Getting the edge on your competition is the mantra of every business. With the advent of online retail giants such as Amazon and eBay, the need to outshine your brick and mortar completion is even more important. Traditional point-of-sale (POS) systems don’t lend themselves too easily to smaller businesses.
For one, data is king and simple cash registers that don’t furnish business owners with useable data just won’t cut it. Secondly, restrictions such as up-front costs, floor space and ease-of-use all put restrictions on small business POS usage.
Faster, Cheaper, Easier Installation – Traditional point-of-sale equipment can be difficult to set up and will require a greater out-of-pocket commitment from the business owner. Installation may require repeated calls to customer and tech support and may necessitate numerous trial-and-error runs to get it working just right.
Of course, this is after you’ve spent thousands of dollars on a new system, to begin with. Point-of-sale software, on the other hand, is much less labor-intensive and easier to understand.
The POS software should, therefore, be as easy to use as possible and indeed this is the case with many POS software installations, Shopify POS included. In addition to this, updates and backups are all automated and actual installation takes very little time. Many POS software applications are low cost, allowing you to pay as you go.
Accounting – Running a business appropriately means having your accounting in order. Usually, that meant separating sales and accounting into two different entities. This also meant assigning different tasks to suitably qualified employees.
With point-of-sale software at your disposal, much of that accounting is performed within the app itself during and after transactions. Having point-of-sale software doesn’t completely negate the need for an accountant.
However, it does mean that neither you nor the accountant you hire will have to rummage through thousands of bills and receipts. In its place, the built-in accounting capabilities of the POS software can handle the task.
Inventory Management – Managing your inventory is the lifeblood of any business. Having the items your customers want, when they need it is what is going to have your customers returning for more.
Yet inventory management can be a difficult task for small businesses with a few staff on hand. How do you know which of your items is running low and how do you know which items are stocked amply? Not knowing either of these stats can cause your business to miss out on sales or alternatively, spend too much of your capital on needless reorders.
Point-of-sale software prevents either of these two circumstances by keeping track of your inventory and advising you when reordering has become necessary. In addition to this, the point-of-sale software can alert you to the seasonality of various items allowing you to stock them before popularity spikes.
Mobility – Retails works best when sales associates can be free to move around and engage with customers. A stationary cash register does little more than to anchor an employee to one corner of the room.
When employees are equipped with a mobile point-of-sale system such as a tablet loaded with POS software, it allows employees to move around the store, engaging with customers.
This allows them to answer questions, offer suggestions and provide customers with additional information on the products under their consideration. Having mobile sales associates also serves as a deterrent to potential shoplifters.
Save Floor Space – The checkout counter can be unnecessarily large part of any business’s floor plan occupying valuable space better left to merchandise. The demands placed on floor space are even higher with smaller businesses.
It’s difficult enough to designate that space when it’s one cash register, but space restrictions rule out the addition of any more cash registers. With point-of-sale software, however, the game has changed. The software allows you to turn any tablet into a point-of-sale system.
This means that any sales associate can help ringing up customers across the floor. This also means that in stores where sales associates work for a commission, it becomes even easier to keep track of those earnings.
Detailed Information – Cash registers fall short when attempting to inform customers and retailers about past purchases. In fact, the only information they provide is the cost of the item, date it was purchased and the name of the store.
However, your point-of-sale software will tie your inventory information into the receipt as well allowing you to furnish customers with detailed information about their purchases. Business owners are also able to look back at past purchases to detect trends and gather information about customer inclination.
Low maintenance – With any designated point-of-sale system the cost of maintenance and repair always has a part to play. “Machines fail” is an unwritten rule of nature. Not only can point-of-sale systems be costly to repair but a breakdown can leave your business handicapped preventing you from processing sales.
In addition to this, POS repair can be costly and can eat away at your profits. Using software unshackles your business from systems that need constant upgrade and repair.
Since your multi-function device becomes the point-of-sale hardware, repair can be conducted by the employer or employees and can be as simple as reinstalling the software.
Understandably, businesses must make every effort to work for the attention of the shopping public. The point-of-sale software gives you that benefit.
The low price of adoption means that even those now starting out can have access to a professional point-of-sale system. Not only does it make everyday tasks more manageable, but it also gives you the quality data you need to take action.