There are a multitude of benefits to working with an effective point of sale (POS) system but how do you know what’s effective until you’ve seen it in action?

Processing a sale isn’t and shouldn’t be the only feature of an effective POS system in today’s modern retail business. Ensuring your POS system is truly benefiting your business will ensure your inventory is managed, your business is streamlined, and you will most certainly find that you will not only save money but make more money based on the data the POS delivers.

Here are the top 8 most essential elements your POS should do for you (and if not, you may want to start shopping around like your customers would naturally do):

  1. Cloud-based

This is the best, most accurate and cost effective model available to retailers today. All data is located in one centralised location thereby eliminating the problems associated with polling of data, data corruption and inaccuracies with inventory.

There is one single point of truth - all your retail inventory, sales data and reporting is secure and also available from anywhere in the world - accurate to the second.

  1. Mobile POS

With your cloud-based retail management software, you’re then able to easily access the POS from any device including Android tablets and iPads using any browser. You can assist customers on the showroom floor to alleviate any potential showrooming that might be taking place by showing alternatives, different colours, recently modeled, price matching, and finalising the sale right there with the customer.

The benefits of using a mobile POS system in your retail outlets are endless including backup in case of hardware failure or even to trade shows, pop-up stores and events.

  1. Real-time inventory look-up across multiple locations

How many times have you called up another store to see if they have an item in stock even though you’re able to look it up on your system? Why have retailers done this in the past? Simply put, traditional inventory management software is not reliable when the system is not cloud based. With a cloud based system, all inventory is live, accurate to the second, saving time and money.

This gives you the opportunity to locate an item for a customer and have it held, shipped to a store or even direct to the customer ensuring the sale is never lost.

  1. Fully integrated webstore

With the advent and consistent growth of the online market, it is absolutely imperative your retail store has a powerful online presence providing a seamless experience for your customers. The ability to shop in-store and online with their shopping history and loyalty information held for all future purchases. You can even introduce simple customer and store benefits like click and collect.

In place of having two separate businesses, one for in-store and one for your webstore, ensure you have a fully integrated webstore which communicates to the same inventory as held in store or at your warehouse - providing live stock levels. This consolidation of revenue is very helpful and allows you to track live sales data and email campaigns from one unified perspective providing far more clarity.

  1. Loyalty and rewards program

Many successful business owners claim, “you can take all my assets but whatever you do, leave me with my list of customers”. The reason being, if you have nothing but your list, you’ll be able to build your network up again. A well designed POS system that has an in-built loyalty and rewards program will easily assist you in building your list of customers as they make purchases from you whether from your store or online.

The system should also be designed to segment your list according to pre-set options you create like birthday or even all who purchased a designer black dress within the last month. You can then use this valuable information to effectively communicate with your customers in a targeted fashion so that they receive only the content which is absolutely relevant to your audience.

BONUS loyalty features: a bonus feature of your POS would be to have a little Facebook like request on the users profile in the backend of the system. This would allow you to easily request your customers to like your Facebook page thereby increasing the avenues for communication.

  1. Smart Stock Control

One very important element of a retail POS system is the ability to provide accurate information on how much stock is required for the next period of sale. Consider this, even if you’re very good at purchasing the right stock at the right time, and you perhaps get it wrong only 10% of the time, over time, that amounts to a significant amount of loss.

You need to ensure the software running your business has a highly intelligent inventory management system so that it helps you determine exactly how much of each product to order, when to order it and which store to deliver it to. It needs to accurately take into account sales, stock (existing, on route and new), how long it can last, lead time from your suppliers just to name a few. The data is there, you just need to ensure there is some science behind the ordering process.

  1. Logistics & fulfillment

Especially for those with a warehouse or multi-stores, you want to ensure your POS system comes standard with order fulfilment and warehouse logistics. You should be asking, does your system track shipping containers, provide purchase order numbers, high volume transfers with detailed tracking at all times? You also want to ensure order fulfilment features with home or store delivery is simple at the level of POS and the backend.

  1. Powerful reporting

The most beneficial element of your POS system for your future growth is the ability to see your business numbers from every possible angle, easily. Not all POS systems are created equal in this very important part of your business so ensure you have access to sales data segmented by date, time, customer, staff, basket size, method of payment, product type etc. The list of reporting options should literally be endless as every business will wish to view their data differently even if for similar goals of sustainable profitability & growth.

With clear access to this data preferably in a dashboard format, you’ll be able to easily project and make intelligent business decisions around what needs to change or what should continue for long term success and profitability.


Due to the advances in technology over the years, you now have more effective and efficient ways of measuring your businesses. Having the above technology integrated into your POS will most definitely save and make you more money.

And most importantly, the right system for your business will ultimately free up your time to focus on your business, doing what you love, rather than be lost in it.


Aaron Blackman is the Founder and CEO of Retail Express, Australia’s leading cloud based retail management system. Connect with Aaron on LinkedIn.