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What Retail POS Software to Consider for Your Business

small business owner - choosing retail pos softwareJust as your ability to carry the right merchandise and offer top-notch customer service can make your business, so, too, can your retail point of sale (POS) software. For best results, consider only retail POS software whose features allow it to help:

  • Increase sales. Comprehensive customer loyalty and marketing programs go far toward keeping existing customers and attracting new ones, in turn boosting sales. That’s what makes them an essential piece of any good retail POS software offering. Your retail POS software should also allow you to easily see what’s selling in your store and what’s not. When needed, you can adjust your assortment to suit customer preferences, kicking sales up a notch by ensuring that you have the right items in stock.
  • Decrease order costs. Besides ensuring that your store carries the right product — in the right quantities, at the right time — and making it easier to control shrink, top-notch retail POS software lets you set optimum in-stock levels for each SKU.
    This will help prevent over-spend on inventory orders.
  • Optimize labor usage and staff scheduling. Next to inventory, labor is typically retailers’ biggest expense. The best retail POS system features integrated time clock and labor scheduling functionality. It is configured so employees can’t punch in and out for each other when they arrive late or take an unauthorized break. This component also allows you to base schedules on historical data and other parameters. Consequently, your store won’t be under-staffed (putting you at risk of providing poor customer service) or over-staffed (taking too big of a bite out of your bottom line).
  • Improve customer service. The right retail POS software improves customer service by making it easy for cashiers to handle sales, keeping lines short and minimizing wait time. Look for a solution that is intuitive, allowing cashiers to ring up items by simply scanning bar codes or touching an icon on a touchscreen. Your retail POS software should require just a few touches to complete the payment process, as well as enable gift card and credit/debit card payments to be processed via a quick swipe rather than a complex set of steps. Payment by all tender types — such as debit, electronic benefit transfer (EBT), and check — should ideally be supported for top-notch customer service.

Learn how pcAmerica’s Cash Register Express ™ retail POS solution meets these requirements — and more. Contact a pcAmerica sales representative at 1-800-722-6374 or visit www.pcamerica.com.

Learn How Retail POS Can Help Your Business

woman pressing button on electronic cash registerThinking of replacing your electronic cash register with a retail POS system? If so, you’re making a move that will definitely benefit your business. If this idea hasn’t crossed your mind lately, there’s no better time than now to consider going the retail POS route. With this technology, you can expect:



  • Enhanced checkout capabilities. A retail POS system paves the way for a faster, less complicated checkout process. Ringing up transactions involves simply scanning the barcode on the merchandise being purchased or, if no barcode is present, touching a corresponding icon on the touchscreen. Unlike an electronic cash register, retail POS technology automatically calculates sale pricing and applicable taxes, displaying them in a real-time running total within easy view of customers. Payment processing is equally quick and easy, involving only the entry of the total amount of cash collected (often using “hot keys” for common dollar amounts), the swiping of credit or debit cards by a magnetic stripe reader, or the insertion of chip-enabled cards into a slot in the payment terminal.
  • Pricing flexibility. With some retail POS, sale, bulk, “mix-and-match,” and time-based pricing can all be preconfigured and calculated automatically. A time-based sale for each item being promoted can be set up, and multiple items can be sold at a discount by programming the pricing and special quantity (e.g., two sweaters for the price of one) into the retail POS system. Using the mix-and-match pricing configuration, bulk quantities of multiple items (e.g., three candy bars for $1) can be offered at a discount, while time-based pricing functionality lets retailers set sale pricing only for certain parts of the day.
  • Ability to “hold” transactions. A retail POS is designed so one transaction can be temporarily suspended (put on hold) while another is processed, then resumed and completed when the latter is finished. This helps to save the sale when, for example, a customer who is in the midst of checking out realizes that she does not have her wallet, but wants to get it and return to the store with it to buy her items, or has forgotten an item on her shopping list and wishes to quickly retrieve it from the shelves before checking out.
  • Gift receipt printing capabilities. Only with retail POS is it possible to quickly generate one receipt for a purchase and, if it is being given as a gift, a second gift receipt for the same purchase, without a price the recipient can see.

A retail POS is one of the best investments you can make in your retail business. To learn more, contact your pcAmerica sales representative.

Warning: You’re Losing Money by Not Using Customer Loyalty Programs

sale, consumerism, technology and people concept - happy young wHave you ever heard the saying, “If it’s free, it’s for me?” We love free stuff—free samples, free products, free anything! A business that offers their patrons free stuff in exchange for their business—for example—buy 10 coffees, get one free makes them feel that their purchases are appreciated.

Creating a loyalty program will encourage people to come back and earn free items or coupons in exchange for repeat purchases. If you aren’t using a loyalty program, you are missing out on an important tool that draws people back into your store or restaurant. For example, if a customer needs a gallon of milk and they have a loyalty program at one store where they can earn a free gallon after purchasing a certain number or going to another store where they get nothing for their business, most people are going to choose the store where they will ultimately receive a free gallon.

Most retailers provide good face-to-face customer service, but this ends once the customer leaves your store. Businesses that aren’t using a loyalty plan are missing out on a bigger picture—tracking, analyzing and responding to purchases that may generate additional opportunities.

And there lies the power of loyalty. When a customer signs up for your program, you can require they offer information like their name, age, location and email address. You can store that information in your system and use the POS to track their transactions.

These programs will also provide a vehicle for your business to communicate with your customers more directly and create targeted marketing campaigns. Rather than focusing on larger-scale campaigns or blanket emails, this data can be used to issue more individual offers to your best customers or people who haven’t made a purchase in weeks or months.

To keep customers coming back for more, Cash Register Express and Restaurant Pro Express offers a built-in loyalty program option that supports a variety of currencies, including points, birthday rewards and frequent visitor discounts.

To learn more about built-in loyalty programs, call a pcAmerica sales representative at 1-800-722-6374 or visit www.pcamerica.com.



Why You Need a Cafeteria POS System

Business colleagues in cafeteria cook serve fresh healthy food mCafeterias are more than we remember from school—it’s not just hairnets and lunch ladies anymore! Most cafeterias are busy, noisy and fast-paced, but they’re also important meeting places in office buildings and bustling with activity in schools and universities. There are even chic cafeteria-style restaurants!

Regardless of what type of cafeteria you own or patronize, you know the lines can be long as cashiers weigh items and type in prices. Believe it or not, those few seconds that a cashier may spend keying in prices or weighing items can add minutes of waiting time if the line is long.

A Cafeteria POS can go a long way to eliminating the waiting and extra work for employees. What does a traditional cafeteria POS setup include?

Touch Screen

  • Eliminates the need to key in prices and cuts down on the number of mistakes which cost time, money and resources
  • Touch screens are easy to learn and use, which makes training a snap

Pole Display

  • Clearly displays prices to customers so they know the total before the employee tells them
  • May be set up to display promotional messaging to customers while they wait on line


  • Integrated scale functionality sends the price directly to the POS with no additional typing necessary
  • Fast, easy operation

The setup may also include a credit card processor, bar code scanner and cash drawer. Additional kitchen printers can also be added if necessary.

A cafeteria POS shaves seconds off each transaction by eliminating typing, time-consuming weighing and laborious corrections if something is entered incorrectly. Seconds per person means minutes cut off of checkout time, which means faster moving lines and more efficient employees.

pcAmerica has been working with cafeterias and cafeteria-style restaurants for years. We’ve put in the research to develop features that monitor inventory levels, employee scheduling and sales figures by the hour, shift, day or month. Employee work schedules can be duplicated week to week, which saves times for owners and managers. The inventory monitoring function will alert you to order more ingredients when the supply runs low, so you’re never out of favorite items.

For more information about cafeteria POS and whether or not it’s right for your operation, please call your pcAmerica sales representative at 1-800-722-6374 or visit www.pcamerica.com.

More than Just Tech: Choosing the Right POS Service Provider

Happy To Be A Part Of Creative Team.At pcAmerica we talk to people about their POS needs all day long. So when we’re pitching a new client, we often invite them to do several things to make sure we’re a good fit and vice versa. Choosing the right POS service provider can be the key to an easy experience with your new POS system or a miserable one that leaves you with a never-ending headache.

How do you determine if a POS service provider is right for you?

Ask around: First, ask around to see if anyone else in your local area has used the company and about their experience. This is especially important if your business is specialized and will require customizations to the software. Other businesses in your community can give you more information on your local representatives and their own experience with them.

Know what services the company provides: POS service providers run the gamut of total solutions and support to vendors who only sell hardware and software. Shopping around is important. Know your needs—if you’ll require professional technical support and on- or off-site service, be sure the POS service provider you choose offers those options rather than choosing a bargain basement vendor with no frills or support department.

Get a demo: Most POS service providers have abbreviated demos available online. These are great, but you should also make an appointment with a sales rep to have an in-person or remote demo online so you can see what the software has to offer. Don’t choose a package or POS service provider that doesn’t allow you to grow in the future if that’s what your goals are. We recommend choosing a package that serves your needs now and gives you room to expand (if you want to open a second or chain of locations) and upgrade your technology for future use.

For help deciding on the best service provider to meet your needs, call to speak to one of our POS experts at 1-800-722-6374 or visit www.pcamerica.com.



How Retail POS can Help You Compete with Big Box Stores

Small Business Owner: Proud Woman And Her StoreSmall to mid-size retailers and chains face stiff competition from online sites and big box stores. It seems like small to mid-size retailers get hit from both sides:  online sites are competitive on price because they don’t have the overhead of a brick-and-mortar retailer but big box stores compete on discounts and in-store experience.

You don’t want to lose sales to big box retailers, especially as we start thinking about Black Friday and the holiday shopping season. November and December are the peak shopping months, so it’s time to get ready. Even if you can’t offer rock bottom prices, a retail POS gives you some tools that will attract shoppers.

Know your inventory: The very best retail POS system in the world can’t help you if you don’t have what people want. But the right retail POS system can tell you what you have in stock, what’s selling out and what has been sitting on the shelves and is ready for markdown. Using this data you can re-set your shelves so the items that are selling themselves are front and center, while the items that have been hanging around get relegated to a different location.

Loyalty matters: Most retail POS systems have a loyalty plan function that allows shoppers to accrue points or special offers and coupons based on their purchase history. People are more likely to return to your store if you “reward” them for their repeat business, which is something you don’t often find at a big box store.

Buy online/pick up in store: People still love instant gratification, so buying an item online and picking it up in-store is a good for those who don’t want to wait for an Amazon shipment. The big retailers like Toys R Us and Nordstrom offer this service. Many retail POS systems, including pcAmerica’s Cash Register Express, offer an e-Commerce integration for any size business at a reasonable cost. Maybe you can’t beat the online sites on price but you can match the big box stores on convenience!

If you’re interested in learning more about how a retail POS can help your store, call our staff of POS experts at 1-800-722-6374 or visit www.pcamerica.com.


How an All-in-One POS can Save Your Business

retail posBusinesses looking for a POS system have several options, including mobile, traditional terminal, tablet and all-in-one. All-in-one (AIO) POS systems can save a business money, time and space. Why should you give an AIO POS system another look? Here’s why:

All-in-one systems are cost effective: We’ve discussed the benefits of purchasing your POS components from the same vendor. It helps avoid the finger-pointing that inevitably happens when something goes wrong and the printer vendor says it’s the software vendor’s fault, and vice versa. When you purchase an AIO system, you’re receiving it from one company which means they are the only ones you’ll call when something goes awry.

Designed to work together: Usually, an all-in-one POS system has several components, including a cash drawer, card reader, touch screen, and receipt printer. We know that it’s important to buy components that are compatible and are suited for the work environment in which they are going to be utilized.

When you purchase an all-in-one POS you know you are receiving components that are all equally rugged and designed for their specific environment. This should help minimize the need for repairs that stem from buying different brands of components piece-meal from different vendors, which is something we never recommend. You can save in the short-term but it’s a gamble in the long run.

Space saver: If you’re short on counter space, an all-in-one POS could be right for you. These systems have a much smaller footprint then a stationary terminal which frees up space for taking orders and ringing up customers. A smaller system in a tight space also helps the work space look and feel less cluttered which makes it more aesthetically pleasing and easier to work in and around.

If you’re considering a point of sale system for your business, consider an all-in-one. Not sure which POS option is right for your business? Call our staff of POS experts at 1-800-722-6374 or visit www.pcamerica.com.


Why Labor Scheduling is the Secret Ingredient in Restaurant POS

calendar schedule board with hand planInventory and payroll are two of the biggest expenditures a restaurant has and it’s easy to see why—without food or employees, you can’t serve your customers.

Labor scheduling is a built-in function of many restaurant POS systems, including pcAmerica’s Restaurant Pro Express. Restaurant Pro Express Version 12.5 (or higher) features a labor scheduler that makes it simple to schedule employees for work. The interface also offers a quick snapshot of how many employees are working as well as what jobs they are performing that day. Job Codes will tell employees what their responsibilities are for that shift. Employees can only select job codes assigned to them, which will help ensure that the right employees are performing the right tasks, at the right time, at the right location.

The software’s integrated time clock allows employees to punch in and out of any POS workstation. An ID card or security code helps to eliminate buddy punching so employees cannot clock in or out for each other if they are late, leave early, or take unauthorized breaks.

Supervisors can easily correct or input forgotten time clock entries. The time clock and labor scheduling software also offers comprehensive reporting and makes payroll processing easier.

Labor schedulers are a key ingredient to your restaurant’s success. They can help you make informed decisions on how many employees to schedule per shift so you are not caught under or overstaffed.

For example, pcAmerica’s Labor Cost Percentage Report was added to help business owners make more informed decisions regarding how much labor to schedule. Finally, you can reduce the amount of time you spend creating schedules, because they can copied from previous weeks so managers don’t have to recreate them from scratch and printed for employees.

For more information about the Restaurant Pro Express Labor Scheduling function, please call your pcAmerica representative at 1-800-722-6374 or visit www.pcamerica.com.


Finish Payroll in One Simple Step

payroll pos

Payroll can be a headache if you’re still doing it yourself. With all the different facets that payroll encompasses—paychecks and direct deposits, deductions, garnishments and local, state and federal tax filings, there’s a lot of room for error. Your time is valuable and every second a business owner or employee spends working on payroll could actually cost you money, because that person is not helping customers, taking orders or closing sales.

Unfortunately, the fines and penalties related to incorrect payroll can cost your business some serious coin, so it pays to leave this job to the experts. In the past, professional payroll services may have been cost prohibitive for small to medium size businesses but pcAmerica’s point of sale solutions make getting your data to the experts easier than ever before.

pcAmerica’s POS systems include a time clock function that allows employees to clock in and out, accurately tracking their attendance, hours worked as well as paid and unpaid breaks. At the end of a pay period, owners and managers can review this data, submit hours data, and some commission reports (if applicable) directly from the terminal to a Heartland Payment Systems’ payroll solution. Good bye printed time cards and paperwork!

Putting your payroll in the hands of professionals will help you breathe a little easier. These providers are well-versed in local, state and federal laws which differ by the state and some may have more taxes withheld (ie: city, school district and municipal taxes) on top of other withholdings.

For more information about how you can use your time clock function in conjunction with Heartland Payment Systems’ payroll solution, please call your pcAmerica representative at 1-800-722-6374 or visit www.pcamerica.com.

The Benefits of Cloud-Connected POS Reporting

Finger touching cloud on a tablet touch screen. Cloud computingCloud-connected POS is a smart choice for on-the-go business owners who want a more reliable POS system than one that is purely “cloud based.” A cloud-connected POS system, like pcAmerica’s Restaurant Pro Express and Cash Register Express offers you all of the benefits of a cloud-based system—real time reporting anytime, from anywhere—with a few differences.

A cloud-based system loses its lifeline if the internet connection goes down. The POS terminal won’t run if it can’t access the cloud, which could cost you time and money. In other words, if your business in an area that has frequent power outages or has a spotty or bad internet connection, a cloud-based POS is going to be a poor choice.

Instead, consider a cloud- connected solution, which has the software installed onto the computers which and can run independently of an internet connection. Under normal circumstances, a cloud-connected system rings sales normally and sends a stream of data up to the cloud for you to access. If a store loses its internet connection, the cloud-connected system will still run.

Although we don’t think a purely cloud-based POS is reliable enough for business use, a cloud-connected system can still give you the same benefits.

Data in your pocket: When your business employs this type POS, you have access to sales reports, figures and inventory from anywhere with an internet connection. It means you can stay on top of activity 24/7—whether you’re sitting in a coffee shop or it’s the middle of the night.

Risk Management: When you store your data on a cloud-based solution, you could have some downtime if your internet connection goes down or your business loses power. This could be especially problematic if it’s a busy time of year.

For more information about pcAmerica’s cloud-connected solutions, please call your pcAmerica representative at 1-800-722-6374 or visit www.pcamerica.com.