Article by Chris Costi, Last update at February 19, 2019
There are many established, retail stores that have never even heard of a POS system. Do they know what they are missing? In today’s world with all the new technology, POS system, especially for retailers, provide so many features to help the small businessman that it is almost unheard of for new stores opening, to be without one. It is never too late, and retail stores can convert from your old cash register to a modern POS system very easily.
Imagine actually being able to keep track of every item in your store. Most retailers will have hundreds if not thousands of items in stock and it is almost impossible to know at any given time how much stock you actually have. How many times have you run out of popular items in the middle of a busy day? With the inventory tracking system, that a good POS system has, you will never find yourself in this position again. This, and many other features is what makes an IPad Touch, Point of Sale System so important to have. Here is why all retailers should seriously consider getting a good iPad Touchpad POS system.
How Much Will a POS Cost me?
The immediate thought that goes through one’s mind is, ok, but how much will this cost me? All things considered once you have purchased the initial hardware which is a good investment, you will have to pay a small monthly fee. ShopKeep prices start from only $69 per month and Lightspeed has their small plan which is $99. When you decide which system to go with they will advise you on the best package for your store. In the long run you will find that the Retail POS system will save you money, and pay for itself, because you and your employees will become a lot more efficient and you will have better control over your business. There are some free POS systems that you can look at but be aware that the functions they provide free of charge are very limited.
Being able to access the cloud based POS system from any location at any time will allow you access to all functions of your software, including sales reports, employee records, payments received and much more. The added advantage to cloud based POS systems is that you will never be offline, even if there is a power failure. With the cloud accessibility to your software and the ability to take credit card payments even without electricity is possible. So your business never stops running. Lightspeed, ShopKeep, Revel and all cloud based POS systems, all offer intelligent reporting which can be accessed through the cloud from anywhere.
All items that you have for sale must be scanned by a Bluetooth scanner into the inventory software. The barcode on each item will be allocated a description a cost price and a selling price. As merchandise is sold the items are deducted from the inventory which will give you an accurate read on what stock should still be on the shelves. At the same time new stock is also scanned before it is packed.
The iPod POS system also lets you know when any items are out of stock. For new businesses it is easier to scan all the stock as it arrives, for existing retailers it might be difficult to scan every item in the store, this will be done once and the advantages of having all your stock in the Touch Screen, Inventory system are obvious. You will find that most of the POS systems that have been created specifically for retailers will have extensive inventory software. Some of the best systems can be found on the highly reviewed ShopKeep, Revel and Lightspeed.
Keeping track of your inventory in this way will create reports that will show you what your profits are, your percentage mark up on the cost of each item, your best sellers and what is not moving at all. The POS system will also allow you to have all your suppliers listed with their contact details and a list of what stock you buy from them. It will also keep track of what your suppliers are charging you and let you know when prices have gone up so you can take the necessary steps to mark up the product accordingly.
Reports on the Retail POS system can be customized according to the type of goods you sell. You will be able to categorize your stock into departments, categories and units. Reports of which items you buy from which suppliers can be created with the amount of stock you have left so that you know exactly what needs to be ordered.
Apart from sales report and inventory you can also print in depth reports on your employees. Reports can show you how many hours they have worked, if they have to be paid overtime, productivity, salary breakdowns and much more. The iPad touchscreen POS system is partnered with an accounting package like QuickBooks which is automatically integrated and linked to your POS system. This will take care of all your accounting needs for tax purposes. No more sitting up late at night going through invoices and cash slips, all your accounting reports will be generated automatically. Revel, Lightspeed and ShopKeep have integrated accounting packages so you can synchronize and with their software and produce accounting reports.
No more mistakes at the checkout points. Your employees will use a cordless Bluetooth scanner to ring up the goods your customer’s purchase. The details and the price will automatically come up and the customer will be able to see this on the iPad touchscreen which you will have at all checkout points. It is as simple as that! You will have the ability to set up discounts and special offers as you see fit directly from your iPad touchscreen.
In the event that a sale needs to be voided, you can set up password protected permission, so that only certain staff members can to do this. As long as you enter all the information correctly from the start you will have the joy of knowing that items leaving your store have been charged for, at the correct price. Tracking sales and how they were paid for can be checked at any time through your cloud based iPad Touchscreen POS system. Examples of POS systems that offer these features are ShopKeep, Revel and Lightspeed. The integrated payment system allows you to keep track and with a touch of a button transfer this information to your integrated accounting package at the end of business each day.
Your regular customers can be rewarded with some sort of loyalty program that will be a token of your appreciation for their business as well as ensure their loyalty to your store. With the POS systems you can create a customer data base and issue virtual or physical loyalty cards. These can be swiped at the cash desk and allocate a points system which can be cashed in whenever the customer pleases.
A good retail Touchscreen POS system for retailers will give you the option of setting up a customer data base directly from your touchscreen device. Most of the cloud based iPad touchscreen POS systems offer the customer loyalty programs, amongst others you will find this feature on ShopKeep, Revel and Lightspeed.
What hardware you would need depends entirely on what type of business you have. Bluetooth barcode scanners for inventory, mobile tablets and a laptop that will be the brains of your business are definitely essential. A good POS system should be able to supply you with all your hardware needs at reasonable prices. The only cloud based POS system that is a bit restricting when it comes to hardware is Revel and it is limited to IOS devices.
Setting Up and Customer Service
The best iPad touchscreen POS solution for your small business is the one that you can purchase with confidence knowing that the company you choose will have your back when things go wrong. Initially you will need help setting the whole system up and it is essential that the company sends their qualified technicians to help you. Off all the cloud based POS systems ShopKeep has the best record when it comes to customer service.
Training is another issue, even though most of the iPad touchscreen POS systems have an easy to use interface, which are pretty straight forward, you will require initial instruction for you and your employees. Customer service is essential and you should be confident that the company you choose will be available 24/7 to help in the event that you need them.
The cloud based iPad POS software is a secure and safe way to store all your data. Great steps have been taken to ensure the safety of your data and you can be assured that you will not be hacked or compromised in any way. All the cloud based iPad POS systems offer this security, among them ShopKeep, Revel and Lightspeed.
There are many companies that have POS systems for retailers, some are better than others. What your needs are should be your first consideration, can you afford it should be your second. With all the features that a good POS system has, it might seem that they will charge the earth to allow you to use it, but this is not the case. In most cases a monthly payment which is quite reasonable can be set up. You would need to keep in touch with them for the free updates and for their support and guidance. We have listed below the top 3 iPad POS systems that we think are good value for money that we can recommend.
Revel POS Systems
Revel POS system has an attractive display that will be an asset on your checkout counter. With its easy to use interface you will not have difficulty training your staff on how to use it. This is an omnichannel point of sale system with an impressive array of features that can be customized to fit in with your type of business. Revel has partnered with compatible software companies for accounting that can be integrated. Revel offers all the features listed above and comes highly recommended. The only drawback with Revel is that they do not list their prices online so you would have to negotiate with them. From reports we have received their prices are quite reasonable.
Shopkeep POS Systems
ShopKeep hardware is durable, functional and modern. Whatever type of business you have, there is a package that is tailor made for your establishment. ShopKeep is one of the leading iPad touchscreen POS system in the USA and can boast an excellent record when it comes to customer service. Most reviews online will confirm this, and as further confirmation, they have even received awards for their excellent attention to detail when it comes to servicing their clients. In the US, ShopKeep after sales service is available to all their customers 24/7, which is a relief as things can, and will go wrong, at the most inconvenient time. ShopKeep comes with all the features listed above and much more. This is another iPad POS system that you can purchase with confidence
Lightspeed POS Systems
Lightspeed is much more than a cloud based integrated system which is used as point of sale (POS) software in retail businesses. Designed to run on Mac or any iOS device, Lightspeed software also offers omnichannel retailing which synchronizes online and instore sales, makes inventory management simpler by monitoring stock and generates in depth reports which allow you to run you stores informatively and efficiently. Lightspeed also offers an integrated eCommerce platform that is open for business 24/7 anywhere in the world. With features galore, Lightspeed is another well-known fully integrated POS system that comes highly recommended, worldwide.
One of POS systems that are available, is Square. Be aware that you would still need to purchase hardware if needed and their customer support might be questionable. Another thing to consider is that whatever you request over and above the very limited choices they give, will have to be paid for. This is definitely a case where you have to compare ‘apples with apples’ as it might be better to pay a monthly fee from the beginning knowing that you have a full package with great customer service.
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