You’ve made the decision to invest in a smart new iPad based POS system, but just where do you start? Google? Phone a Friend?
Frankly, we think the task of researching the POS market can be a bit overwhelming, so to help you avoid a bad case of information overload and navigate your way to a decision that’s right for your business, here’s our checklist of what to look out for.
While it’s never a great idea to make price your no 1 purchasing criteria, it is important to set a realistic budget and seek value for money. With POS till systems, there’s basically two options – make a high initial investment and then pay a low monthly cost or pay less up front and subscribe to a higher monthly cost which generally incorporates support, training, updates etc. In our view, the second option is better because it takes into consideration the challenges your business might face over time, provides peace of mind about your software being maintained and supported, and helps with day-to-day budgeting.
Ease of set-up and use
When introducing new hardware and software, the last thing you want is for it to become a burden for your team. Once you’ve shortlisted your POS options, ask for demos so you and your staff can see how quickly it can be set up and how intuitive it is to use.
Core and Advanced Features
The whole point of investing in a smart till (in place of a traditional till) is to benefit from the added features it can provide, so make sure you clarify what is included as standard and what advanced options are available too. Depending on what type of business you’re running, some of the things to look out for could be how well the POS system helps you manage inventory, your staff and your marketing. Can you use it to identify waste? Can it help you spot good/ bad staff performance? Does it include operational features like table management and table ordering or categorised products? Can you use data from your POS to create marketing campaigns?
Another major bonus of investing in a smart till is the reporting features and real-time business data it can offer you. The best POS systems will generate reports that help you monitor sales, stock, staff performance, customer preferences, turnover and profitability.
Check exactly what you will get for your money – iPads, card readers, cabling etc. Does it fit aesthetically with your business? Are there enough till points provided? Do you need self-serve checkouts?
Confirm what integrations your POS system is capable of. Does it easily connect to the business software you’re already using (e.g. for accountancy)? What kind of payment integrations are offered and does that suit the trend in your business?
Whether your business is in the hospitality or retail sector, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to POS. Would your business benefit from adding product images to the iPad till? Do you want to offer customer facing displays or e-receipts? What about running discounts, promotions or loyalty schemes? Being able to customise your system according to your business needs is crucial so think carefully about everything you want to do and make sure the system you choose backs you up.
Establish what kind of support you’ll get from your POS provider and how easy it will be to access it. Do they offer training and support during set up and throughout the contract? Is technical support provided by experts from within your POS provider or outsourced? In urgent ‘need help’ moments, how rapid are response times?
Look at the customer reviews
If the owner of a restaurant, pub or shop has taken time out of their busy schedule to give a testimonial for a POS provider then they must think it’s something special. So, take a little time yourself to see what those people have to say. If you’ve short-listed a few providers, this could be the deal-breaker!
Here’s what one recent convert to the Good Till POS system said about us:
“We’ve been open for over 30 years so we were a bit cautious, but there are no disadvantaged [of the Good Till]. The till looks great and.. we were familiar with iPads so it was quick to get used to. Whenever I’m not in the shop, I can look at the sales reports – it’s a bit of an addiction!” Belinda, from Of Special Interest
Call us at The Good Till Company to find out more about our very own feature-packed and competitively priced POS system!