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by Justin Guinn,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: August 26, 2015


Touch screen point of sale (POS) software plays a key role in running an efficient retail operation. However, it can be difficult to sort through the many available programs to find the right touch POS system for your type and size of store. Luckily, we put in the hard work of researching these solutions, so you don’t have to. Our expertise allows us to match retailers with the right software based on their type of store, size and unique requirements. We are committed to saving retailers valuable time, and costly mistakes.

The goal of this buyer’s guide is to help retailers understand the market and begin the research process. Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Is Touch Screen POS Software?
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Benefits and Potential Issues
Market Trends to Understand
The Vendor Landscape

What Is Touch Screen POS Software?

Retail software is designed to track sales, inventory, customer information and more. The more advanced systems also support purchasing, manage employees and commissions and control pricing for multiple stores from a central location.

There are many different types of POS systems, and of course touch screen is one of the primary deployment models. For these programs, the keyboard is an eliminated or secondary piece of hardware, as most or all of the use comes through an intuitive touch-sensitive interface. The software is customized to your store and products and is designed to be quick and easy to learn, since retailers have one the highest employee turnover rates of any industry.

What Type of Buyer Are You?

First, you will want to know what type of buyer you are. For touch screen POS systems, there’s basically two types of buyer:

Small POS buyers. Businesses with one to a handful of locations typically want a straightforward POS system to ring up customers, update inventory and provide basic reports. Many of these systems also provide CRM capabilities to develop marketing and buyer incentive programs, and a few also have accounting capabilities built in to provide a complete suite.

Enterprise buyers. These buyers may be outgrowing their starter POS packages and are looking for more robust solutions. These solutions are typically targeted to larger retailers with multiple and/or very large stores, and include robust multi-location reporting capabilities and features like centralized pricing controls, merchandise planning and warehouse or transportation management. Not every enterprise solution will have all of these features, so consider carefully which features you want, and use those criteria to narrow down your search.

Benefits, Potential Issues and Pricing

The benefit of a touch screen POS is the intuitive design and high efficiency. New employees can learn the software extremely easily, since everything they need is just a couple of touches away, and once learned gets all purchases and/or orders registered very quickly and communicated to whoever else needs the information. In turn, this reduces checkout times, which increases sales and lowers costs of doing business.

Of course, training is a huge issue, and not all touch screen POS systems are created equal. So be sure to consider usability as you’re considering systems, to make sure the learning curve for new employees will be as low as possible.

Market Trends to Understand

As you evaluate retail systems, keep these trends in mind. How your vendor fits within these trends could have a big impact on their viability.

Mobile POS. Since many retailers conduct sales at tradeshows and other events, mobile POS applications are growing in popularity. Of course the iPad is a natural touch screen mobile POS application, but there are others designed to process payments and access inventory/sales data remotely.

Software as a service (SaaS). Not too long ago, a touch screen POS system would have required an on-premise installation. But with the explosion of the iPad, touch-sensitive desktop computers and other tablet devices, there are a whole range of solutions that are now designed for a Web-based deployment model. For these, the software and data are housed on a remote server, with the touch-sensitive user interface being the only on-premise use requirement. This could be a tablet device or a dedicated piece of hardware that you buy or lease from the software vendor.

The Vendor Landscape

This type of buyer:  Should look at these systems...
Small POS buyer TouchSuite, 2TouchPOS, Microsoft Dynamics RMS, Cougar Mountain Denali, Positive Retail Manager, Prophetline
Enterprise buyers Counterpoint, Retail Anywhere, Retail STAR, GoldTech, Iridium, Retail Pro, The Assistant Manager, Cybex, VuePoint, Cegid, Epicor

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