If you already know the huge advantages of owning a POS, you will know that a quality POS system is the success key for a modern retail business. Hence, buying a Magento POS is a big decision.
Indeed, a reliable provider gives a reliable Magento POS system. It will save you time and effort for years.
So how do you choose a good one among thousands of options in the market? Read on to get the best practices that many SMEs worldwide have been using to choose theirs.
1. Identify & Prioritize Your Magento POS Requirements
2. Research Pricing
3. Inquire into Customer Support & Extra Services
4. Check the Provider’s Experience & Reputation
5. Narrow Down Your Options
6. Try Them Out
7. Make Your Final Decision
Identify & Prioritize Your Magento POS Requirements
In choosing a Magento POS system provider, all experts will advise you is to first investigate your business needs.
Depending on your business types, you may need an industry-specific Magento POS system (e.g. retails, restaurants, bars, etc.). But a few common features for all business types often include:
In one of my recent posts about POS systems, I have mentioned the most common (and costly!) mistakes that a retailer often makes when choosing a POS system. It’s worth to remind you again that there is NO one-size-fits-all POS system.
Each business has their own needs.
The more specific your requirements are, the more efficient your workflows will get.
- Make a list of all related processes in your business (e.g. purchasing, receiving, transfers, etc.);
- Remember to consider how your business may change in the future (e.g. in 5 years time) and note them down too;
- Categorize if each step is automated or done manually;
- Rank your needs from high to low priority;
- Check if the Magento POS solution covers the noted functions;
- They may be able to make recommendations on how other retailers automate similar processes.
Below is an example sheet of business workflow that you can give to your provider for their inputs:
For the full working template to check available functions with your provider, get it FREE here!
As mentioned, it’s almost impossible to find a Magento POS system that matches all your requirements. Usually, a POS system can meet 90-95% of your needs. And you can ask their customization service to fulfill the rest.
Inquire into Full Costs
A good Magento POS provider should offer clear and competitive pricing, including support and customization rates.
Check if there is any potential hidden fees, processing fees, add-ons, and upgrades.
Ask your provider some questions like:
- Does the price include support?
- Are there any fees associated with updating the system?
- What are the pricing plans and packages available to me?
The key point is making sure you are aware of all potential costs along the way.
Some providers may ask for a contract but it should be optional only.
Be wary of mandatory contracts and check the termination conditions carefully. In case they cannot give a good enough reason, it’s better to find another provider.
Weigh Price against Quality
The cost of Magento POS systems varies depending on the capabilities you need and the size of your business.
When Magento POS systems become popular in retail shops, the price you have to pay for one becomes much more affordable.
However, don’t just opt for the cheapest POS in the market.
The efficiency of your business should be of the first priority. A cheap POS may result in costly damages that take much time and effort to recover. So it’s best to estimate your budget in advance and find the best Magento POS system that you can afford.
Inquire into Customer Support & Extra Services
At some point in the lifespan of your Magento POS system, you may need a helping hand. It can be questions about system configuration when you first set up the software. Or, after a while, your business expands and you need to “tweak” the system to keep up with the changes.
Nevertheless, my point is there is a high chance that you will need their help. So you’d better check the provider’s attitude and capabilities before going further.
- Do you get fast and knowledgeable responses?
- Do they use a wide range of communication methods for discussion? (phone, email, skype, etc.)
- Do their support hours match your schedule?
- Are they willing to help you to solve your problems or they just rush to sell you the product?
- What’s the fee for support service?
- Do they offer free support?
- What does support include?
- In case the Magento POS system doesn’t work, do they allow refund? Within how long?
Implementation & Customization services
It may not be easy for store owners without in-house developers to set up the Magento POS system by yourself. So you may need the provider to get it up and running.
Their implementation service should do this.
Although it costs you an extra amount, you save more time and effort as no one can understand the product better than its developer. They should also give you product guides and training to ensure you can use the system properly.
Moreover, as I said previously, it’s almost impossible to find a Magento POS that 100% matches your requirements. Hence, sometimes you will need customization. Most providers offer this service at a competitive rate to their customers.
It’s better to check if the company is the real provider of the Magento POS system instead of a reseller. Working directly with the provider may convey your problems clearer. This means solving problems much faster.
Check the Provider’s Experience & Reputation
A financially strong company will have sufficient resources to support you through the lifespan of the Magento POS system.
A large company with many employees often provide faster & better support, training and product updates.
Read their About Us page, reviews on social media accounts, marketplaces and case studies to find out:
- For how long has the company been in business?
- How large is the company measured by revenue?
- How many employees/ developers do they have?
- Do they provide clear terms and conditions?
- Are their case studies of a similar business model as yours?
Narrow Down Your Options
Increasing use of Magento POS systems in retail business means providers are offering a wider range of choices. The negative is, though, you have too many options to pick only one.
After doing research on the above criteria, it’s time to compile what you have found and limit to 2 – 3 best choices.
Remember to balance between the functionalities, services and your budget.
Try Them Out
Most Magento POS providers allow you to sample their products, either via a free trial or a live demo. Have them demonstrate the automation of each process that you listed out in Part 1 of this post.
As a Point of Sale system is important to your business, you must be able to visualize what your day-to-day experience will be like with the solution. At the same time, see if the system is sustainable enough to serve your long-term operation.
If possible, get your key staff involved in the demonstration session, especially those who most use the system every day. They may point out something that you don’t think of.
Make Your Final Decision
Once you’ve done your due diligence, you should have a firm idea of which Magento POS system meets your needs and budget.
Now that you are ready, go ahead and select your Magento POS system provider! Don’t forget to make use of our FREE Magento POS System Provider Scoring Template.