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What is retail POS software?
Retail POS software helps retailers bill customers, accept and process payments, record transactions, manage stock inventory, monitor sales, and understand consumers’ buying patterns. A well-implemented POS setup helps retailers streamline business workflows and reduce wait times at checkout terminals.
The benefits of retail POS software
- Minimize errors and improve accuracy: Manually tracking transactions often leads to errors. Retail POS software automates transaction processing and inventory management. It minimizes paperwork and physical inspection of inventory, which reduces manual workload and provides greater operational accuracy.
- Better inventory management: With a centralized POS, retailers can track both incoming and outgoing stock, as well as identify their fast selling and slow-moving products. These systems provide real-time visibility into current stock levels and notify retailers when the stock of any particular product runs low. With accurate information on stock levels, retailers can better plan their monthly procurement cycles and actively respond to changing demand.
- Nurture customer relationships: Retail POS software records customer purchase details (such as items bought, preferred payment method, and frequency of visits). This data provides insight into customer buying behavior, which can be leveraged to offer better store services and nurture relationships.
Typical features of retail POS software
- Inventory management: Track and manage the quantity of stocked goods to maintain proper stock levels as well as provide store managers with real-time reports on inventory levels.
- Retail management: Manage retail operations such as procurement, billing, shipment, and merchandising.
- Sales tracking: View, track, and analyze the quantities of products sold in a given period.
- Barcode scanning: Scan barcodes to ensure accurate pricing.
- Discount management: Track and manage products that are for sale at a reduced price.
Considerations when purchasing retail POS software
- Scalability: Keep in mind the number of registers/terminals/outlets your business needs the software to support, and factor in any expansion plans you may have. Then, look for a tool that not only supports your current needs but can be easily scaled as your business grows, instead of having to purchase a new one.
- Integration capabilities: Before making your purchase, be sure to evaluate the integration capabilities of the retail POS software with your existing business applications such as accounting , eCommerce , and customer relationship management (CRM) software. Integration prevents having to enter the same information in disparate systems.
- Hardware requirements and associated costs: The decision to purchase retail POS software brings additional requirements such as tablets, cash drawers, barcode scanners, receipt printers, and card readers. It's imperative that you speak with vendors and understand their solutions’ hardware packages and associated costs before investing.
Relevant retail POS software trends
- Mobile POS solutions are a boon for retailers: The growing adoption of smartphones has increased the use of mobile POS systems, which simplify the process of product scanning and payment. Mobile POS software operates as a cash register, providing product information and customer history, and decreasing wait times for customers at checkout. Additionally, such systems can be used to locate and order inventory from any location, allowing for efficient multi-location management.
- Digital wallets and mobile payments use will keep rising: Using cash as payment is a decreasing trend among consumers, especially millennials. Considering this, retailers are also giving preference to POS setups that integrate with mobile wallets such as Apple Wallet, Android Pay, PayTM, or PayPal.