Right POS SystemHow in the world do I choose the right POS system for my grocery store…?

I know, I know… Finding a POS system is a headache.  That is why I decided to compile a checklist to encapsulate the essence of how to find the best POS system for your store.  Despite the objective simplicity of this process, the hidden complexity can often times be overlooked. This causes many grocers to make rash, hurried decisions when choosing a POS system, and ultimately culminates in the grocers finding themselves right back where they started- in the market for a new POS system, and a little worse for the wear.  So SLOW DOWN, do not hurry through this process, since it has a significant impact on the success of your store.

Below is a checklist that I have compiled to clearly and simply guide you through the process. My hope is that by following this list you will find the POS system that is a perfect match for your store– a system that is within your budget ands meets your every need.

  • Work out your budget:
    • The software per terminal runs between $1,200 to $2,500
    • For both hardware and software it will cost between $3,000 to $4,000
  • What features do you want:
    • Customer Loyalty Programs
    • Store Sales Reports
    • Self Checkout
    • Discount Promotion controls… (the list goes on)
  • Find the POS Software that works for you
    • Choose the platform you want to run your system on (Windows, Unix, Mac OSX…)
    • And then go and find the grocery POS software that meets all of your needs
  • Consider if Self-Checkout would fit your store – the future of grocery
  • Search for grocery specific software
    • Many POS system providers claim that they are grocery capable when they really aren’t.  Make sure that the software you are choosing is credible and is in more than one grocery store
  • Buy the Hardware from one source
    • Ask your software provider what hardware they recommend
      • Many software developers already have partnerships with hardware companies and can thus provide a complete hardware package at a lower price
    • Try your best to buy from one source.  This will save you a lot of future headaches because whenever you have a problem you can just call one number and know that they will fix your problem, whether it a monitor, CPU, scanner or software problem
  • Buy good hardware
    • You do not save money by buying cheap hardware.
    • Get good hardware, and get good warranties. (Dell offers a 5 year on-site warranty)

If you endeavor to follow each of these steps sequentially I do not doubt that you will find the POS system that you are looking for.  The grocery industry is a competitive industry, and the road to success is treacherous.  By choosing the right grocery POS system, your bottom line, your employees’ happiness, and your chance for making it big will exponentially enlarge.

I look forward to hearing what you all have to say, and I gladly encourage any further suggestions to my list.

1. http://pages.ebay.com/buy/guides/point-of-sale-pos-system-buying-guide/
2. http://www.possoftwareguide.com

Author: Luke Henry

Luke Henry is a Project Manager of Retail Next – a cloud-based POS solution for specialty grocers. He has over 10 years of experience in the grocery POS space and is committed to delivering solutions that enable independent grocers across the world to compete against the grocery conglomerates.