By 2024, online sales are expected to make up nearly 22 percent of all retail sales globally. This means that current in-store retailers are taking their stores online in an attempt to capture part of this market. But e-commerce sites have different needs than physical locations, especially when it comes to their point-of-sale (POS) systems. If you’re ready to add e-commerce to your retail offerings, here’s what you need from your POS.
To find the perfect point-of-sale system for your retail business, use our Point of Sale Product Selection Tool. Fill out the short survey, and you’ll get a free, unbiased list of software tailored to your company’s needs.
E-commerce considerations for point-of-sale (POS) software
- Connecting online and offline sales
- Inventory tracking capabilities
- Multiple payment options
Connecting online and offline sales
Many retailers engage in both online and offline sales, and they need to ensure that they’re getting accurate data from both. Many POS platforms, like Square, offer POS systems for your physical store, mobile apps to let you collect payments at pop-up shops or off-site sales, and an online payment terminal to keep the sales experience cohesive across your sales mediums. By connecting sales across all of your channels, you can track customers’ journeys and provide more relevant marketing messages.
Additionally, providing a cohesive approach to payment across your different channels improves the customer experience. Customers don’t tend to think of online and physical stores as separate entities, and if you treat them as such, they may get frustrated when confronted with a different payment experience than the one they expect.
Inventory tracking capabilities
Have you ever had an online order canceled because the store realized the item was out of stock? If you have, you know how frustrating and disappointing it can be. Your POS system needs to include inventory tracking capabilities, so you can avoid leaving your customers out of luck.
You should be able to connect all of your physical locations and online stores to the same system, allowing the POS to account for inventory changes whether they happen online or offline. At the very least, your POS tool should integrate with your inventory management system of choice, if it doesn’t include one itself.
E-commerce POS systems, like Lightspeed, allow you to easily add your in-store inventory to your online shop. The platform also sends alerts if you need to transfer stock from a physical location to cover online orders. Plus, sales and returns update the inventory levels for the whole business.
Multiple payment options
Not all customers are going to pay the same way, and you need to be able to accommodate as many different payment methods as possible. When looking at POS software for your e-commerce site, you should choose one like Revel, which allows your customers to pay with most major credit cards, gift cards, and even loyalty points when applicable.
You should also consider opting for a POS system that integrates with platforms like PayPal or Apple Pay, as many users like the extra security and convenience they offer. Bindo offers these payment options for both online and in-store purchases, along with a variety of other payment methods.
Mobile sales currently make up nearly 73 percent of all online purchases. If your online POS isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re missing out on a huge chunk of revenue. Customers that can’t easily browse your online store and pay from their mobile phone aren’t likely to continue the transaction on their desktop at home. In fact, 38 percent of people will leave a website if they find the content or layout unattractive, and that extends to mobile browsers.
Shopify and similar POS tools make it easy for your customers to check out on their mobile devices. Their e-commerce platform also helps you set up a mobile-friendly online store, so not only can your customers check out from their mobile phones and tablets, but they can also easily browse the store while on the go.
Setting up your e-commerce site for success
If you’re setting up an e-commerce site for the first time or simply want to optimize what you already have, your POS system is a great place to start. You need to choose a platform that’s mobile-friendly, offers several payment options and inventory management, and provides a cohesive experience for both online and offline sales. Check out software that offers free plans or free trials to start. Then, you can upgrade once you see how it will work for your company.
To find the perfect retail POS for your online business, use our POS Product Selection Tool. After answering a few questions, you’ll get a short list of software customized for your organization.