Choosing A POS Platform: Phase I

We shared a high-level overview of what steps you should take when choosing a POS platform. Let’s go deeper and dive into phase I to help you improve the research phase of your journey.

After researching this information, you can narrow down your options and be able to provide better information to representatives, ensuring you get the answers you need and the POS platform you want.

Detail The Needs Of Your Business

1. Define the basics. What kind of business do you run? What industry are you in? What is your gross revenue? How many people do you employ? What do you sell? Who are your customers?

Let’s say in this scenario you are a large coffee shop that sells consumers cups of coffee as well as retails bags of grounds and branded mugs. Once, you identify the high-level characteristics of your shop, you know that you likely need five POS terminals equipped with Quick-Service and Retail POS software. You also need the basic Point of Sale Software Features like inventory and employee management, accounting, reporting, and payment processing.

2. Identify weaknesses. Take a look at past sales and customer trends to identify weaknesses and inefficiencies. This could include, low performing products, poor customer retention, unhappy employees, inconsistencies in reporting, trouble reaching and attaining new customers, mismanaged inventory, among many others.

For example, your coffee shop has had trouble selling its mugs, and they’ve been sitting in your inventory. Also, you have noticed that your customer retention sharply drops during your slow season, and in contrast, you have long lines during the busy season.

3. Find features that fix. Once you’ve aggregated the different feature options from various providers, you’ll see features like mobile and online ordering, employee management, inventory management, online ordering, delivery management, customer relationship management, among many, many others.

In this example, your coffee shop wants to look into online ordering to increase mug sales and mobile order takers to take orders from the floor, cutting down on your long lines. Additionally, in order to build customer retention, you will want customer relationship management software and digital loyalty programs that are integrated with your POS.

4. Set a budget. In addition to factoring in the up front costs, you should think about which payment option makes sense for you, whether that is subscription, leasing, or purchasing the platform. Processor agnostic platforms will give you the freedom to choose the processing rate that is best for your business. Don’t have a great idea of how much you should be spending on technology? Check out this article, outlining the statistics and recommended technology budget allocations.

Once, you are armed with a knowledge of how you would like to see a POS impact your business, there are still a number specific questions you should ask your provider to make sure you have checked all the boxes and your system meets your needs.

We’ve made it simple and outlined...

The Nitty Gritty

  • How much choice do you have with payment processors? Are those processors EMV compliant?
  • In the event of an internet outage or service disruption, is the POS able to process credit card payments?
  • Do you have to manage a separate vendor to purchase compatible hardware?
  • Which peripheral options can be integrated into the solution?
  • What self-service kiosk options are available to drive down labor costs and improve the customer experience?
  • When building a menu, how are products and modifiers set up, individually or via import?
  • How much inventory can be imported into the system? Are there any associated costs for bulk inventory imports?
  • Does inventory tracking account for ingredients or just menu items? How granular is raw ingredient tracking through production? How does the system help you prevent product outages?
  • Can menus be centrally managed allowing for seamless real-time updates across all channels and establishments at the touch of a button?
  • How robust are the discounts, combos, and promotions functions?
  • What features are available for table management? Do table timer features exist? If so, how robust is the information provided?
  • What user permissions settings are available? Are they predetermined or customizable settings?
  • What type of advanced reporting is available? How much does it cost for access?
  • Can the system provide multi-location reporting from a single dashboard for a global view of overall performance?
  • Which of your existing business-building technologies can you continue to use via integration?(online ordering, delivery management, loyalty, gift cards, etc)
  • What Online Ordering options are available to keep customers engaged and interested? Are any integrated into the system or must they be managed separately?
  • Is there an integrated Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system? How much does it cost? What information is captured?
  • What integrated gift card and loyalty program options are available to drive customer acquisition and retention?
  • Is support available by phone, email, or chat? How much does 24/7 support cost?
  • Has the system ever been a victim of a major malware attack potentially compromising sensitive data?

Ready for Phase II? Get a free Revel Systems demo, and see the POS platform in action! Stay tuned for an in-depth look into Phase II.