The point of sale (POS) or point of purchase (POP) is the time and place where a retail transaction is completed. At the point of sale, the merchant calculates the amount owed by the customer, indicates that amount, may prepare an invoice for the customer (which may be a cash register printout), and indicates the options for the customer to make payment. It is also the point at which a customer makes a payment to the merchant in exchange for goods or after provision of a service. After receiving payment, the merchant may issue a receipt for the transaction, which is usually printed but is increasingly being dispensed with or sent electronically.
To calculate the amount owed by a customer, the merchant may use various devices such as weighing scales, barcode scanners, and cash registers. To make a payment, payment terminals, touch screens, and other hardware and software options are available.
Why Is POS System Useful?
Using the POS system can have a positive effect on your business
.• It allows you to have better control over your business operations. With a POS system you know exactly which products you have sold on daily or monthly bases, how many products are in the warehouse or how much money you have made.
• It allows to do better analytical thinking and planning.
For example, POS system makes it easier to keep track of your inventory, to notice and analyse movements and tendencies in sales processes, to analyze your sales reports and other data in order to predict more precisely future trend and your company’s requirements.
• It allows you to increase your business efficiency.
POS system makes the managing of your company’s paperwork more time saving. Managing bills and orders, sales figures or reports is made very convenient. Besides the office environment POS system also increases the efficiency in the everyday sales environment thanks to different POS features such as bar code scanners or credit card terminals.
• It allows you to make personal client communication more efficient.
As POS system makes it very easy to gather the contact details of your best clients at the same time they complete their purchase. This information is valuable for generating personal offers and developing personal client communication.
Thereby with a POS system you can save money and boost your profits and in addition POS system helps you to make more informed business decisions.
Elements of the POS System
First of all you need to think about system computers because a computer is the most essential part of a POS system. You need a computer to run the POS software. It is possible to buy POS system together with computers, but you can buy computers separately. It is also important to keep in mind that POS computers should only be used for POS.
Then as mentioned you have to choose suitable software for your business needs. As there are many different point of sales solutions there are also different software. But in general POS software packages contain features and functionality that will help you to manage easily all common customer related transactions that are needed in your business.
The development of cloud technology has also lead to the cloud-based POS systems.
These systems can be accessed directly from the Internet and they use data for operating that is stored in a remote server.
Cloud-based POS systems are also created to be compatible with a wide range of POS hardware. Cloud-based POS also helps to expand POS systems in addition to computers to mobile and tablet devices. For example, as cloud-based POS systems run on iOS based devices you can use an iPad based POS system.
And thirdly you need POS system hardware.
System hardware consists of different equipment, such as cash drawer, bar code scanners, monitor, receipt printer, etc. You also need touch screens, programmable keyboards, scanners and handheld terminals to be able to enter necessary data into the system.
Choosing new POS software- hands on approach
With traditional licensed based POS system, the only knowledge possible to obtain prior to purchase comes from words from your sales rep, or doing as much research as possible to find reviews online.
Would you decide on new software to run your business strictly based on what you hear in a sales pitch? As crazy as it sounds, that is what traditional POS system providers ask you to do.
Free trials are especially important for purchasing software to run your company when knowing that the software has a specific feature included is just not enough! It is equally as important to understand the ease-of-use, your common workflows, and how intuitive the program will be for everyday use, reading a few online reviews just doesn’t cut it!