Halloween has long been celebrated as a time to enjoy being scared by trick-or-treaters, haunted houses, and horror movies. Scared by your POS system, though? Not so much.
Typically, retail POS systems are changed every 5-7 years – while there’s not always anything inherently wrong with the system, it’s often due to other issues in the business that have gone unnoticed. This spooky season, we’re sharing the top 7 signs you’ve unknowingly got a skeleton hiding in your (IT) closet.
Your team is disengaged
This is a huge one – if your team isn’t finding life easier because of your POS system, it’s time for a review.
One of the biggest issues with legacy retail POS systems isn’t actually the software itself – instead, it’s the fact that people aren’t harnessing its full potential. When the system was installed, several people were involved in project management, onboarding, and change management. Over time, members of that initial pod will have left the business, meaning that a skills gap is created. Those who fully understand the inner workings and potential of the software are no longer present to train new members of staff, meaning the information shared becomes more and more limited over time.
As a result, you have a team of people who aren’t fully trained in using their POS system – they have to ask their supplier for help with the smallest things. It’s no wonder staff become disengaged with the software. Pretty soon, a reputation develops and spreads through the business – the POS system is useless and needs to be updated.
If this is happening in your company, it’s a pretty strong sign you’re due a POS software upgrade. Your business deserves a POS provider that offers regular training sessions and onboards new team members; a provider that shares industry insight and product updates; a provider that evolves with your business as your needs change, and grows in line with your goals.
Your inventory is never 100% accurate
Feel like you’re constantly checking your datasets because something just doesn’t quite add up – literally? If your retail POS system is delivering inaccurate results, it’s worth considering where you’re at in the POS system lifecycle.
It might be that your retail POS system was integrated before the functionality for inventory management was added in – or, maybe, your supplier simply doesn’t have that functionality to offer. Either way, there are better ways to manage your inventory than second-guessing the accuracy of a manual count or relying on an unaligned legacy system.
New solutions auto-calculate stock and can alert you to low levels or, better yet, automatically reorder the correct amount of each product you need. Automating tasks like stock checks and ordering is a great way to save time. Rather than a team member using their time on admin tasks like this, you can automate them and get your staff doing more value-add activities.
You’re not self-sufficient
Still getting in touch with your POS supplier on an annoyingly regular basis? It’s time for a software upgrade.
It makes sense that a lot of POS suppliers create systems that require their input – after all, it’s how they get recurring revenue. But that doesn’t mean it’s right for you…
Imagine the scene – you’re running a bagel shop, much like one of our clients, and you’ve just created a pièce de resistance; a culinary delight that you know everyone’s going to love. You can’t wait to get it on the shelves, but you don’t have a button on the till for it yet. Instead of putting the sale through as a miscellaneous product, you want to track exactly how well it sells.
You want a custom button that keeps you informed on how well the bagel is selling, and how much of your stock has been used on the ingredients on the bagel. You realise you need to call your POS supplier to set up a button for you, all the while missing the lunchtime rush.
If that sounds familiar, check out what we did for Bagel Factory: “We can make more changes by ourselves very quickly – if I produce a new bagel, I can make a new button in 5 minutes instead of, before, we had to ask for support at the previous POS supplier, so it was quite challenging.”
Proof that self-sufficient POS upgrades are waiting for you…
You’re not fully automated
In this day and age, everything is automated – from autopayments for your ‘buy now, pay later’ purchases to your monthly dog food subscription.
If you’re still manually doing tasks like stock count, P&L sheets, and loyalty nurture flows, it’s about time you levelled up. If that all sounds alien to you, it’s pretty likely your POS system is out of date and you’re due a POS upgrade.
The increasing involvement of AI and tech in POS systems is enabling retailers across the UK to automate their manual tasks. By reducing your team’s time spent on things like consolidating spreadsheets for multi-site chains, you’re able to free up their time for value-add tasks, like providing enhanced customer service.
The less time you spend doing stock checks, the more time you can spend interacting with customers, providing a bespoke experience, and increasing your retention rates.
Your marketing efforts aren’t successful
ROI is more important than ever in retail, and every penny that goes into your promotional marketing counts. Whether you’re a small business or a chain retailer, you know just how crucial it is to have a marketing strategy that delivers.
If you’re putting time and effort (and money) into your marketing but it’s not producing the results you want, it’s time to consider where else you may be going wrong.
It might simply be that the platform or tools you’re using aren’t fit for purpose. Does your current POS system allow you to tailor promotions to different key demographics? Can you run parallel promotions across specific sites? Have you set up till prompts to remind staff to upsell products and incentivise sales?
These are all questions to ask yourself when reviewing your existing POS software. While they might not be able to wash the dishes, select new POS systems can do pretty much everything else…
Your data feels inaccessible
What does accessible data look like for your business? Does it mean clear, concise data you can understand? Does it mean you can literally access it at any time?
Whatever you need from your data, your POS system should be delivering it.
New POS solutions offer reporting apps, allowing you to review real-time data wherever you are. Whether you’re travelling between your stores or queueing for a flight, you can get up-to-date metrics for all your sites in one easy place.
Retail POS data apps have evolved to the point that you can track transactions as they happen. You’re given insights at the touch of a button, meaning you can implement promotions in a single store that’s tracking below its daily target. Not enough customers compared to the staff you have on-site? You’ll know in an instant.
If you want real-time business intelligence and need to be agile, making informed decisions on a minute-to-minute basis, you need a retail POS system that can support you.
You can’t integrate securely
One of the most obvious signs that you’re due a POS upgrade is the fact that you’re struggling to integrate either legacy or new software.
You might find that there are safety issues when it comes to integrating new third-party tools, or that there simply isn’t an option to do so. While the software may have been fit for purpose when you had it installed, it may no longer be meeting your evolving business needs.
You need to feel secure when it comes to data protection, and your POS provider should be fully accredited with the latest certifications. Your customers prioritise their privacy, whether it’s shopping at a store or providing card details to online retailers. Enhance their experience and reassure them by partnering with providers who are accredited to the highest standards.