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Is It Time for a New POS System?

Posted by Liz Schulte on 7/16/18 5:30 AM
Topics: retail technology, mobile POS, college stores

Every store has to make sales. That’s the bottom line. Time is, in fact, money in a retail environment. There is rarely a day that it’s convenient to read an article expatiating about the 54 products your college store has to have to grow in 2017. It’s even less realistic to implement many of those ideas. Not only can they be expensive, but how long would it take to train your employees on a completely new system? In the end, will the costs of the endeavor outweigh the rewards?Is It Time for a New POS System?

That’s why most of us choose to upgrade only when it becomes clear the problems with our older system are eating away at our time and profits.

POS systems aren’t new. They have been around for a long time, but there have been advancements in the technology that makes evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of your current model worth it. An independent retailer can cut costs by nearly 10% using an integrated POS system (Point-of-Sale System Basics for Retailers). When making your decision about which product to go with, consider the capabilities the systems offer, the potential for the system to grow with your business and the ease in which the transition could take place.

Ease of use and system compatibility: If you are going to make an investment in a new POS system, it needs to work with your current software. Having to change all of your business software (accounting, inventory, etc.), would be an enormous undertaking. The more seamlessly the new system can fit into your existing model, the better. Also, it needs to be simple to use. Spending weeks training employees on the system will not only slow you down, but you will have to go through it every time someone is hired. When you look at upgrading try to find a system that will make your life easier.

Capabilities and the ability to grow: The future is right around the corner. A great system should offer the ability to grow not only with the technology but also with the size of your business. Right now, you might be looking for a product that would help manage your inventory and make checkout lines faster, but what if a year from now you want it to also take a variety of payment options (such as chip credit cards, one cards, student financial aid and gift cards)? What if you want it to send out alerts to you when it is time to reorder a product or to give you activity reports? Or, if you are more marketing minded, perhaps you want a system that can tell you your best customers and their purchase history so you can send them alerts, like when their rental books are due back. Loyalty rewards programs and coupons can be managed through a POS system. Also, the mobile capabilities of the system are important. Can it be easily transported to events so you can offer the same level of service outside of a football game as you can in the store? Switching your system isn’t something that will happen frequently. Make sure you are considering the future and not just making plans based on your current needs.

Security: Everyone knows at least one person who has had their information stolen. In fact, 46% of global credit card fraud occurs via point-of-sale systems. To better protect your customer, make sure whatever system you choose has point-to-point encryption in place so your customer’s information is instantaneously converted to an indecipherable code that prevents fraud from occurring.

Making the decision to implement a big change like this can be daunting. Research and talk to other people to see what they are using, and what they like and don’t like about it. That way when you make your decision, you can be sure it was the best one for your store.

The College Store Expands Their Offerings With the MBS System

About Liz Schulte

Liz Schulte is an author and business owner with a background in customer service, marketing and higher education development.

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