The cost of high-quality point of sale software has declined dramatically in the last 10 years and there are now literally dozens of inexpensive point of sale software systems on the market. Most of the newer systems are cloud based, which means they run via the internet and don’t require difficulty installations or fancy hardware. This trend toward faster, lighter, and cheaper solutions makes it possible for smaller retail stores to use some of the best point of sale software on the market without spending a fortune.
One of the most challenging dilemmas is figuring out what features are most important and which inexpensive point of sale software solution best suits your needs. You’ll need to determine what kind of inventory tracking system your business requires, how many users you’ll need, if mobile functionality is important, and whether or not you’re going to need significant customization.
It’s also important that you find a company who you’ll enjoy working with because, invariably, something will go wrong or break — and probably during the holiday rush. At that moment, a fantastic customer service team can make the difference between tearing your hair out or calmly (and quickly) correcting the situation. While you’re shopping for a point of sale system, don’t hesitate to ask questions about the company’s culture and values. Everyone will tell you they have the best customer service, but you’ll be able to tell over the phone whether or not the company’s culture actually reflects that assertion. Friendliness, knowledge, and a relaxed environment are all good indications that a company knows what they’re doing and employees actually care about their work.
Additionally, look for a forward-thinking company that continually innovates. Chances are good that you’re going to work with the same company for several years and you want to make sure their technology will still be relevant in 5-10 years. This means they should be talking about their technological breakthroughs, sharing information about their development process, and soliciting feedback from customers. Companies that fail in this department may seem wonderful at the time you purchase the point of sale system, but they’ll drive you up the wall in a few years when they don’t offer any new features (like mobile integration).
I personally recommend Point of Sale Software by MerchantOS. Their POS software is fantastic and their company culture is very similar to MailChimp – one of the best email newsletter companies on the market. MerchantOS seems to be positioning themselves as a front-runner in mobile integration and their new interface refinements make it easy to use complex functions.
Roderick Campbell is the owner of Brevity Works, a boutique marketing agency, and a business development blogger at ChiroHosting.com