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When retailers start their business, there are a plethora of costs involved. Most of these costs are expected like rent, employee wages, and inventory costs. But one thing that many new retailers forget about is the system that helps them manage every aspect of their business: a point-of-sale system. POS software is often an afterthought, and because it’s one of the last things that a new store might put into place it’s often neglected. When a store owner goes looking for it and realizes how much money most systems cost, they run down to the nearest big box office supply store and pick up an old electronic cash register. That’s the quickest way to get setup with something, but if store owners knew how much money they were leaving on the table they would probably think twice. Here are just a few ways that POS software can help a retail store save and make more money.
1. Eliminate pricing mistakes at the register
Cash registers are definitely a “dumb” system. All it does is record what the cashier puts in, spits out a receipt, and later gives the store owner a receipt with all of the money they’ve brought in that day. It doesn’t have any inventory management capabilities, and in nearly all cases it doesn’t support a barcode scanner.
That means your cashier needs to look at the price tag and manually enter the price in. Just like any other manual process, this is very prone to error. On the other hand, a POS system does keep track of your entire inventory and integrates with a barcode scanner. All the cashier has to do is scan the barcode on the product and the proper price is automatically entered for them. Pricing errors may be small each time, but over the course of a year they quickly add up.
2. Time equals money, and POS software helps save lots of time
Running a retail store is extremely time consuming for the business owner. Often retailers go into the business because they want to work with customers, not because of all the management that’s required. Things like managing employees, doing payroll, keeping track of inventory, re-ordering products, and accounting are all things that take up vast amounts of time. A cash register can’t really help effectively with any of those management tasks, but POS software can. Most modern POS software packages have integrated employee time clocks, inventory management, purchase ordering, and accounting system integration built in. With the POS system doing most of the heavy lifting on those management tasks, it can cut the time spent on them in half (or more). Saving time in these areas helps the store owner focus on tasks that bring more money in like working with customers, training employees, and bringing new customers to the store.
3. Identifying the best & worst selling products
Depending on how big a store is, keeping track of inventory can be deceivingly complicated. And with each added inventory item, it adds complexity in tracking and re-ordering them to keep products in stock. Often store owners just re-order what was sold, but that is far from the most efficient method of stocking items. Many small retail stores don’t consider important factors that should be going into re-ordering decisions like the speed at which products sell or seasonality of a particular product’s sales. For example, a hardware store might stock salt during the winter in cold areas. If they sell out in February, should they re-order more? If they do, how much should they order? When the store uses a cash register, it’s impossible to get insight into things like this. But with POS software, there are many reports and features that can aid the store owner re-order the right number of products at the right time. By keeping your best sellers in stock you can maximize sales, and you can minimize waste by not re-ordering poorly performing items.Those are just three of the key areas that POS software can help retailers save and make more money with their store. Cash registers are a huge efficiency drain for a retail store, and many don’t even realize it. By putting a POS system in place and using it to its full potential store owners can save time, make more money, and have a more enjoyable and successful experience running their store. On top of that, there are now web-based POS systems that rival electronic cash registers in the startup costs. There has never been a better time for retailers to get started with point-of-sale!
About the Author: Tom Greenhaw Jr. founded Cashier Live with his father Tom Sr. Cashier Live is a point-of-sale software developer, specializing in all small business POS software solutions. Cashier Live offers solutions including, but not limited to, pharmacy, book shop, and grocery store POS software. Small business owners can now try a trial of free POS software for a limited time on Cashier Live’s site.