What is Point of Sale?
Point of sale is basically an amalgamation of systems that work together to receive payments at Merchant sites from where sales are made, along with many other secondary functionalities. The point of sale consists of a few essential machine equipment that is common for most point of sale terminals. Irrespective of the size of the store a basic point of sale will most of the time consists of a good computer, a cash drawer, barcode Scanner, receipt printer and the POS software. The backbone of any POS system is the computer or a group of computers that runs the POS software.
Merchants use POS systems in a variety of ways to collect , collate and verify various recorded data for control , audit and even chalking out promotional strategies. Apart from the financial transactions, a point of sale can also capture the customer data on various parameters.Modern day Point of sale systems are used for various functionalities such as inventory control, shop management, payroll management, purchase order creation and a lot of other such management tools.
Type of POS Software
A point of sale system, although essential to book keeping for almost all modern businesses that make retail sales, has many different variants that are optimum for a particular type of business based upon the nature of the business, its turnover volumes and the amount of customer traffic managed. Although like most other electronic systems, the point of sale is continuously evolving, still there are a few basic point of sale systems that are widely in use .Let us list those one by one with a brief description of each:
Specialty Retail Software Solutions
The retail industry is among the fastest growing consumer industries in the world with global retail sales topping USD 23 Billion in 2015. Such exponential growth needs speciality retail software solutions that can provide efficient and accurate support to the growth in sales. The retail software solutions must be able to meet the challenges of the following in and efficient and verifiable way:
The high transaction volumes, especially in industries where the individual prices of products are not too high
Inventory management challenges, especially in multiple SKU organisations.
Optimising the use of available space, since the space is really in crunch in most locations where retail operations are prevalent
Advertising and promotion integration and the ability to have dynamic components in the ever-changing consumer preferences.
Merchandise logistics and pilferage tracking modules to have an effective control on the business.
What Are The Features Of POS Software?
Although millions of businesses around the world are using some or other kind of POS system, and whereas many POS have common features but in order to correctly admire the utility of an efficient POS, we must have a look at some of the non-negotiable attributes that all good POS software must feature. These are:
Benefits of online POS system in an organization
It is an undeniable fact that the POS is a little bit expensive to install, especially for new businesses that might not have a huge amount of start-up capital. Still , the POS is a very effective control system and pays for itself many times over, in a very short period of time in terms of increased productivity, transparency and business management, specially the POS systems with added online functionality Let us look at the 5 benefits of an online POS
Open source POS software for Small business
Basically, an open source POS software is a web-based point of sale system, usually written in PHP language. It is economical, often free to use and is of great use for smaller businesses that do not want to spend a fortune on closed source customized POS system. Normally, these software uses MySQL platforms to store backend data and generally has simple and to the point user interface.
Web-based open source POS systems are more suitable for smaller businesses since it provides great, affordable functionality with all the usual benefits of close source systems such as database support for customers, sales, inventory and provides versatile capture and reporting functions. However, one of the loopholes of open source POS is that it provides limited support for POS printer and cash drawer functions.
Business Wise Importance of Point Of Sale Software
Many businesses use an order-entry software known as Point of Sale (POS) technology for storing important data, listing orders, and for printing bills. It is the same service that cashiers in grocery stores, waiters in restaurants use for maintain your order. Essentially, the POS has the capability to act as both a cash register as well as a computer. It can hold orders, calculate bill amounts, maintain payroll records, and also clock in your employees work hours. It is extremely beneficial to implement a POS system for a business as it ensures that all your transactions are convenient, accurate, and performed faster. This article further discusses the features of POS specific to businesses like restaurants, supermarkets etc.
Restaurants use POS Software for enlisting and maintaining orders from customers. POS Software are also utilized to calculate and generate bills, and also to maintain employee payroll data and many more.
Ease of Use : Any significant technological equipment should be designed in a manner such that it is could even be operated by a layman. For the convenience of waiters at a restaurant, it is important that the POS is flexible as the menu might change frequently. It should also be able to adapt to concepts of discounting and menu firing.
Customer Database : Loyal customers are essential for any restaurant and it is important for them to maintain a database of customers to provide them incentives for their loyalty and attract more customers. This can also be implemented to make reservations.
Generating Bills : An efficient restaurant POS system should be able to print bills from two different sections of the restaurant. For example, details of alcohol or drinks ordered would go to the bar counter and the details of the food you ordered would go to the kitchen section.
Another important feature of POS systems is to manage the restaurants marketing campaigns. With the evolution of social media, it is important for any restaurant to have a comprehensive online profile for attracting new customers. With a POS system where you can record customer feedback and their contact details, you can design your advertising and marketing campaigns to make them more tailor-made for your regular customer. For any business, especially a restaurant, to be able to connect to an entire database of customers simultaneously is huge for a restaurant’s development.
It is important for retailers to choose an appropriate POS systems as it would be implemented for complicated and tedious accounting duties that demand precision and accuracy. Managing the inventory, placing orders for resources, and gathering customer feedback, are operations that could increase the productivity of the business. The ideal features of a POS for retailers are listed below:
Inventory management : If you’re an established retail store with multiple branches, you’ll find that monitoring your inventory is an extremely taxing job with a lot of paperwork. However, if you implement a POS system, it can track and manage your inventory without the hassle of paper. If you have a warehouse, having two systems in place which are simultaneously updated would be very beneficial.
Easy to use : In a retail store, the POS system is accessed by most of the staff members, either to update a delivery of resource or to check out for the day. With a high number of participating users, it is important for the system to be easy to operate. Your employees should be able to perform both, the simplest and the most complicated of tasks on the POS system.
Data analysis : Data analysis of product sales, possible through a POS system would help retailers in achieving a competitive edge over other businesses. If you’re able to interpret the results, you can gain insights on your business and make decisions based on statistical data.
Ability to integrate with third-party software : If your POS system has the capability to integrate with software which could benefit your business, like an accounting software, you can ensure that all your transaction data is not repeated and is accurate to the point.
Through a POS mobility system, the products purchased by the customer are recorded and are used to design marketing campaigns around the needs of a customer. These are directly sent to the customer’s contact number on their mobile device.
Supermarkets are subject to the highest frequency of price fluctuations, based on the supply/demand chain, agricultural seasons, partner vendors, all of which demand that the pricing system is updated very frequently. Ideally, a Supermarket POS system should be reliable, instinctive, and accurate. The ideal features of a Supermarket POS are listed below:
Accuracy : At the same time, with speed, there should be no compromise on the accuracy offered like reversals in price which could damage the revenue of the supermarket. Supermarket POS systems employ methods where they include features like scanning barcodes for products to save on time.
Innate Payment Processing Technology : To maximize your POS software’s functionality, it is important that you update it with the latest payment processing software, such that public won’t have to spend extra time at the checkout terminal whenever they aren’t able to generate cash. Faster checkout and transactions will keep both your customers and employees happy.
Most of the renowned software/hardware companies around the world are trying to develop smarter POS technology for supermarkets with a special focus on reducing the checkout time with smarter barcode scanning devices, enabling the cashier to work faster.
On comparison, a pharmacy is a business that carries more responsibility than an ordinary retailing business. Therefore, it is important for a pharmacy to run its operations efficiently in a strategized and authorized manner. As customers rely on their pharmacy with their life, it is important for a POS system to be very accurate. The ideal features of a POS for Pharmacy are listed below:
Usability : A Pharmacy POS systems would require extensive training to ensure that there is no error. Hence, it is recommended that the POS is user-friendly such that the staff at the Pharmacy are able to interact with it and generate bills at a faster rate while not compromising on their precision.
It is essential for a Pharmacy to maintain a customer database which has important details like the previous prescriptions of a patient/customer, details of their on-call pharmacists, doctors, as well as their customer’s health profile. Through this database, Pharmacies are able to generate bills faster, offer incentives for loyal customers, and deliver personalized guest promotions.
Jewelry Stores deal with transactions of a higher order when compared to other businesses. For the same reason, they will need a POS system which will keep track of the deposits made by each customer. The ideal features of a POS for a Jewelry store are listed below:
Customer database : A POS system which can efficiently maintain a customer database with necessary details like the ID of the order placed, deposits, the contact details, all of which can ensure that the jewelry store offers the best for its customer’s on-time.
Commissions Calculations : Calculations of commission on each item is an important measure of profitability for the store.
Labeling Products : Through a POS system, printing of various types of butterfly labels required for labeling products can be done efficiently.
By maintaining a dense customer database, the store can customize their marketing campaigns and reach the customer better with lucrative deals.
Integration of a POS technology into any business model would enhance its productivity with specific features that reduce the complexity of tedious tasks and lessen the workload.
POS Software Global Event
Owing to the rapidly increasing popularity of POS systems in retail businesses, Newer and more efficient technologies in POS development are being launched all over the world . To effectively showcase the upcoming modern technologies, a lot of global events are conducted throughout the world by different POS manufacturers and administrators .The most notable of these events are:
Summary of POS System
As we can see from the above-pointed discussions, POS is fast becoming a very important part of all retail sales businesses by providing efficient one-stop solution to a plethora of business needs. Whether it is maintaining the inventories effectively, having a real-time data on group or item wise sales or keeping a track on consumer behaviour and demands, POS has continuously proved itself to be a great invaluable tool in the hands of the retailers.