How to Choose the Right POS System for Your Retail Business

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What to consider when choosing an EPoS system

1. Meeting the daily demands of your customers

One of the most important business decisions a retailer will ever make is the POS system they use. In fact, today’s competitive market demands a system that meets the daily demands of your customer even during the busiest days of the year.

Studies have shown that customers who experience a smooth payment process are more likely to use that retailer again. Whether the shopper is returning an unwanted gift or purchasing an important item, the speed and ease of the transaction impacts their emotional judgement about the retailer.

2. Flexibility to support the way you work

Many retailers have incorporated e-commerce sales and physical sales into their overall strategy. Efficiency and scalability to grow at the front and back end without costly surprises are just two factors to consider.

But as the foundation for your business, there is a wealth of functionality to think about too. Remember not all systems are created equal.

The ability to process transactions securely and accurately while managing inventory as it flows through your business is fundamental. The point is to ensure you sell products for the correct price. But also that you have the right system in place to control the measurement of “stock-turn”. Ensuring stock is in the right place at the right time and that you don’t over order or tie up capital in stock that may take too long to shift is the key to good retailing.

This can be especially crucial in fashion retail where you have colours, fringe sizes and fast-changing seasons to consider, and it will help you to minimise markdowns to maximise sales and margins.

3. Intelligent systems reduce operational costs

System intelligence with features like recommended reordering, automated stock replenishments and inter-branch transfers to move stock to where it’s selling best before you need to reorder more, can also be extremely useful time-saving features, freeing up busy staff and increasing accuracy.

The best EPoS system should provide you with a set of integrated business functions with inventory management at its heart. This includes all the processes you operate at the till — including sales, customer orders, product lookups, returns and customer capture, as well as management or back-office functions for product input, pricing, merchandising, orders and reporting.

4. POS systems to enhance your business growth

Being able to seamlessly turn on additional functionality as your needs change will also be important. This might include links to an e-commerce system for example if you are selling online, advanced reporting, gift cards, CRM or loyalty.

Fast customer search and accurate data capture at the till is another ‘must have’ feature for today’s retail environment to improve understanding, cut duplication and drive analysis. This also allows a more personal experience for the customer when deployed correctly.

In Futura for example, ‘Wizard’ style navigation with Post Code validation, email look-up and fast searching, helps you quickly identify existing customers at the till and speeds the process of account creation, at the same time minimising duplication in the database.

5. Real-time systems that always give you control

Your EPoS system should integrate everything in one cohesive system, enabling you to organise, control and analyse each aspect of your business all in one place, from sales at the till to inventory control, staff monitoring and backend reporting. Integrating different elements of your business will also ensure a seamless customer experience, online, in-store or mobile.

Look out for live ‘real-time’ systems where transactions, customer interactions, business processes, stock adjustments and changes you make, are visible instantly across all areas of your business.

So, for example, price changes are easily applied across your stores, sales staff can check product availability in real-time across your estate and you do not have to wait for sales data from a store to run reports. It’s instant.

Of course, this is just a snapshot of what to look for from a modern EPoS system and there are dozens of features to think about including payment types, email receipts, loyalty solutions, gift cards, enhanced reporting, mobile applications and so much more.

You can find out much more in our white paper ”9 essential steps to selecting a retail management system” Here.

Futura has been developing EPoS systems for lifestyle, fashion and department store brands for more than 30 years. To find out more visit our website or call 01189 841925.

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