Home Payment processors Lightspeed Commerce: How to tell if it’s time to change your point of sale system

Lightspeed Commerce: How to tell if it’s time to change your point of sale system

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Going beyond your existing technology can be bittersweet. One of the best things you can do for your business is to give it the tools it needs to grow and prosper.

This is especially true for point of sale systems. Your point of sale is a vital part of your operations, so having a worse one in place can be detrimental to your success.

If your point of sale is struggling to meet your demands and needs, it might be time to start shopping. We’ve outlined the main telltale signs that it’s time to change your point of sale system.

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Legacy or cloud point-of-sale systems

Before we dive into how to know if it’s time to switch stores, it’s important to note the distinction between legacy and cloud-based systems.

Legacy systems are generally older (5 years and more) and are often installed locally. This means that your data cannot be accessed when you are away from your store’s physical location because the servers can only be started on your store’s local network. Legacy point-of-sale hardware is typically large and cumbersome, and hardware and software can be expensive to maintain.

Because they are older and more complicated to install, legacy point-of-sale systems often require on-site technical support for maintenance and updates. Maintaining an older system can be very expensive and time consuming.

Unlike legacy systems, cloud point-of-sale systems store data “in the cloud” – that is, not on local servers. This means that you can check your business performance from anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection.

The software is also fairly easy to update – all you have to do is click a few prompts and boom! You have the latest software. In fact, many software updates can be pushed out automatically, so you don’t even have to think twice.


When should you change your point of sale system?

There is a fine line between your system having some quirks and it hinders the growth of your business. If you’re not sure which camp you are in, here is a list of criteria to help you determine if it’s time to switch stores.


1. Your system is too difficult to use

Point of sale systems vary in complexity. Whether it is good to have a point of sale that can help you with more advanced tasks, if it is too difficult or too long to run transactions, reports or other necessary items on your list. tasks, this is probably not the best solution.

Your staff should be able to learn how to use your system within a reasonable time and easily explain how to use the system to others. Have access to training videos, help centersor other resources is also important. Keep this in mind if you are starting to research a new system.


2. You cannot easily grow or develop with your current system

If you’re looking to add more checkouts or open more locations, your point of sale shouldn’t be in your way. If you can’t easily move inventory between locations or set up more terminals in store, it’s time to ditch your current system. Your point of sale must grow alongside you and support your expansion.


3. Your system is hurting service instead of helping

An unreliable system can have serious consequences for your business. Not being able to execute transactions smoothly can hurt sales and weaken your store’s reputation.

If you find that your system is interfering enough with the normal course of business that it becomes a problem, you should consider switching platforms. It’s also a good idea to switch to a platform that offers 24/7 customer service, in case something doesn’t work as expected.


4. Your system is not flexible

Retail is constantly evolving, which means your system must be flexible enough to adapt to emerging situations. As we’ve seen in 2020, it’s important to have a point of sale that integrates seamlessly with other tools and add-ons, such as e-commerce, payments, accounting, and more.

If your current system cannot integrate well with the other tools you use for your business, it can slow down your operations significantly. Even with workarounds, you will still be much more prone to human error when calculating crucial numbers.

If flexibility is a key issue, consider looking for a one-stop-shop trading platform like Retail at the speed of light. With Lightspeed, you can set up a point of sale system that covers your specific business needs and add other features or integrations whenever you need them.


5. Your system is too expensive

Commercial platformsprice range from next to nothing to hundreds of dollars a year. If your point of sale is a bigger expense than you would like, the good news is that there is probably a more affordable system on the market.

Figure out how much you’re willing to spend monthly or annually and shop around to find a system that works within your budget. You will also most likely save on costs if you go for an annual subscription rather than a monthly subscription.

Be aware that free point of sale systemsmay sound too good to be true. This is because in most cases they have a lot of caveats i.e. credit card processing, hardware, service charges and more. There is no such thing as a truly “free” point of sale system.


How to change your retail outlet

Once you have made the decision to change, here is a general list of the steps to follow in order to proceed with the implementation of a new system.

  • Check if you need a new payment processor. Not all payment processors works with all systems. Make sure you know if your existing processor will work or if you need to change. Whichever system you use, we recommend that you choose an integrated processor for fewer errors and ease of use.
  • Determine if you need new material. Just like payment processors, not all hardware items will be compatible with a different system. Check that your existing setup will also work with new software and see if you need to make any changes or upgrades before you can install your new POS.
  • Request demos and trainings. Before you start, make sure you plan enough demos and training sessions. Reserve as many as you need to feel comfortable in your new system, and be sure to invite all employees who need to learn the ropes.
  • Install your new point of sale software. Once your hardware is configured, you can configure your software. With a cloud-based POS, it can be as easy as logging into a website or downloading your POS provider’s app to a tablet.
  • Import your existing inventory. Before you can start using your new point of sale, be sure to do a inventoryin your old system. With an accurate QOH, you can export your inventory from your old system and import it into your new one. If you need to include custom fields, make sure your new system can support these additions.


Need more than just a point of sale?

Lightspeed’s one-stop-shop commerce platform lets you manage and grow your business from anywhere. Drive in-store sales, build a successful e-commerce website, and easily track your entire business’s performance – all in one place.

Talk to our retail expertsto see if Lightspeed is the right option for your needs.