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Tips for Selecting POS Software

Run My Store
Select The POS Software First
Questions to Ask Yourself About POS Systems
What to Do Before You Buy POS Software

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POS System Components 3
POS System Components 4

Tips for Selecting POS System Software

If you end up with the wrong POS software choice and have to switch to another, it will be costly. Here are some tips to use in selecting POS Software:

  • Resist the temptation to buy hardware before software - The POS software you select will have specific hardware requirements. It does no good to have USB interfaces for all your scanners, printers, polePOS system options - tips for selecting displays, cash drawers etc only to find out later that the software doesn't support a USB cash drawer. Often, the POS software will have a "recommended" equipment list that they will support. Purchasing hardware before software is putting the cart before the horse.

  • Don't delegate - The person who chooses the POS software must have an intimate knowledge of the inner workings of your business. The decision will either make you more efficient, or cause you to abandon the effort after spending a significant amount of money. The POS software selection is a strategic business decision - don't task low level employees or computer consultant with the recommendation. Top management and key personnel must all be involved in the selection process.

  • Ask for recommendations - Ask competitors how their software works for them. Pay particular attention to their comments about the training and service the software maker provided after the sale. Talk to members of your local or regional retail association for references that can give you perspective on which software works in your particular area of retail.

  • Request software demos - After you've put together a list of 3 or more potential POS software makers, contact those companies. Specifically ask for a 30-day, onsite demonstration of their system. Webex's are fine to get an idea of what the software will do, and a sales visit will also yield useful information, but installing the software on a PC in your business and playing with it is the most valuable way to understand how it will work in your "real world" conditions.

  • Understand what you need versus what the POS software does - Have a good idea of what you want the POS system to do for you. Check-out is a given, but do you need inventory and ordering features? Must the system be able to generate barcoded shelf tags?

    Do your research on POS Systems Understand that as you add features, POS software becomes more expensive and more complicated to learn and implement. Having a clear idea of what you want the software to do will save you time evaluating features that you don't have a need for now, and may never use in the future. You may want to look for software that can run on any type of PC so you can take advantage of future price reductions by using a different computer manufacturer. Make sure the POS software allows your business to grow, and that you can add more features and functions as they become available.
Next, we'll talk about Questions to Ask Yourself About POS Systems .