What is a point of sale system?
Point of Sale (or POS) systems are how a customer makes their payment for products or services in your store.
As a merchant, you probably have a physical store, an online store, or both, and you need a trading system that can quickly process payments or refunds and accurately record transaction history. . Sounds pretty straightforward, right?
When you start to think about how these situations can play out in detail, from tourists paying with different types of cards and currencies to loyal customers paying with a mix of cash, store credit, or gift certificates, a simple selling becomes a little more difficult to achieve. treat.
A point of sale system is designed for exactly this complexity. They are equipped to meet all customer needs at the point of sale, from sending gift receipts via email to reminding us of ongoing promotions to increase sales.
When used effectively, they are able to reduce costs and improve margins without sacrificing service levels. There are tons to choose from, and in our roundup of the best point of sale systems, Shopify, Square, and Vend are at the top of our list of recommendations.
Point of sale systems also give you business information to keep operations running smoothly and highlight areas for development. They can alert you when inventory is low, alert you, make sure you stay on top of compliance-related payment regulations, and help your business avoid fines and other administrative costs (such as chargeback fraud) , while providing advanced security features. that protect against data theft and cyber breaches.
Point of sale systems are sometimes used to refer to cash register, or even referred to as POS cash register. The reality is that they are much more than the old-fashioned cash register. In today’s world, modern digital point of sale systems give your business an edge and allow you to consult with your customers wherever your business is based.
1. Just tell us your needs
2. Receive free quotes
3. Compare prices and save money
How a point of sale system works
A point of sale system is made up of pieces of hardware and software that work together to process sales and payment transactions at the point of purchase. An example of point-of-sale hardware includes a card reader or order management screen, while point-of-sale software provides cloud-based solutions for secure payments.
It performs all basic cash register functions, such as ringing items by department. Track sales, add taxes and create receipts.
Types of point of sale system
Best for: Multichannel e-commerce brands.
Multi-channel point of sale systems allow you to integrate with your website, third party and partner online marketplaces, and social media to keep your offers relevant.
Desktop POS, Mobile POS (mPOS) and Tablet POS
One of the great advantages of point of sale systems is the flexibility they offer. Most point of sale software has an app that can be opened on any device. While this is usually a dedicated desktop for your business, mobile and tablet point-of-sale systems give you flexibility as you grow your business or introduce pop-up points of sale.
Best for: Itinerant and expanding businesses
Point of sale applications
Most brands have an app these days, and point of sale businesses are no different. A POS application can function as an extension of your hardware POS system or as the main software dashboard to monitor all sales and transactions.
Best for: mobile businesses moving from site to site
Open source point of sale software
Best for: If you are a business with highly customized technology needs and multiple integrations, open source point of sale software could be for your business.
This type of point of sale system allows you to directly modify the source code of the creator to create a custom point of sale solution for your business.
Benefits for a point of sale system
- Stifle the customer experience
- Better customer satisfaction and loyalty
- Better security and service
- Faster customer orders
- Efficient management of purchase / supplier orders
- Faster customer management
- Faster payment transactions
- Simplified billing
- Better inventory management
- Regular updates
- Fewer human errors
- Time saving
- Advanced reports
- Multi-store functions
One of the great benefits of a point of sale system is the time that you and your employees will recover by switching to a system with time management options.
Other benefits of having a point of sale system include increasing productivity and reducing costs to streamline operations; reduce human error; provide detailed sales reports; and improving the overall customer experience.
When choosing a point of sale system, you will need to consider from the start the specific features and customization options that your business requires. Example scenarios:
Retail business owner
Retailers who sell electronics will need their products to contain serial numbers to identify specific models, brands and items in stores.
Owner of an online fashion business
Clothing retailers, on the other hand, will need their products to have separate, brand-specific SKUs. Due to the high costs associated with the items, jewelry stores will have point-of-sale systems that will specifically issue alerts for incorrect billing attempts.
Owner of a convenience store
And for groceries, point-of-sale systems require products to contain both best-before dates and a unit of measure in order to allow businesses to sell discounted items just once.
Elements of a point of sale system
Modern point of sale systems have evolved from simple cash registers and can do more than just transactions. They are ubiquitous in many industries – hospitality, retail and leisure – and come in different shapes and sizes depending on the needs of the business.
Some point-of-sale systems combine hardware (such as a server computer) and software into a single unit, while others separate the two by connecting a “dumb” terminal to a server located on-site or in another building.
Combined point of sale systems
Some point-of-sale systems combine hardware (such as a server computer) and software in a single unit, while others separate the two by connecting a “dumb” terminal to a computer. server located either on site or in another building. For cloud-based point-of-sale systems, the terminals connect directly to the internet to run software that updates automatically.
Modular point of sale systems
Many are modular, allowing additional hardware units to be connected to display metrics such as order total and product weight. Others can scan barcodes, print receipts, and handle security needs – for example, credit card processing systems designed to accept credit or debit card payments.
Point of sale systems are also customizable on the software side, allowing businesses to manage membership programs and loyalty programs to give customers discounts on future purchases. Here, UX and design become essential to their efficiency.
Terminals in restaurants, for example, will prioritize usability and speed by presenting enlarged buttons on large, bright screens to allow staff to quickly and easily book tables for customers in dark environments.
Portable point of sale systems
Conversely, an EPOS (Electronic Point of Sale) portable terminal on a market stand will be barely larger than a credit card while offering the possibility of hosting a 4G SIM card to connect directly to the Internet for process payments online.
A point of sale system can reduce reliance on manual processes, making it an essential tool in helping businesses digitize their processes and reduce reliance on spreadsheets. Powerful point-of-sale solutions excel at delivering actionable, real-time data that enables tasks to be done efficiently and quickly.
✔ Point of sale systems are great for getting to know customers better
This includes the ability to store information and create customer profiles to better understand customers. This in turn leads to better marketing capabilities such as the ability to create groups of customers – eg VIP buyers – who can be targeted through direct marketing campaigns.
✔ Monitoring of employee performance
At the same time, point of sale systems let you know how well your own employees are performing by letting customers tip your employees using predefined percentages, which is especially useful for companies in the service industry.
✔ Easily track product and sales reports
And when it comes to reporting, point of sale systems can tell you when certain items are becoming more popular while also helping to make sure you have enough of them in your inventory. This can be achieved through digitized product catalogs in systems that track inventory and automatically update quantities as buyers purchase them.
Whatever your reason for wanting a point of sale system, you should consider the needs of your business before deciding what type of solution is right for your needs. To better make a decision, check out How to Choose an Point of Sale and Top 5 Point of Sale Features You Should Watch Out for.