picking the prefect retail pos system - pos system on the counter of a retail store

Picking the perfect retail POS System

Saturday, November 15, 2014
If you’re a new entrepreneur, you may not know much about POS (point of sale) systems yet and how much time and hassle a good one can save you and your business. But as a customer, you've probably used and benefited from POS software before.When you go to a store and buy something, you take it up to the register where the cashier "rings it up" and gives you your change from the cash drawer along with the receipt from the receipt printer. "Ringing it up" is nothing other than using a POS (point of sale system) that tells the cashier how much money to take from you, gives you the option of paying with cash, a check or a card, and then processes the form of payment that you choose.So you can already see how a retail point of sale system could be a useful thing for your business needs. Can you imagine a scenario where the cashier has to enter the price of the item manually, calculate the taxes and give the customer their change without making a single mistake throughout the day?

Why should you use a retail POS system?

A computer may not necessarily be able to understand a customer's needs and give them suggestions the way a human can, but it can maintain inventory, scan a price, keep note of the things on sale, calculate the payment and accept payment.

With the advent of ecommerce, it has become more important than ever for businesses to use a retail POS system to accept online and mobile payments as well. And as an added bonus, a POS system can also help you to do your payroll and other tasks that will make running your business easier.

Keeping customers and employees happy

With a retail POS system (which consists of POS hardware as well as POS software) to take care of all your technology needs, you can say goodbye to lengthy employee training sessions, which most employees find hard to get through. Instead, say hello to a user-friendly, intuitive POS system that anyone can use. In the long run, this is something that will keep both your employees and your customers happy.

As any small business owner knows, human beings are at the core of every business. The product you're selling your customers may be important. But it's equally, if not more, important to provide good customer service. Similarly, when it comes to employees, it's important to keep them happy by providing good working conditions. And a good POS system can help you do that.

Why is Heartland best for retail businesses?

Different retail business owners have different aims for their businesses. Some might want to grow and expand their business. Others might want to keep the business small and give personal attention to each customer. No matter what your business’s values are, Heartland’s POS system helps you manage all the details that keep your business running smoothly.

Heartland's POS system helps you look after your customers and your employees through the same platform. You can help customers to find what they need, accept payments in a way that's most convenient for them, and tell them about special promotions. Similarly, Heartland's POS system will make things more convenient for employees by helping you hire the right person for the right job and then paying them correctly and on time. 

There are many add-ons in Heartland's POS system, which means that you can customize it for your retail business. Additionally, you can always find a Heartland POS solution that is within your price range. It's easy to install, and your employees will be able to learn to use it quickly. 

How the right POS can improve customer satisfaction

Retailers today have become aware of the importance of making the buyer's journey smooth, from the moment that they become aware of a product's existence to the moment that they end up buying it.

Even after the customer buys the product, it's a good idea to keep track of whether they have any problems using it and to maximize their satisfaction with it. This will ensure that the customer keeps coming back to you whenever they need to buy the product, or a similar product, again. And it will also lead to their recommending the product to others, which can lead to more sales.

The ideal POS system will facilitate all aspects of the customer’s journey and keep them coming back. Here are five ways a good POS system can help make the customer’s experience with your business excellent.

1. Help customers find exactly what they want

There are many things that you can do to make sure that the customer has a good retail experience, but first of all, customers need to be able to find exactly what they are looking for. One of the most common customer complaints, which could even make them turn to your competition, is that they can't find the exact product that they are looking for or that they can't find it in the right size or color.

This is where good retail POS software comes in. With a POS inventory management system, a customer service representative can easily look up whether the product is in stock at that store, at a different retail store (if you run a multi-location retail business), or in your online store, and then point the customer in the right direction. And they can do all this in real-time.

A POS system should even be able to tell the employee whether there are any similar products that are available in the store, in case that particular one is out of stock. As you can see, inventory management systems improve the customer experience drastically by saving them time and ensuring they find what they want.

2. Help customers and employees keep track of special promotions

Customers love to take advantage of sales, discounts, and special deals, and POS systems offer an easy way to notify customers of promotions you might have going on and help your business keep track of these promotions. When a customer takes an item to a salesperson, they can use a barcode scanner that connects to the POS system, which will then display the sales amount. 

By looking at the POS system, your cashier will also be able to inform the customer about any deals that are going on. For example, the customer might not have realized that if they buy one more item, they'll get it at 50% off, or that if they buy two, then they'll get a third one free. These are all deals that a customer might be happy to take advantage of, and a POS system can help them to do so.

3. Improve convenience at the point of purchase

Customers want to be able to use the payment method of their choice. A good POS system will incorporate as many reliable payment processing methods as possible including cash and debit and credit card payments. And because of the pandemic, many customers prefer contactless payments options, which good retail POS systems provide.

If customers experience obstacles at the point of purchase like not being able to pay with the payment method they want or any other kind of glitch, it’s quite likely your business will miss out on the sale entirely. A good POS system can ensure that there are no obstacles at this very important point in the customer's journey. 

4. Follow up with customers after the purchase

The buyer's journey doesn't end with the purchase but continues throughout the time that they use the item. So you have to think beyond the point of purchase if you're interested in customer relationship management, and a good POS system can help you to do that.

After buying the item, the customer might find that it doesn't fit or that it's not the exact color they were looking for. At that point, the customer might want to return or exchange the item. A good POS system will prompt the cashier at checkout to inform the customer whether the item is returnable/exchangeable and how long the customer has to return/exchange it. This, along with the receipt from the receipt printer, gives the customer all the information that they need and can help avoid potential issues down the road.

If you set up the POS system to input the customer's information at the point of purchase, then your back office can build a database of customer profiles, which can help in CRM (customer relationship management). Your business can use this database to inform customers about special offers or just to check in with customers to offer customer support.

This can be an especially useful tactic if the customer is buying something big like a household appliance or an expensive camera. A follow-up call within the first few weeks and then again after a few months have passed can really help with CRM as it will build customer satisfaction with your company and your brand. Even if you don't actually manage to help them with anything, they'll still appreciate the fact that you took out the time to call them and follow up.

5. Keep customers coming back with loyalty programs and other incentives

Yet another way to increase customer satisfaction is to enable customers to use loyalty programs, gift cards, and coupons. A good POS system helps you build customer loyalty by keeping track of their purchases, rewarding them with points toward a reward, and offering them special discounts if they are regular customers. 

Gift cards are also a great way to generate business, because they help people who may not know what type of gift to buy someone, and they're likely to create a new customer out of the person on the receiving end. Coupons are one more great way to get customers in the door and generate more business for you.

A POS system can process gift cards, loyalty programs, and coupons at the point of sale. When you have one system that helps you to process all these options, it’s easier for your customer to take advantage of them and it’s easier for your employees to keep track of all the moving parts.

How a POS system can increase employee satisfaction

Although your final aim might be to increase sales, remember that your employees are the backbone of your organization. Keeping your employees happy means that your business can thrive in the long run. The HR functions of a good POS system can make employee management much easier.

1. Find the right applicant for the right job

The first thing a business needs to do to make sure employees are happy is to hire and place them correctly. An employee who has great sales and marketing skills isn't going to be happy in the accounting department, and vice versa. And an employee who is overqualified or underqualified for their position will also not want to stay in their job for long.

Fortunately, your POS system fulfills many hiring needs. It can help you track applicants and see their qualifications, so that you can make sure the right person is in the right position from the get-go.

2. Keep track of employees’ hours and time off

It's very important to hourly employees to get paid on time for all the hours they worked, and a good POS helps businesses do just that. But even for salaried employees, a POS can help to keep track of their hours so that they can maintain their work-life balance. 

Business owners tend to think that employees are only looking to make more money, but the truth is that employees also want a good work environment that is fair and transparent. Your POS system keeps track of hours worked and also gives employees a greater degree of flexibility by enabling shift-swapping and time off requests.

3. Processing payroll

Every employee wants to get paid accurately and on time. When your payroll software is built right into your POS system, it offers a management tool that makes things easier for everyone. The employee checks in and out of the system when they come in and leave work every day. Then it's just up to their supervisor to confirm their hours before the accounting department can issue the check.

Picking the right POS system for your retail business

For single-store and multi-store retailers, picking the right POS system may seem like a challenge, given that there are several choices on the market. It’s important to find a customizable POS system that gives you the most value at the least cost.

When it comes to pricing, it’s important to consider more than just the price of the POS system, because a good platform can save you hours every day and generate more business for you. Therefore, you need to go for a retail solution that's worth the amount you pay for it.

Ready to get started with a perfect POS system for your retail business?

Heartland is the point of sale, payments and payroll solution of choice for entrepreneurs that need human-centered technology to sell more, keep customers coming back and spend less time in the back office. Nearly 1,000,000 businesses trust us to guide them through market changes and technology challenges, so they can stay competitive and focus on building remarkable businesses instead of managing the daily grind. Learn more at heartland.us