If you’re unsure where to start when choosing the right system for your retail business, here is a step-by-step guide to help you make a well-informed choice.
1. Assess your retail business’s hardware and software needs.
Start your search by evaluating the specific needs of your retail business. A small, single-store retailer likely only needs a relatively simple, cost-effective solution, but a larger retailer with multiple physical locations or a business that wants to expand its e-commerce presence, might require a more complex, integrated system. Consider factors, such as your average number of sales transactions, inventory management needs, CRM goals and whether you need multilocation or online integration.
2. Research the best POS systems for retailers.
To start narrowing down your options, research retail POS systems by checking out online reviews, such as those here on business.com, to get a holistic view of each system you are interested in. Direct side-by-side comparisons of different POS systems can also help you make an informed decision. An example might be looking at how Shopify stakes up against Square.
Besides these picks for the best retail POS systems, business.com also has a comprehensive list of the best POS systems
for any type of business, plus individual reviews to help with your research.
3. Sign up for free trials and product demos.
When you have a shortlist of potential POS systems, see if you can give them a test run. Many vendors offer free trials or product demos that allow you to test the system’s functionality first-hand. This is a crucial step to help you determine which system combines the right features with a good UX.
4. Speak with vendors directly.
Reaching out to vendors directly can provide additional insights into each platform that may not be obvious in marketing materials. Ask questions about the specific POS needs of your retail business so you can understand how the system would work in your particular retail context. You’ll also want to inquire about pricing and contract terms and get clarification on any features you don’t fully understand.
5. Compare your top choices.
Armed with information from your research, product demos and vendor conversations, you can compare your top choices and make a final decision. Consider the pricing tiers or service plans, including any additional costs, such as transaction fees, as well as its scalability to account for any future growth. We recommend choosing a POS system that suits your current retail needs and can grow with your business so you don’t have to begin the research process all over again.