POS vs. CRM: Which Is Best for a Retail Store?
Successful retailers thrive when they make the most of all their business tools.
But when it comes to running a retail store, you have a decision to make: Do you need a point of sale (POS) system or a customer relationship management (CRM) system?
In this blog post, we’ll break down the details of what each system is, why you would need one, and which is best for your business.
POS vs. CRM: The Basics
First things first: Let’s define what exactly POS and CRM systems are — and what they can do for your retail business.
Point of Sale (POS) System
At its most basic level, a point of sale system is designed to manage sales transactions. Think of it as the digital equivalent of a traditional cash register — but with much more power.
Sure, it processes your customers' payments — but it also goes several steps further. Modern POS systems offer more advanced features, including inventory management, cash drawer reconciliation, and sales tracking. Some solutions even offer integrated marketing features (but we’ll come back to that).
Simply put, a point of sale system is your ticket to streamlined transactions.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System
On the other hand, a customer relationship management system focuses on the customer. It maintains customer profiles and purchasing history, manages customer communications, and even facilitates marketing efforts.
CRM is all about personalization — it identifies your most valuable customers, allowing you to segment your audience, target particular demographic groups, and tailor your marketing to their needs. Its goal is to understand, anticipate, and respond to your customers’ needs in a consistent way, transforming a random purchase into a loyal customer lifecycle.
POS vs. CRM: Which Should You Choose?
So, which is the better pick? The truth is, comparing POS and CRM is like comparing apples and oranges. They have different functions — POS is your sales and transaction engine, while CRM is your customer relationship engine. The right solution would depend on your retail store's unique needs.
If your priority is to streamline payments, stay on top of your inventory, and ensure smooth day-to-day operations, the winner might be a powerful POS system.
If your focus is on maximizing customer retention, personalizing your marketing, and cultivating rewarding customer relationships, then a CRM solution might be the right choice.
But here’s the thing: It’s really a disservice to view POS and CRM systems as competitors in a face-off. They’re more like teammates working toward the same goal — your retail store’s success.
And luckily for you, many modern POS systems have CRM features built in. You can have the best of both worlds.
A Dynamic Duo
So, how does a POS system with integrated CRM features work? Here are just some of the features that make customer relationship management a breeze:
- Customer Tracking and History: Track every customer transaction, enhancing personalization during subsequent visits and significantly improving customer service.
- Customer Loyalty Cards: Issue and manage loyalty cards to encourage return visits and greater spend, so you can build more sustainable customer relationships.
- Scheduled Promotions: Strategically schedule your sales efforts to leverage peak selling periods and to attract customers with enticing offers.
- Email Marketing: Integrate with email marketing platforms to engage with your customers via targeted email campaigns.
With these features (and more), you can enhance your business operations and your customer relationships.
Comcash: The Best of Both Worlds
Point of sale and customer relationship management systems are both important parts of running a successful retail business.
But when it comes down to the debate of POS vs. CRM, you don’t have to choose — you can have the best of both worlds.
To get started with a system that meets both needs, schedule a demo with one of our Comcash specialists today! You’ll boost your bottom line in no time.