When it comes to independent grocery stores, choosing a point of sale system can seem like a daunting task. How does anyone know what to look for among the plethora of choices?
Luckily, we’ve got you covered with this handy list of features to check for when you’re reviewing grocery store point of sale software.
Here are some of the items to keep an eye out for:
Broad Hardware Integration
Software can be updated remotely. Hardware, not so much. Because of that, you’ll want to make sure that the software has decently-wide hardware integration. This is especially true as technology in stores continues to accelerate with features such as self-service checkout and kiosks for doing all sorts of things including price lookups and rentals.
Grocery stores have so many products under one roof these days. It takes a special point of sale system to be able to manage it all. Therefore, it’s a good idea to thoroughly investigate how products can be managed for pricing, for making universal changes (this saves lots of time) and for having more than one vendor per product. Much of the store’s operations touch on product management so it’s something that you can’t afford to take lightly.
Labor is one of those varying costs that can have a significant impact on the store’s bottom line each month. Therefore, having some ability to control and predict labor needs is extremely useful in running a grocery store. Many modern point of sale systems offer a labor management tool that provides clock in/clock out capabilities along with employee scheduling. Why use a point of sale system for these features? Well, for one thing, the cost of labor can be automatically included in monthly reporting. That makes everything easier because it’s centralized and there’s no need to go from one place to the other when you need to do reporting.
Besides labor, inventory is another varying monthly cost that can have a significant impact on the bottom line. To that end, the point of sale should have a very robust inventory management system that ties into the product management and the reporting. This is vitally important to the store’s operations. If it’s appropriate for your business, the inventory system should take into account multiple locations as well. And, it should aid in the shipment receiving process when new items arrive. This can help with automatic count updates and it can make the whole process go faster.
Flexible Report Generator
If you’re a manager or an owner, then building reports will be an important part of your job. The point of sale, because it touches so many parts of the store’s operations, will contain a plethora of data to build reports. The report building capabilities of the point of sale software needs to be stout enough to meet the needs of the modern grocery store. Many will come with standard reports out of the box but the system should be flexible so that a manager or owner can build custom reports as well. After all, every store is a little different and you’ll want to build reports to support your own growth story, not someone else’s.
Interface to Digital Video Recorder
Theft, unfortunately, is a concern at every grocery store. To that end, it’s likely you’ll have a video security system installed. The point of sale system software should integrate with the video surveillance system because it can play a pivotal role in helping to solve crimes. The police and other investigators will want to be able to line up timestamps from the video to timestamps on the point of sale to see who appeared to be going through the checkout line when, for instance, a stolen credit card was being used in the store. This is just one of the use cases for integrating the two systems. While we won’t go through all of the use cases, just know that the two systems working together can lower the risk of theft and therefore improve your bottom line.
Lastly, one thing that might be a bonus for the point of sale software is if it allows for renting items. Lots of independent stores differentiate themselves from the big box stores by allowing customers to rent items such as DVDs, video games, garden equipment, tools and more. Naturally, this is a different type of business but many modern point of sale software packages offer this ability.
Want to learn more about grocery point of sale systems? Contact us today for a demo or to have any questions answered.