Six Signs you need to Upgrade your POS system
When was the last time your business upgraded its Point of Sale system (POS)? 5 years ago? 10 years? The saying goes ‘there is nothing as constant as change’ and in business and information systems the change is both rapid and constant, meaning that your technology solutions become out of date very quickly. “Every two to three years a big change emerges in retailing. Every four years in-store processes change. But retailers only change their POS every seven to 10 years. POS has become a big problem retailers need to solve,” said Leo Suarez of Toshiba Global Commerce. Changing POS systems always comes with new challenges, but the cost of staying with a system that does not fit your needs can be even more expensive in the long term. If you are finding any of the problems below, it might be time to switch your POS system!
Customer Experience Below Par
Does your POS provide you with all the tools required to create the customer experience you have planned? Perhaps you have been looking to provide new types of promotions or manage new loyalty programs or maybe you need to be able to accept new types of payments. The latest POS solutions incorporate many of these business and customer
needs and trends. Merely processing the sale transaction is no longer enough in a competitive retail world, and if your POS system does not let you keep up with the competition or provide the customer experience you are trying to create, it is time to start considering a POS upgrade.
Lack of Insights
Knowledge is power, and in retail, this is more true than ever these days! Without data, it is almost impossible to accurately analyse your business and customers. And if you cannot analyse the current situation, it is almost impossible to make improvements. Reporting and analytics can be a challenge with some older POS solutions. Older systems were often not designed with anything other than accurate transaction and stock control in mind. Newer POS systems allow you to capture customer information and SKU data, and allow for far better reporting against things like multi-channel visibility (online and in-store) and customer and promotion trends. The more recent POS systems are also able to produce the information in a way that is useful and actionable in a format or report style that is suitable for your unique business.
Many retailers offer both online and in-store experiences for their customers- indeed consumers have come to demand it! They also expect a consistent brand experience, whether they are shopping online or in your shop. It is no longer acceptable for employees in stores to not know real-time inventory across the channels and customers are often unwilling to wait for employees to phone other stores to manually check stock. Real-time inventory visibility in both warehouses and stores is a must and is something for which many older POS systems simply do not allow. If this is becoming an issue for your growing business- it’s time to start thinking about a POS system upgrade.
Does your system hang? Or do you spend time waiting for it to process while your customer waits in front of you? Is it getting slower as you add more and more SKUs to your inventory? Both POS hardware and software get out of date. Hardware ages and as it does so, its reliability and efficiency will deteriorate. Software, too, becomes out of date and unreliable when the tasks being asked of it were simply not in its initial design. If your system is showing the ageing signs of lacking speed and reliability it is a sure sign that an upgrade to your POS system is due.
Lack of payment options
Some reports suggest that by 2022 as little as 17% of transactions will be cash as consumers look for convenience and increased security. Online bank payments, tap transactions, and smartphone payment applications are on the rise. If your POS system has trouble accepting and integrating any form of contactless payments internally, it is time to consider upgrading as consumer demand for it continues to increase in the retail environment.
POS system is Hindering your Marketing
Older POS systems did not focus on capturing customer data, and if they did, using it at the point of purchase was cumbersome, slow, and impractical. Modern POS systems are integrated into a customer database, meaning customer details (where permission is granted) can be captured at the point of purchase, and can also be easily retrieved when a customer is making a purchase. This enables the business to create specific and targeted marketing campaigns including things like loyalty programs and exclusive access to promotions. If your current POS system does not give you the flexibility to harvest and then use this customer data, it is certainly time to start looking at changing.
Whatever your reasons may be for considering an update to your POS technology, it is clear that modern solutions have numerous advantages as compared to what was available only a few short years ago. As the retail landscape changes and develops at breakneck speed, it is important that your POS technology can support you and allows your business to grow and change with the market.