- Ease of use. Look for retail POS software with a user-friendly graphical interface.
- Entry of sales information. Most systems allow you to enter inventory codes either manually or automatically via a bar code scanner.
- Pricing. POS software systems generally offer a variety of ways to keep track of pricing, including add-on amounts, percentage of cost, margin percentage and custom formulas. For example, if you provide volume discounts, you can set up multiple prices for each item.
- Updating product information. Once a sale is entered, these systems automatically update inventory and accounts receivable records.
- Sales tracking options. Different businesses get paid in different ways. For example, repair or service shops often keep invoices open until the work is completed, so they need a system that allows them to put sales on hold.
- Security. In retail, it's important to keep tight control over cash receipts to prevent theft. Most of these systems provide audit trails so you can trace any problems.
- Taxes. Many POS software systems can support numerous tax rates -- useful if you run a mail order or online business and need to deal with taxes for more than one state.
Every business is unique; you may find that none of the off-the-shelf systems meets your requirements. Industry-specific POS software packages are available. In addition, some POS system manufacturers will tailor their software to your needs.