16 Essential POS System Features: What Every POS Must Have

Person uses a modern POS system and point of sale features

Last Updated: March 26, 2024

As we’ve talked about plenty of times before, a point of sale system that is a seamless part of your business is necessary. And one that helps your business succeed and grow is even better. A cloud-based POS is becoming the norm rather than the exception, but what else can your point of sale offer?

You’ll find essential POS system features such as inventory counting, various store reporting, payment options, and ease of integration that will allow your business to run smoothly. Below, we’ll examine a handful of additional features for the ideal retail business POS system.

16 Key Features of a Good POS System Your Business Must Have

1. Inventory Database and Counting

Accurate inventory is critical for a business to run smoothly. Historically, it’s also been a major source of headaches for most businesses. A great POS system can alleviate most of this. Retailers make fewer mistakes with advanced, cloud-based inventory management. This can be done offsite and offline, adding some important flexibility.

2. Low-Stock Notifications and Auto-Order Suggestions

Let technology help you with some of the smaller things so you can focus on the bigger issues. You can use your POS to notify you when a product is running low and even suggest certain orders to refill the product. This helps ensure that you avoid stockouts and never out of your best sellers.

3. Detailed Product Reports

Knowing how much to order at any given time is best determined by customizable product reports and sales analytics. This can highlight what sells best or worst at a certain time of the day, week, month, or year. In addition to aiding with ordering, it can be a guide for store promotions or sales.

a screenshot of a product report, a pos system feature

4. Store Promotions and Sales

After analyzing the product reports, determine what products you might want to promote and market and integrate some discounts into your POS system. Make sure your POS can do this in bulk as well. You shouldn’t have to make price changes to each individual product. Let this POS system feature save you crucial time on menial tasks.

5. Stock Transfers Between Stores

Speaking of menial tasks, if you have multiple stores, you know how frustrating and confusing inventory can get if you move a product from one to the other. It shouldn’t be. A POS system integrated between stores allows you to track inventory from one to another easily.

6. Employee Reporting

Your point of sale can also track employee productivity and sales. Detailed reports should be able to clearly highlight exactly what an employee sold, including the average price per customer and transactions per hour. This is a useful tool for giving concrete feedback to your staff.

7. User Accounts and Varying Levels of Access

Unless you run a one-man/woman shop, you must have employees working your registers. You should be able to customize levels of employee access to certain tools and reports. Too often, a new employee and a veteran manager have the same access. This can lead to costly errors and sometimes theft. Your POS should protect your business from losses.

8. Customer Database and Order History

Not only is it important to keep up with your staff, but it is also crucial to understand exactly what your customers want. You can do just that with a customer database that clearly shows what your regular customers are and aren’t buying. Consolidating this data can help you strategize marketing and retail merchandising. This feature also lets customers return items without receipts, keeping your best clients trusted and happy.

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9. Returns, Store Credits, and Refunds

In addition to returns being a stress-free process for customers, they should be easy for you as well. Your point of sale should return the items to your inventory and allow options for you to offer a cash or credit return, store credit, or swap for another product. We all know how frustrating it is to jump through hoops to make a return. Set your business apart with an easy return policy and procedure.

10. Split or Wide choice of payment options

Make your life easier and transactions faster with options for splitting payments or accepting multiple forms of payment per transaction. Customers may want to partially pay with a gift card or split payments between cash and credit. This should be easy for everyone and never hold up your line.

11. Sleek and Mobile Registers

Not only should payment options be varied and seamless, but the registers themselves should look the part. Perhaps your retail space would benefit from mobile registers vs desktop POS.

If you have a stationary point of sale, ensure it fits your design and decor. A front-facing screen is always a nice feature as well. Always spend some time with your merchandising and merchandising around points of sale. 

a retail employee smiles as he stands behind a counter with a KORONA POS system

12. Overall Ease of Integration

Lastly, your point of sale must integrate smoothly with its built-in features and third-party software. For instance, changes made to your inventory should automatically update your registers so employees are kept informed in real-time.

Third-party software should also be available for more niche features. Advanced loyalty programs, accounting software, or label printing are a few examples of the kind of POS software that should be easy to integrate with your system.

13. Multi-Store Management

One key feature that distinguishes certain POS systems is the multi-store management features. With this feature, business owners can view data for individual stores or all their stores at once. If you have stores on the West Coast and the East Coast, you can set it up to group stores by specific geographic regions or economic areas.

This allows you to customize and analyze the data you see based on the specific stores or regions you select rather than seeing information for your entire organization all at once. Some POS systems, like KORONA POS, also offer franchise POS features specifically designed for franchising businesses. These features help both the franchisees (the individuals or businesses that own and operate franchised locations) and the franchisor (the company that owns the overall franchise brand).

One such feature is automated royalty payments, which ensures that the franchisor accurately and seamlessly collects the correct royalty fees from each franchisee. Additionally, franchisors can set up a centralized inventory catalog, allowing franchisees to order products through the franchisor’s warehouse.

14. Integrated Supplier Purchases

Integrated Supplier Purchases is a relatively new feature offered by some advanced POS systems. It goes beyond just managing inventory within your store and connects directly to your suppliers. The POS system integrates with your supplier’s platform or online portal. You can create purchase orders directly within the POS system, often based on pre-set reorder points or low-stock notifications. Once a purchase order is confirmed by the supplier, inventory levels in the POS system are automatically updated.

15. Omni-Channel Integration

That POS system helps customers shop across various channels (online store, mobile app, social media) for an improved shopping experience. Product information, pricing, promotions, and loyalty programs are all synchronized. Inventory levels are updated in real time across all channels. Customers can purchase online and pick up in-store (Buy Online Pickup In-Store – BOPIS) or choose home delivery.

16. Bulk-Product Imports

Bulk-product imports is a feature offered by many POS systems that allows business owners to add a large number of products to their inventory quickly and efficiently. Instead of manually adding each product through the POS interface, bulk import lets you upload a spreadsheet (usually in CSV format) containing all the product information. This spreadsheet typically includes details like product name, SKU (Stock Keeping Unit), description, price, category, and inventory levels.

Benefits of POS Systems for Retail Businesses

POS systems offer a wide range of benefits for retail businesses, making them essential tools for efficient operations and improved customer service. Here are some key advantages:

  • Improved efficiency and accuracy: POS systems automate many tasks that were previously done manually, such as calculating sales tax and discounts. This reduces the risk of errors and frees up staff time to focus on customer service.
  • Inventory management: POS systems track inventory levels in real-time, allowing retailers to identify low stock and reorder products before they run out. This helps to prevent stockouts and lost sales.
  • Data analysis and reporting: POS systems provide valuable data on sales trends, customer behavior, and employee performance. This data can be used to improve marketing campaigns, optimize staffing levels, and make better business decisions.
  • Improved customer service: POS systems can help to improve customer service by allowing staff to access customer information and purchase history quickly. This can help to personalize the shopping experience and build stronger customer relationships.
  • Enhanced security: POS systems can help to protect against theft and fraud by encrypting customer data and tracking all transactions.

Overall, POS systems can streamline operations, improve efficiency, and provide valuable insights to help retailers run a more profitable business.

Conclusion on POS System Features

Gone are the days when retail owners had to choose between systems lacking such essential POS features. An adequate point of sale should have all of these. Importantly, it should be flexible and adapt to your business. Compatibility with outside POS software is a key feature of a good POS system.

Choose KORONA POS For Your Retail Stores

For high-risk retailers like liquor stores, vape and smoke shops, and CBDs, KORONA POS could be an ideal choice. It boasts features specifically designed to address your needs, including ID verification to ensure compliance.

KORONA POS also integrates seamlessly with any major payment processor to handle your transactions securely. On the back end, you’ll find robust inventory management features to keep your stock organized, while the system also offers the flexibility of self-checkout POS for faster service.

And to sweeten the deal, KORONA POS even includes a free gift card module to help you build customer loyalty. Click below for an unlimited free trial with KORONA POS.

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Written By

Michael Chalberg

Michael has long focused his writing on the world of retail and small businesses. He''s been a part of the KORONA POS team since 2018 and loves helping entrepreneurs find ways to adapt and succeed. In his spare time, you'll likely find him hiking somewhere in the Southwest.