POS Systems: Take Your Business to the Next Level
The opening of your business is near; you’ve worked hard to turn your entrepreneurial dreams into reality.You’ve chosen your business location, crafted your brand, and perfected your product. The only thing standing between you and opening the doors of your business is implementing a point-of-sale (POS) system. Although there was a time ‘cash was king,’ that’s not necessarily the case nowadays. With the payments world rapidly shifting to digital, it’s critical to consider how you will accept payments outside of cash. Not only do POS systems allow your business to accept a variety of payments, they also perform tasks like data collection, inventory management, and more.
When researching POS systems for your business, it’s important to explore the capabilities of different terminals beyond accepting payments and visualize how they can help take your business to the next level. To see the array of benefits these terminals can bring to your business, keep reading.
What is a point-of-sale system?A point-of-sale system, or merchant terminal, is a digital device with POS software installed on it. You may have seen these devices look like computers, laptops, tablets, or smartphones. This equipment allows small businesses to accept and process card payments and complete other business-related tasks.
Research shows 97% of consumers are increasingly using credit and debit cards to pay for their purchases. Additionally, it’s been proven those who are paying with a credit card are willing to spend significantly more on their purchases. Businesses that aren’t prepared to accept card and digital payments are likely missing out on valuable sales opportunities.
Why do I need a POS system?It’s expensive to run a business, especially when you’re in a retail environment. Your building rent, product costs, utilities, and staffing costs can seem daunting when you first get started – and we understand as a business owner, it’s your priority to maximize profit margins. You might be tempted to cut costs where you can, but merchant services is not one of those costs. Here are a few reasons you need a good POS system for your business.
Remain competitiveGetting a payment terminal would help make your business competitive. Payment options are no longer considered a luxury, but an expectation of your customers. By accepting credit and debit cards, and potentially contactless payments, you are setting your business apart from someone who only accepts cash transactions.
Cashless transactionsCOVID-19 transformed the way consumers carry cash. Not only are many people less inclined to carry cash, but some businesses don’t accept it anymore either. To eliminate the hassle, most people carry credit and debit cards, or their digital wallet, every where they go. From a business standpoint, this means they will likely have enough money to pay for the products and services they’re interested in, rather than worrying about the amount of cash they currently have on hand.
Increase customer baseAlthough card terminals are an extra expense for your business, the benefits they bring your company and your customers will likely outweigh the cost. The right POS system has the potential to increase your customer base if it allows you to deliver a superior payment experience in comparison to your competitors.
Different types of POS systems:There are a plethora of options when it comes to POS systems; however, considering the industry of your business and the volume of sales is a great place to start. Here are a few different point-of-sale system options, and which businesses they work best for.
CountertopCountertop point-of-sale systems are what you are typically used to seeing at the check out counter. Most of the time, these terminals require access to the internet to function. These “motherload” terminals are a one-stop-shop for payment processing. They typically are sold with accessories like cash drawers and barcode scanners, and come with cloud backup, so you never lose important information. These systems are the perfect merchant solution for full-service restaurants, larger boutiques, and busy retailers.
MobileMobile POS systems can process payments, manage inventory, and maintain customer information using a smartphone or a tablet. You typically have to download a mobile app to conduct payment processing if you choose this method, and the card reader can attach to your mobile device. Mobile POS systems work with portable receipt printers, or digital receipt options from within the app. This option is best for merchants who don’t manage a lot of inventory and need the flexibility of being mobile. SouthState recommends mobile
POS systems for merchants similar to market vendors, freelance workers, and lawn care service providers.
Tablet point-of-sale systems are becoming increasingly popular. If you already own an iPad or an Android tablet, the investment for this type of solution is minimal. The nature of your business operations will help determine the complexity of the POS system you need. Some services are relatively simple, while others can manage detailed inventory information and track employee time. Small businesses like hair salons, coffee shops, smoothie bars, quick-service restaurants, small retail stores and boutiques are great candidates for tablet POS systems.
Benefits to merchant terminals:If your business is currently operating solely with a cash register, it might seem daunting to make the switch to a point-of-sale system. However, discovering a few of the benefits offered by POS systems might help you realize the business opportunities you’re missing out on.
Operational efficiencyIf you’re searching for a way to make your business more operationally efficient and organized, consider investing in a point-of-sale system. These systems conduct tasks you would normally oversee: sales tracking, inventory management, reporting, customer data collection, etc. By making it easier for your business to stay organized, you can focus on generating more business and increasing profit.
Loyalty programsResearch shows that repeat customers spend 33% more than new customers, so when it comes to profit, your repeat customers are a big contribution. A POS system can store client data, assign “loyalty points” for each dollar spent, and track point accrual for each customer. These points can redeemed for promotional offers, discounts, free gifts, etc.
Create Personalized Customer ExperiencesA point-of-sale collects and houses customer information and can help you put the right products in front of the right customer. You can also send them targeted promotions incentivizing them to visit your small business, further building brand loyalty.
Stronger Employee ManagementBecause a POS system allows you to see sales per employee, the hours they work, and sales per hour, you are able to identify who your strongest performers are and when the store experiences peak hours. This information can help you construct a schedule to ensure you have a strong lead in the store at all times.
Inventory ManagementPOS systems allow you to track your inventory in real-time. As items are sold, they are deducted directly from the inventory as each transaction is processed. This feature can help minimize the human errors of manual tracking and provide streamlined inventory management for your business.
Some POS systems allow you to create customized physical and digital gift cards that match your brand aesthetic. Not only are gift cards a cost effective-way to boost your revenue (two out of three consumers will spend 38% more than the gift cards value), but they help increase traffic, build brand awareness, and nourish customer relationships.
Custom gift cards
How do I choose the right point-of-sale system for my business?Choosing the right payment solution for your business can be a bit overwhelming – but partnering with a knowledgeable, experienced merchant services representative is a great place to start. SouthState merchant representatives will work with you to create an individualized plan for your company, based on the industry you’re in and the needs of your organization. Contact a merchant services representative to get started today.
About the Author: Elizabeth Levister, Merchant Services Sales Manager at SouthState Bank, has worked in the financial services industry for 22 years. She began her banking career while in college as a teller and over time developed a passion for merchant services and how they can help businesses thrive. During her last 15 years with SouthState, she has focused on developing and fine-tuning the merchant services program to offer best-in-class solutions for our business customers.