There’s no doubt that small business owners do a lot of heavy lifting to run their ventures. With limited staff and resources, budding entrepreneurs often handle much of the administrative, marketing, and other operational tasks by themselves or with a handful of trustworthy employees. Thankfully, retailers and merchants now have the option to invest in solutions at the point of sale (POS) level to improve business performance and stay ahead of the game.
However, as with the integration of any new technology, there are some challenges that come with incorporating a POS system. In this article, we will discuss the benefits as well as the drawbacks of having a modern POS system to help you decide if it’s time for that upgrade.
All About the POS System
A POS system refers to the hardware and software components that are used to accept and process payments from customers in person. Essentially, the POS system levels up the way traditional cash registers process these payments. Modern systems such as the HP POS systems Philippines-based establishments favor are web-enabled and can record sales performance, track inventory, collect customer information, and route payments to designated bank accounts. Often, the latest POS systems run on cloud architecture and can be accessed via devices such as smartphones and tablets.
Benefits of Using a POS System
There are many advantages to using a modernized payments processing system when running a store. Here are some of them:
Supports Different Payment Methods
Today’s consumers prefer transacting with merchants that accommodate a wide range of payment options including cash, cards, and contactless alternatives such as e-wallets. To stay industry-relevant, you would need to have a POS system that can process magstripe cards, near-field communication (NFC) chip cards, gift cards, and mobile payment features.
Improves Efficiency and Customer Experience
A small staff can get easily overwhelmed by long queues, which can hinder them from running the store efficiently. That said, having a high-performing POS system in your store may help accelerate transactions and keep customers satisfied. Moreover, being able to quickly address customer requests can strengthen customer loyalty and boost your brand image.
In addition to helping manage queues, POS systems also help in reducing instances of human error. Some POS systems also have receipt management features that allow staff to maintain paper trails of transactions and better handle refund requests.
Streamlines Inventory and Employee Management
POS systems with a centralized inventory management feature are able to check product stocks and update inventories after every sale in real time. They are also useful in sorting items based on certain features (e.g. size, color, etc.) and freeing up employees’ time for high-value duties, especially if you work with a limited number of staff.
Some of the latest POS systems also help in human resources (HR) functions. This can help in employee management tasks such as recording shift hours and tracking sales for staff incentive assessments.
Generates Relevant Reports
Having a POS system that can collate data to generate business intelligence reports can help you make better decisions and gain an overview of operational vulnerabilities and customer needs. For example, your POS system can use analytics to provide up-to-date information on top-selling products, peak store hours, and the most effective marketing campaigns to boost sales. Being able to rapidly visualize all of these eliminates the need for manual data processing and number-crunching, thus helping you make the necessary improvements within a short period.
Easy to Integrate and Navigate
As a small business, you may want to expand your operations and open a kiosk, pop-up store, or another brick-and-mortar location. High-quality POS tools can be easily integrated with software and come with user-friendly interfaces that staff can quickly learn to navigate during training. This cuts the time spent on tech integration and staff training, ultimately transforming you into a more agile industry player.
Helps Deliver Personalized Offers
The latest POS tech is fitted with customer relationship management (CRM) features that allow you to quickly gather customer information such as contact and payment details. This feature can help you create comprehensive customer profiles, which can help you formulate customized sales campaigns such as loyalty and rewards programs.
Drawbacks of a POS System
All these advantages aside, there are some risks that come with integrating a modern-day POS system such as:
Most functioning POS systems require reliable internet connectivity to run properly. Internet connectivity in the Philippines can sometimes be a hindrance, which may affect your small business, especially if you don’t have the budget for lightning-fast internet services. If you anticipate this to be a problem, it would be ideal to have a POS system that can operate offline to process payments and store customer data securely.
Risks of Cyberattacks
As with all web-based systems, a POS system is always at risk of getting infected with malware and other attacks that prevent it from working properly. This can have disastrous effects, considering that POS systems handle both company and customer data. With this, you should consider investing in POS systems with a fortified security posture and other precautionary measures.
Requires Software Upgrades
Software upgrades are necessary to ensure that your POS system continues to run safely and efficiently. POS manufacturers may periodically roll out patches, bug fixes, and new features to improve their existing products. You may also have to renew licenses and purchase additional software as well. If you’re planning to roll out a POS system in your establishment, it would be a good idea to earmark a separate budget for maintenance and upkeep.
The Verdict: Beneficial but Not without Risks
Running a small business is no easy feat. As a small business owner, you must be skilled in maximizing your resources to deliver results, generate revenue, and establish a loyal client base. Needless to say, a POS system can greatly benefit your business by giving you a helping hand in running your venture and discovering more ways to deliver innovative offerings.
That said, there will always be some risks that come with employing new tools. But in the end, the benefits always outweigh these risks. With sufficient planning and research, you can determine your best options for a POS system to help you grow your business and cater to your customers in the best way possible.