How important is having a quality point of sale (POS) solution in a retail environment? These stats illustrate the close link between a great checkout experience and customer satisfaction:
74% of consumers will switch stores/brands if the sales experience is too difficult. (source)
64% of consumers think the quality of the customer experience is more important than price. (source)
86% of consumers are willing to repurchase from a store where they had a great experience. (source)
Those numbers are eye opening, but the conclusions are intuitive. Every retailer knows that a subpar POS system causes a lot of hiccups at the cash register. Once those hiccups become common, customers quickly grow restless to leave, angry at the store, and eager to complain online. The retailer could be doing everything else right, but it’s totally undone by the frustrating payment process. Furthermore, a great POS system has benefits beyond the checkout process. It helps you gain deeper insights about customers, order and process inventory more efficiently, and run more relevant marketing programs.
Identifying the problem is easy. Identifying the solution is a lot harder. The retail POS market is flooded with different options with different capabilities at different price points. Selecting the best of the best is a real challenge, especially for retailers who don’t know exactly what they need. However, for many retails, QuickBooks Point of Sale (QuickBooks POS) is a fantastic solution that will streamline sales while fully integrating with their back office systems.
If you’re ready to upgrade your POS but unsure where to start, you’re not alone. Most retailers switch POS systems at some point, and the process makes all of them understandably anxious. A new solution is not necessarily a better solution, and until one is up and running it’s hard to evaluate any system’s true colors. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
The smartest strategy is to vet options based on the features and benefits that most matter. Evaluating options strategically helps you cut through the sales pitch and really compare one option against another. With that in mind, here are the features you should focus on to find the best POS for retail:
A retail POS system is an investment. The more you spend to improve the customer experience the more it returns in the form of revenue. However, POS solutions can be expensive, and retailers only have so much in the budget for new technology. At a certain point spending more becomes prohibitive and reckless.
It’s up to you to set your budget. The important part is not trying to spend the most or least possible. Instead, try to get the most value available. That might mean buying a basic system without bells and whistles you will never need. Or it could mean buying a top-of-the-line system that gives you the best in terms of data security, customer analytics, inventory management, and payment processing.
Quickbooks POS makes it easy to find an option that slots perfectly into your budget. There are two options – QuickBooks POS Basic, and QuickBooks POS Pro. If you are a new business or a mom and pop retail store POS Basic will likely more than meet your needs. But QuickBooks POS Pro is not that much more so don’t skimp if your retail business will benefit from the additional features.
You have the option to install your POS solution on your own servers or to access a web-based solution through the cloud. An on-site implementation is more secure (at least in some ways) and it gives you more options for customization. Conversely, a cloud implementation is easier to maintain and makes updating, maintenance, and troubleshooting easier.
Retail technology as a whole is moving to the cloud, yet some stores still prefer an on-site POS. If you have a large in-house IT team and the ability to deal with technical issues internally it might make sense.
Today’s retail POS systems are more than just automated ledgers. The most basic systems on the market offer powerful tools for streamlining accounting, expediting operations, engaging customers, and driving revenue. At the higher end they offer even more features, allowing you to track data in incredible depth and detail. Every feature serves a purpose, but that doesn’t mean every store needs every feature.
You can get lost in the weeds comparing features in various solutions. Focus on things like register technologies, data security, inventory size, offline capability, loyalty rewards, and reporting capabilities. The last one in particular is important because a POS is an excellent tool for evaluating your performance and refining your business strategy. It helps to make a list of the features you absolutely need, followed by those you would like to have.
QuickBooks POS is one of the popular solutions on the market, mostly because it’s so versatile. There are enough options available that you can get the exact features you need, avoid the one you don’t, and add new features at a later date. It’s the solution that adapts to your needs today and adapts again tomorrow.
At some point in time you’re going to have questions about your POS and need support ASAP. If and when those circumstances arise, how willing is your POS provider to rise to the occasion? Some will make quick and comprehensive support a priority. Others will not.
It’s hard to evaluate support until you need it, but vetting the vendor as well as the solution gives you a good indication. If your provider seems eager to understand you needs and address your issues early on, they will hopefully continue that later on. Don’t hesitate to ask specific questions about the speed and quality of service you can expect.
Quickbooks POS has become an industry leader by understanding the real needs of small businesses. For stores without a lot of staff and limited technical expertise, that often means providing exceptional support on demand. It’s a huge asset when your POS provider cares as much about your success as you do.
The right POS can propel your store forward. The wrong POS can drag you down like an anchor. As you hunt for the ideal option, reach out to Fourlane for expert advice and one-to-one assistance. Our goal is to help you explore your options in depth and select a new POS with complete confidence. When you’re ready to get the consultation started, contact us directly.