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What features should your point of sale terminal have?

Your point of sale (POS) terminal plays an integral part in running your business. From payment processing to managing inventory, it’s important to have a POS that meets your specific needs. Though some needs are universal, yours may require specialized features from your point of sale terminal and its components.

Here are some things you should look for in point of sale systems for use in retail and restaurant environments:

Retail

  • Inventory management

    The ability to manage your inventory is a must-have feature of a retail POS system. To better meet customer expectations and maximize profit, you need to know when to order more of specific items so they are available when customers want them. Keeping excess stock can also be a major factor; retailers in the U.S. lose $224 billion each year due to unsold inventory.
  • On-the-go payment processing


    Retail shop owners sometimes need the ability to take their business beyond the walls of the store. You may want to extend your POS operations to a pop-up shop, craft fair, or even a farmer's market. In these situations, you’ll want a reliable system that can accept credit cards and other forms of payment remotely.
  • Discounts, coupons, and gift cards 

    Promotions and sales are part of the retail business. You need to be able to quickly adjust prices and add discounts, enabling your staff to easily implement last-minute pricing changes. The ability to sell and accept gift cards is also crucial for promoting your business.
  • More payment options

    The more ways customers can pay, the better it is for business; whether that means using a mobile wallet or visiting your ecommerce shop after hours from the comfort of their own home. The more ways your customers have to engage with your store, the more profitable your business will be. 

Restaurants

  • Back-of-house tasks

    The right point of sale terminal can help restaurant owners handle back-of-house tasks that increase efficiencies on the floor. Ideal restaurant POS systems will enable easy employee scheduling, quick menu adjustments, and inventory capabilities.
  • Improve table service

    In the restaurant business, speed matters. Hungry patrons quickly become irritable when they wait too long for service. When evaluating POS systems, restaurant owners should prioritize platforms that help servers move more quickly. Consider a system that will allow servers to take payments at the table. Another advantage of mobility is the opportunity to add multiple terminals throughout the restaurant, which will increase the speed of service by enabling servers to send orders to the kitchen more quickly.
  • Order adjustments

    Customers have preferences and dietary restrictions. Servers need to have the ability to easily remove ingredients from a dish or make other adjustments as necessary. The ability to adjust orders drives better service because an error could lead to an unhappy customer. In general, the flexibility to add and remove ingredients will keep changes simple and customers happy.
  • Billing options

    Patrons enjoy eating as a large group but paying for their meals separately. They may be frustrated if a restaurant won’t split checks and one person has to pay for the entire meal. These days, customers don't expect to carry cash, which can make it hard for them to divvy up the bill themselves.

When implementing a point of sale terminal for the first time, it's important to find a system that will fit your specific industry and support your unique way of conducting business. Making the right choice for a POS may increase productivity and profits in the years to come.