The right point of sale software can help retailers lower inventory costs, enhance relationships with customers, reduce theft and increase profits by improving overall business efficiency and productivity. The industry you serve often dictates what type of POS system you’ll need. To make the most out of point of sale software and systems you should: 1. Sample free demos from various POS software and hardware vendors to find the solution that most suits your business needs. 2. Find POS equipment that allows you to collect a host of information about your best customers because their shopping habits can often reveal the key to future sales. Determine what type of point of sale hardware you’ll need Does your business need a retail POS cash register? Would a Web-based point of sale system be more beneficial? What about other POS equipment like displays? POS displays. Control inventory using point of sale software POS systems allow you to manage inventory right from your desktop by providing a method for recording sales and determining when an item needs to be restocked. Using point of sale systems can help you reduce the chances of overstocking items or running out of stock. Track customer preferences with point of sale systems Many industry-specific point of sale software programs feature easy-to-use customer tracking options that help generate automatic discounts for frequent shoppers and create targeted customer mailings based on buying preferences. Set prices and conduct transactions with point of sale systems POS software enables retailers to set pricing not only by product but also by color and size within a product line when necessary. Point of sale systems also record cash register sales for credit card, debit and cash transactions. POS systems can improve loss prevention Linking POS systems to loss prevention software can help you prevent merchandise loss as a result of employee theft or human error. Increase profit margins using point of sale systems Analyze detailed reports generated by POS systems to determine which merchandise offers the highest profit margins and which merchandise isn’t boosting your bottom line. Use this info to guide future purchasing decisions. Improve efficiency, accuracy and productivity with point of sale software A POS system will allow you to reduce the time spent on paperwork and transactions, leaving you more time to spend on building your business. Point of sale systems can also greatly reduce the number of costly employee entry errors — for instance, when a worker rings up $2.95 instead of $29.95. Point of sale software allows small business owners who can’t afford an IT staff to easily computerize and track company procedures. Point of sale systems help discourage employee theft because merchandise accountability is more easily enforced. Computerizing customer data allows business owners to develop a closer relationship with their shoppers who, in turn, will benefit from special targeted promotions.