Today’s POS systems make it easy for store owners to sell their products, but that’s not all. Modern POS systems often include many other features that can really help with growth. Properly implemented, a POS system can provide valuable data, facilitate easy inventory management, motivate employees, and so much more.
In order to get the most out of your POS system, it’s a good idea to learn about some of the most common mistakes so you don’t make them yourself. Let’s get started.
- Surface Level Use
Because many of today’s POS systems have a user-friendly, plug-and-play interface, many users forget to dig a little deeper. Sure, you can load your software and start making sales with ease, but that’s often just the beginning.
Today’s modern POS systems often include a suite of features that can seriously benefit your business – employee incentives and tracking, ecommerce, email marketing, and inventory management, just to name a few – so why not check them out?
While the features like in-depth analytical tools that tend to lean on the more technical side of things may be intimidating at first, you may be surprised by how intuitive they can be. Spend some time getting to know your POS software. Read online tutorials and watch videos. Use your software to its full potential, and you will see long-term results.
- Choosing the Wrong Software
Not all POS software is the same, and what works for a restaurant may not be ideal for a retail store. As you shop for your POS system, it’s essential that you look into the details.
Many software companies design software with specific industries. You should also consider the devices you plan on using – desktop software may not be ideal if you’re using iPads, for example.
- No Backup Plan
Even the best-laid plans can run into problems. If your POS system fails, you want to have a contingency plan ready to go. Some of today’s cloud-based POS systems are capable of completing transactions offline, which is very handy if you have a spotty internet connection, or if you like to bring your sales on the road.
Additionally, you may want to look into have a backup POS system ready to go just in case. These days, that can be as easy as simply keeping a tablet with POS software preloaded under the counter. An emergency POS system is quite affordable, and you’ll be so glad to have it if you do have issues.
It’s also prudent to have recovery options if you need them. After all, you don’t want to spend a week adding your inventory because of one thunderstorm. Make sure your information is fully backed up so you can recover quickly if data loss should occur.
- Accidentally Breaking Your Merchant Services Agreement
While you may not intentionally break the rules, sometimes mistakes do happen, and those mistakes can lead to frozen or even terminated accounts. Here are three common errors that can lead to punishment:
- Selling different products than you originally claimed.
For example, if you opened a clothing store, and then you decided to start selling vitamin supplements as well, you may receive a penalty.
- Going over your monthly credit card processing limits
If you anticipate a significant increase of business, call your payment processor and check your limits. There’s nothing worse than payment processor issues in the middle of a sales boom.
- Performing too many chargebacks
While you may need to perform chargebacks, too many can be a red flag. Even if there’s no real problem, your account may be frozen temporarily until it can be established that your account is in good standing.
- Poor Employee Training
If other people are going to be using your POS system, it’s imperative that they know how to use it. While they may not necessarily need to be familiar with the ins and outs of the software, they should at least be comfortable enough to navigate and troubleshoot it as needed. Knowledgeable employees make your job easier, and it keeps morale high for everyone.
The good news is that today’s POS software is usually pretty easy to use. If you teach one or two trust team members how to use it, they should be able to train the rest of your staff. Make sure that each shift leader knows how to use the software proficiently, and you should be able to enjoy smooth sailing.
- Using POS Software that Doesn’t Provide Customer Support
If you’re having problems with your software, are you going to be able to find a fast solution? Even if you feel confident in your knowledge, you never know when you might get stumped. Choose software that has solid customer support online and by phone. Your POS software is going to be a focal point of your business, likely for years to come, so make the right choice the first time.
Jhay Thomas has nearly 10 years of experience writing about retail and marketing strategy. He’s served as a consultant with companies to integrate commerce and technology, including helping develop advanced POS systems for iPad.