There’s one important fact about point of sale (POS) systems that grocery store operations shouldn’t miss: POS systems aren’t all the same. There are a lot of POS systems on the market, but not all POS software and hardware was developed with grocery stores in mind. Many POS solutions won’t have the features you need to operate as efficiently and profitably as you can.
When you’re shopping around for the best grocery store POS system for your business, take a close look at the POS software and hardware to make sure you’re making the best investment.
The Best Grocery Store POS System Software Features
POS software should be all about helping you do things more efficiently — so you can save money — and providing great customer service — so you can make money. Any POS system will let a merchant total a sale, add taxes, accept payment and print a receipt. But the POS systems designed for grocery stores do much more:
- Inventory management: Grocery stores have large inventories and carry products with a growing number of varieties. Many products you sell also have a short shelf life. The best grocery store POS systems have inventory management that allows you to keep track of stock and monitor quantities and expiration. It can also make sure you know when it’s time to order so you don’t run out of the in-demand items your customers want like ingredients for Gooey Butter Cake or St. Louis-style pizza.
- Scale integration: Grocery store POS systems also need to let you integrate scales so you can sell items by weight and maintain an accurate inventory of the items you purchase in bulk. Accurate scales ensure that your custom is paying a fair price and you aren’t losing money due to inaccurate measurements.
- Loyalty program: Grocery stores are fiercely competitive. If your store is located near our office, you want to earn every customers’ loyalty in Manchester, Winchester, Twin Oaks, or Ballwin — and keep it. A loyalty program is a great way to reward your regular customers and keep them coming back to earn points and receive discounts. In addition, a grocery store POS system with an integrated loyalty program can provide you with data that helps you understand your customers better, which can help you run more effective promotions and increase sales.
- Coupon acceptance: It’s a deal-breaker if a POS system doesn’t easily accept manufacturer and store coupons. The best grocery store POS systems have this feature.
- Integrates with a payment solution: Your POS system also has to give you the ability to accept all types of payment — including credit cards, debit cards, checks, and EBT — quickly and securely.
The Best Grocery Store POS System Hardware Features
Grocery stores also need the right POS hardware to operate effectively. Touchscreens are a must for fast checkout — your customers won’t want to wait while cashiers use keys to find the items they need.
You also need to invest in hardware that will last, even when you use it in a sometimes-harsh store environment. The best grocery POS system hardware will be water-resistant so it keeps working even if a plastic drink bottle pops open at the checkout. Another advantage is choosing a POS terminal that’s fanless and has a solid state drive (SSD), so there are no moving parts. That means there’s less chance that you’ll need to call for service if a case of vegetable cans bumps the terminal, and there’s no fan to pull in dust that can damage internal components.
Choose a POS System with User-Friendly Features
If you find a grocery store POS system that checks all the boxes on your list, the next step is to try it. It won’t be of much value if it’s too difficult for your team to use, especially if your store has a high rate of employee turnover, and you’re always training new cashiers. Screens should give employees the information they need, when they need it — graphic items buttons can help cashiers find items more easily. They shouldn’t have to spend time (and delay customers) by searching through screens to find mangoes or avocados before they weigh them.
Settling for a POS system that doesn’t equip your business with the right tools is settling for less efficiency and less profitability. Don’t compromise. Insist on using the best grocery store POS system to give your business the best chance for success.
Have questions? PlazSales can help! Contact us today.