6 Common Mistakes Retailers Make When Using a Point of Sale System

Most retailers understand the value of a great POS, or point of sale system, whether they realize it or not. If you operate a retail business, you undoubtedly understand what your POS system means to your business on the whole.
Point of sale is the lifeblood of any retail business, and ensuring that it runs both effectively and quickly should be a priority for any retailer.
This article will discuss six of the more frequent mistakes you could make in regard to your POS system, as well as some suggestions for avoiding or correcting these mistakes. Read on to learn more.

1. Continuing to Use an Outdated Cash Register

While the traditional cash register model may continue to serve some small or family businesses well, most mid-to-large sized retailers should consider upgrading to a more contemporary POS solution.
There are simply too many opportunities lost by failing to upgrade to a contemporary POS platform – both in the present sale as well as in prolonged customer retention.

2. Failing to Secure Their Store Network

Retailers who use cloud-based POS platforms may sometimes leave their systems vulnerable to fraud attacks. This is, unfortunately, a potential consequence of using any web-based platform.
The best ways to safeguard against POS security breaches are the most basic:· Ensure that all employees within the system have a unique employee ID· Encrypt the Wi-Fi network· Ensure that the system is running stout anti-virus software
Employers will also want to ensure that their POS system meets or exceeds PCI-DSS standards.

3. Failing to Collect Customer Information

Not collecting customer information at checkout can lead to missed sales and loyalty opportunities. POS customer data can be leveraged in a variety of ways to improve or expand a retail business, including the analysis of sales trends, order or purchase histories, and customer profiles.
Smaller retailers could be losing out of significant growth opportunities by failing to fully know their customer base. The customer information gleaned from a modern POS is a way in which a mid-sized retailer can operate smarter and more effectively.

4. Extended Register Times for Customers

No one likes to wait in line. Extended periods of time waiting at checkout is proven to lead to customer dissatisfaction and lost sales.
There are two primary reasons for this: a retail store does not have enough POS terminals to meet customer volume, and/or the system is outdated and it’s slowing the checkout process to a crawl.It might be the instinct of managers to first blame employees for sluggish sales turnover. But in the vast majority of cases, extended wait times are caused by an inadequate number of registers or a plodding system that slows cashiers down.
It should be the goal of every retail business to reduce line or checkout times as much as possible, in order to not only improve the customer experience, but also to churn a higher daily customer volume.High-volume retailers concerned with maximizing the satisfaction of their customers will want to ensure that each of their stores utilizes an adequate number of registers or checkout lanes, and that those POS systems are contemporary.

5. Failing to Have a POS System Professionally Installed

You may have very competent IT personnel working for your business, but a common mistake made by many retailers is that they fail to have a given POS system installed by the provider or vendor who designed the software. This leads to a number of issues further down the road.
For example, a report from the Chicago Tribune revealed that almost two-thirds of POS systems were improperly configured for EMV chip debit cards. In many cases, this led to a situation in which debit card transactions were processed like credit cards, leading to a 1-2% processing fee for the merchant.The report noted that these extra processing fees totaled an average of $7,000 annually for retailers – a figure that could put a major dent in your bottom line if you’re a small-to-mid-sized merchant.
While larger retailers may have the financial clout to have the software adjusted, blocking certain sales from being processed as credit card or signature transactions, smaller retailers may not have the additional capital to make this adjustment on the fly.
The takeaway is that you can save yourself a lot of hassle down the road by paying for professional POS system installation upfront. While it’s hard to put an exact price on what professional POS system installation can save you in the long run, the figures cited in the Chicago Tribune report should give you an idea of what an incomplete or poor setup can potentially cost.

6. Accidentally Breaching Your Merchant Services Agreement

Most retailers have had to familiarize themselves with a merchant services agreement, likely because they have configured their business to receive electronic payments.
But what you may not have considered is that an outdated or incorrectly configured POS system can inadvertently violate this agreement, potentially costing your retail business a significant sum.The main way in which this happens is when a retailer exceeds the monthly processing limit for credit card transactions. This can lead to lump-sum fees as well as potential freezes or even terminations placed on the account.
You can learn more about avoiding freezes and holds placed on a retail account, but staying within your business’s monthly charge limit – as well as ensuring that your POS system is configured to stay under the monthly limit – is a typical mistake that you can prevent with a little foresight and the proper software adjustments.

Avoid Point of Sale System Mistakes with the Right Software

Any experienced retailer will affirm that their business’s point of sale system is absolutely integral to their operations – the hub that connects all other aspects of a retail business.
If you currently run an outdated POS system or feel that your current POS system could be limiting your business’s growth, it’s time to consider an easy-to-use yet advanced POS software.