What’s the Best POS for Convenience Stores?
A point of sale is a critical tool that empowers convenience store merchants to serve a large number of customers in a hurry while maximizing profits. But how do you choose which POS system is best for c-stores? Read our tips and advice on the point of sale features you need to take care of your customers, streamline operations, and save time and money.
1. Ease of Use A POS with a simple user interface is of the utmost importance, particularly for convenience stores where employee turnover tends to be high. Not only will an easy-to-use POS speed transactions, when you need to train new hires on a regular basis, a system that’s easy to grasp is crucial.
2. Hot Buttons The least amount of touches needed at checkout, the faster and more convenient it is for your customers to get on their way. One of the quickest and easiest ways to ring customers up is by setting and using hot buttons on a POS. Park your most popular items in the system’s customizable row of hot buttons. Whether it’s ice, firewood, or matches, when it takes one tap of the POS screen to ring up the most frequently purchased items, your customers will appreciate the speed. Hot buttons are also a smart way to ring up inventory items without barcodes like produce. They minimize errors and cut down on confusion.
3. Transaction Suspension It happens all the time, a customer gets to the front of the checkout line and as their last item is scanned at checkout, they realize they forgot their wallet in the car. With a modern POS designed for c-stores, that’s no problem. Simply enter the customer’s name for the Order ID in the POS and set their items aside. You’re ready to ring up the next person in line and when the previous shopper returns with their payment, it’s simple to pull up the suspended order and complete the transaction.
4. Customer Facing Display (CFD) A CFD gives customers peace of mind that their orders are accurate. And, if your store supports dual pricing, the CFD shows the price difference for each item depending on method of payment. The display also provides a simple and compelling way to advertise your specials, promotions, and discounts that encourage shoppers to come back often.
5. Payment Processing The ideal POS for c-stores enables customers to pay any way they want, including acceptance of EMV, EBT, and contactless payments. Another important consideration when selecting a POS is the payment processing component. Choose wisely to ensure you’re getting a low-cost option without hidden fees and merchant statements that are clear and understandable.
6. PCI Compliance When it comes to payment processing, safeguarding both your business’s and your customers’ sensitive information like credit card numbers is vital. Any POS system you choose must meet the Payment Card Industry’s (PCI) data security standards (DSS). The benefits of complying with the PCI DSS are many, including assurance that your systems are secure and that your customers can trust you with their payment card information. Trust leads to consumer confidence and encourages repeat business. Additionally, PCI compliance improves your business’s reputation with payment card brands and merchant services providers—the exact partners your c-store needs to thrive and grow. As an ongoing process that helps prevent security breaches and payment card data theft, PCI compliance reduces fraud, avoids costly audits and hefty fines or penalties from the card associations, and mitigates irreparable brand damage that sends customers to your competitors.
7. Employee Management and Payroll A POS system that helps manage employees and payroll is a huge benefit for c-store owners. There’s no more manual calculations of total hours worked minus break times for individual employees. Let a system’s built-in time clock do the work for you. Within a POS, you can also set employee schedules, determine access levels and permission controls based on position type, monitor staff performance and activity, and more.
8. Inventory Management Convenience stores have a wide range of inventory from chips and soda to windshield wiper fluid. Managing all those items is next to impossible without the automation and real-time reporting a POS provides. With a modern system, you’re empowered to pull reports to see what your best sellers are, what products aren’t moving, how much you’ve paid your vendors for inventory over time, and more. You can even set a re-order point for inventory items in a POS and get reminder emails sent to you automatically to ensure you’re never out of stock. If you use purchase orders (POs), within a POS you can select your vendor, the products you want, and the quantity needed. When the items arrive, simply go into the PO and mark the items received to add them to your inventory counts. Even if you don’t use POs, preferring to order with your rep onsite or over the phone, with a POS you’re able to scan the items on arrival, enter the quantity received and the date, the price paid on the invoice, and that’s it! Your inventory is updated and you can print pricing labels to get the items on your shelves in an instant.
9. Weigh Scale Many c-stores include markets or delis to give their customers more options and increase overall sales. For produce and deli items, or any bulk merchandise that’s sold by weight, having a POS with an integrated scale and printed labels is key to quick and accurate transactions.
10. Age Verification With sales of alcohol and tobacco products, age verification is a necessity for any c-store POS you select to protect your business and prevent fines. A smart point of sale system will enable you and your staff to scan major forms of identification, such as a driver’s license, when any transaction includes an age-restricted item.
11. Reporting Capabilities Be sure the POS system you choose has extensive reporting capabilities to give you valuable business insights. See what your sales were historically and how many employees you had on staff for prior holiday weekends to get an idea of how much inventory you need to have on hand and the number of team members you should schedule. Get an automatic business overview report emailed to you and any business partners or accountants daily to stay on top of sales whether you’re in the store or managing operations from afar. Additional important reports that help convenience store merchants include:
Find out more about how Exatouch POS can help your convenience store streamline operations and grow. Contact us today to get a no-cost demo—and be sure to ask about our FREE Exatouch POS Targeted Verticals Program! Convenience stores are among the verticals that can take advantage of this unbeatable offer.