If you’re new to POS systems, this handy guide will help you get started using your new software and making the most of it for your business. Whether you’re a retail store or eCommerce operation, these tips will apply to your POS. Keep reading to learn how to set up your new POS and implement it for maximum success.
Set Up Item Catalog and First-Time Inventory
When you first get your POS system, you’ll likely have to set up profiles for admins. Once completed, you’ll want to perform your first-time inventory check. You’ll need to enter each of your products into the POS software. This includes product names, descriptions, and pictures (especially if you’re an eCommerce store). Be sure to include detailed descriptions and pricing for your items, and organize them in alphabetical order for easy access in the future.
You’ll need to update your first-time inventory count as well. Be sure to get the most accurate count of each product possible before entering it into the system. Since POS systems offer real-time inventory tracking, if you don’t get that first count right, it could mess up your numbers weeks from now. If you have to recount the items two or three times, it’s worth it to get the most accurate numbers possible.
It’s usually a good idea to involve employees in this process, so they can get an idea of how the software works. You’ll want them to know how to look up items, change or add things to the catalog, and how to manually update the inventory. Many POS systems have a minor learning curve, so if you include your employees early on in the process, they should be well-trained when it comes time to introduce the new system.
You’ll want to set the prices of your items next. Don’t forget to set your state and local tax rates as well, if your state/city has a sales tax. Sales tax and any other required taxes should not be forgotten when you’re setting up your POS system.
If you’re running an eCommerce store, you’ll likely set shipping rates at this stage as well. UPS and other shipping companies offer discounts and special rates to businesses, and can even be linked with your site to offer real-time shipping estimates to your customers. Decide which company you’ll be shipping with, and whether or not you want to include a shipping-rate plugin with your POS software/website.
Sync On and Offline Operations
If you’re running both an eCommerce and a brick and mortar store, it’s important that you check (and double-check) that your inventory and all other information is synchronized both off and online. Make sure your inventory numbers in-store match those of your online store, and that when a purchase is made at either end, the warehouse number automatically updates.
It’s vital that both ends of your business synchronize properly, and while modern POS software is usually good at syncing both, checking to ensure accuracy is never a bad thing. You wouldn’t want a customer to order something on your site that doesn’t have any stock left!
Use Your Analytics Data
When you use POS systems, you’ll have access to perhaps one of the best tools the versatile programs have to offer: analytics data. Analytics data provides a wealth of information, including sales numbers, monthly revenue reports, and others. These valuable reports can be used to determine when to have monthly sales, what time of day is the busiest, and how much your company has grown over the course of a pre-chosen time period.
Reflection is the key to growth, and knowing how your business performs on a daily basis will allow you to make better-informed decisions when it comes to staffing, marketing, and more. The more information you have access to about your customer habits and business performance, the better of you’ll be overall.
Build Customer Profiles
You should also begin to collect customer information for your database. POS systems allow you to create customer profiles by collecting names, addresses, emails, and phone numbers, and you’ll also be able to look at customers’ purchase history. This is invaluable information, as knowing what your customers prefer to buy can help you create more focused marketing campaigns and better-timed promotional periods.
With limitless customer information available at your fingertips, you’ll be able to create a more personalized relationship with your patrons, and you’ll find that marketing efforts will be more effective at persuading customers to follow up on promotions and discount opportunities.
POS systems are quite simple to operate but are some of the best tools you can have in your arsenal at any level. Whether you’re a small startup or a large corporation, a good POS system can help you streamline operations and create a better connection with your customers.