As a retailer, you likely spend the majority of your time working hard to shore up sales. From managing inventory to targeted marketing efforts to hiring the right staff members, your efforts tend to focus on boosting revenues and keeping customers streaming through your doors.

And one aspect of running your business, while it may not capture much of your attention, can have a major impact on your sales: your point of sale system. Whether you’re looking to set up your first POS, upgrade your current system, or need a mobile solution for occasional in-person sales, choosing the right POS is integral for your business.

With dozens of POS models and solutions, making the right choice can be an overwhelming process for the average retailer. But if you weigh the pros and cons of each system, you’ll narrow down your options to best meet your needs. To help you hone in on the right POS for your business, here are five things to consider when doing due diligence.

Inventory management

When you sell products, it’s easy to run out of stock for particularly popular items. Tracking inventory manually is a tedious and cumbersome process — fortunately, many POS systems offer inventory management features to automate this task. The right system will help you track your inventory with every transaction, return, and exchange. So, you can spend your precious time on more important aspects of running your business.

Customer management

It’s not enough to simply keep track of your inventory — a solid POS should help you manage your customers as well. Some POS options create customer profiles so retailers can browse their buying history, collect their email addresses, and keep other important data. Some systems even integrate with tools like choosing the right POS to make sending those email marketing campaigns that much easier.

Returns and exchanges

Returns and/or exchanges should be a cinch with your point of sale system. If you have to wrestle with your current POS every time a customer brings back a product, then it’s time to consider other options.

Hardware needs

Although we’ve spent the majority of this article discussing the kind of software features that good POS systems include, we can’t neglect the hardware. When narrowing down system options for your business, consider your needs when it comes to the physical system you’ll use for transactions.

For payments primarily processed on the go, retailers can likely use just a card reader and tablet connected to a cloud-based POS system. This flexible mobile version of a POS is ideal for occasional in-person sellers who hawk their wares at flea and farmer’s markets, craft fairs, maker fairs, and other shared spaces. For more traditional brick-and-mortar merchants, you may need additional accessories such as multiple payments terminals, receipt printers, and barcode scanners.

Regardless of what your current needs are, also take a moment to consider where your business will be one, five, and ten years down the road. Are you starting to sell at craft fairs with plans to expand to your own storefront? Then find a POS system that will grow as your business does.

Taking payments anywhere

As aforementioned, have a flexible POS is an important feature for many retailers. Although you may have a brick-and-mortar retail store, how will you take payments when you host a pop-up shop? How will you collect potential customer information and process transactions while showing off your products at a trade show?

Regardless of your retail niche, find a POS system that allows you to take payments anywhere at anytime. Then you’ll never miss an opportunity for a sale.

Your perfect Point of Sale checklist

Need a little more guidance to find the best POS for your retail business? Read Shopify’s handy guide to choosing the right point of sale system for your needs.