Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have to run lean to survive, and this means getting the most out of any software, service, or software-as-a-service (SaaS) they use. This is particularly true when it comes to retail. Retail solutions that combine POS with other mission-critical processes can help keep costs down and streamline your workflows.
Retail POS software comes in many different forms, but the most recent editions combine a point of sale module with several other features including time keeping, accounting, and inventory. Even better, as many SaaS options come equipped with mobile apps, teams have the option to use the software from a mobile device or tablet, reducing cash on hand, trips to the bank, and the overall cost of upkeep associated with traditional POS systems.
Looking into retail POS software for your small or medium-sized business? Here are three more reasons you should switch:
1. Price point
New retail POS systems come tablet ready, rather than requiring a large multi-station system. Ten years ago, the height of technology was a touch screen POS with integrated register drawers running on standalone servers. Every time the system encountered a glitch or needed an upgrade, an IT specialist would have to visit and make the required adjustments. Often these upgrades would take place during business hours, severely disrupting the flow of business.
The SaaS movement has reduced upkeep, streamlined updates, and lightened the initial technology investment SMBs need to manage their sales. And because so many of these systems are device-agnostic, companies don’t have to feel locked into a single vendor, but instead can take advantage of month-to-month subscription services that grow with the demands of the business.
Many stores are still brick-and-mortar, but sales opportunities also happen in the field. Whether it’s a pop-up shop, a food truck, or a stand at the local farmer’s market, sales can follow the business wherever it is. This greatly increases a store’s ability to reach customers, but keeps the cost and legwork of running a remote shop down.
Today’s retail POS systems give companies access to the full catalog of products, even in the field. Employees can process payments directly on a mobile device or tablet, and email the receipt directly to the customer. With access to the catalog right on the tablet, teams don’t have to worry about holding enough inventory on hand, as they can order from the warehouse and have it shipped directly to the customer.
3. Accounting and Beyond
One of the coolest features of today’s retail POS systems is that they integrate directly with many major accounting systems, streamlining a company’s end-of-month reconciliation. Many systems also include dashboards and budgeting programs to help SMB owners keep track of their finances alongside the day to day business of running a company.
Companies that want to fully streamline their business processes should look for these features in a retail POS.
- Supply Chain/Inventory: Many retail POS systems operate as a supply chain management tool in addition to a register system. These features and integrations let companies view warehouse inventory, shipping, and orders from the same system.
- CRM: Growing businesses need tools that help them keep in touch with potential buyers. A CRM database helps businesses of any size build through engagement and up to date customer information.
- Social integrations: Social integrations give employees access to share deals and updates directly from the app that manages all the other business needs. These features keep employees focused on the task at hand, rather than losing their attention to a Facebook feed.
- Time Clock Software: Rather than have employees clock in and out with punch cards that require manual calculations at the end of the period, retail POS systems that integrate with time clock software automatically count employee hours and reconcile with accounting.
SMBs of all stripes turn to retail POS systems to streamline processes and reduce costs. These SaaS systems give business owners the freedom to reduce their number of active software subscriptions while opening the door to a fully integrated and paperless company.
Tamara Scott is a writer and analyst for TechnologyAdvice, a research company that connects buyers and sellers of business technology. She writes about retail software, accounting, CRM, and many other technology verticals.