Insight on POS Solution Selection for Independent Merchants
Multi-Site Merchant POS Solutions
Multi-site merchants are faced with numerous challenges. This is why the franchising model continues to grow in its success. However, many independent business owners continue to operate multiple locations without going out to the franchise market. Obviously, it is impossible to be in more than one place at the same time. So, owners must build a solid and trustworthy team of people around them to ensure profitability.
In addition to the team of people, owners can utilize powerful technology tools that reduce the desire to be in several places at once. For merchants, the POS (point-of-sale) system deployed in their storefronts is typically at the core of the technology infrastructure of their business. The POS system automates many functions that drive the success of the business. The POS solution manages inventory, payment processing, invoicing, gift and loyalty programs, customer relationships, targeted marketing, etc. All of these items become more complex when spread across multiple locations owned by the same entity.
Below are a few critical factors in the successful deployment of a multi-site POS solution:
1. Everything must happen in real time. In this day and age of constant connectivity and sophisticated data centers, there is no reason a merchant should have to wait for a batch synchronization of data. Aside from the unnecessary wait time, data synchronization contains too many moving parts that create potential points of failure. These points of failure lead to headaches for the merchant.
2. The POS must be scalable with no limitations. Multi-site owners are successful and will continue to grow the business. There should be no technological limitations to the number of locations to add to the POS deployment.
3. The POS solution should perform the same as it does for a single site deployment. Often times, POS providers will shift the application to a browser-based model if the merchant owns multiple locations. The browser is great for Facebook and online banking. However, it is difficult to build a POS solution that is robust and user-friendly within the framework of a web browser.
4. The POS rollout should be simple. Adding additional locations to a POS deployment should require very little configuration changes, minimal set-up tasks and no training. It should be a flip of a switch to add on additional sites.
5. The POS investment should be scaled. In other words, the merchant should not have to purchase the solution over and over as locations are added. The pricing should be scaled in such a way that the investment required in the POS as locations are added is less than the original purchase.
Robust POS solutions provide multi-site operators with powerful tools to operate all locations from one place. For other items to consider when seeking POS solutions, download our free selection guide today.