8 Features You Should Look for in a Retail POS System

8 Features You Should Look for in a Retail POS System
What is a retail point of sale system? Here are the features you should consider when choosing a point of sale system.
by Square Jun 21, 2021 — 4 min read
8 Features You Should Look for in a Retail POS System

Whether you’re a startup or established retail store, the way you manage sales can be pivotal to your success. Today’s POS systems do much more than simply handling transactions – used effectively, they can revolutionise the way your retail business operates.

Choosing the right retail POS can be challenging – there are many offers on the market, and the right one for you will depend on your business’s size, sales volume, number of employees, and your aspirations for the future.

What is a retail POS system?

A retail POS (retail point of sale) system is any software that supports retail transactions. It usually includes features like inventory management, customer relationship management and employee management, and lets you access sales reporting and analytics.

If you’re looking for a retail point of sale system that makes running your business simple, consider the following features as they apply to your business.

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1. Smart inventory management

Whether you have a handful or hundreds of products, solid inventory management functionality will help you to keep track of your products and optimise your approach to stock management. Look for a solution that lets you organise your products by category, manage stock across multiple locations and create and send purchase orders so you never run out of stock.

Square’s intuitive inventory management lets you manage unlimited items and product categories, create and print barcode labels, view stock levels across your store(s) and set email alerts for when stock levels of a particular product are running low.

2. Seamless instore and online selling

Even if your business is a brick-and-mortar operation today, it’s worth looking for a retail point of sale system that supports online sales. This way, you’ll be able to manage ecommerce and instore sales seamlessly if you decide to create an online store in the future.

The Square for Retail POS lets you sync orders and inventory from in-person and online transactions from Square Online Store and eCommerce solutions seamlessly in real time. Customers can buy directly from your Instagram page and choose to collect items in-store or have them delivered. You can also sell eGift cards and access advanced eCommerce tools like shipping labels and abandoned cart reporting and email templates.

3. Easy barcode scanning

Your POS software should allow you to create and print barcodes so that you can keep track of your inventory. If you’re stocking a new product, you can produce a unique barcode for that product and enter the product details into your POS system. Scan products as they enter your inventory and again when they’re sent to a different store or sold, so you’re always across your stock levels.

4. Comprehensive customer relationship management (CRM)

A good retail POS system will have CRM capability that supports you to build solid, authentic relationships with your customers – and will capture the customer information you need without much work from you. Look for a POS system that creates customer profiles automatically, syncs customer sales history across instore and online channels, and lets you add custom notes to each customer profile.

Square for Retail does all this and also allows you to create a customer loyalty program to reward your regular shoppers. Square Loyalty lets you provide a personalised experience by choosing how you award loyalty points and creating custom reward levels that work for your business.


5. Advanced reporting and analytics

The right retail point of sale system can make a huge difference to the productivity and profitability of your business. Real-time data capture allows you to view sales, employee performance and inventory levels at a glance and drill down for more detailed analysis. With an accurate view of your sales, profit margin, staff performance and other key metrics, you can optimise the way your business operates and make a tangible difference to your bottom line.

6. Flexible payment options

Your POS should let you take payment however your customers want to pay. While traditional payment methods like cash and credit card are still used, cashless payment has never been more popular – so ensure you can accept mobile payments via Google Pay, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. Split payments are another aspect to consider.

Square for Retail supports you to accept multi-channel payments, with payment information securely protected by PCI DSS compliant data security. You can also choose to transfer funds to your business bank account on a custom schedule that’s tailored to your business hours.

7. Integrated hardware

Every business is different, and so are their POS hardware needs. While your immediate focus may be selling from a fixed counter in your store, it’s worth considering a retail POS system that gives you flexibility for the future. Mobile payment solutions like credit card readers have become incredibly popular with both businesses and consumers looking for contactless options due to the pandemic.

Hygiene aside, mobile payment devices like Square Reader and Square Terminal let you accept payments wherever you are – whether roaming your retail store or restaurant, or offsite at a market or pop-up. Alternatively, you could opt for an integrated POS system like Square Register, which sits on your counter and features a customer-facing display.

8. Employee management capability

Look for a point of sale system that gives you the ability to manage your team from your POS. Managing your staff using the same software you use to manage your sales will reduce your administrative burden, allow you to improve your rostering and give you comprehensive insights into staff performance.

Square Team Management offers end-to-end employee management features including time card reporting, break tracking, system access management and more. Create and modify your roster, assign different system access levels for different employees and jobs, and run reports to help you staff more effectively.

Square for Retail offers a comprehensive POS system specifically designed for retail businesses, no matter their size or style. It’s trusted by thousands of retailers for managing inventory, accepting payments, offering seamless online integration and more. You can get started for free, with no monthly fee for our basic package. Find out more on Square’s website.

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