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Overcoming the 5 Most Common Problems with POS Systems

You’re interested in investing in a small business retail point of sale (POS) system, but you know a snap decision could lead to buyer's remorse. For this reason, it's a good idea to take the time to research point of sale system options.

To make matters more complex, POS systems are not one-size-fits-all. What works for one small business may not work for another. If you make the wrong decision here, you could end up wasting valuable time and money.

Since 2001, POS Nation has created powerful small business retail POS systems. Our mission was to create an easy-to-use retail POS system that doesn't break the bank. Unfortunately, other POS vendors overcharge and underdeliver. In many cases, other POS systems are riddled with serious problems.

This article walks you through the most common problems and solutions, so you know what to look out for and can make the best decision for your business.

5 Common Problems With Small Business Retail POS Systems

Your POS system should be a tool you can rely on, and source of data that helps run your retail business. A robust retail POS system can handle your store's day-to-day operations, from inventory management to sales tracking and employee management to customer loyalty.

But not all POS systems are made the same, and unfortunately, it’s easy to overpay for features you don’t need, leading to frustration and a waste of resources.

Choosing a provider based on price might be tempting, and some great cost-effective systems are on the market. 

But as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. And it’s not uncommon to purchase the hardware and software subscription, only to realize you need more from your POS system and be stung with expensive add-ons and integrations.

So before you choose a provider, look out for these common problems and use our solutions to overcome them.

  1. Inventory Management Isn’t Robust
  2. Detailed Reporting Isn’t Available
  3. Lack of Training and Support
  4. Choosing the Wrong POS
  5. Data Might be Vulnerable

Retail POS System Buyers Guide

1. Inventory Management Isn’t Robust

Small stores in the U.S. are sitting on average on $48,000 of excess stock, equivalent to 22% of their overall inventory. And one in six retail stores find it ‘practically impossible’ to know how much stock they’ll need in the next six months.

Without the right inventory management tools in place, this can be a serious pain point for small business owners and managers. Unfortunately, physically counting your inventory isn't always enough. Putting a sound POS system in place for your small business can help you keep track of your inventory. 

Additionally, inventory management also allows you to keep track of your customers' purchase history. In this way, small business owners can keep tabs on target customers. With this data and insight, you can reorder popular products.

Work with a provider who considers every aspect of inventory management.

  • Keep track of what’s in stock and update inventory in real time
  • Manage purchase orders and vendors
  • Re-order alerts to replenish low or out-of-stock inventory
  • Streamline inventory counts with an easy-to-use handheld device
  • Combat inventory loss
  • Manage employees, including permissions

2. Detailed Reporting Isn’t Available

Some small business owners may not realize there is a whole world of reports outside of financials found in popular bookkeeping software like Quickbooks. 

While this might be a great way to see the numbers game with your small business, it won’t create the robust sales reports a small business needs to analyze its overall success. 

The best POS system for your small business can create sales reports that include hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly incoming and outgoings so that managers can understand the who, what, where, and when of their business.

These reports will allow you to keep track of business trends, including season demands, sales forecasts, product overspend, and other inventory information.

Pro tip: Work with a provider who includes these reports in their package. Many providers promise analytics and reporting, but you must pay more for advanced reporting capabilities.

3. Lack of Training and Support

When using new software or business tools, it can be a daunting and overwhelming task. As a small business manager, you already have so much to handle – the last thing you want to take on is yet another task.

Your POS provider should offer training and support to get you setup. That includes training your staff on how to effectively use the POS system. Look for providers who have a customer success team. It’s not enough to be able to reach out for technical help.

A designated customer success manager works with you to coordinate a POS training plan for you and your team. They will also upload your business' inventory, train you and your employees on the vast functionalities a POS system offers, and ensure that you have the tools to implement the new system seamlessly.

With a customer success manager, you’ll get:

  • An improved experience and a timely and streamlined onboarding process
  • More personalized interactions with a dedicated team
  • A trusting relationship with someone who is there to set you up for success
  • An internal advocate that can help with anything you need, eliminating the need for you to bounce between departments

4. Choosing the Wrong POS

Your retail store is unique. You might run a small operation and want to keep it that way. Maybe you don’t need all the costly bells and whistles that come with some subscriptions.

Conversely, maybe you don’t want to stay small. In that case, you need a POS system that can scale with you.

It may not always be the hardware or software that is the problem. A business must also consider merchant services and technical issues that could pose potential risks in POS choices. 

We know firsthand how daunting the POS learning process can seem, which is why we’ve learned the ins and outs of all our components and understand how all of the parts of the system work together.

Things like limited reporting capabilities, limits on the number of SKUs you can upload, and poor employee management features will frustrate you in the long run. If customer loyalty is a feature you want, does it come baked in, or will you need to pay more?

It might sound obvious, but ensure your POS system is compatible with your devices. Does your team prefer iOS devices? Or android? Do you want to run your system on tablets, computers, or both?

Consider these questions before choosing a provider.

5. Data Might be Vulnerable

POS systems are vulnerable to malicious cyber attacks. They carry data from the POS terminal to endpoints where data is stored. If your POS system isn’t PCI compliant, you’re opening up your data to be hacked.

Malware attacks continue to rise, so it’s imperative that you comply with PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry – Data Security Standards). Keeping software updated is crucial. Even a one-time breach can wreak havoc and cause small business owners to lose their businesses.

Mitigate data breaches and losses by having backups active at all times. 

  • Consider multi-factor authentication practices like security codes and password requirements. 
  • Set user controls and permissions to specific devices, reports, and departments.
  • Vet POS vendors before signing on the dotted line

Overcome Common Problems With POS Systems: Choose POS Nation

Now that you have a better understanding of small business retail POS systems, it’s time to take the next step.

We’ve created a free, simple-to-read, downloadable POS Retail POS System Buyer’s Guide to help you better understand the POS hardware and software best suited to your needs.

At POS Nation, we work directly with you to help your small business develop custom solutions to meet your specific needs. We’ll listen and communicate because we know and understand the importance of making the right decision when choosing POS systems.Retail POS System Buyers Guide


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