We routinely hear from florists that went with competing POS systems only to realize they had made a mistake almost immediately.
The problem is that the demo they saw only covered what the POS provider wanted them to see, and florist did not ask about some really important features & considerations – usually because it’s stuff that is so basic, so essential, they took it for granted and assumed it would be there.
These flower shops are happy to learn that these features are available in FloristWare (one of the main reasons we are the first choice in second POS systems) and quickly make the switch over but generally they wish they had gone with FloristWare first.
So, based on what we have heard from our clients, here are the things every florist should demand from a POS/shop management system that claims to be built for the retail flower business:
Multiple Orders In One Sale
Sometimes customers want to place multiple orders as part of a single sale. Many florist POS systems force you to enter each order as a separate sale.
- someone wants to order flowers for their wife, their mother and their mother-in-law on Mother's Day
- an HR department wants to order flowers for a couple of employees that have birthdays that month
- a corporate account wants to sent flowers to several different customers.
In each case the customer usually wants to make one payment and get one receipt. They don’t want to give you their credit card and wait while you run it five different times. They don’t want five different receipts.
It’s shocking but most independent POS systems don’t let you do that. Instead they will tell you that you don’t really need it, or give you some ugly workaround like “just create an account for the customer, charge all the orders to that one account, and then take a payment on the account…”
But anybody who has worked in this business knows that this is basic, essential functionality, and that any system that doesn’t offer it just isn’t serious about serving florists.
FloristWare lets you have as many different orders and cash and carry sales as you like in each sale, and gives you powerful tools for cloning and editing those orders.
Demand to see this, and don’t settle for “don’t worry, we have an easy little workaround for that!”.
Split Tender Payments (Multiple Payments On One Sale)
Sometimes customers need to split the payment for a sale and you need to be able to offer that.
Sometimes people want to split the payment for a sale into smaller chunks – for example they want to…
- pay part cash and part credit
- split the total between two or more cards
- split the payment for sympathy work between two or more family members
Again most independent POS systems won’t let you do this. And, again, they’ll tell you that you don’t really need to, or offer up the same old time-consuming workaround (well, just create an account, charge the sale to that, then take multiple payments to the account and then close it out…”.
That is not good enough for a real flower shop. FloristWare lets you split payments as many ways as you want. Don’t settle for less – make any POS vendor show you how their system handles split tender payments.
Are you willing to settle for manually selecting printers and clicking through dialog boxes every time you print? You don't have to.
Most non-floral retailers only have to worry about printing receipt slips but real florists know the flower business is a lot more complicated than that!
In any five minute span you might need to print…
- reports, invoices or statements on letter-sized paper (potentially from one or more different printers and/or paper trays)
- receipt slips on a different printer
- enclosure cards or tickets on yet another printer
It’s incredible but most independent floral POS systems make you manually select and submit to each printer! After taking a simple local delivery order you might have to click through three different sets of print dialog boxes.
FloristWare automates printer/paper source selection for you because our clients would not tolerate anything less. You set the desired printer and paper source for each job type (reports, receipts, enclosure cards, tickets, etc.) for each machine and FloristWare takes care of the rest.
Whenever you are considering a POS system you need to see this demonstrated – don’t wait until February 14 to realize a new system is going to wear out the button on your mouse.
Protect your livlihood by controlling who has access to sensitive data.
Most flower shops are like a family… until they aren’t. When an employee jumps ship for competitor, or a designer goes out on their own it’s all too common that they take some of your valuable information with them – things like customer lists, financial information etc.
And it doesn’t even need to be that nefarious to be serious. You likely don’t want employees to see how how much the store is making, or what their co-workers are getting paid.
FloristWare gives florists incredibly granular control over security and access so that each employee can see and do only what you absolutely need them to in order to do their job.
Be sure to ask any floral POS provider to show you how this works in their system.
Flower shops can be chaotic, and florists need a system that makes it easy for them to bounce between different tasks and orders.
For example this kind of thing is common in most shops…
- you are doing some reporting…
- then have to start taking a phone order…
- only to have the customer say they will call right back with their credit card
- you need get back to that report you were working on…
- then jump right back to the incoming phone order when they call back
Just how easy is that to do? Make sure you know before you commit to a POS system because it’s going to come up every single day.
FloristWare has some great tools for managing the chaos and bouncing around between different orders and tasks and we love to show them off so please – ask us to show you.
Don’t wait until you desperately need technical support to ask about technical support.
Some of our competitors love using overseas call centres because labor and overhead is cheap but, because of the time difference, this usually means you don’t get answers until the next day. It can also make communication more complicated than you need it to be, especially when you have an urgent problem going in to a major floral holiday.
Wherever they might be located you also need to ask about who is providing support and the extend of their experience. Are you going to have to explain what a redirect is to someone with no experience in the floral industry?
We are proud to employ only dedicated, truly expert (at least ten years in the flower business) support professionals, all based right here in North America.
Credit Card Processing
Credit card processing remains one of the biggest hidden costs with florist-specific POS software.
By forcing you to use a specific merchant service provider and then skimming off inflated clearing rates systems that look cheap usually end up costing far more in the end. Remember – that extra percentage is charged on the after-tax gross dollar amount of every single credit card payment. This is why FloristWare allows you to use whatever merchant service provider gives you the best deal.
When evaluating a POS system for your flowers shop make sure you see the reporting options before you actually need the reports.
Just two of the reports you need to pay special attention to…
- sales tax and sales tax exemptions reports – how easy (or difficult) will they make it to file your sales tax returns?
- consignment sales – how will it help you settle up with your consignment vendors?
At FloristWare we know that few florists got into the flower business because they love running reports and we do everything we can to ensure that our reporting makes your life easier, not harder.
POS vendors tend to skip the things we talk about above for a couple of reasons…
- as essential as these things might seem they are very difficult and expensive to build/support/provide
- most POS vendors have no first hand experience in a real working retail flower shop
At FloristWare gladly put in the time and money to build these feature and get them right because…
- we started in family owned flower shops
- we keep going back in to real flower shops – we try and have our employees volunteer with our florist clients and help out in their stores during peak periods like Mother's Day to better understand what they need.
- we attend as many floral industry trade shows and events as possible because we want to meet with our clients, collaborate with them face to face and be held accountable.
So please – look around and ask these questions of both us and our competition.