10 things to consider with tablet-based POS

April 11, 2019

Looking to cast off that legacy-based point of Sale system and embrace the more streamlined look and cloud-based convenience of tablet-based Point of Sale? Here’s 10 things to consider as you navigate the transition…

The tablet-based revolution

Call it mobile POS, mPOS or tablet-based POS, chances are you’ve witnessed the tablet-based revolution in retail and business. It’s a trend that sees the traditional cash register or fixed computer system replaced with tablets that connect to Cloud-based POS software and integrate with cash drawers, card readers, and product scanners.

For retailers, it’s offering a more affordable, flexible and compact way to roll out their Point of Sale systems and allows store information to be accessed by management any time, anywhere.

If you’re looking to embrace its convenience, here is the top 10 list of things to look for.

Ease of use

There’s an array of software available which specifically caters to tablet-based POS, and the main criteria for selecting the right one is simple ease of use.

How easy will the system be for your staff to learn and navigate? Can you readily upload products and descriptions? And in general, is it intuitive? Take the time to shop around for the right POS provider to ensure the system is set up to meet your needs.

Selecting a good POS provider at the outset will save you a lot of time in training, workflow and store efficiency down the track.

The same principle applies to the type of tablet you select and the operating system you rely on. Tablets are available running Windows, Android and iOS, and the right system really comes down to personal choice. But to assist we have a guide to selecting the right tablet here.

Payment options

The world of payments is constantly evolving, and the POS software and hardware you select should be flexible enough to meet the changing landscape.

When considering software, look for the ability to take and reconcile different types of payments, and consider the hardware you’ll require to assist – like swipe card readers, NFC capability, chip and pin, cash drawers, etc.

Customisation

The best software options will allow you to tailor the program to meet your needs, so you can print custom invoices/receipts, incorporate branding, and readily input and upload products or items specific to your business.

All these small features add up to make your system easier to use, and your shopfront or business more efficient.

Support

Will there be tech support available should you run into any difficulties? This is a really important question and a feature worth weighing up as you trawl through the POS providers.

In retail, hospitality or business in general, time is money, and there’s a lot riding on the fact you have a system that is workable and reliable. But if something goes wrong, can you pick up the phone for help, and will it cost you if you do?

Connectivity

Tablet-based POS is different to conventional Point of Sale in that data is relayed to and stored in the Cloud.

That makes connectivity an essential factor to consider. Many providers offer the option of saving data, even when disconnected from the internet, and then syncing it to the Cloud when a connection is re-established.

In the meantime, it is worth considering the stability of the internet connection you have available.

Reporting tools

As almost every SME appreciates, there’s a lot of time devoted to the paperwork of business, and the right POS provider can save you a lot of effort and resources in reporting.

Take a good look at the reporting tools available in the tablet-based POS systems you’re weighing up. Will your system allow you to break important information down like stock at hand, sales per associate, daily takings, weekly takings, sales by payment type etc?

Then consider, what integrations are available with your software to make the running of a business easier? Some systems offer excellent integrations with bookkeeping software like QuickBooks, or CRM systems to help take the hassle out of business life.

Price

When it comes to the bottom line, price is a hugely important element. In general, most tablet-based POS applications are significantly cheaper than legacy systems but they do have different pricing structures.

Some base their fees purely on a percentage of the card payments taken, others have fixed monthly or annual fees that may vary depending on the size of your business and the number of staff accessing the system.

Hardware

This bit’s pretty simple, but still worth a mention – what additional POS equipment will you need to set up your tablet-based Point of Sale? In most cases you will require:

Mobility?

Mobility is one area where tablet-based POS can truly deliver, so it’s worth considering: do you want to take your register to the consumer?

Mobile POS allows your sales associate or staff member to input orders or process sales no matter where they are on the floor, and in most cases it’s as simple as purchasing another tablet and hooking it up to the Cloud-based software.

Appearance

In the retail, hospitality and business environment first impressions count for everything and that should also extend to the look of your Point of Sale.

We often hear the business operators are seeking a streamlined yet functional setup that allows the POS to blend seamlessly into the retail environment.

And, yes, we have a wealth of tablet stand options and card reader stands to assist in creating a welcoming customer service area.

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