Best Point Of Sale (POS) Systems Compared

Switch to a Point-Of-Sale (POS) System to grow your business with features such as mobile payments and inventory analytics. Compare POS Systems now:

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What is a POS System?

A Point of Sale (POS) is the place where the customers of retail businesses, particularly those that trade in physical goods, pay for the items that they wish to buy. Traditionally, the Point of Sale for most businesses has been a cash register which is a mechanism that combines a secure cash drawer with a calculator. So, a customer brings the good that he or she wishes to purchase to the cash register where the price is totted up, the customer tenders the required sum of cash, receives their change if change is due and then the sale if completed.

But even the traditional cash register system has evolved with market changes. Although some customers still like to pay by cash, most retail transactions are completed by means of a credit card. Also, while retail goods still need physical price tags (so the customer can know how much any particular item costs) bar-code technology has emerged to provide the business with a quick and efficient means of reading the price of each item, rather than adding up figures which always requires manual input. Bar-codes also enable retail business to better manage stock control.

So, these days, the old-fashioned cash register has been upgraded with a mechanism for taking credit card payments and a bar-code scanner. But now, retail businesses can combine all these features into one, integrated, electronic POS system.

Why Switch From Cash Registers to POS Systems

There are many benefits to be gained by switching from a traditional cash register to a modern POS system:

1. Security. Everyone knows that cash is convenient and easy. But for businesses that mostly on cash, security becomes a big issue. Any business with a drawer full of cash is possibly a target for criminals who want to steal it. This can include dishonest employees. Even if your business is not directly targeted, you have to transfer that cash to the bank regularly and the person carrying that cash may be a target themselves. Further, if cash is lost or destroyed, it is gone forever and your business may go with it. Also cash needs to be counted accurately and mistakes are common and easy to make. This is not to say that businesses should not take cash at all but reducing the volume of cash transactions makes sense.

2. Accounting. Keeping a track of how much cash is coming into a business takes time and everyone knows that time equals money. Businesses that rely to heavily on cash or non-integrated systems have to spend a lot more time and money on accountancy services, particularly bookkeeping services, in order to file accurate tax returns or profit-and-loss accounts.

3. Inventory Management. This is a whole job in itself. Effective inventory management is crucial to any retail business trading in physical products regardless of whether it is a liquor store, a toy store or a coffee shop. Some business have to employ extra people just to handle this side of things. A POS system comes with software that automatically monitors inventory on a real-time basis making that information easily available to the business owner 24/7. This means the owner can keep track of inventory but also respond more swiftly to variables such as what types of goods are selling better than others.

4. Data Accessibility. With a cash register, the business owner needs to be at the premises constantly in order to monitor sales and keep control of the cash-flow and other matters. But not with a POS system. The software can be integrated into the business owner’s own Home PC, Laptop or Tablet so that the owner can monitor the business at all time no matter where in the world they happen to be. All they need is an internet connection.

5. Future Proofing. Making it easy for your customers to pay is really important to the success of any business. There are already payment apps widely available such as Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay that enable customers to pay for items through their smartphones. This technology is likely to grow in popularity. Without a POS system, that means spending money on expensive upgrades every time the technology improves. But with a cloud-based POS system this “future-proofing” is already built in and will automatically update your software to allow the business to accept mobile payments as they develop.

Features of POS Systems

Affordability
When they first appeared, POS systems could cost well over $10,000 making them unaffordable for many small businesses. But now the cost has reduced substantially and monthly processing fees can be as low as $69. Bearing in mind how much money will be saved by the business with a POS system, any business owner needs to think of it as an investment rather than an expense.

Ease of Use
Modern POS systems have been designed to be intuitive and very easy to use meaning that staff can be trained to operate the system in minutes rather than hours or even days.

Customer Care
A good POS system will come with excellent customer care. Even the best-designed systems in the world can go wrong from time to time so it’s a comfort to know that there is an expert online or on the end of a phone call if you ever need help.

Comprehensive Reporting
A good POS system should be able to generate detailed sales reports in real time that also record margins and pricing effectiveness as well as inventory management. If these can be generated on-screen so much the better.

Data Accessibility
Having detailed sales and inventory information at your fingertips, no matter if you’re at home or even on vacation, can really be a game-changer for any business. Furthermore, your firm’s accountants could be logged in to the system to obtain all this information automatically. That will really save time, effort and money when it comes to your company trade report or tax returns.

High-Quality Hardware
A good POS system should come with a suite of integrated hardware such as a Tablet, a secure cash drawer, a credit card reader, a Contactless Chip Reader, a printer (for receipts) and Swipe Card Reader. It should be durable but also stylish and there are many different designs on the market from which you can choose the right one to complement and enhance the image of your business.