Everybody likes a package deal. When it comes to POS systems, one-box solutions cut down on shopping time, ensure interoperability and is often cheaper than buying the component parts.
That's why many small business owners turn to these complete point-of-sale (POS) systems that provide all the software and hardware, including a monitor or tablet, cash drawer and wireless receipt printer, in one package. All that's missing is the bow!
Before you purchase a one-box system, take a look at some of the pros and cons of making the switch.
- Everything is connected and the system can be up and running in minutes. The convenience of having the hardware and software packaged together should not be overlooked.
- Many one-box systems are tablet-based, which allows cashiers to be stationed in one place or move around the store to serve customers. In today's hurried society, that level of service is important. Want the touch-screen experience without the mobility? Choose a touch-screen monitor that replicates the mobile experience on a POS monitor.
- Loyalty, gift card and rewards programs integrate into many one-box POS systems, supporting customer service, clienteling and the overall shopping experience.
- Wireless mobile systems require a minimal amount of counter space and can make the cashier/customer relationship friendlier and less formal.
- Mobile one-box systems are automatically accessible from your phone, and many desktop models offer smartphone apps with live sales data that lets you manage the store's POS from anywhere.
- Migrating from a traditional POS system to a one-box POS system requires you to export your inventory and customer information into a spreadsheet and then send it to your provider. That's time-consuming!
- Complete POS systems come preprogrammed, sometimes with some standard features that aren't always flexible. You may have to adjust your business to work with them, not the other way around.
- While these systems are lower cost at the start, many involve monthly credit card fees based on a percentage of sales. Be sure to evaluate the ongoing cost of making the switch.
- Any new system requires training for sales staff and potentially your accounting team, too. That means additional staff expense for the educational time, and it may (temporarily) slow transaction speed as clerks learn the new process.
Weighing these pros and cons provides you with important criteria for evaluating a shift to a one-box POS solution. Consider these issues along with other important factors to make the right decision for you.