I manage a Facebook group of over 1000 women who are retail business owners – both online and with brick and mortar locations. The topic of websites, e-commerce stores and point of sale systems comes up OFTEN. Shop owners are choosing their POS systems and website platforms blindly and it could be costing you many hours of frustrations and a loss in sales or potential sales. Myself included. There are essential POS questions that you’ll want to ask in order to choose the right system for your business. I’ll explain more about my story, but I want to stress this again…
The wrong POS could be costing you countless hours of frustrations and a loss in sales or potential sales.
I suppose I had no idea the direction our business would head in. The second we received the key to our brick and mortar store, I should have taken the time to research 6 very important aspects of a retail business and the integration capabilities of each:
- A point-of-sale system
- Credit card processing
- A website platform
- An inventory management system
- An E-commerce store
- Selling on Social Media
But we already had a blog and website, so we added a POS, then mistakenly neglected inventory management and didn’t think about an e-commerce store. So we had to work backward, which I often see retailers doing, and I had to piece together a system that works.
This is my truth. I share this with you because I see so many conversations about these systems in the Savvy Shopkeepers Group and I see other retailers making the same mistakes I did.
So today, I’m sharing my reality and teaching you the first step to AVOID it!
If you are looking to grow with your business and stay on trend with retail – which includes selling online and through social media – make sure the system you choose can do the things you need it to.
POS Questions to Ask
When you’re speaking to the companies and vendors trying to sell you their hardware and software – ask the right questions. Not all of these might apply to you at the moment. Make sure you’re thinking about what your business might look like 3-5 years from now.
- Is the website platform capable of hosting an online (e-commerce) shop? Can you list products in your online store and is there a maximum number of products?
- Can I easily ship from the e-commerce store? Will my e-commerce store calculate shipping for my customer?
- Will my Point-of-Sale system sync with my e-commerce shop/website? If someone buys something online, will that item be deducted from inventory in my store too?
- What kind of inventory management capabilities does the system have? Can it tell me how old an item of inventory is? Can I include the actual cost of each item so margins are calculated for me?
- Is credit card processing included? If not, what companies provide this and what are the rates? Will this payment platform work with the e-commerce store, too?
- Can I easily link products from my e-commerce store to the Facebook Catalog (in Business Manager) so I link that with Instagram and tag my products?
There are so many more questions to ask when you’re buying hardware and software for your store. These are specifically about selling your products and how well each system plays with the other.
If you’re just starting or find yourself in the middle of a technological mess and want to find the ideal setup, make sure you take the time to ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS.
Use this blog post and these POS questions as a starting point. If you want to sell products in your store, sell online, via your website and social media, have accurate and excellent reporting on your inventory then make sure you start asking the questions above.
I wasn’t afraid of technology. I’m still not. I just chose to “go with the flow” and go with “easy and affordable” and it was a poor decision as a business owner. Just remember, you get what you pay for….and don’t neglect thinking of the future.
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Since founding The Salvaged Boutique with her sister in 2013, Kathy watched her passion grow from a fun blog and hobby with her sister on the side of her full-time job, to a thriving brick and mortar home decor store. After running the store for years, she saw the need for an online community where small business owners could find resources. So she took it upon herself to create Savvy Shopkeeper, a blog and online business dedicated to educating, motivating and building a community of shop owners. From a full-time job to full-time entrepreneur, Kathy helps hundreds of store owners and makers navigate store ownership while running a store herself.