The market for point of sale (POS) solutions continues to be lucrative for resellers who know how to differentiate their POS offering. More businesses are integrating handheld POS systems for retail, food service, pop ups, and a host of other uses, and the pending United States standardization on EMV credit cards is forcing any company that accepts credit cards to rethink its POS strategy. That means a high demand for new POS hardware but, additionally, POS software.
Retailers rushing to convert iPads and Android tablets to POS devices find they have to wrestle with multiple POS software options. They can use a cloud-based transaction system, which uses a preconfigured hosted system for transactions and offers less customization, or they can shop for software that better suits their in-house needs.
Ongoing Returns from Customized POS Software
Every off-the-shelf hardware platform requires customization and POS is no different. An experienced POS reseller can help you identify the right software for specific retail or food service needs and customize the software to meet the specific application.
Every POS deployment is unique. Not only does each vertical market have its own needs, but also there are variations in stocking, tax calculations, inventory control, warranties, and special offers. Any POS software has to be customized, whether it is part of an enterprise network or a hosted solution.
With assistance from an integrator specializing in POS solutions, merchants can optimize their POS software or cloud service to deliver greater value. Making the right software choice with the right customization up front means the software can more readily evolve with customer needs, deliver greater and lasting returns.
Mix and Match Solutions are Limited
Retailers typically want three types of POS software customization: front-end applications, back end integration, and analytics.
The front-end software is the cash register or POS where the transaction takes place. Depending on the environment, the customer may need to be able to deal with frequent shopper discounts, sale items, specialty orders, and other anomalies. Many off-the-shelf POS solutions can handle most of these variables so it’s a matter of choosing the one with the right feature set.
Integration with back-end processes can be the real challenge. The POS system has to be compatible with accounting software, inventory management, CRM, even payroll to accommodate commission sales. Choosing a POS software solution that is compatible with back-end business processes is critical; otherwise, merchants will lose much of the value from back-end integration.
In order to build a business, you need strong analytics to uncover areas of opportunity. Most POS solutions come with analytics and reporting functions that reveal more about customer engagement, sticking strategies, marketing programs, in-store losses, and more. When choosing POS software, understanding the analytics and reporting functions can be an important selling point. POS software should be a central business tool for strategic planning.
ISVs Enable the Retail Value Chain
Customizing POS software as part of a total POS package gives retail customers exactly what they need. A qualified ISV can help merchants build a POS solution to suit any application or market, including a custom GUI, integration, and reporting. Retail runs on POS data and being able to master the value chain from the POS to the operational back end is crucial.
A retail ISV partner needs to have a breadth of hardware and software experience. They should be able to customize the POS platform and know how to integrate with back-end or cloud systems. They also have to be prepared with training to deal with routine system changes, such as changes in inventory and pricing, and a strong professional services team that can triage larger issues.
ISVs that have vertical market expertise bring even more value. The POS requirements of a restaurant or food service are very different from a jeweler, which are also very different from a discount retailer. A partner like Ingram Micro can show you how to differentiate your POS business.
Need to learn more? Contact your Ingram Micro sales representative at 1 (800) 456-8000.