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Ever since IBM came out with the first POS (point-of-sale) software in 1973, POS systems have come a very long way.

Today, cloud-based software has taken POS systems not only into the hands of any small business storefront, but onto mobile devices as well!

Let’s look at what benefits and features to look for when selecting a POS platform for a small retail store, or a retail environment of any size for that matter.

Inventory Management

Inventory is the heart of every retail business, and every business is unique. The way you manage that inventory will determine heavily the success or failure of your business.

Inventory Management is a POS system’s ability to provide real-time stock balances, sales-entry information, customized pricing, tracking options, client registries, security, taxes, reporting, and maybe foreign currency handling. These are functions you should consider for any POS system you are looking into. If you can have all of them your life will be blissful, yet without several, not having these features may come back to bite you.

Ability to Sustain Future Growth

Once you find a POS software system that fits you and your business, make sure it can sustain you for the long-term.

I don’t know of anyone who enjoys changing out software providers or systems after using them for just 1-5 years, as starting over requires further training and time to adjust. By initially choosing a POS system that either has the potential to grow, or already offers a suite of services you feel you need now and possibly down the road, your business growing pains will be far less, and you can focus on other operations within your company that need your attention.

Cloud Setup

The main reason why cloud-based POS systems are so successful is because they require very low start-up costs.

With no hardware to purchase or physical installation to setup, cloud-based POS systems allow businesses to jumpstart their operations right out of the gate.

As with most cloud-based applications, updates to the software happen often, and are typically part of your subscription. No more having to update software manually, or deal with upgrade fees.

Finally, since you are cloud based, using mobile devices to complement your POS systems is an incredible ability, because now you can work wherever you need to.

Functionality and Hardware

High ease of use, reliability, operating speed, and integration are essential parts of a good POS system.

Integration increases the functionality by connecting other systems, like real-time API connections to your cloud-based accounting platform, or to external add-on devices such as iPads, electronic cash drawers, bar-code scanners, credit card readers, PIN pad, and receipt printers.

We Recommend Vend POS

Since its inception in 2010, Vend is among the world’s fastest growing POS software providers. Its inventory management ability is simple and effective, their rapid growth supports long-term sustainability, and their cloud-based functionality is very integrated.

And yes, as a Certified Vend Expert, we here at Lucid Books are a bit biased when it comes to the POS software we recommend, as long as it fits your needs. But, there are many other POS platforms to choose from, such as Square, so it will not hurt to do some additional research before you make your decision.

To conclude, your business is unique and requires a POS platform that fits your tastes and needs. Remember, no matter what platform you choose, how you manage your inventory is essential, so be sure to manage it with POS system so that your inventory is working for you, not the other way around.

Do you have any comments, questions, or feedback? I sure would love to hear them. Let me know what you think in the comments below.