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The best gun store point of sale system (POS) will help you remain compliant with requirements by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
The system will also streamline operations and make management easier. However, you need to get a solution that is specifically designed to address common challenges in the firearms and explosives industry.
For instance, it should feature a compliant backup system, and be able to track the firearms as well as the identity of your customers. In addition to standard POS management capabilities, the system you choose should also help you with ATF compliance and reporting.
If you are looking for the best-suited solution, here are reviews of the top four firearms store POS systems you should consider.
The LightSpeed retail POS system is equipped with a range of tools and capabilities to set your firearm business on the right path. To begin with, it will make it easier for you to manage and oversee the store for improved efficiency and profitability.
When it comes to managing your diverse and large inventory, you will find Lightspeed to be one of the best systems in the industry.
Here are other features and capabilities you will come to like about the Lightspeed Retail POS system:
Managing the diverse Inventory is one of the key challenges gun shops face. Lightspeed is specifically designed to make inventory management, order processing and stock-taking in firearm shops easier. In order to streamline the inventory, the system allows you to group similar items together.
Such aspects will ensure that you have an easy time when compiling the inventory database for the first time. Again, this organization will make it easier for your employees to ring up sales. Many of the current users of the system also love the fact that it is highly scalable.
In this regard, Lightspeed offers unlimited stock keeping units (SKUs). This has been proven to offer gun store customers more flexibility. It also means that you can sell as many gun types and ammunition as you desire. These may prove to be the competitive advantage you need to succeed in this industry.
This feature is designed to offer you detailed insight into your gun store. For instance, the system will help you figure out whether you have the right inventory, know the stock items that run out faster than others as well as how often customers buy from your store.
You will also love the fact that the system allows for integration with third-party accounting services. This being the case, your accounting data will be automatically and accurately recorded. Again, Lightspeed POS Reporting and Analytics feature allows you to export reports in either PDF or Excel formats.
Although the monthly software subscription plans by this provider may appear to be affordable, they are billed annually. As such, you will be required to commit to a year-long contract.
If you are looking for an industry-specific POS solution for your firearm business, Stratus Retail POS system will be a great choice.
The provider allows you to leverage on its integrated e4473, Smartwaiver and electronic A&D book solutions. Over the years, the provider has been offering premium POS software solutions for gun stores and shooting ranges.
Here are some of the aspects that make the Stratus retail POS system stand out:
Celerant—the company behind the Stratus POS system—happens to be one of the very first providers to offer an Electronic A&D book that is ATF-compliant. Additionally, the solution allows for integration with the leading third-party electronic bound books.
With this feature in your store, you will be able to add your inventory items to the A&D book right from your POS screen. As you will come to learn, the capability makes it easier for you to maintain accurate records.
Again, it generates the forms and reports you need to attain and maintain ATF compliance. With such a solution the firearm store, you will also be able to eliminate redundancy and view sales history whenever you want.
With the drop shipping capability offered by the provider, selling your available stock online will be easier and fun. As far as marketplaces are concerned, the system supports integration with some of the leading third-party marketplace integrations like Guns.com, Amazon and GunBroker.
In order to attract and retain more customers to your store, the system is also packed with several marketing capabilities. For instance, the POS system will automatically analyze sales and CRM data in real-time to give you marketing insights. With this kind of assistance, you will be able to create personalized promotions and email campaigns.
You may have a hard time dealing with software upgrades and updates by this provider.
Just as is the case with other retail businesses, gun shops are different in a number of ways. As such a one-size-fits-all POS solution may not be the right choice for your store.
Instead, you should consider getting a solution that is just as unique as your business. In this regard, RapidGuns is highly customizable to accommodate your unique business needs.
These are some of the capabilities firearm store owners have come to like about the RapidGuns POS system:
As you are aware, special orders are somewhat common in a gun store. With RapidGuns, managing such orders will become relatively easy. To begin with, the system allows you to set a deposit policy for special orders in your store.
For instance, you may require your customers to pay 50 percent or even 100 percent of the order value when placing special orders.
Again, the system also makes it comparatively easy for you to manage these deposits more effectively. Once the ordered items are finally availed, you can display their photos through the POS system for customer verification. The system is also capable of generating reports for the orders that are taken.
A firearm store is still a retail business, hence needs powerful CRM tools for enhanced customer service. With a simple click of a button, the system allows you to view a comprehensive sales history report for each and every customer.
The system features built-in loyalty programs that you may use to award the customers loyalty points for each purchase they make in your store.
You will also love the fact that the solution is compliant with the multi-gun rule. As such, it will automatically print out the required forms whenever a customer buys more than one gun, shirt or long, within a period of five days.
This POS software is buggy, requiring you to follow a precise procedure to accomplish each task. Again, the NCR POS solution has a very small screen which cannot accommodate a decent number of buttons.
Managing a firearm business has never been easier than it is with the Winward software for Gun stores. As you will come to learn, the provider offers your business one of the best all-in-one POS solutions in the firearms and explosives industry.
In this case, the Winward gun store system features a versatile, integrated inventory manager, accounting module and POS. Having been specifically designed for hunting stores and gun shops, the solution has an array of firearm-specific features to offer, including:
Gain complete control over your firearms business with the Swift, error-free and simple solution offered by the Windward POS system. Unlike most of the best gun store POS systems, Winward features an integrated accounting platform. This solution has an array of tolls for automation, allowing you to enter, view, print and report data with ease.
From the Ledger Reports menu of this system, you will be able to collect and even summarize important business data. Additionally, the accounting software supports integration with the leading third-party services like CaseWare. You will also like the fact that the system offers customized and standard reporting capabilities.
Winward features an integrated credit card payment processor for convenient, easy and fast transactions. Over the years, the integrated payments offered by this provider has been proven to offer enhanced authorization speeds. In this regard, processing card payments in your business will never take more than three minutes per transaction.
Additionally, this payment processor has been proven to reduce errors, and foster straightforward transactions. In addition to processing card payments, you may also use this feature to view transaction reports in your business in real-time.
Though packed with industry-specific features, POS menus on this system are not so intuitive. As such, you may have a hard time learning how to navigate through the system.
A gun and tactical gear shop POS system will make day-to-day management and operations in your store easier and more efficient. However, you must ensure that you get a software solution that is specifically developed for this type of business.
Being one of the most regulated industries, firearm sellers need to accurately track their sales for compliance purposes. In addition to customer relationship management (CRM), and inventory management capabilities, the system you choose should help you remain compliant.
If you are currently shopping for the best firearm store POS system, here are some of the considerations you need to make:
Before selling firearms, it is a requirement by the law for you to conduct a background check on your customers. In this regard, you should consider getting a POS system that has NICS scanning capabilities.
With such a feature, you can use the solution to check your customers’ background through the relevant state point of contact (POC). In states that do not have POC, you should get a system that allows you to check customers’ background through the FBI database.
In some states, you will also be required to scan your customers’ IDs. In this case, your preferred solution should be capable of scanning IDs and verifying whether the information is correct. Additionally, the system should be able to automatically retain ID information as well.
As you know, it is impractical for business owners to validate IDs against government agencies’ database. As such, the POS solution should just verify that the customer’s ID information format is correct.
When selling a firearm through the mail or over the counter, you will be required to fill the ATF form 4473. Since this is a requirement, you should ensure that your preferred solution supports the same.
To begin with, the system should provide the customer with the necessary forms. The system should also collect the required customer information and allow you to file the form electronically.
Some of the items you sell in your store are subject to NFA reporting. The best gun store POS systems can ascertain which of the items in your inventory are subject to this requirement.
Again, the system should make it easier and more convenient for you to fill the forms required for NFA compliance whenever you are transferring title.
Firearm stores are also required any lost or stolen firearms. The inventory manager on your POS system should allow you to document stolen and lost inventory items.
In addition to decreasing inventory levels accordingly, the system should also allow you to fill the necessary notification forms. In such a case, the solution should also update the electronic bound book.
A system that can integrate with the security camera system in your business will also come in handy. With such an integration, you will b able to link a video to each of the transactions you carry out through the PIS system in this business.
Over the years, this type of integration has been proven to enhance security and accountability in gun stores.
The system you choose for your business should be capable of accepting and processing special firearm orders. For instance, it should be able to keep track of customer deposits.
The system should also support order entry service integration. This way, it will allow the customers to place special orders as well as let the customers know when the orders are received.
Just as is the case with lost and stolen firearms, you also need to fill the required notification forms when firearm(s) are damaged. Additionally, the system should also be able to update the inventory level and the electronic bound book accordingly when this happens.
As you may be aware, requirements for firearm store compliance vary from one state to another. In some cases, the regulations may vary in different parts of a single state.
As such, it is advisable to check with the relevant authorities before choosing the right system for your business. All in all, the system you opt for should be capable of preparing the local and state forms required for compliance in your area.
Regardless if the state your business is located, the various inventory items you offer will be taxed differently. This being the case, your preferred firearm POS system should be capable of calculating taxes for different items automatically. Again, the system should also make it easier for you to prepare the required tax filing information.
Most fun shops are known to offer special services, such as engraving, bluing and repairs. If you offer such services, the POS solution you choose should be capable of tracking work orders for the various services.
The system should also allow the customers to post deposits and notify them once the work is completed.
Jus as is the case with other retail businesses, you will need such basic POS capabilities as Inventory, customer and employee manager.
However, the software you opt for should also help you remain compliant with ATF requirements. As you have learned throughout this guide, the guns and explosives industries are highly regulated.
The four POS solutions reviewed in this guide have the right tools to simplify business management and remain compliant.
If you are having a hard time choosing the right option, you should try the various systems risk-free through their free trials. Either way, choosing the best gun store POS system should be easy with this guide. Some smaller gun stores may use square pos.
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