Many small business owners are so eager to launch that they invest little time in their point-of-sale (POS) technology. As long as their system can accept credit card payments, they’re satisfied.
Although all POS technologies perform the same basic function, each platform offers slightly different bells and whistles. It’s important you find a solution that meets your business’s needs — both today and for many years to come.
This is because the switching costs of migrating from one platform to another are incredibly high:
- Every POS option has its learning curve.
- Data migration (and retention) isn’t always guaranteed.
- Interoperability can also be a major challenge.
How to choose a POS cash register varies from business to business (and industry to industry), so it’s not easy to anticipate every potential need you’ll face in the coming years.
However, below are four broad POS considerations that should factor into your decision-making. Choosing a payment system that satisfies these criteria can dramatically increase the chances of finding a solution that:
- Enhances your business’s workflow efficiency (in the here and now)
- Allows you to quickly adapt to unforeseen changes on the horizon
Retail POS System Tip 1: Expandability
Most small and medium-sized business owners choose POS systems for their current needs. This impulse makes a lot of sense. If it’s just you and a few employees, there’s no reason to invest in a payment solution designed for large multinationals with deep hierarchies.
But remember that your organization won’t always be flat. Both the size and composition of your business could grow over time, so you need a POS system that can accommodate such changes. More specifically, you should be on the lookout for payment solutions that:
- Allow you to assign user roles and access rights
- Offers centralized analytics with customizable reports
- Makes it easy to add future POS terminals as needed
Retail POS System Tip 2: Ease of Use
Although every POS system has a learning curve, some platforms are easier to use than others. This allows you to get up and running as quickly as possible.
For example, many payment solutions exist as software-as-a-service (SaaS) options, with modular features and add-ons. The beauty of this approach is that you can:
- Avoid much of the bloat that typically bogs down “feature-rich” POS systems
- Keep your costs to a minimum (since you’re buying only what you need)
- Add features as your payment requirements evolve over time
Again, the learning curve is inevitable. But you can make it much flatter by choosing a POS solution devoid of fluff. If your business doesn’t need it, there’s no reason to learn (or pay) for it.
Retail POS System Tip 3: Payment Integration
It’s possible to run a successful business using nothing but a simple spreadsheet. As new sales come in, you simply update your records by hand. You can even make stunning graphs and charts using the data you’ve collected.
This process, however, is incredibly time-consuming. It’s also quite expensive if you pay employees to handle these office tasks.
Some POS solutions offer payment integration that can automatically report incoming sales in the accounting, CRM and tax tools you’re already using. In other words, no more manual data entry.
Retail POS System Tip 4: Robust Hardware
To begin accepting plastic, you’ll need a physical POS machine for your retail shop. However, credit card terminal standards continue to evolve rapidly.
- Five years ago, most merchants were still using legacy readers designed to process magstripe credit cards.
- When new liability rules went into effect in 2015, hordes of merchants switched to EMV terminals.
- Near field communication (NFC) readers are increasingly standard, thanks to the success of virtual wallets such as Apple Pay.
Due to these frequent changes, there are compelling reasons to lease your credit card reader instead of buying one outright.
An even better option is to convert some of your existing hardware. Thanks to mobile payment processing, it’s now possible to transform your store’s smartphones and tablets into portable credit card terminals. All you need is an Internet (or 3G) connection and a card reader that pairs with your device via Bluetooth.
Here are some of the benefits of this approach:
- With software patches, smart devices can more easily adapt to the latest credit card standards. If necessary, you can update the mobile reader to a newer model.
- Mobile credit card processing is cheaper since you’re converting phones and tablets that you already have (instead of buying new hardware).
- You don’t have to worry about external printers, monitors and barcode scanners — since all of this functionality is built into your smart device.
- Mobile payment processing allows you to continue generating sales, even if you’re off-site at conferences and tradeshows.
Is BluePay the Right POS Payment Provider for Your Small Business?
As you search for POS solutions, you’ll quickly discover there’s no shortage of options. There are several reasons why BluePay is the preferred payment provider for small business owners around the globe:
- All of our solutions are 100 percent scalable, allowing you to easily grow your business over time. Pay only for the features you need, when you need them.
- We offer seamless payment integration with many of the most popular business tools in the world. These modules work out of the box with minimal configuration. That said, we also offer API documentation if you want to design customized payment solutions from the ground up.
- We have POS tools for every merchant and industry imaginable — whether you need EMV terminals for your brick-and-mortar store, mobile credit card readers for traveling sales teams, or payment gateways for your e-commerce site.
All of these solutions are built around the latest in PCI-compliant data security to ensure your payment environment remains safe from fraud and abuse.
If you’d like to learn more about BluePay’s point-of-sale systems for small businesses, schedule a free consultation with our merchant services team today.