and cardless payments, and gift cards. Going for $59/month, Vend is a solution for all business types and sizes and offers 24/7 customer support.
Revel POS stands out from all the others in this list for its focus on customer relationships and satisfaction. Revel offers you a tool that enables you to track your return customers’ favorite items. In addition to customer satisfaction features, Revel also provides you an intuitive, user-friendly interface, sales and inventory, employee management, and reports and analytics. They charge $79/month, but you can also get a custom quote.
SalesVu offers their clients a host of apps for POS functionality, from sales and inventory to loyalty programs, employee management, and invoice generation. These apps are free and will work just fine for a small business, but to be able to manage them centrally through a dashboard, you need to pay a monthly fee of $75. SalesVu also offers their first-time clients an online help center and video tutorials, along with 24/7 customer support.
Clover is a great POS service for businesses in retail, service industry and restaurants. Clover allows you to customize both its mobile and desktop software to suit your specific needs. It is a web-based tool; thus you can readily access all your reports, financial statements, and other business data anywhere and on any device.
Clover also processes all kinds of payments; debit and credit card payments, gift cards, split payments and supports the merging of multiple orders and convenient tab access.
Clover’s fees are available on a custom quote basis.