Features to Look for in Point of Sale Software

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Written by Eric Fleming

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POS Software

Businesses as varied as clothing boutiques, restaurants, and movie theaters all have at least one thing in common: they all use point of sale software.
POS software runs either on a local terminal or over a network, and makes everything from placing orders to making purchases faster and more efficient.

What is POS software?

POS software is designed to help speed purchases by streamlining the entire checkout process. A good example of this is in the food service industry. Restaurants will often have touchscreens with the most popular items displayed prominently on the screen.

To order the most popular combo meal at a fast food restaurant, for example, the employee may only have to hit a single key or touch an area of the touchscreen. They would no longer have to enter each item in the combo meal separately before subtracting the customer’s discount.

In addition to ordering simplicity, good POS software also helps a business in other areas such as inventory. An application that is also tied into the store’s backroom can alert management when it’s time to reorder certain products, which means lower overhead and more efficient buying.

What are some typical POS software features?

Many of the most popular POS software packages will be able to benefit your business by allowing your staff to create and print out detailed sales invoices automatically. The software allows for putting items on layaway or on hold right from the terminal. It tracks inventory and helps track customers by creating a database. This allows for fast customer searches by name, phone number, address, or zip code. Having your customers in your database makes it easy to recall past purchases and suggest other items your customer may be interested in.

It also helps your employees with everything from clocking in and out to tracking sales commissions you need to pay out and more.

What to look for in a POS software dealer

Finding a POS software dealer isn’t hard. In fact, there are hundreds of options online and in brick and mortar software shops. Whether your business needs a completely customized package that’s been specifically created for your needs, or an off-the-shelf package available at the nearest discount store, you can find a dealer who will find you the best solution for your particular business. However, there are things you should look for before you work with any of them.

First, determine if your point of sale software can be customized. With off-the-shelf applications, what you see is usually what you get. You’ll also want to know whether there is technical support available. With fully-customized, top-tier software packages, this will generally be available. Even off-the-shelf products offer some form of customer support, but will you be able to call someone to get support or will you need to send an e-mail?

Finally, what if your business takes off? Is the POS software you bought yesterday able to grow with you? Look for an expandable solution so you don’t face unnecessary growing pains later on.

Ready to get POS software for your company? Submit a free request for quotes and get matched to multiple dealers who will try to get you the best deal.