Wednesday, September 30, 2015

How To Choose the Right POS For Your Business

...Whether upgrading to a brand new platform, updating an existing one, or playing catch-up and implementing your first POS system, evaluating the options can be daunting. With so many competing platforms, how do you know which one is right for you? Taking inventory of your business needs and considering the capabilities of each solution will get you a long way toward making the right decision.
An upgrade may be the best way to go
Updating an existing platform is certainly the simplest solution for outdated technology. That makes it the logical place to start -- if a simple update provides the functionality you need, why go through all the trouble of shopping around and going through an implementation that can be expensive and time consuming? If a quality vendor was selected for the initial system, chances are good that an available update will address any business need with few to no associated headaches.
But in the real world, this isn’t always the case. An update may not have been developed yet, or even worse, the platform has been completely abandoned by the developer. When that happens, the only choice becomes selecting a new platform.
It probably goes without saying that the vendor who left you hanging should be left out of consideration, but take to heart the lesson that you just learned: Selecting a POS vendor that provides frequent updates is always preferable to one that doesn’t. As tempting as it may be to be penny wise but pound foolish, understand that the useful life of any POS iteration rarely exceeds three years. Think ahead to what you’ll be faced with then..
Evaluating features:
At first glance, all POS solutions are pretty much the same. They all handle cash and credit transactions out of the box, they all accept returns, and they can all handle pricing changes; but feature lists go much deeper, especially for omnichannel functionality. The trick is knowing what capabilities will help sales and service versus those that will sit dormant despite the fact that you paid for them. This requires a detailed and honest look at how you conduct business and where you see the future..
We can similarly engage in some forecasting for the coming years. More consumers than ever are completing purchases using mobile devices, and that trend is only accelerating. Therefore, even retailers that have not yet launched into m-commerce should know that they will likely need to optimize for this channel in the near future. RFID technology is also becoming more cost effective, and many retailers are continuing experimentation with it or trying it for the first time.
No matter what new innovation or trend comes into play in the future, don’t let your retail management platform be the limiting factor to growth. Since the past is the best predictor of the future, look for a vendor with a rich history of proactive updates that support the newest approaches to retail. Also, seek a provider that actively partners with clients to ensure their needs are met swiftly, developing updates and modules quickly to serve the evolving consumer market. By Ian Goldman (

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