Retail Point of Sale (POS) Software Overview
Retail POS software includes tools necessary for completing transactions and streamlining operational processes. Features include inventory management and sales reporting and analytics. This software also helps retailers nurture relationships with customers by providing customer relationship management (CRM) tools.
Benefits of Retail POS Software
Retail POS software brings many benefits to retailers aside from simply completing transactions. These include:
Sales reporting and analytics: Provides retailers with insight into their sales, helping users make informed decisions that strengthen the business.
Inventory management: Automates stock control and helps retailers determine optimal product counts and when and how to reorder top selling products.
Customer management capabilities: Help retailers automatically record and track valuable customer information, enabling stronger relationships and encouraging repeat business.
Competitive Advantages of Using Retail POS Software
Surprisingly, many retailers we work with at Software Advice have survived without software. In fact, 64 percent of single-store retailers we work with are operating without a POS in place.
But Excel spreadsheets can only go so far supporting the operational processes retailers need to accomplish every day. As retailers grow, software can:
Scale the business: Key insights provided by retail POS analytics can help retailers identify the strong points of their business. This information can be used to pinpoint top-selling products and the most valuable customers to focus on in order to scale.
Operate more efficiently: The operational efficiencies and automations provided by retail POS systems enable shop owners, operators and managers to spend more time training employees and interacting with customers.
Business Sizes Using Retail POS Software
The retail POS market easily accommodates retailer demographics ranging from small single-store operations to large enterprise retailers.
Small: If you operate a single store, or even just do pop-up events, you're likely best suited for a basic POS system with limited hardware and advanced features.
Medium: If you operate a growing, high-volume single store or up to five stores, you're best suited for a POS solution that enables multiple location management and features advanced reporting and analytics.
Large, enterprise: If you operate a chain of five or more retail stores, you're best suited for an enterprise POS system with enterprise resource planning support, including warehousing, shipping logistics and advanced analytics.
Software Related to Retail POS
Many POS systems on the market today offer retailers with all the critical capabilities packaged into one solution. However, if a core capability that retailers need is missing from their POS system, they'll want to look to specialized software to fill the void. Popular specialized software includes:
Inventory management for maintaining desired product counts.
Sales reporting and analytics for pinpointing key performance indicators.
Retail customer relationship management (CRM) for generating customer loyalty.
Retail accounting for managing payroll, taxes and other accounting.
E-commerce for setting up an online store.
Aside from software for specialized functionalities, retailers might want to consider software designed specifically for the unique needs of their business. For example:
Jewelers might need jewelry POS software to manage repairs and quotes, in addition to processing sales and inventory tracking.
Consignment, pawn shop and resale store owners need specialized software since they don't own their inventories. These retailers need software with functionality tailored to their store types.