As a store owner, searching for the perfect point of sale software can be a long and challenging task. The options are plentiful and each comes with its own set of features. Faced with such a complex market, some companies may turn to a personalized option: the custom point of sale. But what does this type of POS entail?

The custom point of sale system is a solution tailor-made for a store’s needs. This software is created and maintained in-house for managing the business operations.

Custom Point of Sale: What Is It?

A point of sale system has several functions: processing transactions, managing inventory, facilitating various business operations of the company and more according to its specific needs. It’s important for the roles of a POS to be executed efficiently for the smooth operation of the store.

As a retailer, you have several options when it comes to choosing a point of sale system that fits your needs. The features vary from one POS software company to another, with some specializing in specific commercial industries.

When a company has multiple specific requirements regarding its POS system, a personalized point of sale seems to be an excellent solution! This effectively includes all the features needed.

Customizing a POS can involve, among other things, software development, integrations with other business systems, unique user interfaces, specialized reports and additional hardware components.

The goal of a custom point of sale system is to improve business efficiency. It centralizes internal and external operations, in addition to improving workflow within the store.

How to develop a personalized point of sale system? The company may choose to do it in-house, thus calling upon its software development team. If it doesn’t have one, it can choose to engage a third-party provider specialized in creating custom POS solutions.

It’s common to find personalized POS systems in large companies. They invest a lot of money in setting up a central and unique system, 100% tailored to their organizational needs.

However, some POS software providers are already specialized for certain types of retailers, offering niche features. Therefore, it’s important to shop around for your POS before deciding to invest in a custom point of sale!

Alice POS offers 6 tips for choosing your software before diving into customizing a point of sale.

So the question to ask yourself is: do you need a personalized point of sale software for your store? Discover the pros and cons of this type of system in the rest of this article.

The Pros of a Custom Point of Sale

It goes without saying that having your own customized point of sale software tailored to your business needs brings its share of advantages! Here are 4:

1. Adaptability

The first advantage of a custom POS is the most obvious: its adaptability. Indeed, customized features are tailored to the needs of the business and molded to the owners’ preferences. In addition to making the use of the POS system more user-friendly for the staff, this greatly increases productivity.

Meeting the specific requirements of the business enhances overall operational efficiency. By eliminating unnecessary features found in other standard POS systems, processes are simplified and transactions are sped up for better business performance.

2. Custom Integrations

While a POS system is essential for the smooth operation of a business, it is often not the only solution used by the company. One advantage of customizing a point of sale system is integration with other software used internally. Whether it’s with inventory management systems, accounting software, online sales platforms, or loyalty programs: the choice is yours and the possibilities are numerous.

The personalized point of sale system offers businesses the flexibility and freedom needed to optimize their internal processes. This seamless integration ensures efficient flow of data between different departments of the company, leading to increased productivity and better decision-making.

3. Ownership

Of course, when opting for a custom POS, one has the advantage of being the owner of it. What does that mean? Almost total independence from third-party providers. This includes not having to pay recurring fees for the use of another system and having complete control over your business data.

Being an owner also offers more flexibility: you have the ability to add new features as you wish and thus evolve your system. You can adjust your system according to the growth of your business or changes in your industry to achieve better operational efficiency.

However, this requires additional resources that may not be readily available for market evolution: see further in this article.

4. More Freedom Over Updates

When a company chooses to customize its own POS, it pays more attention to the quality and durability of the system since it is directly responsible for it. To avoid wasting time and money, it is necessary to create a robust and reliable system that will withstand prolonged use. The company ensures, therefore, to deal with experienced designers and reliable hardware suppliers.

The custom point of sale also offers complete control over software and hardware updates of the system. It is thus possible to plan and execute updates according to the company’s schedule. If well executed, these improvements minimize the risks of disruptions and contribute to extending the lifespan of the system.

For businesses that can afford it, continuous maintenance and support services from internal developers also contribute to this extension. Therefore, do not forget to maintain constant communication with them.

Read more about the lifespan of a point of sale system.

The Cons of a Custom Point of Sale

As you can see, there are several advantages to a custom point of sale system. However, there are also significant disadvantages that should not be overlooked! Here are 5:

1. Very High Costs

Although personalized POS avoids monthly or annual subscription costs, its development and customization incur significant costs at any time.

Firstly, a detailed analysis is conducted even before development begins. This is to determine the required features and requires the involvement of specialized consultants.

Next, software development, integration and staff training are the most expensive aspects of a personalized point of sale. Indeed, a project like this requires the involvement of a large number of people.

Custom programming and design efforts require hiring experienced and qualified developers, who therefore cost more. You need dedicated employees for this software and its maintenance, which increases your payroll expenses.

Finally, the system must be rigorously tested to ensure its proper functioning. It must also be regularly updated to avoid hacking risks and to eliminate bugs.

All these aspects of developing a custom point of sale greatly increase your business expenses. Not to mention the price of computer equipment!

If it’s the necessary hardware that concerns you, Alice POS presents the 6 essential equipment for the proper functioning of a POS system.

2. Limited Scalability

The needs of a business are constantly and significantly evolving. Therefore, the custom point of sale system requires significant modifications to stay up-to-date, which again is complex and costly.

From the conception of the POS, the company must consider possible future integrations and ensure constant monitoring of market evolution. Indeed, the personalized point of sale system may become incompatible with new technologies over the years: the company will thus have to provide funds to update its outdated equipment and software.

Some point of sale software is also built on rigid architecture, making it difficult to add new features or modify existing ones without damaging the system.

In the long term, several factors can therefore limit the scalability of the personalized system, affecting long-term operational efficiency.

3. Maintenance Complexity

A challenge that only stores with their own custom point of sale must manage: system maintenance.

Indeed, the subscription to a point of sale software, such as Alice POS, includes the management of updates. With a personalized POS, it is the store that must handle problem resolution and the addition of new features.

As discussed earlier, customization offers great flexibility to the company, but you must have the resources (financial and human) to perform the necessary maintenance for the POS to function properly.

A custom system is also more complex in nature than a standard system, due to the specific functionalities and integrations tailored to the company. A point of sale can serve multiple types of retail operations, each requiring specifications during the development of the custom point of sale software.

These limitations can make it more difficult to resolve technical issues: therefore, you must ensure that you have expert assistance readily available when modifying the system.

4. Limited Technical Support

One undeniable advantage of dealing with a ready-to-use POS provider is the included technical support and, in some cases, it’s almost unlimited. This is an aspect that must be sacrificed when choosing a custom point of sale, especially if the system is developed entirely in-house.

Echoing the previous point, the complexity of maintaining the system makes technical support complicated. Only developers or experts with a deep understanding of the system can provide good assistance. Therefore, you need to have the appropriate, necessary and available staff at all times.

With ready-to-use point of sale software like Alice POS, you have a guarantee of quality and included technical support to simplify your life!

5. Development Time

The final significant disadvantage of a custom point of sale is the development duration of the system. The design phase can take a significant amount of time, requiring a lot of resources over an extended period. A good point of sale system can take up to 2 or even 3 years to develop and refine. Do you really have 3 years’ worth of financial resources available even before opening your store?

Therefore, a personalized POS is not a quick solution: any business needing a point of sale solution quickly should opt for ready-to-use POS software.

In conclusion, the decision to opt for a custom point of sale system depends on the specific needs of the business, its resources and its long-term vision. However, it is important to carefully evaluate options and ensure not to embark on customizing a POS system without considering the risks!

Alice POS offers several unique and useful features for your retail business. Feel free to contact us for a free demo!

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