Setting up a point of sale system, or POS, is something that most people in retail or any brick-and-mortar company will do at some point. POS systems are one of the most basic parts of any business and have become essential to seamless transactions.
But it has changed through the years to adapt to evolving trends in business and commerce.
Particularly, the rise of digital and e-commerce changed the landscape of point-of-sale systems. POS software now has to adapt to the growing digitization of business practices and technologies. Sometimes, it might not be that easy.
Still, we need to move with the changes if we want our businesses to stay efficient and relevant in this new era of technology.
8 Common POS Software Challenges and Solutions
Point-of-sales software should generally be straightforward, but much like any solution, it can come with a few hiccups. Let’s discuss some of the most common POS software challenges today and how to overcome them.
Picking the Wrong System for Your Business
Before learning how to set up a POS system and maximize it, we first need to choose the right system for the business. Choosing the best fit for your operations is a crucial decision to avoid headaches switching systems too often. While it’s not a crime to change POS software every year or so, it can become quite inefficient at some point.
To get the best system for your context, research is your best friend. Get up to three options that fit your business best and make a comparison.
Not all POS systems are created equal. Sometimes the best solution for another business might not be the best for you. Know what your non-negotiables are in terms of feature, pricing, and support, and decide based on your contingent needs and requirements.
Lack of Mobility
Mobile POS systems are slowly becoming the norm. The volume of mobile POS transactions was expected to reach US$2,466,606 in 2021.
Traditional POS systems were bulky, and they only stayed in one location. If that system gets broken, it’s difficult to gain its data back.
Using a mobile system that can connect with a tablet or phone has all kinds of benefits. Personnel can carry the POS system around and bring them to the customer instead of having the customer come to a counter. It also takes up less space and weighs less, which could provide some flexibility to our employees.
Given that mobile retail is up like never before, it might be good to consider switching to a mobile POS system. However, mobile devices do have their downsides. For instance, they’re easier to steal or misplace. To avoid this, policies should be in place to steward the hardware better. Have a safe place to store the POS system to avoid theft— somewhere out of sight and preferably with a fastening or enclosure.
Data Security Threats
Part of any POS implementation checklist should be security. And that shouldn’t only include the physical security of the hardware but also the data and digital aspects too.
Cybersecurity is becoming a prevalent form of crime in today’s digital era. Identity theft, data breaches, and malicious hacking are becoming more of a threat.
To avoid any data or cybersecurity threats, business owners and retailers should always choose a POS system with basic security features, such as data encryption and two-step verification. Use complex passwords for logins and enable any pin number setups where possible. There’s no such thing as “overkill” when it comes to data security.
Manual Tracking of Promotions and Offers
Integrating day-to-day sales and transactions with marketing campaigns is a must for smooth business operations to avoid confusion and customer concerns. One of the basic POS features every retailer should require in a system is a promotion and offer tracker. It’s always best practice to connect promotions with POS systems. Find a system that has an in-build promotions tracker. This feature will take care of applying any discounts or offers to ensure that they’re tracked accordingly for accounting and inventory purposes, which leads to the next challenge that business owners and retailers face with POS systems.
Time Lost on Inventory Tracking
Dealing with inventory management can be an arduous task without the help of tools and systems. The key to saving time and getting more accurate results in inventory counting and management is to ditch manual systems and automate it. POS systems can actually be a great way to streamline this process. Most, if not all, of the best POS systems today have an inventory management feature that helps log product inventory and update it as sales go out.
For any business with product inventory, the temptation is to skip this feature in your point-of-sale systems. But doing so is doing your business and employees a huge disservice. Inventory management can help save a lot of time from manually tracking product stocks. It also removes any errors that could lead to deadweight loss and sales discrepancies. Set up your inventory tracker and integrate them with your inventory systems to keep a better account of product stocks.
Not Using Data and Analytics
In this day and age ruled by big data, businesses need to learn to leverage data and analytics to make better business decisions. The numbers don’t lie, and they can help point out what’s working and what’s not. Data around sales, purchase returns, customer feedback, and so on can provide valuable insight to help businesses delight customers and improve business metrics. Leverage your POS system’s data and analytics by using them as benchmarks in strategy meetings and planning sessions.
Ecommerce Integration Disconnected from Store Ops
E-retail sales are now hitting $4.2 trillion worldwide. So it only makes sense that POS systems should integrate with e-commerce platforms. Seamless integrations to an online shop will allow POS software to automatically gather and track sales data, order details, and fulfillment requirements in one platform.
This way, it becomes easier for staff to stay on top of orders, given that all transactions land on one platform instead of two. This integration also makes it possible to make comparisons between brick-and-mortar performance with online ones.
Ignoring Customer Insight and Feedback
Recently, POS systems have also started integrating with live chat software to streamline customer service and feedback channels with point-of-sale tools. This integration allows businesses to respond more proactively to complaints and concerns for faster resolution.
Customer support is a vital part of business growth and operations. It helps extend the customer lifetime value by ensuring long-term trust-based relationships with clients. Leveraging on any software, systems, or features that can help improve customer insight and feedback gathering can equip businesses with the necessary information to build those long-lasting business relationships.
Cloud-based POS Systems
The far majority of businesses today still use on-site POS systems. But up to 28% of retailers said that they would be switching to cloud-based POS software in the near future. Accordingly, your business might want to consider learning how to implement a POS system on a cloud-based solution as it provides an array of other benefits and advantages to your business like flexibility, data access from anywhere, and seamless communication between POS systems from multiple sites.
All this to say, point-of-sales is changing fast along with the needs, priorities, and challenges that businesses today face. We need to be on the lookout for where e-commerce and business solutions will be going this 2022 and beyond to stay ahead of the innovation curve. Doing that will keep your business relevant and competent in the immediate and beyond.