Retail point of sale software comes in many shapes and sizes with various features. That can make it a complicated sale. The retail point of sale software has to be suited to the customer’s needs, whether it’s for a retail outlet, hotel, restaurant, or club. In making the sale you have to work with the customer to identify the features that offer maximum ROI and potential for growth.
According to IDC, retail point of sales software is perceived to be more expensive than alternative solutions, such as PC cash drawer, but while the upfront costs may be higher, the total cost of ownership is very attractive. POS systems speed transactions by 44 percent; they have a much lower cost-per-customer to operate; and they are easier to integrate with back-end systems, such as inventory control and accounting. Another study by the Aberdeen Group reveals that a retailer with $300,000 in revenue who invests $1,500 in a POS system will cut costs by 10 percent, or $30,000 per year.
By taking the time to understand the prospect’s POS needs and how retail point of sale software fits into their operation, you can demonstrate tangible ROI. Here are nine talking points to get you started:
What retail point of sale software talking points would you add to your sales pitch?
- Inventory Management – Any retail point of sale software will ring up sales and track inventory. However, a good POS system will be more proactive, alerting you when inventory is running low and you need to restock. The POS software also should provide status of backorders, generate purchase orders to vendors, and make it easy to add or modify products.
- Customer Management – The POS system should be easy to manage and change customer records. It should be simple to add new address and contact information, reward points, track past purchases, and capture other details via the POS interface.
- Ease of use – If the retail point of sale software is too complex, it isn’t useful. Routine tasks such as generating backorder requests, dealing with discounts and sale pricing, or checking inventory should be intuitive The POS system also needs to be easy for anyone to use. When selling a POS software package, weigh the requirements of the retailer against the complexity of the system. A good system will provide comprehensive functionality without adding complexity.
- Customization – While basic POS functionality is the same, every retail, restaurant, or hospitality operation has its own unique needs. Hotels, for example, need to account for specialty bookings, loyalty programs, and custom discounts. Retailers need to account for variations in inventory pricing, delivery fees, shipping costs, out of state taxes, and other variables. The POS software needs to be customizable, both at the front end and with back-end integration. Either the POS system should be easily customizable by the customer, or consider including customization as part of installation and support.
- Integration – The retail point of sale software is the data entry point for much of what occurs within any store, hotel or restaurant. It tracks inventory, money flowing in, taxes, and other information essential to the operation. Therefore the POS software has to integrate with back-end operations. The POS system should integrate with other business systems for inventory ordering, sales tax, profit and loss, sales projections, and much more. Be sure to discuss integration and compatibility. For example, does the POS system need to interoperate with specific platforms, such as QuickBooks or Salesforce?
- Omnichannel Support – Increasingly, retailers are using multiple channels to sell to customers. The retail point of sale software should be able to support an omnichannel approach to handle on-site, phone, and online transactions. It should be able to support a consistent consumer experience across channels.
- Mobility – How important is mobility as part of the POS solution? For some applications, such as restaurant servers, having a handheld POS device could be extremely important. Increasingly, retailers are using tablet computers on the store floor to work with customers and present options such as different colors or fabrics, or custom price quotes. If mobility is a consideration, be sure to determine how to make mobile support a seamless part of the POS system.
- Cloud computing – For many smaller retailers, or even larger retailers with diverse operations, using cloud-based retail point of sale software is extremely attractive. There are few hardware costs and cloud-based POS can offer more versatility to promote more outlets, remote transactions, or even pop-up retail operations such as a crafts fair. Determine if on premise or hosted POS software is more practical and able to meet the customer’s ongoing sales needs.
- Grow with the Business – Some customers will want to start small, perhaps with a cash drawer, a bar code scanner, and a receipt printer. But the POS system should be able to grow with their business. Be sure to discuss expansion options and highlight features that can be added as operations expand.