Purchasing New POS Software
Purchasing a new Point of Sale software for your store must be the right decision for you, and the store. To help you compile a list of questions to ask yourself and your sales representative, we have chosen 8 of the most common questions to ask before purchase.
1. What is the cost?
This is the most common question for any product you would purchase. Although it is an important factor for budgeting purposes, keep in mind everything you get within the system. Here is a list of common items you should be asking about when it comes to cost:
- Hardware Cost
- Support Cost
- Upgrade Cost
- Maintenance fees
- Is there a contract?
Don’t forget to ask if there is a contract involved and how the cost is figured. Is the cost per user, per register or per location? Once again, although cost is important, keep in mind what the system does for you. If it is cheap and doesn’t meet your needs (see question 2), you will be upgrading later.
2. Does it have all the features I need?
Come up with a list of features that you need to run your store efficiently and effectively. Make a list of these questions to ask your representative. Here a few common questions to ask:
- What reports are available and what reports do you want to see? Make sure the system has the reports you want to see available. If they don’t have the requested report, can they customize it for you?
- Are they omni-channel ready? In other words, can you send information from your POS to your website and/or an app?
- Do they have age verification capability?
- Can you access the system remotely?
- If you’re considering (or have) more than one location, are they setup for multi-location functionality?
When making your list of must-have features, keep all factors in mind. Don’t limit yourself to just ordering and reports. As inventory is a huge component to managing a store effectively, you want a user-friendly system for your employees and to create an amazing customer experience.
3. How is my data backed up and are upgrades included?
These are two important questions you should ask your sales representative. If you’re asking yourself why, ask yourself, what would I do if my computer crashed and I lost all my data? You’d be starting all over. It is essential to ask the companies you are evaluating if they offer a backup service or if it is available to back it up on your own (or with an IT service). Most companies should offer a backup service, if they don’t, you should be able to back it up on your own. Ask your representative your options and then ask yourself what the best option for you. Also make sure to ask if upgrades are included. Some companies include the upgrades within a renewal fee, while with others it is extra to upgrade.
4. Do they offer integrated credit card processing?
This is an important question as integrated credit card processing offers you a seamlessly transaction upon checkout. Additionally, this eliminates human errors that can occur when entering in the transaction amount onto a device.
If they do offer integrated processing, ask who they are integrated with. Some companies only give you one option while others may have a couple of options so you can choose your preferred provider.
5. What type of support and training do they offer?
Point of Sale systems offer support and training at various times, days, and cost. It is important to find out how their support is handled and how you will be trained on the system.
- Do you contact support by phone, email, online chat, etc.?
- Are the support hours business hours only or 24/7?
- Is training off-site or on-site?
- Is training provided by a real person, by videos/training manuals, or a combination?
It is important to ask these questions so you understand how you will get trained on the system and how to reach support when needed. Additionally, ask about cost. Will each call to support be a cost, or is there an annual/monthly cost for support? Is training included or will it be extra to be trained on the system? Cost will vary by company, so don’t be afraid to ask.
6. How does it manage inventory?
How is the inventory managed within the system? Can you manage your singles, packs, and cases as one item or do they have to be their own item? Can you manage your seasonal beers and vintages separately?
Think about how you would like your inventory to be managed and find a system that can help you do that. If you don’t know how you would like to manage it, don’t be afraid to ask your sales associate how inventory is managed within their system and why. The why can help you figure out the best way to manage the inventory if you are currently not doing so.
7. How does it enhance the shopping experience for the customer?
Does the system offer a customer relationship management feature? Can your employees’ checkout your customers quickly and easily? Can your employees use the POS to answer customer questions such as how many Absolut’s are in stock or what type of vodka they have?
You will want a system that is robust yet still easy to use. Your customers should have a better experience with your new system, not a worst one.
8. Finally, ask business specific questions.
Get to know the company you’re about to get into a relationship with. Ask these questions:
- How many years have you been in business?
- How many of those were designing POS systems?
- Why do people choose your company over your competition?
By asking these questions, you will get to know them as not only your service provider, but who they are as a company. These days, it is important to start a relationship with a company that values your business and will take care of you. These questions will help you determine just that.
By determining your point of sale needs and asking questions up front, you will be on the right track to getting the best point of sale software for you and your company’s needs.