How to Find the Best POS System for Convenience Stores
Finding the best point of sale (POS) system for your convenience store is easier said than done. Moreover, once you've invested in a convenience store POS, you'll need to train staff, upload your inventory, and manage software and hardware. For the uninitiated, searching for a POS solution is a lot to take in at once. What does your convenience store need to do to get started right now?
To start, we recommend partnering with a proven POS solution provider. POS Nation offers advanced features and functions designed to streamline checkout, improve inventory management, and deploy powerful customer experiences. Our POS system comes equipped with all the great convenience store POS features you might expect, including hotkey shortcuts, payment processing, employee management tools, inventory loss, age verification, and more.
Where to Start to Find the Best POS System for Convenience Stores
The question is, what steps should your business follow to find the perfect POS?
The process requires a bit more than just Googling "best convenience store POS" and selecting the first result you see. A POS system is a long-term investment that needs to be approached with precision.
Here are the steps to find the best POS system for convenience stores.
1. Take Stock of Your Current POS
You should start by evaluating your current convenience store POS system. What are your must-have features in a new POS? Taking stock of your current POS system will help you recognize what you like, what you don’t like, and what features would make your work more efficient and your life easier.
POS Nation offers a hybrid POS system with cloud-based features. Typically, POS systems can have local, cloud, or hybrid databases. With a hybrid database solution like POS Nation's, you get the best of both worlds. A hybrid solution allows users to access the database and records from a desktop or mobile device. Another benefit of a hybrid system is that operations will continue even when the internet is down.
The best POS systems for convenience stores break down the barriers between inventory and POS systems by rolling them into one system. An all-in-one system should offer "smart" inventory management capabilities designed to keep business owners and managers on top of orders, stock, pricing, and promotions.
If you're managing a large database of items, you want to partner with a provider that offers an unlimited inventory and SKUs. If you’re tired of using different systems for point of sale and inventory and want a more convenient approach, a POS system with inventory management is the way to go.
Credit Card Processing
This is a must-have in an increasingly “cashless” society. POS systems that accept cards speed up transactions and increase cash flow accuracy. While many POS systems have card acceptance built in, they rely upon costly third parties to process card transactions. In contrast, in-house payment processing helps you save money.
Additionally, credit card processing requires greater security for those transactions. As you begin to look for alternatives to your current POS system, make sure to look for PCI compliance and security features.
Does your current POS have the ability to integrate with other software to enhance your capabilities? The best POS systems for convenience stores today offer the ability to power up through integrations. This is another advantage of a cloud-based POS system. Integrations cost-effectively boost your POS systems capabilities. Instead of buying multiple platforms or equipment, you save money as the integrations can be downloaded and added to your cloud-based POS system.
When your current POS has an issue, do you feel you get taken care of? How would you rate your current POS vendor’s customer service?
Technology is an awesome tool with numerous benefits. But it can (and does) malfunction. When it does, it’s a major disruption to your business, and can even cause you to lose out on sales. The best POS system providers understand that you can’t put a price on peace of mind. From U.S.-based 24/7 support teams for immediate needs to knowledge bases to help you better understand your system, you want customer support to be there when you need it.
2. Create a Shortlist of POS Providers
Evaluating your current convenience store POS helped you create a wishlist of features your POS should have. Now, it’s time to start looking for solutions.
Instead of Googling “best POS system for convenience store,” try going to software review websites like Capterra or TrustPilot. You can filter by the features you want, pricing options, and from reading feedback of real users. As you start your search for a new convenience store POS system, use these three criteria to create a shortlist.
Is the solution tailored to convenience stores?
One size does not fit all when it comes to convenience store POS systems. The more a vendor knows and understands the ins and outs of convenience stores, the more tailored their POS offering can be to your particular needs.
Does their solution solve your biggest pain points?
If not, there is no need to go further in evaluating them as an option. It may be tempting to keep a certain product on your shortlist because of its cool features. But if it doesn’t solve one of your core problems, then you’ll be paying for more features that don’t help you make progress.
Do they have reviews from impressed customers?
Reading reviews may be time-consuming, but it’s the closest you can come to seeing how you may like the systems without seeing a demo or using it yourself. Make a note of similar pain points and needs to yours, and see how different solutions solved them.
3. Ask for a System Demo
You have your shortlist. Now it’s time to see your 3-5 options in action and ask questions to see if it’s the right convenience store POS for you.
Before you begin a demo, write down specific questions you want them to answer to help you make a decision, such as:
- How many of your customers are convenience store owners?
- As we grow, we need a POS partner who can grow with us. How would adding one or more new locations impact our product capabilities, pricing, and customer support?
- What happens if we have an issue with the system at midnight? How does customer support work?
Make sure you get a chance to see and ask everything you want to know about. The best convenience store POS providers should have a product specialist on hand to answer your questions and show you the features on your wishlist.
POS Nation Powers Convenience Stores
Are you ready for a POS Nation system demo? By scheduling a demo, you get a guided tour of our POS software demo environment. An expert product specialist will be on hand to live-answer any questions you may have and show you the features most used by your unique industry like these.
POS Nation offers all the features that you'd expect from a great convenience store POS, including customizable hotkeys, age certification, inventory management, security, payment processing, and powerful reporting. It's one of the reasons why POS Nation is a trusted and industry-leading provider of convenience store POS systems.