oint-of-sale systems (POS) are evolving, allowing c-stores owners to better manage their inventories, be more efficient in ordering stock, and help to organize their employees in a more streamlined manner.
Market Research Future (MRFR), in its fuel convenience store POS market analysis, asserts that the market valuation is expected to expand at a growth rate of 24.9% during the review period (2020-2026).
POS systems contribute to a more seamless c-store shopping experience and so they are an essential investment for c-store owners wanting to maintain competitiveness. Yet, with all the new capabilities being added, many wonder which POS features are the most beneficial to have and which ones to look for when researching POS systems. Market Research Future (MRFR), in its fuel convenience store POS market analysis, asserts that the market valuation is expected to expand at a growth rate of 24.9% during the review period.
This highlights how important POS systems are and how vital it is for c-store retailers to develop a comprehensive set of system requirements sooner rather than later.
Faster Payments and Customer Service Structures
One POS requirement that c-store owners should engage is the capability for enhanced payments and functionality that speeds up the customer service experience.
- Hotkey Shortcuts: One of the biggest features to look for here is Hotkey Shortcuts. These enable staff to work faster and increase precision, thereby reducing errors and the timewasting that comes along with them. These are made very simple for example buttons for each item or sale and with a clear layout for staff to navigate through. The last sentence doesn’t make sense – “made very simple for example buttons”?
- Payment Options: An equally important factor for rapidly processing customers is the need for powerful credit card processing. By ensuring their POSs have this, c-store owners can be assured their POS system will make transactions quickly while accepting all major payment methods. This makes a c-store’s POS system useable by the maximum number of customers possible and reduces waiting times at the checkout for c-store customers.
- Customer Management: Many POS systems also allow a retailer to keep track of customer transaction histories to determine personal preferences and buying patterns. This helps ensure the identification of customer attributes related to loyalty and therefore improve rewards systems. A robust POS system can feed directly into loyalty programs by identifying candidates for targeted promotional messages regarding special offers in-store, and link transactions to specific customer accounts or profiles.
Employee Management Features
Another of the vital POS requirements c-store owners should look for in their system is employee management features.
- Administrative Relief: This includes features such as counting staff hours via a clock-in clock-out system and setting individual pay rates. This allows c-store owners and managers relief from spending hours every week calculating pay rates or adding up employee hours via spreadsheets (or even pen and paper. This feature also means that all employee information is stored in a single repository and many “intelligent” POS systems include integration with payroll companies meaning that employers can directly cut checks inside the system.
- Reduction of Employee Theft: Some POS systems come equipped with security features to deter theft among employees. This means that employers can control which buttons and shortcuts employees can manipulate such that employee access to cash inside the register is controlled and limited.
Finally, c-store owners should consider POS system functionality that can keep track of and help to manage their inventory.
- SKUs: ‘Smart’ inventory management features such as unlimited inventory and SKUs (stock-keeping units) with all information about a product including price, manufacturer, location, color, size, and more can help owners and their staff to easily track on-site products.
- Sales reporting: Sales reporting features are a great way for c-store owners to understand the retail performance of each product or group of products in their inventory. At the touch of a button, many POS systems can give retailers vital insights into what products are their best sellers, which products are troubled, and which are candidates to drop. The system can also identify what products are low in stock, and even products that should have promotions placed on them.
To ensure POS systems maximize the investment, ensure that they have the features to meet your c-store needs. Without proper research, owners may fall short and commit to a piece of technology which is troublesome to implement and does not provide the potential value-added.
When properly implemented, contemporary POS systems save time, improve accuracy, simplify operations and boost revenue. They also increase security and enhance overall performance.