A point of sale (POS) is where a sale is completed and the transaction is recorded. It used to be the cash register, later a computer terminal with a monitor and a keyboard through which the sale was recorded and the inventory updated.
What Is Point of Sale System
POS systems are more sophisticated. They combine powerful software and a network of hardware to keep track of many aspects of a business and its day-to-day operation. POS systems include a monitor, keyboard, barcode scanner, credit card reader, and a receipt printer. You can have an on-premise solution, installed on your servers. In this case, you need to take care of maintenance and updates yourself.
Cloud-based POS systems are offered as SaaS. You need an internet connection to use the service. With current high-speed connections, this is not a problem. Even if you lose your connection for a while, the data is backed up on your computer’s hard disk and then when the connection is up, this data is synced or updated to the online database.
What Can a POS System Do?
Besides recording and updating sales and stock data, current POS systems are capable of handling many other functions.
Employee Time Record
With some POS systems, your employees can use the POS terminals to clock in and clock out. The system updates your employee records with these details. It even helps you set work schedules and manage payroll.
POS systems can track order and delivery status so that you minimize the chances of a messed up delivery. For instance, you are running a gift shop, and a customer buys a gift that is to be delivered the next day to a certain address. You can then log in to the system the next day and check if the item is still in the packaging department or whether it has been packed and shipped, whether the delivery truck is in transit, or whether the gift has been delivered at the address given.
Get Sophisticated Reports
These systems can analyze sales data and provide ways for you to create complicated reports that can help you figure out fast moving items, which help you make informed decisions about deciding on minimum stock levels for various items, determining which discount or sales offers are working well, how to arrange your shelves so that some unique items receive a more prominent display, look through sales history to determine seasonal items that do well at various times of the year and so on.
Motivate and Manage Your Sales Team
POS systems can also help you find out which of your employees are recording highest sales, which type of products they are good at selling and so on. You can then reward these employees with incentives and assign them to different product categories they are best at selling.
Optimally Manage Your Inventory
Overstocking and understocking of products can result in huge losses for your store. With a POS system, your inventory is updated instantly, and the sales reports let you determine which are your bestsellers and which items move slowly. You can thus focus on keeping high stocks of fast moving items and reduce the purchase of items that are not doing so well.
Most POS Systems also come with accounting modules to help you maintain appropriate business records. You can even integrate this data with your main accounting system so that your accounting data is consolidated at one point of control.
Keep Customers Happy
Reward your regular customers with points or regular discounts or through other methods. Keep track of their purchase history and if you have their permission to send messages to their mobile, send them alerts on special sales and promotions on product categories they buy frequently. Send them a thank you note along with a promotional offer or discount code to be redeemed in future, once the customer completes a transaction and exits the shop.
With a good POS system like Shopify, you can integrate sales, order, inventory, shipment and other data from all your different sales channels like brick and mortar stores, sales at fairs, sales through your web store, and sales through a mobile platform. All these data are updated in real-time to prevent any errors.
POS systems can be as sophisticated and multifunctional as you want. Look at the products available and choose the one you like best. Once you have chosen a POS solution, you can customize the features you want. Go with just the basic features you think you need right now and later on add other functionalities. POS systems make life easier for those who are in the business of selling. Invest in one and ensure peace of mind for yourself.