Even if you don't realize it, most of you are familiar with what is a POS system. A point-of-sale (POS) system is a collection of software that allows shops and restaurant operators to receive payments from consumers, among other things. It is the software and hardware that a retail business requires to execute its operations. The point of sale is the fundamental hub that helps merchants run and grow their businesses, from purchasing and maintaining goods to processing transactions to managing customers and workers.
What Is Point of Sale Systems?
The point of sale (POS) system is the location where your customer pays for the items or services that your company provides.
Point of sale systems facilitates the completion of a business transaction between a client and a company. A point of sale system is a computerized network that comprises a primary computer connected to many checkout terminals and backed by a variety of hardware features ranging from barcode scanners to card payment terminals.
Because different businesses have different profiles, they require a diverse point of sale systems. Restaurants, retail shops, and grocery stores, for example, all have their own specialties, which is why they require POS software that is tailored to their demands. A scale at the point of sale is required at a grocery shop, and a café must be able to alter menus in the event of special deals.
However, there are two types of enterprises that require a point of sale system in general. Retailers and hospitality enterprises, such as restaurants and hotels, fall within this category. As a result, there are primarily two types of Point Of Sale systems: one for retail and the other for restaurants.
We put up this overview of what is a POS system so you can learn the fundamentals of how they work, get some insider knowledge on their true value, and figure out which type of POS system is best for your company.
What is a POS system’s function in a small business?
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Your firm may collect payments from customers and keep track of sales with a POS system. It appears simple enough, but depending on whether you sell online, have a physical storefront, or both, the arrangement can operate in a variety of ways.
The cash register in a store is referred to as a point-of-sale system. Modern Point Of Sale systems is totally digital, allowing you to check out a customer from anywhere. All you need is a POS app and a device that can connect to the internet, such as a tablet or phone.
So, what is a pos system‘s main function? It usually goes like this:
Image is taken from Squareup
- A customer makes the decision to purchase your goods or service. They may ask a sales representative to ring them up if you have a real store. A bar code scanner might be used by that associate to look up the item's price. Some POS systems additionally allow you to scan products visually with your device's camera. This phase occurs when a consumer completes their shopping cart and clicks the checkout button on an online store.
- Your POS system calculates the item's price, including any applicable sales tax, and then updates the inventory count to reflect the sale.
- Your consumer is responsible for payment. To complete their transaction, your customer will need to pay using their credit card, tap card, debit card, loyalty points, gift card, or cash. Your customer's bank must then authorize the transaction, depending on the type of payment they pick.
- The transaction at the point of sale is completed. This is the point at which a formal sale is made. The payment is processed, a digital or printed receipt is generated, and you ship or hand the things to your customer.
Types of POS systems
Image is taken from Squareup
If you're new to the industry, you might ask these questions; what is a pos system? What are the types available? This post will walk you through the four most common types of Point Of Sale systems available today.
1. Desktop POS
Desktop POS systems work on a computer or laptop and can be an app, a browser, or an on-premises system. It has a cash drawer, a barcode scanner, and a card swiper, so it functions similarly to a traditional cash register.
Restaurants, grocery stores, retail stores, book stores, salons, and spas are examples of businesses that benefit from desktop POS.
2. Mobile point-of-sale
In comparison to a desktop POS, a mobile POS is much smaller but just as useful. It comprises primarily of a phone app that connects to a card reader. As a result, all you have to do now is start selling by turning on the Point Of Sale software. Optional add-ons include barcode scanners and receipt printers.
A mobile POS has the advantage of being portable and allowing you to ring up sales instantly on the spot because it doesn't take up much room. It is quite popular among small enterprises, such as street sellers, fair/event vendors, and freelancers.
3. POS systems for tablets
A tablet POS is similar to a mobile POS in that both are installed on the devices together with any optional accessories (card swiper/receipt printer). The only difference is that tablets are often significantly larger, with larger screens that display images more cleanly and with more vibrant colors. What is a POS system’s advantage to organizations with a significant inventory? It simplifies the ordering and purchase process for both your employees and customers.
4. POS systems for self-service kiosks
Self-service POS systems allow clients to make purchases without the assistance of a salesperson. The major goal of this system is to increase operational efficiency while reducing labor costs for enterprises. The setup of a self-service kiosk POS is often comparable to that of a desktop POS, but with added security features to ensure that all transactions are one-sided and dangers are avoided. Ticket sales, parking, patient check-in, and other self-service POS applications are common.
Benefits of POS systems
It is important to understand what is a POS system as you'll experience benefits from a POS system in every part of your organization, not just at the cash register. It's time to retire that clumsy cash register in favor of these point-of-sale benefits that can help you expand your business.
1. Inventory tracking across multiple channels is possible
Retailers can use point-of-sale systems to keep track of their inventory across several storefronts in different locations. They can check how much stock is available in each of their locations. For example, if one of their stores runs out of stock, they can hunt it up at another location. This means that retail entrepreneurs may quickly determine the availability of things that their customers seek in each of their stores.
2. Enhance customer satisfaction
Retailers may deliver a better customer experience by using POS systems. In a matter of seconds, store clerks can locate the things that their consumers desire. Customers can also use the technologies to create self-service kiosks for themselves, allowing them to search for things they want.
3. Can do business from around the world
Imagine being able to take your company with you wherever you go. That isn't unthinkable. Cloud-based Point Of Sale systems provide you access to your sales from anywhere, on any device. You don't need to visit your locations to keep track of ongoing transactions, inventory, or sales statistics.
4. Ensure the safety of customer information
You've already put in the effort to identify what is a POS system and now it is important to understand how the POS system handles credit card information from customers with care. All client data is correctly and securely saved using cloud POS systems. The data is saved in the Cloud rather than on computers. As a result, data loss due to viruses or broken computers is not a concern with Cloud POS systems.
You can run your business offline with a Cloud-based POS system. You won't have to worry about missing data if you execute any transactions. When your device is connected to the internet again, all transactional information will be saved and synchronized.
5. Provide detailed and accurate sales reports
You can generate thorough and accurate sales records by adopting a POS system. The number of products sold, the best-selling product, profit margins, and other statistics is included in the reports. You can use the system to reduce human errors that commonly occur when entering sales data, ensuring that the final data is totally accurate.
6. Reduce the time it takes for products to be returned
Quick product returns are possible because of advanced Point Of Sale systems. With only a few clicks, you may handle a customer's cancellation of purchase through your POS system. Once the transaction is canceled, the number of stock that was cut automatically increases again.
Image is taken from Strikingly
Customers will have a more smooth experience if your POS system is linked to your e-commerce store. You're allowing them to pay in a variety of ways, making online ordering simple, and even incorporating marketing campaigns like loyalty programs due to the point of sale software. Customer satisfaction will rise due to this integrated solution, which will respond to company needs in real-time.
Now that you understood what is a POS system all about, let us discuss eCommerce websites. When it comes to launching an e-commerce website, less is more. Minimalist designs are more pleasing to the eye and more successful in drawing attention to your merchandise. They're also thought to be more dependable and trustworthy than flashier websites. To maintain the design clean, remove any extraneous information from your website's content and add white space. Make certain that your call to action is well-defined.
Image is taken from Strikingly user's website
Here's an advice on how to create a free website with Strikingly: Use your website builder's e-commerce tools to their full potential. For example, Strikingly's Simple Store allows you to create a fully working online store even if you have a free account. If you're starting out with a single product, this is ideal.
Strikingly is a fantastic free eCommerce website builder that's ideal for small businesses looking to launch an online store without breaking the bank. It comes with a variety of website templates, functionalities, features, and tools that users will appreciate. It's also tailored for mobile users, which makes it even better. Strikingly takes care of everything for you!
Image is taken from Strikingly
If you want to start an eCommerce website, all you have to do is sign up for a free Strikingly account. Before publishing, start by establishing a new site, selecting a template, adding sections, and making adjustments. Don't forget to put the practices we discussed in this blog into practice. You can use a variety of services for free, but if you want to fully realize the potential of your eCommerce website, consider upgrading to a Pro account. We guarantee you won't be disappointed!
Now that you know everything there is to know about what is a POS system, you should not make a hasty decision. The point-of-sale system you choose has a significant impact on how you conduct your business on a daily basis and how you grow it year after year.