Cannabis is a constantly evolving industry, with new products and new regulations coming out all the time. As such, there are more requirements, including paperwork, placed on the cannabis retailer than you’d see on any other retailer. Finding the right POS system, that serves your needs can change the trajectory of your business.
An intelligent, integrated solution provides clear insights with business analytics tools and acts as a total store management portal. Merging many systems into one means more time spent in areas that bring value – customer service and sales. But where do you start on your quest to find a do-it-all POS system for your retail cannabis location?
Since we are in the business of cannabis-focused POS solutions, we thought we’d make your job easy with a few insights on what an ideal POS system can do for your cannabis business in 2019.
10 Factors To Consider When Choosing a POS System for Cannabis
1. Ease of Use for Staff
Nothing is as frustrating as a disjointed user experience, especially when it impacts the speed of checkout. If your staff find it challenging to navigate between menus, find the appropriate product, or investigate product information, this will impact your bottom line.
Before settling on a POS solution, be sure you’ve walked through a complete demo of the product. This should include the basic tasks (purchasing, menu updates, inventory updates) that your staff will complete regularly. If you have difficulty walking through these processes, chances are your staff will as well.
2. Valuable Insights Through Business Report
Your POS system should do more for you than just processing sales. On a daily, monthly, and annual basis, it should provide you with valuable insights into the profitability of your business. A POS system should be a valuable analytics tool for your cannabis business.
Your POS system should, at the very least, provide six key reports to help guide your business decisions and back-end accounting. These include:
- Daily Inventory Reports
- Product Sales Report
- Revenue Report
- Transaction Details and Summary
- Profit Reports
- Employee Reports
Each of these reports can help you make decisions to increase sales, decrease overhead, and improve profitability.
3. Compliance, Compliance, Compliance
A POS system has a more significant role to play for the cannabis retailer than it would for any other retail location. Cannabis POS solutions must make your compliance easy, accurate, and timely. As a cannabis retailer, you already know the logistics of compliance requirements, but how can a POS system solve the bureaucratic nightmare of compliance paperwork?
First, it should seamlessly integrate with inventory tracking, documenting product deliveries, product sales, and current inventory levels. Second, you’ll want to confirm that all the data held within the POS (customer information, inventories, sales) is held within Canada. Third, all sensitive information should be secured, backed up automatically, and encrypted.
Finally, because compliance regulations are continually evolving, you’ll need a solution that makes staying up to date easy – meaning a POS solution that automatically updates with the latest compliance requirements. A POS system shouldn’t make staying compliant more challenging than it already is.
4. Centralized Product Information PIM
Shifting consumer demands and fluctuating availabilities in cannabis often make product listings highly volatile. Many places in your retail ecosystem may need updates should the product information (price, stock levels, potency) change. If there are multiple caches of product information, this makes for a very long day of tedious, error-prone and repetitive data entry.
Having one centralized input for all product information can save you labor costs and reduce the chance of human error. You’ll need to input product information once, which then seamlessly feeds into online sales, digital signage and any other sales feed.
5. Reduce Data Entry and Staff Pain Points
An all-in-one POS solution merges as many necessary systems as possible onto a single platform. That means the point-of-sale, product management, customer management, staff scheduling, and inventory management all combined into one easy-to-access portal even across multiple locations. Instead of switching between systems, you’ve got everything at the tip of your fingers. This saves time, reduces errors and makes for a smooth user experience.
6. Timely Customer Support
Especially during the initial rollout of your newly purchased POS solutions, you’ll want immediate and timely customer support. If your service provider doesn’t pick up the phone, what are your options? In cannabis, it’s impossible to start a manual sales process should your system fail.
That is why live and local customer support is such a crucial factor. If you’ve got questions about an issue or curious about a feature, you would want answers as soon as possible- not an email response 48 hours later.
7. Capability to Customize
Your POS solution should be entirely customizable to the specifics of your retail location, especially if it integrates with an online sales system and in-store digital signage. Branding should be consistent across all platforms, whether that means the in-store menu, online platforms or the user interface behind the counter.
Smaller retail locations no longer need to compromise on aesthetics just because they don’t have the deep pockets and inhouse design teams of the big players in the market. Your POS system should reflect your branding and aesthetic across all sales channels in your business and create a consistent message without hurting your pocket.
8. Multi-Branch Support
Once you’ve got the initial location off the ground and running, do you plan to open more retail locations? Can your POS system handle more than one location, provide total inventory management and multi-branch business analytics?
We understand that, in the midst of the chaos of getting the first retail location underway, the last thing on your mind may be planning for future expansions – but a poorly synced point of sale solution will be a nightmare should you open a second, third, or fourth location down the line.
Management and owners highly benefit from using a single portal that’s capable of viewing total business insights. Sales, inventories, and reports from each location need to feed into one single user-friendly portal to allow for efficient management, planning, and inventory controls.
Furthermore, should you have to move inventory from one location to the next, you’ll want to have an easy method of reconciliation. These are all valuable considerations for your POS system, even if you are only starting with your first location.
9. Agile Software Development
Cannabis is a constantly developing retail environment, especially in Canada. With changes in compliance measures and new products rolling out onto the market, you’ll want a software system that keeps up with these changes.
Agile software development is a pivotal piece of the TechPOS mandate. We hear your pain points within the retail environment and work with you to create solutions. Our software sends updates every two weeks, with new features, new reports, and tweaks all designed to make your day to day business easier and more profitable. The more insights TechPOS can build into the POS system, the better your business becomes.
10. Integrated Staff Management
As mentioned, not all systems are created equal, and one feature well worth the investment is integrated staff management. Build schedules out well in advance, making it easy for staff to clock-in and clock-out with photo identification, and pull reports for analysis of labour costs – all from one store management platform.
Why juggle multiple systems when they can easily merge into one? It means a better understanding of all areas of your business as they relate to one another.
3 Big Takeaways in Your Search for a POS Solution
Cannabis is a business like no other. A cookie cutter POS solution designed for the traditional retail landscape will not serve you in cannabis. TechPOS has built all 10 features listed above into a complete package – solving many of the concerns highlighted by our customers with a single portal.
What are the key takeaways from the 10 factors mentioned here? What should you focus on as you shop between the available options? There are three that we feel are the most important:
- Ease of use
- Additional store management
- Centralized product information
First and foremost, you want a system whose portal is easy to use for management as well as for store staff. If they can follow through the sales process without hiccups, that would also mean a better experience for the customer.
POS systems should also come equipped with a suite of associated store management features. The more information you have, the more profitable your business is.
Finally, with a single point of input for product information, you’ll have the capacity to update all channels with the click of a button. Imagine the time saved, and errors avoided by a single point of data entry?
A POS solution ultimately should make your job easier. It should make the day to day operations smooth, the reporting painless, and compliance a breeze.