What to look for when shopping for Cannabis POS software

POSTED ON July 29, 2021

The Local Cannabist - POS

Choosing the correct cannabis POS software is essential for smooth daily operations and cannabis retail licence security. Here are some tips to identify what software best suits your location and unique business needs.

1. Design and usability

Intuitive POS system layouts lead to smoother sales flows and faster customer service. The best POS systems are designed to maximize the quality of the customer experience by making transactions easy and painless.

  • First, picture your staff getting trained on the platform. Will it be easy and intuitive to use? How many clicks to get through a transaction? If it’s easy for your staff then it will be an easy process for your customers as well.
  • How long is the training time? This will be an important question to ask your POS provider. Can they get you up and running in under a week? Do they need to charge for training due to the complexity of the system?
  • Faster transactions means more sales per hour. Make sure that the POS you are considering can cover all use cases (split payments, sales queues, offline mode, etc) in a speedy time to maximize your volume of sales per hour while still maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction.

2. Control and clarity

All good POS systems have powerful control structures and provide top quality information for you to make intelligent business decisions. The best systems allow you to access all your company details and perform inventory/staff actions from anywhere.

  • Can you limit your new staff from changing the prices on your products and giving discounts? Your POS system needs to have layers of customizable permissions so that regular employees cannot perform managerial actions.
  • Can you limit your team’s visibility on profit reports and purchase ordering costs? Some company details are very sensitive. Your front of house staff should not be able to access your purchase order costs or see company wide sales statistics. Make sure your POS supports tiers of data permission restrictions.
  • Do you have visibility on current stock from wherever you are? As an administrator or store owner you should be able to monitor and perform inventory actions remotely so you are always up to date and in control of your business.

3. Flexibility and cooperation

No two cannabis stores are exactly alike. Each will have its unique operational needs and target different types of consumers. Before you choose a POS, make sure that it can be flexible enough to support the way you want to sell without any inefficient workarounds.

  • Does the POS system only work on Android? Is the the system built to support multiple types of hardware depending on your front of store operations? The POS should work for your process, not the other way around.
  • Does it have an open API setup to connect to other providers such as order ahead applications, accounting, your website, and wall menus? Ask about how open your POS provider is to connecting with ancillary products that can help your store achieve your ideal look and feel.
  • How open are your providers to feature requests? If you want to add a feature to your POS, will that company comply? What if there is a report you’d like to see, will they be there for you? Make sure you have all the functions you need and learn if your POS provider is willing to go the extra mile to work with you, not just sell to you.

4. Support and response time

Every POS system must have a strong support backbone. If anything goes wrong with your store or data are they going to be on the case or will you be left in the dust? Make sure you have help when you need it, whenever you may need it.

  • American companies are notorious for putting Canadian companies in the back of the line, so test them. Call them to find out how quickly they’ll respond to your request!
  • Do they know whats going on in your specific region? Always make sure that your POS provider understands the compliance regulations for your location. Greenline POS is focused on servicing Canadian companies for the goal of ensuring we stay on top of all the requirements for your business. Don’t let your licence be jeopardized by software that cannot provide adequate compliance features and reporting.
  • Will the POS support full back ups and data recovery locally and server-side? Making sure your business data is protected is an important step in the verification process. You should never worry about potentially losing inventory ledgers or client and sales data.

5. Reporting and compliance

Everything begins and ends with your cannabis retail license. Your POS system should always offer accurate one-click monthly compliance report generation and compliance features to automate your licensing upkeep.

  • Make sure your POS provider has already passed the auditing process for your province. Never settle with a system that goes halfway; make sure the compliance reports generated by the POS matches exactly with the format requested by your province.
  • Is submitting your monthly report quick and easy?  It’s important to make sure your compliance reports can be generated right away, whenever you need it.
  • Can the POS system track daily sales limits as per the federal regulations? There may be many other restrictions necessary for preserving your cannabis retail licence. Ensure that the POS can automatically adhere to these regulations.

6. Cost and scale

Cost of using and getting started with a POS is another important aspect of choosing the right system. Some systems are more suited to multi-store chains as opposed to single store shops. Your POS should be able to scale and grow with you business while not overburdening your team with a mess of unnecessary features for your current situation.

  • Whats the real cost of your POS? In addition to the monthly subscription there may be additional for training, data imports, hardware setup, and technical support. Make sure you review the details thoroughly before signing up.
  • Can your POS system grow with your business as you expand? It’s important to understand the inventory infrastructure of the POS to make sure your business has the ability to grow and won’t be restricted by the system you choose.
  • What is the length of the contract? If faced with the worst case scenario are you going to be stuck with a system that cannot support your needs? Greenline POS has full confidence that the quality of our system and support will keep customers coming back for more.

To summarize, the six considerations for finding a great POS that fits your needs are:

  1. Design and usability
  2. Control and clarity
  3. Flexibility and cooperation
  4. Support and response time
  5. Reporting and compliance
  6. Cost and scale

If the POS system you are looking for matches these criteria, then you should be confident in moving forward with it for your cannabis retail store.

Click here to learn more about Greenline’s POS features or schedule a demo with our expert Sales team.

Photo courtesy of The Local Cannabist, Edmonton, Alberta | Read the Case Study here!