Finding the Best Point of Sale System for Grocery Stores When It’s Time to Upgrade
People will always need to buy groceries, even in more challenging economic times. In 2021, the US grocery market reached $758.5 billion, and the industry has more than doubled in size since 1992. US grocery stores average 29-30 million shoppers every day from Monday to Thursday, and from Friday to Sunday that figure rises to 33-41 million. With that kind of foot traffic, grocery point of sale (POS) solutions can become bogged down, impacting the customer experience and, ultimately, the bottom line. So how do you know when it’s time to upgrade? And how do you find the best point of sale system for grocery stores to upgrade to?
The Best Grocery POS System is Designed for Efficiency
When your current system slows down and becomes cumbersome and inefficient — it’s time to upgrade! You’ll want a solution that helps you work smarter, not harder. What features should the best grocery POS solutions have? Here’s a quick checklist:
- Robust inventory management
- Real-time reporting
- Flexible payment methods and paths to purchase
- Expedited checkout processes
Your solution should include customizable applications that accommodate your most common product categories or items, whether you have a small independent store or are part of a large chain. Let’s take a deeper dive into these essential features.
Greater Control of Inventory
When your inventory processes are laborious or inaccurate — it’s time to upgrade! Inventory is usually the most significant expense for any merchant, but good inventory management is especially vital for grocery stores because you’re dealing with perishable goods. Food products will have widely varying shelf lives to keep track of. Spotting sales trends, accurately forecasting demand, and knowing when and how much to reorder will help you improve operations and maximize profits. And all of these abilities are enhanced by good reporting.
Reporting Solutions for Any Grocery Setup
When your POS system no longer offers you relevant data — it’s time to upgrade! Robust reporting capabilities are critical to the grocery industry. Good data analytics lead to better-informed business decisions. In addition, you should be able to customize reports for your exact needs, process data in real-time, and control all aspects of your store (or stores) from one system, whether you are managing one location or coordinating several.
More Buying Options for Customers
When customers are looking for new methods of purchase or payment that you don’t currently offer — it’s time to upgrade! Consumer preferences are constantly shifting as technology evolves, changing the ways they can pay and shop. The best point of sale system for grocery stores is one that includes the newest payment options, such as Google, Samsung, and Apple Pay. It will also feature integrations that enable processing electronic benefits transfer (EBT) transactions for customers using government assistance such as food stamps or the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). For example, eWIC provides card-based use of WIC benefits, replacing paper vouchers; processing these cards can be integrated into the grocery POS for a more efficient checkout.
Preferred shopping methods are also changing as online shopping continues to gain traction. US online grocery sales are expected to reach $187.7 billion by 2024; and 64% of US consumers, especially millennials, have purchased groceries online. Meet your customers in the aisles and on their couches with an eCommerce integration for your POS solution. You can sell across multiple channels; data synchronization and automated inventory management will save you time and money by ensuring that your inventory is accurate no matter how your customers are buying. You can also offer a “buy online, pick up in store” (BOPIS) option, another increasingly popular shopping choice.
Faster Checkout for a Better Experience
When you need your POS solution to do some heavy lifting — it’s time for an upgrade! The best POS system for small grocery stores or large ones will include features that improve the speed and convenience of checkout. Additionally, you should have the option to incorporate self-checkout kiosks into your solution. Growing numbers of consumers have come to appreciate the convenience, reduced wait times, and increased control over their shopping experience. Self-checkout can also help to combat labor shortages since just one employee can monitor four or more stations, rather than having a cashier for each lane. More staff members will then be freed up to move into the aisles for stocking or customer assistance.
Regular checkout processes can also be expedited with the right POS features. For example, grocery stores have many products, such as fresh produce and bulk items, that do not have easily scanned barcodes but instead have price look-up (PLU) codes. Quick Flip is a customizable application that replaces manual keying of PLU codes with a touchscreen integration for rapid, streamlined entry of these items. Expediting checkout processes increases throughput and customer satisfaction, both of which benefit the bottom line.
Never Upgrade Alone
From improved inventory management and thorough reporting to multiple new payment and shopping options and speedier checkout, the latest grocery POS systems have much to offer. When it’s time to upgrade, one more thing to remember is that even the best point of sale system for grocery stores is only as good as the provider behind it. Make sure to work with a team of experts like ours, with decades of industry experience, to help you build a solution that’s perfect for your grocery store.