Point of sale (POS) systems are crucial for any brick-and-mortar business, from bars and restaurants to retail shops. A manager’s right-hand man (or machine), POS systems can help streamline various aspects of an operation, from customer service to inventory management and marketing to business analytics. However, not all POS systems are created equal. There are several models to choose from, each with software and hardware designed to perform specific functions and suit particular businesses. For instance, a restaurant POS system is different than its retail counterparts. To determine the best kind for you, you’ll need to consider a few factors.
Types of POS Systems
POS systems are divided into four main categories: restaurant, quick-service, retail, and salon & spa. Each has its unique functionalities to suit that particular business type. For instance, restaurant POS systems may include tableside ordering, table layout, online reservations, and tracking raw goods. Quick-service POS systems have some of the same features as restaurant systems, but with the addition of items like delivery and self-ordering kiosks. Retail POS systems have features such as product matrixes for managing stock that comes in an assortment of sizes or colors. Like restaurant and quick-service systems, they can also include online ordering and mobile checkout. Salon and spa systems may include appointment scheduling and booth rental as well as online booking.
Questions to Ask When Choosing a POS System
1) How will it impact the customer experience? The POS system shouldn’t just make your job easier; it should also make the customer experience better. Consider how the system will capture customer data, manage, and store it. You’ll also want to take into account the system’s customer loyalty program (or lack thereof) and whether or not you can easily accept coupons and set up special promotions. For those in the hospitality industry, also consider if the system offers tableside ordering, online ordering, or mobile checkout.
2) Can the POS system manage day-to-day operations? The POS system should also help you manage behind-the-scenes action. This includes inventory management, employee management, and vendor management.
3) How will the POS system support my business now and in the future? Whether you aspire to expand your small business into an empire or are content with being a mom-and-pop corner store, think of how the POS system can support your goals now and in the future. Consider aspects such as reporting and analytics, multi-store functionality for managing multiple locations, e-commerce integration, customer service, and usability and interface (is it easy to set up and train employees?).
More About Harbortouch
In over 20 years of business, Harbortouch* has served more than 300,000 small to mid-size businesses, providing first-class POS software and state-of-the-art POS hardware and earning numerous stellar Harbortouch reviews from satisfied customers*. From secure payment processing to cloud-based reporting and management tools, Harbortouch’s model makes its products affordable for any budget. Harbortouch’s ground-breaking free equipment program was featured on the hit TV show Bar Rescue. The program offers merchants custom programming, quality expert installation, and unparalleled customer support.