With a seemingly over-whelming choice of POS platforms, we're often asked what makes a great point of sale system — and importantly, what makes our solution the best choice. We answer that question here.

The makings of a great POS system lie in a few simple points.

  1. Make it fast
  2. Provide a great user experience
  3. Simple, powerful reporting
  4. Security is paramount
  5. Data collection tools
  6. Provide effective, reliable support

1. Speed

It's no surprise that the speed of a retail system is a key factor when it comes to making a decision on which platform to choose. A speedy, efficient transaction will please your customers. It's a dead certain that waiting at long lines at the till point will create bad will — and there are ways for your team to deal with this positively, which is another story entirely — and ultimately that poor experience and wait may lose you a repeat visitor.

Every unnecessary moment your team are behind the cash desk is a moment they could be helping a someone make an informed choice on which product to purchase or forging a stronger bond with a regular customer by being there when it matters.

2. Strong user experience

Buzz-word alert! Sorry, it was necessary ... "Make sure your point of sale system has a logical menu structure and is easy to use", doesn't make for a catchy title.

That said, one of the biggest challenges for any user of a new system is getting to grips with all the tools and features at their disposal. The learning curve really does depend on how tech-literate each person is, though, any change is bound to create some training requirements.

As such, it's always an advantage if a point of sale system has been designed in an intuitive way — just like any piece of technology. Lessening that learning curve is important and compliments point 1 perfectly. Speed + Usability = Winning formula. Ultimately, whilst it may not be noticable by your customers, it'll certainly be noticable by you. Spending less time (and money) training staff frees up said resource for what's truly important.

3. Simple, powerful reporting

"Data data data, I cannot make bricks without clay."

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Right, now I've indulged my need to slip in a movie quote, this is an important one. Whilst looking at reports might not be the most glamourous of task, it really does help a business remain competitive.

Using Cloud Reports — a powerful reporting tool, which is free for all of our customers — you can look at all manner of data associated with your sales and inventory management. Our buying planner allows you to check weeks' cover and see what stock you need (or likewise stock that isn't moving as fast as you expected). Also, with our sales reports you can measure gross margin and ensure you're getting the best prices from your suppliers and will give you an edge over your competition. In one example, one of our customers managed to save tens of thousands of pounds in one of their buys by discussing the margin they achieved with a supplier.

4. Security

The thought of anyone gaining access to your business critical data is truly frightening, but having a point of system which employs the latest security should go without saying. According to data, 43% of cyber attacks target small business and an even scarier figure shows that only 14% have effective measures in place to prevent or handle such attacks. The nature of the digital age is that everything is connected and your customers take the privacy of their personal data seriously.

Source : smallbiztrends.com

5. Data collection

Whilst we're talking about your customers' personal details, having the ability to collect them is an obvious advantage. Having a point of sale system which can collect customer address and contact details and associate that information them with orders will allow you to use this data to find your best customers, track the purchases they make and reward them with a loyalty scheme. Further to this, the ability to use this data for marketing purposes, using a managed or unmanaged newsletter service will also yield great results online.

6. Effective, reliable support

OK, so this point may not be about the POS system exactly but it's arguably the most important one of them all.

No till or inventory management system is perfect. You can get close, but ultimately it's subjective to the industry the business operates in and the specific requirements of said business. That said, when a point of sale system falters, having a team of specialists, who have a wealth of retail experience at the ready should be a comfort.