As a retail business owner, you have a lot to gain by implementing an electronic point of sale system in your operations. You might be fond of your cash register, but the combination of POS software and hardware can expedite checkout, automate several tedious tasks, and help you manage all aspects of your store from one virtual place.
There are countless cloud-based systems on the market, though. How do you know which one is right for you? Do you need a general system or one that is retail-specific? You might not have a brick and mortar location, either, so you will need a platform that can work with eCommerce stores. If you’re looking for the best POS system for retail, here are a few options:
Vend is a UK-based company that offers POS software with robust features and a range of customization opportunities. It can help you manage inventory, customer loyalty, eCommerce stores, customer demographics, sales reporting, integrated payments, and more. It doesn’t matter what niche your business exits within, either—do you run a fashion and apparel store?
Do you sell homeware and gifts? Perhaps sporting and outdoor goods are more your style, or shoes, jewelry, toys, or something else. Whatever your business sells, Vend can set you up with a comprehensive database that streamlines your operations.
One of Vend’s unique benefits is that it allows you to connect multiple stores. If you want to open another location one day, then you don’t want to manage it like a separate business. You want each site to have autonomy while also working as one business, so instead of having a different POS system for each, Vend’s cloud-based platform connects their inventory, sales data, and more.
Have you ever been into a store expecting to see a bulky cash register, only to be surprised that all they have is a tablet on a stand with a card reader plugged in? It might not have even been a tablet—some businesses can get away with only having a smartphone, a card reader, and a cash drawer (you should always have a cash drawer; some people prefer to pay with cash or have no choice but to use it, and you don’t want to shut them out).
This system is possible because the business is using a cloud-based platform. Vend is one, and Square is another popular choice. Square is capable of creating customized customer loyalty programs, integrating with Quickbooks, generating detailed sales reports, and more. It’s an excellent choice if you dabble in the eCommerce space. This arrangement is perfect for various retailers, including those that need to be on-the-go. Instead of charging a monthly fee, Square charges 2.6 percent plus ten cents of every transaction (which may look like dips, swipes, or taps, because Square can accept a variety of payment methods).
Inventory is a critical aspect of running a retail business. Unfortunately, it can also be a source of frustration, especially if you are creating spreadsheets manually to keep track of each product.
This process also leaves a significant amount of room for human error. Mismanaging your inventory can be costly: order too much of one item that doesn’t sell well, you end up wasting money keeping it in storage. On the other side, you miss out on sales if a customer would like to purchase an item and you are sold out (and they might not come back if you are consistently out of something).
Inventory management software is helpful, but it would be even more useful if it were integrated into your POS system. Many POS systems include inventory management tools, but Lightspeed does this part exceptionally well.
The software can help you implement best warehouse management practices and suggest how much product to order next time. You can even purchase from an integrated catalog and sell unique items together as a package. The system adds and subtracts stock numbers every time a customer makes a purchase or a return, so you always know how much product you have on-site on in the pipeline.
Between managing inventory, orders, making sales, generating reports, paying bills, and understanding customers, you have a lot on your plate. That’s why Springboard Retail was designed to enable omnichannel retail, helping you manage almost every aspect of your business with one platform.
One aspect it can assist you with is customer relationship management. Who are your customers, and what are their preferences? The more you know about their behaviors in your store—without being invasive, of course—the better you can cater to them and offer exceptional customer service.
A lot goes into running a retail business. You don’t have to do everything the long way, though—with a POS system, you can manage what you need to virtually. Which retail POS platform are you most interested in?