by John Garvey
What does the term “point of sale system” mean to you? For many, it may simply mean payment processing, but if you’re a merchant you have a lot more on your mind. You don’t just want a one-trick pony. For instance, in addition to fast and reliable credit card processing, you probably wouldn’t mind a POS system that streamlines inventory management and your check out process. Would you?
There are many POS systems out there with varying features. The overriding consideration is that the POS system you use should allow you flexibility and accommodate your business—not the other way around.
It’s a business partnership, not a product.
What kind of training and support does your retail solutions provider offer?
Will they provide you meaningful help getting up to snuff on their platform?
How responsive is your provider?
Consider the quality of tech support offered. Some offer 24/7 tech support, but don’t advertise long wait times and poorly-trained technicians. Retail Control Systems offers a level of responsiveness and helpfulness that’s unsurpassed with a well-trained staff. That’s part of why we’ve been the # 1 NCR Counterpoint reseller for nearly 20 years!
It’s also why we have so many positive testimonials.
What kind of hardware does your retail solutions/POS provider offer?
Hardware should be intended to last. We’re talking commercial grade as opposed to consumer grade hardware. The NCR register is drop tested, warrantied, dust- and water-resistant and built to carry out millions of transactions over its lifespan.
What can you expect if contingencies occur?
As a customer, have you ever not been able to complete a purchase because the POS system was down and you didn’t have cash? Probably. This is disappointing when you’re fiending for something specific, like pizza, and have to go three doors down for a salad. (The memory has me choking back tears!)
If your internet service provider bonks, that doesn’t mean your business should. NCR Counterpoint maintains full functionality in offline mode. With some other POS platforms, that isn’t the case.
It is technically a requirement for POS systems to meet PCI Security Standards, but compliance is also a moving target and small providers sometimes fly under the radar. NCR Counterpoint keeps on top of it, enabling you to do so as well.
While compliance is ultimately up to the merchant, a compliant provider is indispensable. RCS helps keep your business data secure and protects you from liability. We also keep our accounts separate. That means even if the guy down the street gets hacked, you’re safe because we don’t group you with other customers.
Our business systems can also flag things like large discounts, excessive “no sale” transactions, voided tickets and other red flags that may indicate theft or pilfering.
Ask your prospective POS system provider what they do in terms of backing up and securing your data. With RCS, a little more money gets you a lot more security.
What features do you need beyond payment processing?
Order Fulfillment – Your POS system should enable omnichannel sales—that is, online, in-store and mobile.
Inventory Management – A quality POS system helps merchants manage layaways, special orders and accounts receivable. Specialized reports can track sales data, monitor margins and eliminate guesswork.
Gift Card and Loyalty Programs – In many cases, gift cards and loyalty programs involve transactional or monthly fees. Avoid these if you can (hint: You can with RCS).
Marketing Support – Any POS system should help you organize customer data. A good one has email marketing integrations and other marketing-related features. These include collecting customer feedback surveys and segmenting customers by purchasing history to deliver relevant, individualized marketing for email or mobile.
Integration with Other Business Systems – A POS system should have the ability to interface with other platforms including accounting software, reservation systems and online stores. You don’t want to have to overhaul a system you’re familiar and satisfied with to onboard a new POS system. This is one of NCR Counterpoint’s strengths. For instance, Counterpoint interfaces smoothly with QuickBooks and Outbound Reservation Software.
When shopping around for a POS system, consider your budget, but remember that spending an extra dollar in the right place can save you three dollars down the road.
If you have questions relating to advanced features, integration, marketing or anything else, drop us a line. We’d love to hear from you!