Arguably, your point-of-sale (POS) system is the backbone of your cannabis dispensary. You can’t make sales, track inventory, or pull essential business reports without a POS system.
So how do you choose the best cannabis retail POS system for your dispensary?
The Fundamentals of POS Systems
At the bare minimum, a POS system is made up of two components: hardware and software.
The hardware is the physical pieces, usually a countertop screen, a cash drawer, a scanner, and a receipt printer.
The software powers the hardware’s function, including finding items in your inventory, accepting payments, and completing transactions.
As a cannabis retailer, can you make do with a POS system designed for generic retail? In theory, you could. But as a dispensary, you’re held to a much higher standard than a clothing store or a corner store. To remain compliant with a traditional POS system, you’ll have to build in time-consuming workarounds and manual data tracking.
Compliance is built into the infrastructure with a POS system designed from the ground up for the cannabis industry.
5 Tips for Choosing a Cannabis Retail POS System
Do you remember the old days of working in retail? It meant scrolling through lines of black and white text to ring in customers. You will appreciate how much user experience (UX) design matters.
Consider all system users: managers, budtenders, and customers. As you walk through the cannabis retail POS system demo, evaluate how straightforward the system is for each person interacting with it.
For the budtender, is it easy to ring up a customer? For a customer, does the POS system offer expedited processing? Finally, is it simple to complete managerial tasks like inventory reconciliation and sales reporting?
2. Ongoing Customer Support
What happens when your terminal goes down on a busy Sunday afternoon? Or you can’t figure out how to run a report? Unfortunately, many businesses fail to consider the value of post-purchase support when choosing a POS system.
Remember, the POS system is the linchpin of the connection between you and your customers. You’ll need urgent access to a customer support line if the unexpected happens.
As you investigate different cannabis POS options, dig into the company’s ongoing support capacities and call centre schedule. If you can’t find this information before purchase, chances are it will be difficult to find when you need it the most.
3. Automated Compliance Reporting
As mentioned earlier, cannabis retailers are held to a different standard than other industries. As a regulated sector, retailers must submit ongoing reporting to provincial regulators covering inventory levels, shipments, destructions/losses, sales and more.
Each province requires slightly different types of information. For example, in Ontario you’ll need to submit The Federal Report, The Sales Report, and the Periodic Reports. While in Manitoba, retailers submit two reports: the LGCA and MBLL reports.
Which is why TechPOS makes all federally and provincially required reporting simple with extensive cannabis tracking and reporting capabilities. In addition, reports are generated automatically, without unnecessary hassle. That means no manual entry or labour-intensive paperwork.
4. Data Security
In May 2022, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario announced a significant data breach across 1,200 stores. The lost data included sales numbers, licence numbers, inventory, and kilograms sold.
In the wrong hands, this data could put individual stores at risk of theft as would-be thieves would know how much inventory and cash that specific Ontario Cannabis Stores keep on hand.
As this recent case illustrates, a data breach can have direct implications for the store’s physical security. But, it also has implications for any customer data you collect at the POS or through an eCommerce platform.
All Canadian retailers must uphold the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) standards, which govern consumer privacy and data collection.
Whatever cannabis retail POS system you ultimately choose to install in your dispensary inherently must adhere to PIPEDA to protect your customer and store data.
5. Evolving Integrations
Cannabis retail is evolving, so your POS system must keep up with the changing regulatory landscape.
As only one example, many provinces legalised curb-side pick up and delivery during the lockdowns triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Retailers urgently needed the means to offer these services through an e-commerce platform. It required a rapid pivot and integrations through SaaS and eCommerce solutions that made this pivot easy.
TechPOS is continually exploring new integrations to ensure your store always has access to cutting-edge solutions for customer service, accounting, security, data analytics, and more.
Need Help Choosing a Cannabis Retail POS System for your Store?
TechPOS is Canada’s #1 omnichannel user experience designed specifically for cannabis retailers. Integrating POS hardware with innovative software and more than 15 possible integrations, we ensure your sales experience is straightforward, user-friendly, and supported.
Find out why our total cannabis retail POS package stands out. Book a demo today!