6 Key Features All Good Retail Points of Sale Must Have

Contributed by Mallory Russell.

A good point-of-sale (POS) system is essential when you run a retail business. But what makes a POS system good when you are a retailer?

At its most basic, a POS allows you to accept payments (including chip cards and mobile payments), track payments, and deposit payments in your bank. But a good point-of-sale solution works a lot harder for you.

It should help you serve more customers, make smarter decisions, and create better relationships with your clients. A good point of sale should help you grow your business.

There are some capabilities that every POS system should have, but there are also very specific functions that are essential for retailers. Here are six functions you should look for in a retail POS.

Inventory Management

Inventory is everything for a retailer, so you should look for inventory management that goes beyond stock count. Having software that alerts you when stock is low and allows you to order from your POS, for instance, streamlines your process and helps ensure that customers never have to wait for their favorite products.

Plus, in-depth inventory reporting can help you understand how every item in your store affects your bottom line, so you can make smarter decisions about what you stock.

If you operate more than one store (or would like to someday), look for inventory management software that allows you to track and transfer stock across multiple locations.

Seamless Omnichannel Payments

If you run an online store and a brick-and-mortar store, you know what a pain it can be to reconcile your books manually. So you should look for a POS that uses a payments system that can be integrated into your e-commerce store. Having seamless payments between your online store and brick-and-mortar store also provides a better experience for your customers.

Ability To Store Credit Cards For Repeat Customers

One way to make payments seamless is to look for functionality that allows you to store the credit card information of your most loyal customers. This eliminates the need for customers to read out credit card numbers over the phone. Or if the purchase is happening in your store, you might find functionality that automatically sends receipts via email when the credit card is used. Of course, your customers have to opt in for this type of functionality.


Sixty-six percent of customers will stop shopping at a store if they don’t get recognized as a repeat customer, according to Software Advice. You can learn about your customers if you look for a retail POS with built-in CRM capabilities that help you track your customers’ purchase histories (both online and in-store) and better customize their experience.

Integration With Marketing Tools

One of the best ways to customize your customers’ experience is through marketing. Look for integrations with email marketing tools and loyalty programs that allow you to send to your customers personalized messaging or promotions based on their purchasing behavior.

Detailed Sales Reporting And Analytics

Robust reporting and analytics is one of your most important tools as a business owner as it can inform so much of your day-to-day decision making and long-term strategy. Look for analytics that track sales in real time and can show you what is selling, when it is selling, who is buying it, and who is working when it’s sold. This kind of data can help you make better decisions about purchasing, staffing your store, running promotions, and setting your business hours.

Mallory Russell is the editor in chief of Square’s Town Square blog and resource center. She regularly writes on topics that help entrepreneurs start, run, and grow their businesses.

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