Holiday Shopping for POS Software - The Ultimate Features Wishlist
It sometimes feels like picking out a holiday gift for your 3 year old neice is easier than picking one out for yourself. Amiright??
We know the feeling. It’s difficult to figure out what to ask for. At first we’re thinking maybe go with a fun item like a game. Then our practical side jumps in and tells us to get something more useful.
But when you choose a Point Of Sale (POS) system, you’re buying something that’s both fun and practical.
Well, it’s practical because it will make your daily job much easier, and it’s fun because it will save you money. And I don’t know about you, but for us, saving money is always fun.
Ok. So, you’re going with a POS. Now where do you start? What features do you look for? You’re in luck. We’ve put together the ultimate features wish list so you can highlight exactly what you need to look for in a POS and then go and choose which POS you want.
These are the features that you absolutely can not compromise on if you’re after the best technology and a scalable system that will grow along with your business:
- Cloud-based technology
- Real-time data
- High speeds and smooth performance - do a free trial to make sure
- Features for your specific industry - e.g. if you’re a restaurant, does it have menu options? How about features for food delivery?
- Security - a good company will happily provide their security policy
- Full tech support, setup, and training for you and your staff
Though not a specific ‘feature’ it’s also important to find out whether the POS software you choose has the capability to grow as your business prospers. For example, you may want to check that in the future you’d be able to add:
- New locations
- An online store
- More storage
- Mobile device capability
- More tech support hours
The first thing to check with reporting is that you’ll be able to create the reports you need. Some popular report types include, stock and order status, sales by hour/day/week/month/year, sales trends and insights, best-sellers/worst-sellers report, employee hours worked, etc.
Once you’ve determined which report types you’ll need, you can check off the following features, too:
- Export unlimited data in multiple file formats, e.g. PDF, Excel
- Import data from other programs or Excel spreadsheets
- Customize reports and dashboard
- Ability to filter out unnecessary data and parameters
- Report scheduling and automated emailing of reports
- Visually appealing layout of reports, e.g. graphs, colors
If you have employees, here are some features you shouldn’t live without:
- Sales by employee reports
- Clock-in/clock-out functionality
- Salary management
- User permissions
- Staff schedule
Integration with existing software
Many POS systems are the real deal and come with advanced accounting, POS, and inventory management features. But you might already be pretty happy with the way your existing accounting software functions, or you might be locked into a contract with another company. If this is the case, you’ll have to make sure the POS system you choose can integrate seamlessly with your current software. Some things to double check with prospective companies:
- Will you be able to create blended reports across all programs?
- Will you be able to view integrated data in real-time?
- Can the POS software be truly integrated, or will it only provide a linked interface?
- Can you trial the POS software in integrated form?
What to avoid
You know what you want, so here are some things you should avoid:
- Hidden costs: Examples include set-up, tech support, and training fees, custom hardware, software integration fees, and outrageous cancellation fees.
- Unintuitive interface: Your software may have all the features, but if it’s too difficult for you and your employees to use there’s not much point in purchasing it. The best way to avoid this is to use a free trial before you commit to a product.
- Suspicious contracts: Is the company you’ve chosen trying to lock you into a contract for an unreasonable about of time? Or maybe there’s no clause for free cancellation if their software fails. Either way, it’s best to steer clear if something doesn’t seem quite right.
Don’t you already feel more confident in what you need to look for in your dream POS? (The correct answer is yes). Good. We know that it’s difficult to decide on such an impacting purchase, but don’t you feel like you’ve already gotten a good start to the process?
Now that you know what you need, read our reviews