Modern customers are demanding a shopping experience that involves more customer engagement. Delivering such shopping experiences has become a huge challenge for retail stores today. In order to ensure great shopping experiences, retail stores are trying to securely integrate payment processing, loyalty management, coupons, and in-store sales with backend systems used in retail stores, such as order management and fulfillment, inventory, and customer experience management. The retail point-of-sale (POS) system is getting very popular among retailers, which can help them deliver great customer experiences during in-store purchases. According to Statista, the point-of-sale software market is projected to grow rapidly in years to come, reaching a size of USD 42.5 billion by 2027. The main functions of the POS application systems include sales, inventory, stock counting, and more. As retail point-of-sale (POS) systems are complicated and tightly integrated with multiple systems used in retail stores, software testing solutions for the retail industry are employed to ensure that there are no issues in the shopping experience and transaction.
This blog highlights the importance of testing POS systems and the challenges faced by retail enterprises while testing POS systems.
What is a POS System?
The point of sale (POS) is generally referred to as a particular stage in the sales cycle when a sale happens. A POS system is an innovative technology that helps retail stores and other businesses perform and complete their transactions with customers effortlessly from anywhere at any time without any delay. The system contains both hardware and software that enables retail enterprises to centralize the entire business process. The new POS systems available in the market are used for many purposes, ranging from processing sales transactions and automating manual tasks to providing real-time reports, helping retail companies manage their inventory, and more. Nowadays, apart from retail stores, POS systems are also used in restaurants, hospitals, and almost everywhere where payments are involved. The following are some ways in which POS systems improve the customer shopping experience:
- Faster customer checkouts
- Increased customer loyalty with CRM features of POS systems
- Various payment methods
- Better inventory management
- Real-time data and reports to make better decisions
- Quick action on customer feedback
- Easy returns of shopping items
Importance of Retail POS Testing to Enhance Customer Experiences
As we all know, the retail industry is highly competitive. So, the effective use of point-of-sale systems can help retail companies make a huge difference and gain an edge or their competitors. However, if POS systems do not work as expected, retail enterprises have to face problems like:
- Incorrect record management issues
- Increase in the time taken to process unreliable data
- Wrong information in sales reports
- Challenges in tracking discounts, promotions, and coupons
- Incorrect data about loyalty members
With these problems, it is crucial for retail companies to have a reliable POS solution that performs transactions seamlessly and securely and delivers flawless customer experiences. Retail POS testing is a necessity for the smooth running of POS systems.
Various Components That Need to be Tested in a POS System
The main three components of a POS system that needs to be tested are:
1. POS Terminal
A POS terminal is a device that helps retail companies process sales transactions. The sub-components of a POS terminal are cash drawers, credit card readers, receipt printers, and barcode scanners. These components need to be tested to monitor the POS system's performance aspects and functionalities.
2. Local Server
A local server is a part of the POS system that stores significant information and business and transactional data of the POS devices and POS applications. The popular testing methods used to test a local server are interface, analytics, security, and recovery testing methods.
3. Enterprise Server
The enterprise server is the server that has the same functions as the store server. The important testing scenarios used to test enterprise servers are interface, security, business intelligence, analytics, and recovery.
Main Features of the POS System That Need to be Tested
In addition to the major components of a POS system, it is crucial for retail enterprises to perform testing on various features of the POS system to improve customer experiences. Let’s check some of the important features of the POS system that can impact the overall customer experience.
- Sales: All the data pertaining to regular sales, sales that involved a gift card, debit card, and credit card, sales with return and exchange, inventory sales, and loyalty member purchases have to be evaluated to deliver seamless customer experiences.
- Back-office integration: In order to have a seamless integration between the store server and the backend system, it is critical for retail companies to perform POS interaction verification.
- Platform validation: Most POS systems support different platforms to give better customer experiences. However, it is important to test the functionality of the POS system to offer a secure experience for customers.
- Cashier activity: The cashier of a retail shop needs to perform various activities to complete the transaction process. The evaluation of cashier activities, like store value cards, entry of items, discounts, cash drawer loans, and closings, is crucial for retail enterprises, as these activities involve complex transactions.
- Loyalty member data: In the retail industry, it is important for companies to track what their customers are buying and who they are. Most companies use POS systems to perform this function. The data from the POS system is used to plan long-term strategies. So, it is critical for retail enterprises to verify this data.
Challenges Faced by Retail Enterprises in POS Testing
Owing to the complex nature of the POS system, it is important for retail companies to test it thoroughly to enhance the customer experience. However, being a complex machine, the POS system poses many challenges to testers in the retail industry. Here are some of the main challenges faced by testers while testing POS systems.
1. Complex Interfaces
The transaction process in a retail store may look simple, but many complex processes happen during the payment process. In addition to that, the interface of the POS system is very complicated with many functions. So, it is important to perform comprehensive POS testing that covers all the features and touchpoints within the POS system and app.
2. Continuous Upgrades and Maintenance
In POS testing, testing teams of retail organizations need a certain test framework for devices with different software versions and various types of hardware devices. So, retail organizations need to have a strong testing system that can implement continuous integration and deployment to upgrade their POS applications seamlessly.
3. Different Configurations
As POS systems are used in various locations, the software used in the system needs to fulfill the requirements of the stores they are installed in. So, the requirements of each store will be different, and the developers and tests need to make sure that the POS system fulfills all requirements. This is a big challenge for retail companies, as they need to evaluate how well a POS system handles the different configurations within the system.
How Can HeadSpin Help Enterprises Overcome POS Testing Challenges?
HeadSpin offers a retail application testing solution that helps global retail enterprises to deliver great customer experiences. HeadSpin's retail application testing solution can help enterprises in the retail industry develop the capability of perfecting digital experiences through their POS devices. Let's check some of the important features of HeadSpin's retail application testing solution that can help retail enterprises overcome challenges in POS testing.
1. AI-enabled Insights
With the HeadSpin Platform, retail enterprises can collect data science insights about the performance of their POS systems and applications. Using HeadSpin's AI-enabled insights, companies in the retail industry can gather detailed insights, such as issue cards, time series, and session videos, to enhance the functions of POS systems, thus improving the overall customer experience.
2. POS Testing of Zebra Devices
HeadSpin's retail application testing solution enables retail enterprises to perform POS testing of Zebra devices to improve the customer experience through these devices. As part of POS testing, HeadSpin enables retail organizations to record and playback audio from scanners and printers associated with Zebra devices. With the help of the HeadSpin Platform, retail companies can test the main features of Zebra devices, like QR and barcode scanning, receipt printing, etc. While performing POS testing of Zebra devices, HeadSpin's retail application testing solution supports retail companies to evaluate voice or actionable commands on Android and iOS devices and also record how the controlled device responds.
3. CI/CD Integration to Enable Continuous Upgrades and Maintenance
With HeadSpin's CI/CD integration feature, retail companies can implement a testing environment where quick upgrades and maintenance of POS systems are easily possible. Also, most open test frameworks are supported by HeadSpin.
4. Global Testing of POS Systems
The HeadSpin Platform supports retail organizations to remotely perform POS testing on real POS devices in 90+ locations worldwide using HeadSpin's global device infrastructure. HeadSpin's global testing feature will help retail companies to overcome the challenges posed by the usage of different configurations of POS systems.
The rapid digital transformation in the retail industry is pushing the bar higher to deliver great customer experiences to achieve more business growth. Ease, accuracy, and speed are the key components that retail customers are looking for when choosing the place to shop. POS systems are crucial in delivering and maintaining a customer-engaging shopping experience in the retail industry. Thus, testing and evaluation of POS systems are becoming imperative for retail enterprises.
Use the best retail application testing solution for POS systems, HeadSpin, to:
- Improve POS app performance
- Check the compatibility of POS systems across various conditions
- Create and test secured POS systems and applications
Q1. What is interoperability testing?
Ans: Interoperability testing is a software testing method used to test POS systems. This method is used to evaluate whether the POS software can interact with other software components and systems.
Q2. What is BI testing?
Ans: Business intelligence (BI) testing evaluates the staging data, ETL process, and BI reports and then ensures the implementation of the software is correct.
Q3. What is payment gateway testing?
Ans: Payment gateway testing is a POS testing method that validates the security, reliability, and performance of the payment gateway within the POS system.