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- Top 10 Benefits of Using a POS System In Your Restaurant - February 12, 2019
The best hardware POS systems will provide focus on inventory management, customer management, and connecting in-store sales with eCommerce solutions like online storefronts.
With that being said, there are many POS solutions that fit the bill. Just because a retail POS can handle these items, however, doesn’t mean it specifically fits your hardware store needs.
Reviewed below are the top four hardware shop POS systems you should consider.
Shopify is one of the leading eCommerce software providers, offering scalable POS solutions for retailers around the world. Where Shopify truly excels in the POS market is its flexibility when it comes to integrating with your business.
If you start with Shopify, what you will notice first is that it’s POS hardware and software tools are easy and accessible, and they are supported by excellent customer service.
That’s because Shopify looks to make using modern POS technology easy for small businesses growing into larger businesses—which makes sense.
Hardware store owners should consider the following aspects of Shopify as a POS solution before jumping in:
Shopify offers hardware stores the tools they need to integrate their in-store operation with advanced online marketing and eCommerce solutions. Managing inventory between online shoppers and in-store customers in integral to a successful hardware store. Shopify integrates eCommerce solutions like an online store and SEO resources.
Using Shopify will enable you to sell more tools and hardware through an online storefront. It will also help you improve your online presence through functionality like customer reviews, blogs, and product web pages.
Overall, if you need a POS that can start small and grow with you, then Shopify might fit that bill.
Any POS worthwhile for hardware store owners will included reporting functions built in for easy access. Shopify Analytics gives you a series of dashboards and reporting tools to track total sales, online vs. offline sales, total orders, average order value, and more.
If you sign up for the Shopify Advanced or Plus plans, then you get advanced reporting features like customized reporting based on the needs of your store. This is especially good for hardware stores that offer physical products as well as work orders or repair services. You can track and repair several kinds of sales from multiple stores.
That all being said, Shopify does have a few limitations. It is primarily built for online stores, and while the in-store POS is functional and integrated with online features, it is a little lacking compared to other dedicated POS systems.
Also, despite the attractive price tag, the reporting and inventory features aren’t quite as robust as some of the other POS systems on this list.
A key aspect of modern POS software is customer management, and Revel Systems is a great example of this. Revel Systems offer a robust onboarding and installation services as part of your purchase.
They also offer support for “always on” functionality, stockroom management from the terminal, and support for customer information and reward programs. This blend of customer service and user support make Revel Systems the perfect fit for a hardware store that wants to use loyalty cards, reward cards, and targeted customer promotions.
If you’re considering Revel Systems as your Hardware Store POS, consider the following:
If you want some new functionality, then Revel can probably support it. As of May 2019, Revel system offers several integrations across multiple categories. Revel supports integration with digital payments like Apple Pay, Bitcoin, PayPal, and Zapper. Want eCommerce support? Revel integrates with Shopify and other online stores as well.
You can also integrate Revel with QuickBooks online for accounting and Homebase for staff management. It’s also easy to integrate third-party gift cards and your own loyalty or reward cards, depending on your needs.
Revel also has several hardware add-ons that integrate, like customer-facing displays, kiosks, and digital menus.
Revel Systems POS can handle inventory easily by making it simple to add and track items through the interface. Managing items down to color, type, manufacturer, and price is simple with customizable drop-down menus and tables.
Revel also has tools for staff to track remote orders and deliveries through the POS. Tying together POS and inventory with customer management, Revel Systems can store customer order history and locations to ensure optimal delivery of items on a per-delivery basis.
With all the hardware and software integrations, Revel Systems has a reputation for complexity. More importantly, this isn’t purpose built for all retail, including hardware. It was first built for restaurants and the food industry.
While it can be expanded to handle nearly any retail environment, the work and cost involved to do so might be too much of an investment for your hardware store.
Sometimes, you just need a register to handle purchases. This is where Cashier Live shines. Hardware stores looking for a solution to their POS woes will find in Cashier Live a tried and tested system built to do one thing really well: handle customer transaction.
Cashier live also included several hardware options for all your typical in-store transactions, including registers, keypad scanners, and touchscreen registers. Here are some of the Cashier Live features that are specifically meant for hardware stores:
Cashier Live isn’t offering a complex system. Instead, it offers a straightforward interface with east inventory management.
Inventory is incredibly important for a hardware store, and Cashier Live offers a simplified interface for managing inventory without having to go on the floor or in storage to know what kind of tools and machines you have on hand.
A great hardware store should always have someone ready to help customers, which means that your staff should be on the sales floor as much as possible. With Cashier Live, employees can clock in and out right at the register.
More importantly, this POS allows you to track work hours per day, per shift, and on a per-employee basis. This means that you can accurately track employee hours. Ensure that all your shifts are covered and make changes to staffing based on illness or absence, so your customers are taken care of.
Cashier Live provides software for purpose-built hardware you can purchase from the company. This software works seamlessly with mobile devices like iPhones and iPads, so you can have sturdy, traditional registers for in-store purchases and mobile devices for sales floor customer assistance.
Cashier Live does what it does well, but not much else. Shops looking for online integration for eCommerce, advanced reporting, or other bells and whistles will find it a bit lacking. However, if your hardware wants a tough set of terminals that just work, then Cashier Live might be your POS
Most POS systems integrate with eCommerce in some fashion, but Lightspeed excels at it. With a price tag that reflects a larger clientele along with an extensive list of features, Lightspeed is purpose-built for retailers who want to launch a full-on commercial campaign across all their possible marketing channels.
Hardware stores looking for a straightforward POS might not get it with Lightspeed. But if you are looking to take your hardware store to multiple markets, then this is the POS for you. In addition to that, you will also like the vast array of tools this solution has to offer your business, including:
eCommerce is huge, even for hardware retail, and Lightspeed POS delivers on this front. That means an online store, integration between the online store and your brick-and-mortar shop, and extensive customization to make your online presence shine.
But where Lightspeed really excels is leveraging SEO and social media as part of your marketing strategy. Also check out Lightspeed’s integration with Facebook for selling and reviews, MailChimp for email blasts, and many already-existing online stores you might be using.
Lightspeed boasts being a cloud-based system. What does this mean for hardware store owners?
It means that keeping track of customers, sales, and inventory is much easier across multiple devices. You can also track sales and other issues when you aren’t at your central location, which makes keeping track of online and offline sales much easier even when you aren’t on site.
This is going to help you handle issues like inventory much more smoothly. It also means that tracking expensive inventory across multiple stores (including online stores) more stable. Finally, your entire system will remain more stable and secure even if POS systems go down at any of your stores.
Lightspeed suffers similar limitations to Revel Systems, in that it is large and complex. However, it isn’t as complex as Revel, being geared more towards mid-sized and growing businesses. It also isn’t as cheap as some other options, so if your hardware store is booming it might be what you need.
Hardware store owners are typical retailers with a few catches. Hardware stores sell hardware – heavy, expensive, and complex machinery in some cases. But hardware stores will also offer repair and installation services in some cases. So, you’ll need a POS that can handle both custom work orders and product sales.
Secondary are inventory and customer management. Simple and accurate inventory tracking can make sales that much easier, especially when it comes to everyday tools and other hardware. Hardware stores also thrive on repeat customers, so customer management is crucial.
With that, there is no reason a hardware store isn’t taking advantage of advanced POS systems that integrate with advanced marketing solutions. Here are a few things to consider when considering your hardware store POS:
Most people still go into hardware stores to make purchases… but more and more customers are researching products online prior to their purchase. That’s because few people want to invest the time and effort necessary to purchase expensive equipment for a job just to find out that it doesn’t work.
And POS that provides integration with an online store allows you to show your products and services to customers who are researching online. These customers will often rely on online reviews to determine what they think about tools. With an eCommerce-focused POS, you can make sure that your site is the one that shows up when customers research hardware and appliances.
Hardware stores thrive on repeat, long-term customers. A POS with built-in customer management helps you deliver the kind of service that these customers expect without jumping through hoops.
If you have regulars who always come in to by gardening equipment or repair parts, then tracking their purchases can help you target them for special deals and sales. Introduce them to a mailing list that integrates with your POS so you can sell them exactly what they want.
Also use your POS to create customer rewards systems so that the high spenders that come in and buy expensive hardware or appliances can feel like they are getting something for their troubles. It will keep them coming back.
Nothing is going to hurt your return business more than if you are supposed to have some tools on hand and you don’t.
If you have a POS with proper inventory tracking, you can ensure that your customers know exactly what you have on hand, and that you can sell them what they need. Having a POS tied to an eCommerce store can also help you manage customer orders to your store or to their homes.
If you offer repair or installation services from your store, then you’ll need a POS that handles work orders. With this functionality, you can seamlessly sell a customer an appliance or bulk product and tie that sale to an associated work order for delivery or installation. This will guarantee that your customers will remember your commitment to customer service.
Typically, customers will probably buy tools and hardware through credit card or debit card. However, bigger sales or online sales would benefit from having more advanced payment options. A POS that allows you to take alternate forms of payment, like PayPal, Bitcoin, or Apple Pay will remove barriers between you and your customers, encouraging more sales.
As discussed here, a hardware store POS will solve issues related to customer management, eCommerce, and inventory management. Hardware stores may think that POS systems built for any retail will suit their needs.
However, we believe that POS systems designed specifically with hardware store features in mind are going to serve hardware store owners the best. Such features include inventory management, eCommerce functionality, and customer management capabilities.
The right POS will seamlessly integrate inventory management with your POS at the register. Ideally, it should also integrate with any eCommerce or online storefront(s) you have so that customers can read and review products, buy online, or buy in your store.
The four POS systems featured here exhibit plenty of the core features that you would expect from a retail POS. This in addition to advantages for small or large hardware stores looking for a solid POS solution. Depending on your needs, each one can suit your business.
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