July 1, 2014

A quick, sleek, easy-to-use POS, or point of sale, system allows a business to quickly process transactions in a world where things are expected to move faster and faster, and consumers are expecting technologically advanced in-store experiences.

It also allows you to make your business earth-friendly by eliminating paper, which in turn lowers costs to you. A streamlined system allows all aspects of sales to be overseen and it makes it far more convenient to track sales and promotions, and keep prices and inventory consistent across multiple locations, if necessary.

A POS also helps to identify strengths and weaknesses, what sells well and what should be taken off the shelves. Another huge positive is that many POS systems have mobile capabilities that lets shoppers make purchases from anywhere in the store, rather than at cash registers only. This allows your staff to engage more closely with your customers, ultimately allowing for more upsell opportunities.

In the end, when shopping for a POS system, look for it to hit on the below points:

•A good point of sale makes it easy to see everything; your inventory, your customers, your sales and transaction history and your purchase orders. It eliminates guesswork and lets you know where all of your inventory and money is.

•Purchase orders are processed for you, a key to saving you time. You should be able to have an order easily generated for email, fax or other electronic format.

•Powerful analysis tools are crucial for understanding your business’s strengths and weaknesses. Break down top and bottom sellers by product type, category, brand, etc.

•Point of sale with mobile capabilities let you engage with customers and close transactions anywhere in the store, letting you close sales quickly and personally.

•Customer-management tools are crucial for remembering important details about your clients, including the breed of their pets, preferences and restrictions, and purchase history.

When shopping for a new POS system, it is always good to ask around to see what other businesses may be using. Trade shows are a good place to network with other pet store owners about these types of things. Another good reference point may also be your distributor’s sales rep, because they get to talk to many small-business owners that are just like you and oftentimes know what systems work the best for their customers.

Once you have your selections narrowed down, ask for references and be sure to call each of them. It is also beneficial to do some research online.

There are a number of sites that offer reviews on many systems. Just be sure to check who the site owner is, because you want to make sure the site is not biased toward any one system.

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