Retail Point of Sale Software
Retail Point of Sale Software: Tips for Selecting the Right System
Don’t Make These Mistakes When You Buy a Retail Point of Sale System
If you’re like most retailers, you’re worried about making a mistake when you choose retail point of sale software. I don’t blame you. Buying retail point of sale software is a big investment. Not to mention, retail point of sale software can have a huge impact on the efficiency and success of your retail business!
What’s more, there are around 1,000 different retail point of sale software systems to choose from. And they’re all different. All these choices can be overwhelming and confusing. The truth is choosing retail point of sale software is very difficult. And too many retailers end up with the wrong system. In fact, it’s common for retailers to go through 2, 3 or even 4 different retail point of sale software systems before they find one they’re happy with. Those mistakes probably cost at least $10,000 – $100,000.
Here are few mistakes that retailers make over and over again.
They Buy Hardware First
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a retailer say, “I just bought new computers, printers and I have everything ready to go. Now I need to find retail point of sale software.” As soon as I hear that, I think to myself, “This guy could have saved himself a lot of time and money if he selected his retail point of sale software first!”
First of all, your retail point of sale software will have hardware and operating system requirements. For example, the retail point of sale software will require a certain version of Windows, Unix or Linux, unless it’s an open architecture system. In addition, each program will only function with certain types of printers, scanners, cash drawers and card readers.
Second, and more importantly, not all retail point of sale software systems are the same. And the system that you choose is very important. It will have a huge impact on the efficiency of your business. If you install your computer system first, you will limit your retail point of sale software choices. The perfect fit for your unique business might run on UNIX but you already bought a Windows 2003 Server. You might also find that the printers and scanners you just bought aren’t compatible either.
You can avoid frustration and save money if you choose the retail point of sale software first. Then you can ask the software company about their recommended hardware and operating systems.
They Ask the Wrong People
All too often retailers ask a local computer consultant for suggestions about retail point of sale software. Most computer consultants have good intentions but they tend to give poor advice when it comes to choosing retail point of sale software.
Computer consultants are great sources for information about computers, hardware, and networking. However they don’t usually understand the intricacies of retail point of sale software and retail management. Nor do they realize that there are almost 1,000 different retail point of sale software systems to choose from and it’s VERY easy to choose the wrong one.
Every retail business is different and has different needs. If you get poor advice and select the wrong type of system, your business will lose money.
They Don’t Place Enough Focus on the Character of the Software Company
When you invest in retail point of sale software, you’re buying a relationship, not just a product. In fact, the “quality” of the retail point of sale software company is usually just as important as the product.
Why is the software company so important? Well…
After you purchase the retail point of sale software, you will rely on the software company to supply updates, training, technical support, and possibly hardware.
Evaluating a Retail Point of Sale Software Company
What if the retail point of sale software company went out of business? Dozens of retail point of sale software companies come and go every year.
What if they don’t give you software updates when you need them?
What if it takes 2 days to get your technical questions answered?
What if the retail point of sale software has a bug and they don’t fix it?
What if they didn’t give you sufficient training? And as a result, your sales reports are showing the wrong totals.
What if you can’t print and it takes 6 hours to get help from a support technician?
The truth is, the level of service and the financial stability of the retail point of sale software company is very important. It’s critical to evaluate the software company; otherwise you could run into some frustrating and expensive problems.
They Pass The Buck
Too many owners give the responsibility of choosing a retail point of sale software system to an employee or a computer consultant that is not familiar with your industry. This is a huge mistake.
Top management and other key personnel must be involved in the selection and implementation process. You should never rely solely on a consultant’s recommendation or input.
The person that evaluates the retail point of sale software must have in-depth knowledge about your business. Retail point of sale software software is complicated. Not to mention it can make a huge difference in your businesses productivity. Retail point of sale software is too important to pass the evaluation process to someone else. I see owners and managers make this mistake all the time. Don’t make the same one.
They Overlook Important Features
Unless you are a retail point of sale software expert, it’s difficult to sort through countless retail point of sale software systems and figure out what you need. What’s more, it’s difficult to understand the “true” potential of your retail point of sale software system. As a result, many retailers get confused and they overlook important features that would save them a lot of time and money.
Most people don’t realize that every retail point of sale software system is very different. Some are designed for large ticket items like tractors. And others are designed to work in fast moving retail environments like a grocery store.
As a result, it’s common for retailers to end up with retail point of sale software that isn’t really designed for them. That’s why it’s important to properly analyze the needs of your business (even if you’re a small retailer). Then you can create a list of features that are important. That list will help you compare and choose the right system.
This might seem complicated, but with a little guidance, you can quickly find the right retail point of sale software system. You just need to know which mistakes to avoid, where to look, and the right formula.