If you want to improve your marketing, sales, delivery processes, or inventory management, the right point-of-sale (POS) system can help.
Consider a POS system to be retail management software. It handles checkout and payment, but they also help with inventory management, employee scheduling, customer management, reporting, and other tasks.
A POS system will provide valuable insights and assist you in answering critical questions such as:
- Are you going to be open on Saturday evening?
- What are your best-selling items? And last but not least?
- Who is your most successful salesperson?
- Which marketing campaign is the most effective?
This guide will teach you everything you need to know about Pos systems.
What is a Point-of-Sale System?
A retail management system that processes orders and payments is referred to as a point-of-sale system.
The POS system is a hardware and software combination that manages the entire checkout process, from barcode scanning to payment processing. Scheduling, back office management, payroll, and reporting may also be handled by it.
Accepting multiple forms of payment is a key feature of a Pos system. Cash, cards (credit and debit), and mobile payments are all currently in use. Cryptocurrency payments, such as Bitcoin, will be introduced soon.
There are numerous other features available depending on your industry, but most systems rely on similar hardware components.
Hardware Components of a Point-of-Sale System
The primary functions of retail POS hardware include entering orders, accepting payments, scanning barcodes, printing receipts, and handling cash.
The terminal is the hardware interface through which customers make payments.
Some POS systems include wireless handheld terminals, which can improve customer experience and employee efficiency by allowing sales to take place throughout your establishment rather than just at checkout counters.
POS systems use common input devices like a keyboard and mouse. These components are either hardware attached to the terminal or software on the display unit.
The barcode scanner speeds up the checkout process by reading barcodes and adding items to the shopping cart.
Barcode scanners communicate with the inventory management module of the Pos system to automatically update product stock levels as you sell items.
The magnetic strip in credit and debit cards is read by the card reader. The card reader can also scan ID cards, allowing you to track sales from multiple employees on the same device.
Every POS system is built around the display unit. The primary interface for processing orders and managing the checkout process is the display unit.
It also has the ability to reconcile cash as well as view inventory, customer information, and performance data. More on that in a moment.
Most POS system providers provide a selection of different types of cash drawers. Cash drawers are secured with key locks or removable cash trays.
Customers can see a running total of items scanned, as well as prices and other order information, on the display pole.
Customers can view a running total of items scanned, including prices and other order information, on the display pole.
POS System Software Components
The software’s function is to manage and track inventory, process payments, report on business activity, and handle customer management.
On-premise (also known as “legacy” or “traditional”) and cloud-based (also known as “hosted”) POS software are the two main options. Here are the key differences between the two.
On-Premise POS Software
On-premise POS software requires a financial investment. By investing in an on-premise system, you may be able to reduce your lifetime costs by avoiding software and maintenance fees.
When shopping around, look for open-source software with no recurring subscription fees to get the best ROI. In addition, keep a backup of your system, preferably offsite, in case the software becomes corrupted.
- Locally installed on hardware at your site
- You are in charge of software maintenance and updates.
- A licence and dedicated hardware will cost more upfront.
Cloud-Based POS Software
Most businesses choose cloud-based POS software due to its low cost – prices can start as low as $75 per month.
The fee for hosted POS software includes strong data security, third-party integrations, ongoing updates and maintenance, and persistent backups.
- It is location independent and scalable and because software is run in the cloud.
- Low initial costs and flexible lease terms
- IT personnel are not needed for service, maintenance, or updates.
Types of POS Systems
The best POS system for your company is determined by your niche and the products you sell. Fortunately, POS systems now serve all major industries.
To help you streamline your operations, a business-specific system will include features, workflows, and reporting.
Restaurant POS System
When selecting a restaurant POS system, the speed and ease of use are the most important considerations. User interfaces that are simple and easy to use help to expedite orders while minimising errors and ensuring accuracy.
Solid hardware combined with quick software provides hosts, waiters, managers, and chefs with the instant feedback they require to keep up with the industry’s increasingly tight demands. A user-friendly POS system will also make new hire training easier and improve staff retention.
A restaurant inventory management module is a valuable feature. Look for a POS system that allows you to track ingredients down to the ingredient level. You can use this data to forecast how much you need to order for seasonal rushes and events, in addition to simplifying your daily inventory management.
Reports allow you to compare revenue by shift, allowing you to reward and reward your best employees. The average spend per cover and party is also shown. Marketing integrations will assist you in determining which of your campaigns is generating the most revenue.
Retail POS System
Retail-specific POS systems enhance the customer experience. Among the most popular retail POS features are:
- Front-facing display
- Terminals that operate wirelessly
- Reader for barcodes
- Commonly used shortcuts
- Imports in large quantities
- Product availability reports
- Promotional and loyalty programs
Look for POS systems that include serial number tracking. This enables your POS system to keep track of specific products.
Tracking serial numbers aids in warranty claims and loss prevention. It also lowers the possibility of falsified or counterfeit returns.
Mobile POS (mPOS) Solution
Mobile POS solutions allow you to conduct business virtually anywhere. To process payments, a mPOS uses an app on your smartphone, laptop, or tablet.
Square popularised mPOS in 2010 when they released their ubiquitous white square-shaped credit card reader that fit in smartphone headset jacks. Others recognised the tremendous potential, and there are now numerous hardware and software options to choose from. Payments can be accepted via magnetic stripe, chip, or mobile.
Grocery & Convenience Store POS System
The combination of perishable inventory and high-volume sales necessitated the development of grocery POS systems that are particularly effective at inventory management.
Daily deliveries from multiple vendors can be managed using grocery POS systems. These POS systems track every item, allowing you to predict when your inventory will go bad. Knowing this allows you to decide whether to discount items or refresh your inventory.
Employee scheduling and payroll management are two other critical areas where a grocery POS system can help you save time and money – especially given the additional regulations that you must follow when hiring minors. Grocery POS systems track employee hours worked and alert managers if a minor is on the verge of a violation due to missing breaks or working too many hours.