Thursday, August 21, 2014

Point of Sale Buying Tip: Buying Online or Buying Locally

It took until the late 1990's for point of sale systems to become user friendly enough that online purchasing became an option.  Now with of easy to use point of sale systems designed for mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, nearly anyone searching for a point of sale solution needs to decide whether they want to buy from a local company or an online or out of the local area company.

I've had the opportunity in the past to provide point of sale systems to both local customers and customers 3000 miles away.  My personal preference is to always try and find a local company that can provide you with a point of sale system. After all, your business likely relies on local customers so you should also support local businesses as well (don't be a hypocrite or word will get out and your business will suffer). That being said, here are some factors that may cause you to choose not to purchase a point of sale system from a local company:

  • No local company in your area or the local companies don't offer point of sale solutions for your type of business
  • You are comfortable with remote support and training
  • Local point of sale company has a poor reputation
  • You have only basic technology needs
  • You have the time and commitment (and technical knowledge) to do some of the setup work yourself
  • You have 'in house' IT staff
Why you would want to work with a local point of sale company:
  • Are in need of a complex solution
  • Want in person training, setup, and ongoing support
  • Have high technology needs
  • No 'in house' IT staff and no interest in being an IT person
  • Like the idea of working with someone 'face to face'
Note that price really isn't a factor as, over the course of 5-7 years, the costs are going to be the same whether you buy locally or non-locally.

The above are just some basic thoughts. There are also times were we have traveled onsite to get the system up and running or even outsourced a local IT person and guided them through the setup process (it pays to be creative).

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