How To Find The Right Pos System For Your Retail Business

Running your retail operation is no mean feat. From taking care of your inventory to paying attention to merchandising, marketing your business to delivering exceptional customer service, you have your work cut out for you.

This is why, whenever you can get a chance to make your job easier, you are more than likely to take advantage of the opportunity. Following this approach, most retail business owners try to find a Point-of-Sale (POS) system for retail businesses that can make their operations (especially in-store) more efficient, manageable, and cost-effective.

If you are looking for a modern or integrated payment platform for your retail store that can do all this and more, then you need to keep a few essential points in mind. By being aware of these factors, you can make sure that your payment services platform can fulfill all your expectations without any issues.


  • When shopping around for a modern POS system for retail businesses, you should consider a few critical requirements. This will help you avoid the issues that come with legacy POS systems and maximize your new POS solution.
  • Don’t just look at where your business is today; also think about where you want to go. What’s on the roadmap for your retail store? Make sure to choose solutions that can scale with you.
  • Payment integrations are key, so set your sights on POS systems that can connect with leading credit card solutions like Stax. 

Overview of What to Look for When Choosing POS Systems for Retail

The best POS system on the market is, of course, something you’ll have to determine for your own business. That being said, there are a number of key features to keep an eye on if you’re shopping around for a retail POS. These include:

  • Checkout features, including integration with a physical cash register and cash drawer and POS terminals
  • Sales reporting – preferably in real-time
  • Light inventory management to track inventory
  • Light employee management
  • Light customer relationship management (CRM), including customer profiles
  • Mobile app (or completely mobile POS) that can be run on a countertop touchscreen device like an Apple iPad
  • At least some basic integrations with credit card processing solutions like Stax so you can accept contactless payments, and credit and debit cards. 

Understand the Problems of Conventional POS Systems

One of the most significant issues with accepting retail payments is the end-of-day processing. No matter the kind of business you run, you have to go through grueling and redundant data-entry tasks to manage your payments.

This gets all the more applicable if you process your credit card payments through a conventional POS system for retail businesses. Reconciling your receipts can take a lot out of you. Allocating employee resources for manual data entry, accounting for additional time at the end of every day, and looking for human errors all become a part of the equation.

Who wants to go through the same process again and again, especially after your customers have made their transactions? Not you. Not your employees.

If you use a traditional POS solution, you have no choice but to go through these grueling activities to receive your earnings in your merchant account. That’s just how the old process is designed.

These services can also bring about the following issues:

  • Longer processing times
  • Haphazard management
  • Unnecessary procedures
  • Erratic cash flow
  • Higher costs

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Here’s How Modern Payment Systems Can Help

By using modern services for POS, you can finally steer clear of tiresome processes.

As a direct answer to common issues found in a traditional POS system, you need modern POS system solutions that can resolve them, as well as provide additional benefits such as:

  • The flexibility to add on a variety of payment solutions. A modern solution should not limit you to a set number of payment types due to an inability to add a new capability. This opens more doors for less bulky systems like tablets, and smaller touch-ready devices to accept payments from customers on-the-go.
  • The ability to integrate with other platforms to build a better payment structure between the card/no card payment option.
  • Seamless management of Catalog and Inventory Items.

An integrated payment platform also lets you reconcile batched payments with your deposits.

As a result, you can ensure no transactions have been dropped or were missing from the batch.

You’ll not only benefit from seamless cash flow, but you’ll also reduce the costs that come with redundant data entry.

Keeping this in mind, make sure that you look for modern merchant services that follow the same approach in their payment processes.

What to Look for in a Modern POS System?

When shopping around for a modern POS system for retail businesses, you should be mindful of a few critical requirements. This helps you steer clear of the issues that come with legacy POS systems and lets you make the most out of your new POS solution.

Reduced Processing Times

Your first and foremost requirement with modern POS is to find reduced processing times.

An integrated payment platform automatically meets this need and saves you from redundant data entry as well as erratic cash flow problems. But you should still take your time to study through the offerings of each merchant services provider to understand what kind of processes they offer to manage your payments.

This helps you pick the best option for your business in terms of efficiency, and lets you claim your payments in a reduced timeframe.

Easy to Use Interface

Not every modern POS system for retail businesses can improve efficiency. In fact, if it utilizes a difficult-to-use interface, then it doesn’t do much for improving your payment management.

Make sure to look for a modern POS system that comes with an intuitive user interface. Utilizing an easy-to-use payment system helps you cut training times, improves your process flow, and reduces the chance of errors.

This helps you and your employees process your payment more efficiently, and lets you negate unnecessary payment processing issues.

Hardware and Software Compatibility

See to it that your point of sale software works well with your payment equipment, including your credit card terminals, barcode scanners, and receipt printers.

Effectively ringing up sales requires the different components of your POS and payments systems to “play nice” with each other. A disjointed setup can lead to technical errors and a poor checkout experience.

The best way to ensure hardware and software compatibility is to consult your POS vendor and ask about their preferred hardware partners. Some companies offer “all-in-one” point of sale solutions that bundle up hardware and software.

Clover, for example, enables retailers to purchase their hardware along with their POS subscriptions. Clover also provides payment processing services, although its fees are slightly higher than processors like Stax.

As such, if you’re leaning towards an all-in-one POS provider like Clover, see if you’re able to choose a payment processor that offers more favorable rates.

Manageable Costs

In addition to looking for an integrated payment platform, you should also go for a POS system for retail businesses that has the promise of reduced payment processing costs.

Some modern solutions come with sky-high costs for their solutions. But they are often not justified and use a higher markup for their services than necessary. At the same time, other merchants price their offerings in a way that makes them affordable for business owners without compromising on the quality of their solutions.

By shopping around and comparing the prices offered by different solutions, you can ensure to find the best value without having to let go of crucial features. This is an essential step in finding the right POS system for your needs.

Step By Step Guide to Choosing the Right POS System

Now that we’ve covered the importance of POS systems in retail environments let’s talk about the steps you can take to find the right one for your business. 

Step 1: Determine your needs

First things first. Before going “out there” to find solutions, take a step back into your business and figure out what you need in a point-of-sale system. Some of the factors you should consider:

Your hardware needs: This largely depends on your checkout process and the flow of your retail store. Large retail spaces with a dedicated checkout counter typically use a laptop or mounted tablet so cashiers can quickly ring up sales. 

On the other hand, if you have a small shop or prefer to ring up sales on the floor, a mobile POS system may be a better fit.

You should also consider payment terminals. If you have existing credit card equipment, see that the POS you choose can integrate with your credit card machines

Supported workflows: Consider the various workflows in your business. How do you order and receive inventory? Do you conduct partial and full stock counts? How are products managed and tracked in your business? These are just some of the questions you should be asking when evaluating the features of a retail POS.

Ensure that your system has the capabilities to carry out your business processes. Let’s say you’re an apparel retailer whose inventory comes in different shapes and colors. In this case, you should choose a POS that supports product variants. 

Do you conduct physical inventory counts every month or quarter? If so, select a system that has built-in counting features. 

Sales channels: If you sell on different channels—e.g., brick-and-mortar, pop-ups, eCommerce, social media, etc.—choose a point-of-sale system that supports these platforms. That way, you can manage all your sales in one place. An integrated system helps you maintain a unified view of your inventory, sales, and customer data across all channels, ensuring a seamless and efficient operation.

Integrations: Using other business apps? Then, look into solutions that can “play nice” with the software you’re already using. In doing so, you can streamline your operations and avoid the hassle of manual data entry. Integration with other business apps, such as accounting software, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and eCommerce platforms, allows for seamless data flow and improved efficiency. This ensures that all your business processes are connected and working together harmoniously.

Your business roadmap: Don’t just look at where your business is today; also think about where you want to go. What’s on the roadmap for your retail store? Are you planning to expand to other locations, markets, or sales channels? Whatever the case, choose solutions that can scale with you. 

Your budget: A POS system can be quite an investment, so you want to make sure that it aligns with your budget. 

So, conduct a thorough cost analysis, including both upfront costs and ongoing expenses. Look beyond the initial purchase price to consider costs such as hardware, software subscriptions, transaction fees, maintenance, and any additional features or integrations you may need. 

This should give you an idea of your budget, which can then help guide your vendor decisions. 

Step 2: Research providers

Once you clearly understand your needs, the next step is to research potential POS providers. Aside from checking out their website and documentation, here are a few actions to make this step easier:

Read software reviews: Websites like GetApp, TrustPilot, Merchant Maverick, and Capterra contain POS software reviews from experts and users alike. These websites can serve as excellent resources for gathering unbiased opinions and learning about the pros and cons of different systems from real users.

Look up the provider on YouTube: Video reviews allow you to see and hear about other people’s experiences with the software. You might even find video demos of different POS systems, which can help you visualize how the system works in real-life scenarios and assess its user interface and ease of use.

Talk to other merchants: Browsing the web and YouTube only takes you so far. That’s why you should also reach out to fellow business owners or industry peers who use POS systems. Their firsthand insights and experiences can provide valuable information and help you make a more informed decision.

Step 3: Compare features, capabilities, and offerings

Create a detailed comparison chart to evaluate the features and capabilities of each POS system you’re considering.

List out key features such as:

  • inventory management 
  • sales reporting
  • customer management
  • payment processing options
  • any industry-specific functionalities you need. 

Assess how each system handles these features and note any unique offerings or advantages. As mentioned earlier, you should also consider the user interface, ease of use, and customization options available. 

Organizing this information in a structured way makes it easier to identify which POS system aligns best with your business requirements.

When you complete this step, you should have a shortlist of 1-3 providers to really dig into. 

Step 4: Demo or trial the software

Once you’ve narrowed down your point-of-sale software choices, the next step is to see it in action firsthand. At this stage, you should get in touch with potential POS software vendors and either watch a live demo or take a free trial of the platform. 

To ensure you select the right system, you must evaluate how the software performs in real-life scenarios specific to your business. 

Create a checklist of tasks and processes you want to test—such as processing sales, managing inventory, and generating reports. Involve your staff in the trial to get their feedback on the user experience and functionality. This hands-on evaluation will help determine if the POS system meets your operational needs and integrates well with your existing workflows.

Final Words

At Stax, we make sure to provide retail businesses the kind of payment solutions they need to improve their processes and grow their business. No matter the size of your operation, our Stax integrated payment platform, mobile payment solutions, and virtual terminals for payment card processing can all fit your needs perfectly.

To learn more about our services at Stax, reach out to us today and discover how much you could save with an estimate from one of our payment consultants.

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