Star-Salesforce Solution Helps Capture Data and Respond at Each Touchpoint on the Customer’s Journey

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Operating under the brand names Blackbird Vineyards, Recuerdo Windes, Resolute Wine, and AERENA Galleries & Gardens, Bespoke Collection offers a curated selection of boutique wines, one-of-a-kind objet d’art, and unique lifestyle experience.

Bespoke Collection strives to capture the essence of personal connection in their own customer interactions and knew that Salesforce was the best platform to keep their focus on the customer. Bespoke already utilizes Salesforce’s Sales Cloud and Marketing Cloud to ensure they capture and respond appropriately to each touchpoint of a customer’s journey. Bespoke was in search of a platform that would allow them to continue to track each customer’s journey while also capturing critical customer data at the point of sale.

Bespoke Collection discovered SuiteRetail’s SuitePOS for Salesforce with Star Micronics peripherals, which allowed them to capture customer data at the point of sale and input the data directly into Salesforce. SuitePOS for Salesforce paired with Star’s TSP100 receipt printers allowed Bespoke Collection to gather real-time, end-to-end information using one user-friendly interface, one database, and one security model.

Bespoke sales associates can now look up a customer’s journey and, with a single click, be ready to take a transaction, facilitating an even more efficient and personalized customer experience.

bes_logo“Whether a guest is considering art today, or buying wine tomorrow, it’s essential that each and every sales associate has access to that customer’s journey,” says Paul Leary, President of Bespoke Collection. “With SuitePOS for Salesforce and Star Micronics peripherals, we can better track our customers’ journeys and ensure that each customer is receiving the experience they are looking for.”

Download the full case study here: star_bespoke-collection_case-study

The Benefits of Free POS for Bakery Shops

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With technology moving forward and over 9,000 bakeries in the U.S., a recent study found that over 70% of those businesses still use an analog cash register. It could be because they are already used to them, or it could be because they feel the cost is prohibitive. However, there are good free POS systems which help to optimize operations and service.

These systems are able to remedy the problems bakeries deal with on a regular basis. Though it may seem like a giant pipe dream to have a full POS system in a small business at no expense, it’s very possible. The features and benefits offered promote efficiency in the bakery, and ensures customers get the time and service they need.

Generally, a lot of bakers think that a few lost customers here and there is acceptable. This is not the case, as they typically do not return. Lee Resources found that 91% of unhappy customers will not return for repeat business. One bad experience is enough to cost many dollars in profit from the lost chance of repeat business.

Loyal customers are like gold to small businesses. A study by Constant Contact found that eighty-two percent of small business owners say that loyal customers were their primary sources of profit and success.

Let’s go over the features that can help a bakery help them roll in the dough.

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It All Starts In the Kitchen, But Ends with A Happy Customer

The heart and soul of any bakery is where the bread is made, which makes the kitchen in the back even more important than the counter in the front. Making sure that cooks and other kitchen staff have the tools they need to fulfill orders quickly and correctly is what keeps a bakery operating at maximum efficiency.

A point of sale system comes with core features that are built to make the entire process of baking goods and selling them to customers must faster, easier, and less prone to mistakes which cause customer issues and loss of profit. Bakery profits need to rise as much as the dough in the oven will.

Order Management

Bakeries do much more than sell individual loafs to people who walk in to make a purchase. Restaurants, stores, and other businesses often make large orders on a daily and sometimes even hourly basis. A pen and paper “system” is prone to error, and busy periods will lead to incorrect orders and misplaced tickets. Order management allows counter staff to provide accurate, digital order lists to the kitchen staff that have been taken down as they were on the phone. This ensures accuracy when the order is being baked and prepared.

Order Tracking

When effort is put into ensuring that customer orders are completed and received by a grinning customer, each step to completion must be tracked. With order tracking, managers can keep track of walk-ins, deliveries, dine-ins and even drive-thru orders. By tracking each step, it cuts down on errors because they can be corrected in real-time. Accurate orders always make for happy customers, especially in an industry where order mix-ups are the norm.

Customer Management

Bakeries are busy for a reason; customers and businesses alike purchase from them regularly. No matter who the customer is, everyone could use a slice of bread. This is why they are better off using a bakery POS instead of quickly scratching out words on a pad of paper. It’s a given that these will get lost in the shuffle out. This is proven with a study by Acxiom which reported that half of businesses today cannot name their most loyal customers. Having a record of frequently ordered items from a customer will make their ordering process more convenient for both the buyer and seller.

Inventory Management

No one runs a successful bakery by selling items on the fly. Taking an order and not having the baked goods to complete it will leave a customer looking for another bakery. With inventory management features, managers can actively add to the counts with a few button presses, and the POS will simply manage the inventory as items are sold, instead of dealing with the pressure and panic of managing a constantly changing inventory, the point of sale system does all the tough stuff for you.

Business Reporting

After a hectic day of running around, tending to the ovens and making sure customers aren’t left hungry, the bakery manager just wants to know how much profit was made from today’s haul. Instead of sitting down to do the time-consuming math, POS systems take care of all the calculating in real-time as the staff does business and makes customers happy. All information will be stored on a cloud server and can be accessed at any time. It is constantly updated as sales are performed. Even better, the closing manager only has to simply close the register at the end of the day.

As demonstrated, a POS system has a lot to offer to any small bakery. If bakeries wish to see their customer satisfaction rise, it’s time to check out one of these systems and see the benefits and solutions they provide from the moment they are booted up at the start of each day.

Many of our customers who own and manage small bakeries provide us with a lot of vital feedback, which we put together for this piece, as useful information is always good to share in today’s business market. If more tips are needed, reach out to us at any time, or download eHopper POS for free and discover the benefits.

To find even more great posts such as these, visit eHopper’s blog for new ones each week.

Ronald Morris

Marketing Manager for eHopper Services, LLC

4 Ways Digital Receipts Can Help You through the Holiday Season

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Whether you are an SMB or a “big-box” retailer, the holiday season can present a busy and challenging time for retail store owners, operators, and employees. While challenging, the holiday season usually also brings the highest sales of the year for retailers. It is important to ensure that you are operating your retail store at utmost efficiency and that you are upholding excellent customer service during the chaotic season. Star Cloud Services wants to make your job easier by offering a seamless solution for digital receipts and customer engagement for your retail store. Here are 4 ways digital receipts can help you through this holiday season:

1. Create Omnichannel Opportunities

By offering customers the option of digital receipts through Star’s receipt printers, you are building a connection between their brick and mortar shopping experience and their digital world. When using Star Cloud Services’ digital receipt solutions, you have the ability to offer much more than just a digital receipt by using the Engage Now feature. With Engage Now, you engage with your customers through all channels and give shoppers an easy way to access either your website or social media pages.

2. Promote Seasonal Sales and Discounts

Another great way to connect with shoppers through digital receipts is Star Cloud Services’ Flip feature. Most digital receipt applications only allow the customer to store a digital copy of the front of their receipt. With Flip, retailers can fully utilize the back side of the receipt for store promotions and coupons. This is perfect for holiday promotions! While shoppers are busy trying to find the perfect holiday gifts for their friends and families, digital receipts offer a quick and convenient way to already have discounts and coupons right on their smartphone. No more sifting through email promotions and mailing coupons to find a great deal!

3. More Convenience for Shoppers

While the holiday season is always the busiest for retailers, the post-holiday season tends to bring a different type of chaos – returns. After the holidays are over and everyone has sorted through their gifts, there comes the time for returns and exchanges to be made. Rather than relying on shoppers to save their receipts during the holidays, offer them digital receipts instead. Now, whether it is the gift giver or the gift receiver who misplaced the receipt, there is always a safe and secure copy stored on the buyer’s smartphone in the AllReceipts™ app.

4. Build Post-Holiday Season Loyalty

Let’s not forget about the post-holiday season. While the holidays are great for retailers in terms of increasing sales, it is still important to keep sales up during the remainder of the year. Stay relevant to your customers! Star Cloud Services digital receipt solutions allow retailers to continue to engage with customers for months after the initial transaction has been made.

Make the hectic holiday season a little bit easier this year by using Star Cloud Services to offer an easy digital receipt solution to your shoppers.

Learn more about Star Cloud Services at www.starcloudservices.com.

Castillo Restaurant Gains Efficiency with Solutions from Star Micronics and Sabor

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Castillo is a New York City restaurant, offering unique Ecuadorian cuisine with a twist of America, Italian, and South American spices and flavors. Established in Sunset Park fifteen years ago, Castillo is now famously known for their dishes by different geographical locations in Ecuador, including the coast, the Andes Mountains, and the norther border between Ecuador and Columbia.

With their expanding business, Castillo felt their current POS system was unreliable and did not offer the data and analytics needed for sustaining operations. The POS system was dependent on their network’s WiFi connection, which caused their printer  and cash drawer to cease to function when the internet connection was lost from the router. Castillo also had trouble analyzing the data collected from their POS application. The owners understood data was collected accurately, but the dashboard was difficult to navigate and did not display user-friendly functionality. This dilemma left Castillo challenged to decipher the future of their growing business.

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Star Micronics and Sabor provided Castillo with both hardware and software solutions for the ideal POS system bundle. Star Micronics’ TSP650IIBTi receipt printer pairs easily with Bluetooth connectivity. Castillo no longer has to worry about losing a WiFi connection if the internet went down. The quick and easy-to-use receipt printer includes “Drop-In & Print” paper loading, compact size, a reliable guillotine auto-cutter, and a fast printing speed of 60 receipts per minute. The installation only took about 15 minutes, and training was painless with easy-to-learn tutorials from Sabor’s “One-on-One” support team. Castillo staff members are now confident that they can perform excellent customer service and have a reliable printer during long business hours.

“We are very satisfied with the Sabor POS System,” says Maria Lema, Owner and General Manager of Castillo. “The issues we had with out printer and WiFi are not apparent on this system. Sending orders to the kitchen is no longer a hassle as it was with our older POS system. We like the restaurant features of the new system. They are certainly easy to use with big buttons to identify all the different sections of the software! We strongly recommend Sabor and Star Micronics solutions to other growing businesses. Everything is working great and I am more satisfied than ever!”

Download the full case study here: Star_Castillo_Case-Study

5 Reasons Why Your Restaurant Needs an Online Ordering System

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We recently posted an article about how our smart phones are replacing other devices in our lives such as cameras, computers, iPods, etc. They are changing the way we do everything, including the way we order food. In an age of being able to text instead of call, restaurants have learned to adopt this strategy of communication with online ordering systems.

Now, you can order your take-out or delivery with just a few simple clicks through online ordering systems and applications such as GrubHub, Seamless, and more. Some larger franchises, like Domino’s, have even created their own online ordering applications. This new way of ordering is growing rapidly among the younger generations. According to QSRweb, 52% of U.S. Internet users would likely use a smartphone or tablet for ordering take-out and delivery if possible, with 74% of millennials expressing interest in doing so. It’s needless to say that if you own or operate a restaurant that offers take-out or delivery, you should consider an online ordering system. Here’s why:

1. Higher Employee Productivity. Think about all the time your employees spend taking orders over the phone and making sure that the order is correct. When taking orders over the phone, there is a higher likelihood of miscommunication, in turn, compelling employees to stay on the phone longer to ensure that they have gotten the correct order before hanging up. By implementing an online ordering service, employees will spend less time taking phone orders and can spend more time actually preparing those orders for pick-up or delivery to the customer. Another great benefit of online ordering is the ability for the customer to pre-place large orders and set a specific pick-up or delivery time. This allows the restaurant employees time to properly prep large orders in advance.

2. Order Accuracy. Going back to the miscommunication that often occurs when taking orders over the phone, online ordering systems allow the customer to select and modify their food order exactly the way they like it. This order will then be sent directly to a restaurant printer with no misunderstanding or miscommunication. Being able to take an order straight from the printer to prep will cut back on order inaccuracy and will save the restaurant from wasting money and bad reviews.

3. Grow your Business. Sometimes people don’t want to be bothered with calling and placing their take-out or delivery order over the phone, and opt for a restaurant that provides an online ordering service or application instead. Convenience is key when it comes to customer service. Providing a seamless and easy-to-use  online ordering system will create a better experience for customers, resulting in an increase in sales.

4. Ability to Build a Database. When your customers order through an online ordering service, this creates an opportunity for you to capture information, such as an email address, and use this information to create a database. This database can then be used to communicate with your customers and encourage them to come back through loyalty programs, email marketing, mailing coupons, and more. When taking orders over the phone, you often times only receive their phone number and delivery address, which usually does not allow you to reengage with the customer after the transaction is complete.

5. Powerful Analytics. Once you’ve built your database of customers, you can then use analytics offered with online ordering services to track the ordering patterns of your customers. This will allow you to offer tailored promotions to customers based on what they frequently order or how frequently they order. You can also use this information to adjust, add, or remove menu items based on what your customers are ordering.

Implementing an online ordering system can bring endless benefits to your restaurant business. You may consider using your own, or partnering with an existing online ordering app. Whichever you choose, Star Micronics is there to help you seamlessly integrate online ordering into your restaurant by providing cloud-based point of sale technology to help that order go straight from the cloud, to your restaurant, and then out the door.

Learn more about Star’s TSP650IIcloudPRNT receipt printer here.

POS Industry Updates and Trends of 2016

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We are now in the middle of the POS industry redefinition. 2016 and 2017 will be very interesting years where we will see major players rising and others disappearing in the industry.

In the last few years, mPOS solutions have proven that tablet devices are a reliable hardware solution for many retailers, and that the cloud is a reliable solution to provide instant information on not only one, but multiple retail locations. The POS of the 21st century was born, and is continuing to grow quickly.

What we see now is a strong demand for small, and easy to deploy POS solutions. Since most of the POS solutions now provide a cloud solution, the need for heavy store hardware has decreased significantly, and many POS providers are rethinking their hardware offering.

For many restaurants and retail stores, a simple tablet, cash drawer, and receipt printer is all that is needed . And don’t forget your payment device!   The payment device has actually become one of the most important devices at the POS.  It is the device that has the capability to enable Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay, and most importantly, EMV enabled payment.

The October EMV deadline came and passed. It did not motivate many SMB retailers to change their POS. The way we, as consumers want to purchase a product is what will make the retailers want to upgrade their point of sale system.

Retailers and restaurateurs alike are looking to increase their revenue by offering purchase options both in-store and online. While online shopping has been around for quite some time, restaurants and food service are also beginning to adopt the idea of online ordering by allowing customers to order pick-up or delivery right from their smart phones.

Leading the transition to this new world, Star Micronics’s hardware and software solutions represent new opportunities for technology providers. Adopting Star Micronics peripheral suite of mobile or desktop printers with Star Micronics cash drawers,  or just embracing the world of all-in-one with the mPOP™, (cash drawer, printer, scanner and tablet stand in one, easy to ship package) helps to answer the requirement for smaller POS solution.

Technology like CloudPRNT allows restaurateurs to receive orders from online ordering services without the need to have the printer connected to any other device or service inside the store. CloudPRNT will work with the online service to store jobs, create jobs, and communicate with the printer directly through the cloud.

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In addition to leading the way to a better shopping or eating experience, Star is improving the way we manage our purchase receipts. Last year Star released the first true digital receipt solution, AllReceipts™, where shoppers can now decide for themselves if they want to keep their paper receipt or save and store them on their mobile device. Now, Star is offering retailers the capability to communicate electronically with their customers to promote their latest products.

The face of retail will continue to change rapidly and Star will always be there to lead and innovate for you and keep your business successful.

Cash, Card, or Phone?

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Our phones have already replaced our cameras, our iPods (or MP3s), and our computers. Now, they are beginning to replace our wallets. We are seeing more and more consumers reaching for their mobile phone at the point of sale instead of their wallet. It’s no surprise that this recent adoption of mobile payments is going to majorly change the way people shop.

The number one thing driving consumers toward mobile pay options and mobile wallets is simply the convenience of the payment. 45% of millennials said that they would be willing to connect their payment info to a wearable device in order to make fast, hassle-free payments, according to Adweek. If there is one thing that consumers today love, it’s for their shopping experience to be as quick and painless as possible. We know this because consumers, especially the millennial generation, prefers their shopping experience to be online. Seriously, what’s better than doing all your shopping from the comfort of your own living room? But, we are finding that brick and mortar stores are making a comeback.

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According to TimeTrade research, 85% of consumers say they prefer to shop in physical stores. However, there is still a convenience in the shopping experience that consumers are looking for. This comes at the point of sale.

Giving customers the option of their preferred payment method is important, because it can make or break the entire shopping experience. How many times have you had your credit card out and ready to pay only to hear “sorry, cash only”? According to Business Insider, about 45% of millennials (ages 18-34) have made an NFC payment, and 35% of adults 35 or older have done so. When a retailer cannot accept the customer’s preferred payment method, the entire shopping experience becomes frustrating and inconvenient for the shopper. We must accept that we are now moving toward an age where shoppers will be standing at the point of sale with their mobile device out and ready to pay.

It’s now the responsibility of the point of sale industry to make these mobile payments possible and easy to implement for SMB retailers.

From a point of sale standpoint, we already see ISVs (Independent Software Vendors) working to make their POS applications compatible with mobile payments. Some, such as Square, have even developed their own customized payment terminals to accept any type of mobile payment along with chip-enabled credit cards. By moving toward mobile payments as the norm, we are left wondering what that means for the future of point of sale.

This could easily lead to a greater move toward digital receipts. When retailers are implementing mobile payment options, it is important for them to keep in mind the idea of the mobile wallet not just for payment, but for the digital receipt as well. While many mobile payment platforms offer digital receipt options, if retailers want to use those digital receipts as an opportunity to engage with their customers, going with an outside digital receipt provider might be the best option.

The bottom line is that cash and card payments will never fully disappear. As the adoption of mobile payments continues to grow, we will find a growing demand for more brick and mortar retailers to accept these type of payments.

Learn more about Star Cloud Services digital receipt solutions at www.starcloudservices.com.

How Digital Receipts Can Boost Omnichannel Retail

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In the world of small to medium businesses (SMBs) in retail, we hear the word “omnichannel” being used quite often. Retailers are working to improve and grow their omnichannel strategy in order to better satisfy and engage with their customers. Today, there are so many channels for purchasing, it is important for SMB retail stores, especially brick and mortar, to utilize these channels to increase their engagement with customers and customer loyalty.

First, what does omnichannel mean?

Omnichannel is a multi-channel approach to sales that seeks to provide the customer with a seamless shopping experience whether the customer is shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, by telephone or in a brick and mortar store.

Now the question is  – what does this mean for SMB retailers?

The answer seems very obvious – expand business by creating buying opportunities for customers through multiple channels. In order to do that and see an actual ROI from creating purchasing options from all channels, retailers will need to also develop a strategy for using these channels to increase customer loyalty and omnichannel marketing opportunities. Luckily, the two go hand-in-hand.

One important thing to consider about omnichannel retail is that you are not only giving your customers the option to choose which channel to purchase from, but you are giving them the flexibility of seamlessly moving between channels during their purchasing. For example, your customer finds the perfect dress for her friend’s wedding, but you do not have her size in stock. You will be receiving another shipment at the end of the week with her size included, but she is afraid that she may not make it back to the store in time. By offering the option to purchase through multiple channels, the customer can simply go online and pre-order the dress right from her smartphone, making it a win-win for both parties involved.

The tricky part here becomes marketing through the different channels in which customers are purchasing. Should you be investing in more digital advertisement to target your online buyers, or do in-store shoppers still make up the bulk of your total customers?

An easy way to bridge the gap between the digital channel and your brick and mortar store is to offer the option of digital receipts to customers. By offering the AllReceipts™ digital receipt application to in-store shoppers, you are automatically gaining access into their digital world, making the customer more likely to make future purchases through an alternative channel such as an online desktop or mobile device.

Since Star Cloud Services offers AllReceipts™ in-app marketing tools like Engage NOW and Flip, retailers can increase their omnichannel marketing strategies without any additional cost, and by targeting customers through all channels.

Star Cloud Services’ digital receipt solutions works to connect the retailer to the customer through IoT technology and uses the smartphone application, AllReceipts™, to help retailers engage with their customers through all purchasing channels, whether in-store or online.

With the growing adoption of mobile payments and mobile wallets, digital receipts are going to continue to grow in the retail space. By offering multi-channel purchasing options and using omnichannel marketing strategies, such as digital receipt applications, to engage with customers, you are opening your retail business to endless possibilities.

To learn more about Star Cloud Services and AllReceipts™, please visit www.starcloudservices.com.

 

Bar POS: 4 Things to Help You Be Successful

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Owning and managing a bar is not all fun and games, but takes a lot of time and hard work. With drink specials, pricing, food menus, and of course, money to worry about, it leaves little time to consider how you will manage the point of sale system of your bar. For bars and restaurants in particular, the point of sale and cash management is extremely important. In a fast-paced environment with a high cash flow, you will want a point of sale that is easy to use for employees and will help you connect with your customers. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a POS for your bar or restaurant.

Easy-to-Use Software

Bars, nightclubs, and restaurants tend to be very hectic and fast-paced working environments for bartenders and servers. This means you will want a point-of-sale system that is easy to navigate for both management and employees. Being a bartender in a busy bar often means having to take multiple drink orders at one time and remembering the separate tabs for each. A point of sale system that allows your employees to easily manage tabs, split items, and enter happy hour and other other drink specials will cut down on the amount of time spent entering orders, and will increase the time spent preparing drinks and communicating with customers.

You will also want a system that allows employees to print customer tabs and receipts, or send food orders directly to a kitchen printer.

Cash Management

When managing a bar, you will typically have a higher amount of cash coming in compared to your standard restaurant. For this, you will want to ensure that your point of sale system has the capabilities to handle large amounts of cash. You may also want to consider a proximity-based solution for your cash drawer to ensure that your cash drawer is always safe while bartenders are restocking liquor or grabbing food orders from the kitchen.

Ambiance

In a bar, ambiance is extremely important! People decide to go out to a bar to relax after a long day of work, or to have fun with a group of friends. You want to make sure that your bar makes guests feel welcome and comfortable no matter their reason for being there. With that, be sure to consider the look and feel of your point of sale. When sitting at the bar, customers will see your bartender running tabs, printing receipts, and interacting with the point of sale. Invest in a POS that will display a smooth transaction between the employees and the POS system, and one that jibes with the ambiance of your bar. If you’re the type of bar to have wooden stool seats and dart boards lining the walls, then a standard cash drawer and printer with a tablet should do the job. If your bar radiates a more modern and trendy look, you may want to go for a sleek, all-in-one POS system, such as the Star mPOP™.

Customer Engagement

As a bartender, engaging with customers is important for two reasons: you get better tips, and customers end up spending more money on drinks. When customers feel comfortable talking to and engaging with their bartender, they are more likely to stay longer and purchase more drinks while they cat. But what about after the customer leaves? It’s just as important to engage with customers after their visit as it is to during their visit in order to ensure they continue coming back. There are a number of customer engagement options offered by POS providers with just one being digital receipts.

Offering a digital receipt option to your customer customers can easily allow you to track how often a customer frequents your bar and their go-to drink order. This then allows you to offer your customer coupons or inform them of promotions using those digital receipts. Star’s AllReceipts™ digital receipt solution offers engagement tools, such as Engage NOW and Flip, providing customers with coupons and discounts using the back of the digital receipts, or can direct them straight to your website. AllReceipts™ also offers device management options and data facilitation tools to make sure you get to most out of your digital receipt solution.

In your bar, a POS can be so much more than just a place to manage cash and input orders, but it can help you grow your business!

A Beginner’s Guide to POS Software and Systems

POS Buyer's Guide

Investing in a point of sale (POS) system is one of the best things you can do for your business, but with so many options on the market, how do you determine which POS hardware and software best suit your business needs and your budget?

This guide can help you get on the right path to finding the perfect POS system for your business.

Step 1: Define Business Needs

No one wants to waste time and money on a POS solution that lacks needed capabilities, or has unnecessary features that increase the price. To avoid purchasing a system that isn’t right for your business, you need to identify the specific challenges that you will need your new POS system to address.

Start by asking yourself:

  • Is business suffering because customers must often wait in long lines at the POS?
  • Do shoppers frequently leave your establishment empty-handed because you don’t have the merchandise they want?
  • Are you spending too much time managing employees or trying to find out why your sales volume often doesn’t jibe with your inventory levels?
  • Do you want to attract new customers?

Once you have clearly identified your business needs, research which POS functions address them. The list of functions you need your new system to provide will help narrow the field of choices when you shop for a new POS system.

Step 2: Set a Budget 

Decide how much your business can afford to spend on a POS system. By most accounts, the average industry investment in POS systems total 2 to 3 percent of retailers’ annual volume, and 1 to 1.5 percent of restaurant operators’ annual volume. Consider ongoing costs, such as software maintenance/updates, hardware maintenance, and technical support.

Step 3: Shop for Software

As you consider your options, you will find that not every software solution is compatible with all POS hardware. Selecting your software first will prevent you from being limited in functionality.

There are different types of software you can choose from:

  • Native. Native POS software is installed on your POS hardware. It is easier to customize then cloud-based software.
  • Cloud-based software (Software-as-as-Service, or SaaS). In a SaaS model, software is delivered via the cloud, and you pay for it on a monthly subscription basis. Also, cloud-based software can be accessed from anywhere there is an Internet connection, giving you enhanced visibility into, and control over your operation. Customizing this type of software may be difficult.
  • Hybrid software. This software can be run online in the cloud or offline.

Step 4: Find Compatible Hardware

The POS software you choose will dictate the POS hardware that you can use. In many cases, however, there will still be a number of options to choose from. Some of the choices you must make are related to how your employees will use the system. For example:

  • What is the preferred input method? Some operators favor keyboards or a scanner interface for POS data input, while others prefer a touchscreen interface that facilitates faster data input and easier training for new employees.
  • Will you use mobile POS? POS functionality on a tablet or other mobile device can give you line-busting, in aisle assist, and pay-at-the-table capabilities that can greatly enhance customer experiences. Your options include adding mobile POS to a traditional, stationary system, or using mobile POS alone.
  • Which peripherals are needed? You need to consider printers, cash drawers, PIN pads, payment card readers, and barcode scanners, and select the model that best suits your needs.
  • Will you accept all forms of payment? Make sure your new system gives your customers the ability to pay by their preferred method. Now that the U.S. is migrating toward EMV payments, all new POS systems should have the ability to accept chip card payments. Failure to do so can result in bearing liability for fraudulent payment card changes. Also consider trends that indicate emerging payment types. Mobile wallet use, for example, is gaining ground. To accept payments of this type, you’ll need POS solutions that include near field communications (NFC) technology.
  • Which terminal design do you prefer? A traditional POS terminal design may work well for your business. If space at the checkout counter is limited, however, you may want to consider a more ergonomic solution with a smaller footprint, such as an all-in-one configuration that incorporates basic peripherals (e.g., printers, cash drawers, credit card readers, PIN pads, and customer displays) or a tablet POS system. You will also find options that are aesthetically pleasing and don’t detract from a store’s dècor or restaurant’s ambiance.

For more information on choosing a POS system, download our POS Software and Systems Buyer’s Guide eBook.