A reliable point of sale system is a cornerstone of business operations.

Public-facing services can’t afford any POS disruptions. Customers rely on receipts, quick service, and product quality. That’s why having the right POS solution is crucial.

Retail stores and restaurants can’t cut corners. Gone are the days of antique lever-operated cash registers. All transactions are digital, necessitating the need for fast, accurate, and user-friendly technology.

Before choosing a reputable POS provider, there are several factors to consider. Follow this checklist to find the right point of sales software solution for your needs.

Assess Your Business Needs and Goals

First, think holistically about the needs of your company. Your POS solution should complement long-term business goals, growth, operations, customer service strategy, and more facets of your company.

Suppose you want to dramatically increase your sales volume or open a new retail store location. You’ll need a point-of-sale system that can handle an influx of in-person and online traffic. This traffic also comes with more customer service work, inventory management, and operational expenses.

If you’re currently building your company, don’t wait too long to find a POS provider, especially if you want to scale and grow. Include your point-of-sale needs and expenses in the operations section of your business plan.

You’ll need some type of map to guide you toward a long-term POS provider. Business plans help you forecast the future so that you can make more strategic decisions. So many factors impact point-of-sale system needs, from shipping and receiving to restaurant capacity.

Understanding How a Point of Sale System Works

Did you recently invent a product or have a new business idea that you want to get off the ground?

You may be unclear on how a point-of-sale system works (or why you need one), but you’ll soon learn how important it is to have one from the start, even if you’re making products out of your garage.

A point-of-sale system tracks every transaction from beginning to end. These include receipts, invoices, shipping costs, and other operational expenses. However, this is just the bare minimum of what a POS system can do.

You can do more with your point of sale software than just process transactions. Savvy businesses use valuable POS data to drive strategic decision-making. Data-driven decisions lead to more cost-effective, higher converting sales and marketing campaigns.

POS data helps you set and monitor sales benchmarks and key performance indicators (KPIs).

Measure and Optimize Your Promotional Campaigns

This technology is especially helpful when tracking promotional campaigns.

You need a reliable, user-friendly POS system that accurately scans promo codes and coupons, visualizing data in real time. This perk helps you make critical campaign adjustments, improving conversion rates.

For example, your real-time point-of-sale data may reveal that your best-performing days for promo coupons are Thursday and Friday. You can use this data to quickly optimize your online local marketing strategy, promoting your message to more people in your service area on those days.

Better Inventory Management

Do you manage a lot of product SKUs?

Retail businesses like toy shops, pet stores, drug stores, and other SKU-heavy businesses need accurate, quick-responding POS systems for managing inventory.

Even one product slipping through the cracks (literally) can throw off your inventory counts. Thus, what’s reflected in the system isn’t the accurate number. Choose a solution that accounts for lost and damaged items; this will save you huge inventory management headaches.

Consider Day-to-Day Needs and Challenges

The above challenges speak to two important points: the need for adaptable and compatible POS systems and user-friendly functionalities.

Employees and managers, but primarily employees, are the main users of POS systems. Thus, your business environment and capacity should also influence your decision-making. On busy days, you don’t want your employees hindered by complicated POS registers.

Furthermore, frequent technical difficulties also disrupt workflow, exacerbating customer dissatisfaction. These costly disruptions prove the importance of having reliable, intuitive technology by your side.

For example, one challenge could be your sales-per-customer average.

Are more customers leaving your business without finding anything? Does your POS system show the average sale number dipping?

Think about the factors impacting those sales dips. Then, think about the capacity of your current POS system.

Can your current point-of-sale software adapt to a new customer service strategy that necessitates the need for headsets and touchscreen mobile registers?

Your analysis may reveal that your associates should process transactions on the sales floor, requiring a shift in POS capabilities and sales protocol.

Point of Sale Software and IT Support

As your company grows, so does the potential for technical difficulties.

A POS solution should have very few technical issues; however, if there is a technical problem, you should expect prompt technical support from your provider. This point is crucial to consider if you run (or plan to run) a busy shop or restaurant.

The above challenge brings up an important point about POS systems and IT support.

Point of Sale systems run online, but if your business wifi runs into a problem, you’ll need a POS system that can quickly respond and adjust to offline capabilities. You shouldn’t have any difficulties getting your POS software (and devices) up and running, either.

Having a cloud-based POS solution makes a tremendous difference, as well. Traditional point-of-sales registers often require on-site support; this solution is slower and drives up IT costs.

Cloud-based systems provide fast remote support. Helpful and experienced technicians access your POS system remotely to diagnose and fix the problem. They also look at the problem from multiple angles to find the best, quickest solution to get you back up and running again.

Netsuite point-of-sale software, for example, comes with rapid implementation, helping you generate sales quickly from day one. You also enjoy device functionalities and interfaces that make sense for your industry, business goals, and usability.

Retail businesses have specific needs that differ from restaurants, as B2B industrial parts services have very different needs than coffee shops. Your POS system should reflect the needs and language of your industry niche; this helps you better serve your customers and employees while improving vendor relationships.

Look For a Long-Term Point of Sale Solution

A POS system isn’t the same as a regular inventory product. It’s not a test product that you can sell for a season to see if customers like it. It’s an operational necessity, so you’ll need a solution you can rely on in the long term.

This point also highlights the importance of using a customized solution that adjusts to new processes, software updates, restructuring, and devices.

Remember an earlier example about the store that switched to headsets, mobile POS devices, and touchscreens?

Managers must make necessary adjustments to POS systems to facilitate changes. It’s much easier to do this (and less costly) through a current POS provider. Thus, it’s critical to find a POS provider that can adapt to any change in business strategy.

After assessing your business goals and challenges, consult with a POS specialist about your checklist. For example, a ReSource expert can walk you through a cloud-based Netsuite POS system, addressing how it can meet challenges and optimize your sales strategy.

A ReSource pro can discuss Netsuite’s business intelligence capabilities, going more in-depth into over 95 different business report templates. Advanced BI functions are necessary for data-driven sales and marketing. They also reveal profitable opportunities you may otherwise miss.

Improve Customer Relationships

Do you want to improve your customer lifetime value rate?

This metric measures the overall value per customer, going beyond sale averages per customer. It takes a holistic look at each customer’s value.

Remember this point when choosing a POS provider; a ReSource POS expert can help customize a system that automatically imports, stores, and visualizes customer data to improve customer relationship management (CRM).

CRM-driven POS systems help personalize buying experiences for customers while streamlining operations for business owners. Managers and marketing directors can easily access data that helps them personalize campaigns.

Segmentation is an excellent example of this strategy.

Suppose you run a retail shop or cafe and want to boost the CLV of your regular clientele. You could start running birthday promotions, providing birthday discounts and freebies to customers. In exchange, all your customers have to do is provide their email addresses; email lists are valuable marketing assets.

Birthday promotions help customers feel appreciated for their patronage. Not only does segmentation increase in-store traffic, but customers are more likely to purchase additional items during their shopping trip.

Invest In The Best POS Solution

Are you ready to meet your business goals?

Rely on a custom point of sale software that’s built to sustain, adapt to change, and scale your company. Keep this buyer’s guide handy as you create a solid operations plan for your business.

Are you ready to get the ball rolling on your launch?

Let us customize a system that’s built for success right from the start. Request a demo to see Netsuite in action or contact us today to learn more about our solutions.