Savvy Shopkeeper serves a variety retail business owners – both online shop owners and those with brick and mortar locations. The topic of websites, e-commerce stores, and point of sale systems comes up OFTEN in our membership groups. Choosing a retail Point of Sale system can be hard! I get it. Unfortunately, some shop owners are choosing their POS systems and website platforms blindly and it’s costing shopkeepers.
The wrong POS could be costing you countless hours of frustrations and a loss in sales or potential sales.
There are essential POS questions that you’ll want to ask in order before choosing a retail Point of Sale system that’s right for your business. How do I know? Because I didn’t ask myself these questions 8 years ago when I first started my retail journey. I’ve learned along the way and now I want to help YOU.
6 Aspects of a Retail System:
I suppose I had no idea what direction our retail business would head in. The second we received the key to our brick and mortar store, I should have taken the time to research 6 very important aspects of a retail business and the integration capabilities of each:
- A point-of-sale system
- Credit card processing
- A website platform
- An inventory management system
- An E-commerce store
- Selling on Social Media
But we already had a blog and website before we opened our brick and mortar store, so we added a Point of Sale system but it didn’t sync with our website. Then we mistakenly neglected inventory management and didn’t think much about an e-commerce store.
So when the time came to serve our customers better we had to piece together a system that worked. Well it kind of worked. It was clunky.
This is my truth. I share this with you because I see so many conversations about these systems in our memberships groups and I have these conversations with 1:1 clients so I see other retailers making the same mistakes I did.
But I don’t want you to make the same mistake I did. Rather, I want to teach you the first step so you can AVOID any frustrations.
If you are looking to grow with your retail business and stay on trend with Omnichannel Retail – which includes selling online and through social media – make sure to choose a system that can do everything you need it to…and do it well!
Point-of-Sale Questions to Ask:
When you’re researching or speaking to the companies and vendors trying to sell you their hardware and software – ask the right questions. Not all of these might apply to you at the moment. Make sure you’re thinking about what your business might look like 3-5 years from now.
- Is there a website and e-commerce option and is the integration directly with the POS company or is it with another company?
- Is the website platform capable of hosting an online (e-commerce) shop? Can you list products in your online store and is there a maximum number of products?
- Can I ship from the e-commerce store? Will my e-commerce store calculate shipping for my customer?
- Will my Point-of-Sale system sync inventory with my e-commerce shop/website? If someone buys something online, will that item be deducted from inventory in my store too?
- What kind of inventory management capabilities does the system have? Can it tell me how old an item of inventory is? Can I enter the actual cost (COGS) of each item so my profit margins are calculated for me?
- Is credit card processing included? If not, what companies provide this and what are the rates? Will this payment platform work with the e-commerce store, too?
- Can I easily link products from my e-commerce store to the Facebook Catalog (in Business Manager)? And then can I easily link that with Instagram and Facebook and tag my products to make them “shoppable”?
- Can I build an email newsletter list and send emails to my subscribers?
- Does in include an option for a Loyalty Program?
- And of course, ask do any of the above options/add-ons/apps cost additional, if so how much?
There are many more questions to ask when you’re buying hardware and software for your store. So if you offer services, teach and sell tickets to workshops or have any other needs be sure to compile a list of your own questions. This small list is specifically about selling your products and how well it all plays together.
If you’re just starting or if you started already and now you find yourself in the middle of a technological mess but want to find the ideal setup, make sure you take the time to ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS before choosing a retail point of sale system for your business.
Use this blog post and these POS questions as a starting point. If you want to sell products in your store, sell online, via your website and social media, have accurate and excellent reporting on your inventory then ask the questions above and add your own questions to the list!
I wasn’t afraid of technology. I actually LOVE technology! However, I dropped the ball on taking the time to research, I chose to “go with the flow”, I went with “easy and affordable” and it was a poor decision as a business owner.
My POS/E-Commerce Recommendation:
If you want to see some of my recommendations for retail business owners, particularly if you want to evolve into an Omnichannel Retailer, then click HERE to see a list of the systems, plus other tools and tech I recommend for shopkeepers. At this time, Shopify is my #1 recommendation. Use my referral link to get started with a free trial, no credit card required.
*Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links or referral codes, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link or using the code. I make recommendations because I genuinely believe they are useful to shopkeepers. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.