What kinds of businesses exist nowadays?
If you have asked yourself this question, the correct answer fits in one word: various. Businesses are the answer to all our desires and needs, and their sole existence is based on how we humans can be fulfilled in our lives. From our basic needs for healthcare, food, entertainment, etc., to our hobbies and niche interests, businesses base their entire reasons on what they can do to accommodate us. And to make it more clear, businesses don’t necessarily require a big structure; an individual who provides a solution to someone’s problem and charges a fee for this represents a business. From big multinationals and renowned brands to freelancers and crafters who sell their products through social media, the many faces of business exist to make our lives better, happier, and easier. This means that, in an ocean of business offers, owners need to find a way to differentiate and position themselves on the top of our minds, or at least compete for a place and not become lost among the crowds.
Different target audiences require different approaches because their circumstances, demographics, interests, and wishes may be very different from one another. A sales strategy, and the POS we choose to answer such a strategy, focused on a specific type of audience may not give the best results on a different audience that may have other interests and needs. Also, choosing a POS is not something that only new businesses require. Business owners may have different reasons for choosing to change their current POS like a change in direction, relocation of an existing business, or simply to try a new growth pathway. No matter what your reasons are, a good selection of a POS requires analysis and planning, and there’s a solution for everybody.
Main Reasons Changing POS
Owners’ desires to be the best in their field make them invent new ways of doing business to be on the top of the competitive ladder, and POS systems are called to facilitate in managing some business processes and operations. For some context about what POS (Point of sale) entails, it defines the place or transaction between a seller and the consumer where a product is passed and a purchase is completed. It can be a physical place, like a cashier booth, or the online check-out section, among other options. It is vital for a business owner because the POS’ placement or availability can influence the consumers’ purchasing decisions. The location of the POS can impact the consumers’ behavior because it can lead to impulse purchases or change the buying decision as a consequence of product placement. As a business owner, you can also push selected products or goods by making them more accessible to the buyer or instructing a designated staff to promote them.
Automatization, systematization, and optimizations of sales, products, and customers data are simply covered by POS systems’ opportunities. According to Adam Hayes, electronic POS software systems streamline retail operations by automating the transaction process and tracking important sales data. A POS basic system includes an electronic cash register and software that collects data from daily purchases, which depending on the software’s features, can help owners track inventory changes, gross revenue, and sales patterns. In simple words, a POS helps owners to correctly manage their businesses by integrating and organizing its operations. This helps with the detection of discrepancies in sales vs. cash flow that could lead to profit loss. Also, it helps avoid out-of-stock sales and tailors purchasing and marketing to consumer behavior. Nowadays, POS systems are more like jigsaw puzzles where you can program or add features depending on your specific needs and the experience you want to provide to your consumer. And since not everybody needs or can acquire a top-of-the-line POS system, it can be adjusted to your budget. Nevertheless, there’s a solution for everybody.
Cloud-based POS is gaining a lot of traction, especially for online sellers, because they greatly reduce the upfront costs of implementing a POS system. Location-based technology, where the customer interacts directly with the POS, has become a very sought-after solution, particularly in the hospitality industry. For example, at many restaurants and hotels, customers can view menus, place orders, and even pay their bills on terminals located at their tables or rooms. Customization in terms of aesthetics, capacity, and mobility can greatly impact a company’s brand identification.
4 Tips for Choosing a POS System
Particular business structure defines the necessary POS system. How to create the most excellent conformity? Now we will explore the question. If you aim to select the best POS system for you, ask yourself the following questions:
- Who is my target audience? Analyze whom you want to reach with your business and get to know them. Understanding your target means knowing their needs, behavior, what makes them decide on selecting a good or service (presentation, brands, product placement, service experience, etc.), and where they are currently consuming. Your target’s demography is also essential: their location, age, cultural background, and income. Thus, this allows you to narrow down your options and make a more sensible decision on a POS system based on the main interests of your customers.
- What is my real situation and resources? The truth is that we may all dream big and want our business to be top of the line with everything our consumers may want. But this comes with a hefty price tag and time investment, and not all can have access to that. The good news is that, as we’ve established before, there’s a solution for everyone. Maybe you can only get a basic POS system, and that’s ok, and it doesn’t mean you won’t be able to compete because what you may be “lacking” in terms of POS. You can compensate with other things such as excellent customer service, attention to details, and overall product quality and variety. You can always find ways to differentiate from others and start gaining momentum in the market while growing and getting to a place where you could access more complex POS systems. It doesn’t mean that if you have the resources to get a top-of-the-line POS, you don’t need to worry about customer service and details because a customer’s purchase decision is not solely based on the POS system but the overall experience visiting our businesses. If you can access a more complete POS system, then structure a plan to maximize the benefits yielded from it and how it can help you find your place in the market.
- Who are my competitors, and what POS systems are they currently using? Knowing your opponents does not mean spying and copying them; it means learning about the playfield you’re at and who is there with you. Knowing your competitors means objectively identifying their pros and cons. This information can be used to set up a strategy that will make your business different from theirs and, therefore, make you stand out in the field and not get lost in the crowd. In this process, you should identify your competitors’ POS systems and analyze how you could make it better and improve the purchasing experience of your target audience. It’s also helpful to learn about competitors who are no longer active and understand why their business failed or decided to stop operating. A lot can be learned from others’ experiences.
- Where do I want to be? Regardless of how and where you start today, the goal should always be to improve your business in order to grow continually. Maybe right now, your resources are limited, and you can only have access to a basic POS system, but if you have a goal in mind, you can set up a strategy to follow a path of growth that will lead you to where you see yourself in short, mid, and long-term. This means working with a clear vision of where you want to go and what you need to do to get there. Choose the POS system that adjusts to your current needs, with the ability to be upgraded or, choose a more basic one while preparing to upgrade in the future. Work on the improvement of your company.
The main reason for choosing the POS is your type of business and your target audience. It’s about understanding what your consumer wants and needs and giving an answer to those wants and needs in a way that differentiates them from your competitors. The main objective of a POS is completing your consumers’ purchasing experiences in the most positive way possible and building loyalty within your audiences, so they choose your business first when they seek the goods or services you offer.