8 things to consider when choosing a tablet POS provider

Thinking of switching out your old cash register for a tablet point-of-sale (POS) but not sure where to start? We’re here to help! Follow our 8-step checklist for picking a platform that works perfectly with your business requirements.

Here are a number of key components that business owners need to consider when selecting a POS platform:

1. User experience

The quick and easy-to-use interface of a tablet makes it perfect for replacing the traditional complex cash register. Likewise, your POS platform should be simple to setup and use, requiring minimal training. A clean and intuitive interface will enable improved workflow and quicker sales.

Before you pick your platform, try shopping around; there is no substitute for experimenting with a free demo, which will be offered by most POS software providers.

2. Flexibility

Every customer is different; catering to various payment options is vital for most shop owners. When selecting your POS platform, compatibility with emerging payment technologies such as NFC and EMV should be a consideration.

3. Customization

The ability to customise your platform to suit the needs of your business cannot be understated. Whether it’s to reflect your brand or enlist a series of add-on/3rd party applications to enhance functionality, the POS system can serve as a seamless extension of your business.

4. Customer Support

Do you know what you’re getting? Take the time to research and understand the level of customer support you get with your subscription. During a crisis, the speed it takes to troubleshoot could be the difference between making a sale and losing a customer.

Training employees to understand new features and products will be an ongoing requirement, so find a provider with a long-term approach to support.

5. Price model

The cost savings of a tablet-based POS over a traditional set up is a massive attraction. However, each platform’s pricing model varies slightly, and there is a tendency to split software and hardware. Make sure you have a transparent breakdown of their plans before you commit.

Most companies offer a flexible pricing structure rolling, month-to-month contract, so if you’re unhappy with the product, you can pull the plug.

Typically, you’ll pay on a per-register basis with some platforms charging for the number of customers and products you add. Make sure your POS system has a simple, monthly structure, and be aware of hidden costs, customization fees and cancellation charges.

6. Connectivity

Being able to ring up the sales is the most vital part of any business. Even with a reliable WiFi connection, don’t get caught out if the internet does go down. Look out for platforms that have an Offline mode, so that data is never lost and sales made in the meantime will re-sync once you’re back up.

7. Reporting tools

The daily, weekly and monthly reporting tools can make or break the effectiveness of your POS platform. Whether you want to track sales figures, order history, received payment types or popular products, collecting data allows you to learn about how your business operates and make informed decisions on how you can improve.

Analytics offered by POS platforms vary, so ask yourself: to what degree can you tailor the data for your specific needs? How manually intensive is this process? What visual on-screen tools exist?

8. Hardware

In many cases, the hardware offered with the POS platforms can be the easiest decision to make. Card readers are often encrypted specifically for the application, with tablet stands compatible with the card readers.

However, in our experiences, SMBs are sensitive to the tablet enclosure’s look, feel and ease of use. If you’re unhappy with what you’re being offered, don’t compromise: ask about alternative options or shop around. Choose a quality tablet enclosure over a cheap alternative; not only will it look great, but will pay for itself over time with less risk of breakages or theft of your device.

As tablet-based POS platforms become more prevalent and their capabilities more sophisticated, it’s going to be increasingly important for business owners to make the best choice for their business. The only way to ensure you’re choosing the best POS platform is to fully understand what you want out of a POS platform and what capabilities are most important to you. Here are 5 tablet POS Apps that could kick out your cash register.