How to choose a small business POS system
April 23, 2015

While there are nearly limitless options for point-of-sale systems, some are better suited for small business operations than others. The right POS software can help small companies reach higher levels of efficiency and create lasting relationships with their customers. An integrated platform can even help store owners keep better track of inventory and stock levels. Over time, monitoring stock data can provide owners with insight into their most popular items, which helps them keep the right products in stock at all times.

Start with a list
To ensure you select the right POS system for your business, list the key features you need to boost efficiency and meet your strategic business goals. Most POS systems help retailers accept credit card payments, but there are other capabilities owners may want to gain better visibility into the business and customer trends. In addition, the right POS software may depend on the industry. For example, restaurants need a solution that can accept an additional tip amount with the check. Some restaurant POS systems may even be able to take reservations, which adds convenience for customers.

Email marketing
If your business relies on email marketing, make sure the POS solution integrates with a third-party marketing program. This can be valuable for owners who use email marketing to connect with customers or offer rewards through a gift card and loyalty program. Integration at the POS helps retailers send their customers more relevant promotions. Shoppers won't want to receive coupons for items they have never been interested in purchasing.

Consider future technology needs
The EMV transitions is one of the most important trends in the payments industry this year. By October, all POS terminals will need to be able to accept EMV chip cards. Without this technology in place, retailers will be forced to compensate for the losses of any fraudulent activity, according to Small Business Computing. While upgrading to a new POS system can be expensive, merchants may place themselves at risk if they don't consider compliance now. While each card issuer has a different timeline for releasing EMV-enabled cards, some are already on the market.

The EMV transition will be easier for retailers that use a mobile POS system. Instead of facing significant hardware upgrades, they will need to acquire only a new scanner for a mobile device. This may make the implementation process simpler for many businesses.

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