Convenience Store POS System Costs
Costs to be Aware of When Considering a Convenience Store POS System
Over $500 billion is spent at convenience stores each year. With consumers spending so much, there’s a lot of competition amongst convenience store businesses; many convenience store owners want to do everything they can to earn their fair share of the market. To be successful, a convenience store business owner must closely monitor operational errors, waste of business hours, and business losses. These must be minimized in the face of such fierce competition, regardless of business type.
A POS system for convenience stores is an invaluable asset and one of the most important business management tools for convenience store managers. A superior POS for c-stores provides management of convenience store smart inventory levels, customer relationship management, accurate pricing, custom accounting integration, quick checkout speed, an employee tracking module, customer loyalty programs, and many other functions that separate a successful convenience store from an unsuccessful one.
A convenience store POS system includes hardware and software:
The hardware included in a basic convenience store POS system consists of the following:
- Computer and monitor or an all-in-one PC. Touchscreen monitors/all-in-ones are a popular POS option.
- Keyboard and mouse
- Cash drawer
- Receipt printer
- Scanner/weight scale
- Customer display pole or LCD customer display screen
- Credit card reader
Sometimes, commercial-grade hardware or other additional hardware items may also be necessary.
There are two primary functions of POS software: speed and simplification of business tasks. A POS speeds customer checkout at the cash register. Inventory and other administrative tasks are streamlined in the back office. Information processing is at the heart of both of these POS features. A POS system collects and organizes massive amounts of data into usable formats using a powerful CPU and sophisticated software.
Customers’ purchasing information can be used to increase sales by providing more of the products they want, such as through frequent buyer/customer discount cards. Through a POS, you’ll know what’s selling and what isn’t, and you can make adjustments accordingly (i.e., perishable items that are about to expire). Further, automatic ordering through a POS reduces human error by reordering stock based on minimum and maximum levels.
The ability to generate reports is one of the most useful feature of POS software. The next phase of retail innovation will be driven by “big data” analytics, and businesses that are unable to make use of the wealth of information at their disposal will be left behind. With reports generated by your POS, you can access customer and vendor data, compare sales trends, analyze costs, and more with full control over your store’s data.
Convenience Store POS System Average Costs
The price differences between POS systems are enormous. Due to low-profit margins in many convenience stores, price may be the deciding factor when choosing a POS system. Most POS systems require cash payments upfront for the compatible hardware and monthly or one-time licensing fees for the POS software.
Some point-of-sale systems are free to use, while others charge as much as $150 per month just for the software. That being said, price is only one factor in determining which POS is most advantageous for your business operations. Don’t forget to consider the cost of payment processing when selecting a convenience store POS system.
- A convenience store POS package that contains all the hardware and software you need to get started often costs between $2,500-$5,000 per station. The price variance reflects the quality of the components and whether it includes a support package, warranty and/or credit card processing or not. Lower-priced bundles range from $500-$1,500, but they may not include all system components. You may receive a discount for purchasing multiple stations/terminals.
- A back-office management station (CPU, monitor, keyboard, mouse and software) usually costs between $1,000-$1,500.
- If cost is a concern, consider a refurbished POS system. Or, rather than purchase, lease equipment. Most vendors also offer financing options.
- Credit card processing software, if not included, costs between $300-$600. Note, this does not include transaction fees. You can expect to pay transaction fees of approximately 2% of the value of each sale.
- POS software alone ranges from $250-$500 per lane/user up to as much as $1,000-$2,500 per lane/user depending on features.
- A new generation of cloud-based POS software combines the functionality of traditional POS software with real-time remote access, automatic updates, support and more. It costs roughly $50-$400 per month depending on the number of employees, registers and stores.
Many of the POS systems used in convenience stores are designed specifically for handling large quantities of customers. With a great convenience store POS, you can manage inventory, set up automatic low stock alerts, accept gift cards, and more, all with the touch of a button on the touchscreen display as you rack up sales. Advanced analytics and reporting deliver valuable information about best and worst-selling items—use this information to your advantage for maximum sales.
Credit Card Fees
Using a merchant account, you can accept payments from customers on your terminal and deposit them into your business bank account. Depending on where you live, you may have to pay a fee to your bank or a POS supplier to use these services.
Standard credit card fee comparison in the United States range between 2.3% and 2.5%, as an approximate guideline. However, if customers buy products from your website, the prices are typically higher. Other factors may affect the percentage, but they should be discussed with a professional because they are complex.
Monthly vs. Annual Billing
Most POS systems allow annual payments or month-to-month payments. Monthly billing may be better for businesses with limited cash on hand, but businesses may receive discounts by electing annual plans. If you’re not happy with your current POS software, monthly contracts make it easier for businesses to switch from one to another.
Purchasing vs. Leasing POS Equipment
POS systems, like all other forms of technology, constantly evolve and add new capabilities and features, such as a clean user interface and cloud software storage, while also improving speed and sturdiness of the hardware. You won’t have to worry about monthly or yearly payments if you buy your equipment outright, but if you lease equipment, you’ll be able to upgrade and capitalize on new capabilities and features at regular intervals.
Even if you replace equipment every few years, buying POS equipment outright is the most cost-effective option for small businesses like retailers and other brick-and-mortar storefronts with a few terminals. When you lease POS hardware, you’ll almost always have to sign a long-term contract with monthly or yearly payments for the POS software, as well.
BNG Point-of-Sale are POS solutions that improve your bottom line. With a full selection of POS systems for various businesses, including convenience stores, you’ll find the right tool to grow your business with the personalized support you need. Connect with us to learn more.