What Retail Businesses Need POS?
Table of contents
- What is POS?
- Advantages of POS system
- Types of POS
- What retail businesses need POS?
For every business owner, POS systems are considered the core of the business. Having a good retail POS for your business is the first step to success. But not everyone understands POS and its advantages, or what retail business needs POS. So, let us guide you through the definitions, benefits and help you choose the right one for your business.
What is POS?
Point of sale (POS) refers to the place where retail transactions are made. A POS includes cash drawers, receipt printers, card swipers, barcode scanners, and more.
POS is an essential feature for any businesses that sell products/services, whether online or in-store. It does more than just ring up sales, it could also help with inventory tracking and data analysing.
Investing in retail POS systems is the first step to success for your business. But what exactly are its benefits?
Advantages of the POS system
Thanks to inventory management of retail POS systems, you would be able to keep track of products easily. Or when a customer needs information about a specific item, you could quickly check it in POS, therefore reduce waiting time for customers and improve the quality of customer service.
If you run multiple stores and want to keep track of their outlets and warehouses at the same time, then the POS system is a must-have. With retail POS, you could operate the business from anywhere and at any time. All you need to do is access to the POS on your device(s).
Level-up customer service
A retail POS system could save all your customers’ information which enables you to offer excellent service to loyal customers. It allows you to know what each customer’s favourite products are, so you could adapt them to create offers and promotions for your customers. By this, they would feel special and well treated by your brand.
Produce reports automatically
A retail POS system could give you an overview of your business. It could save information about your financial situation, inventory and sales status. It could analyse and produce reports based on this information so that you could plan on your future move.
From the reports, you could clearly see which products are the most profitable and which one the least. With this knowledge, you could develop a sales strategy. Also, the system could provide in-depth analysis about customers’ buying behaviour. This would allow your brand to adapt their needs without having to waste hours and hours of manual research work.
Bring in a seamless shopping experience
When you integrate your POS with other modules like inventory management and loyalty programs, it could bring a seamless experience to customers. For example, the status of products would get checked and updated in real - time in order to respond to customers as soon as possible, preventing the situation of customers accidentally purchasing items that are out-of-stock.
Types of POS
Now that you have learned about the POS system and its benefits, it’s time to know more about different types of retail POS and choose the right one for your business.
Desktop POS system
This type of system runs on laptop or desktop computers, either on a browser, an app or an on-premises system. It is usually connected to a cash drawer, a barcode scanner, a card reader, so it performs just like a typical cash register.
Desktop POS systems are suitable for businesses that have high volume, for example, restaurants, fashion stores, book stores, grocery stores, salons and spas.
Mobile POS system
Contrast to a desktop POS, a mobile POS system is much smaller in size, but just as helpful. It mainly contains a phone app that is attached to a card swiper. With that being so, all you need to do is turn on your retail POS and start selling. Other accessories such as receipt printers or barcode scanners are optional.
And since a mobile POS won’t take much space, it has the advantage of being portable and allows you to ring up sales right on-the-spot. Mobile POS is greatly popular to small-scale businesses like freelance workers, street vendors or event/fair vendors.
Tablet POS systems
A tablet POS system functions just about the same as a mobile POS system. Both systems are installed on devices, attached to accessories like receipt printers or card readers. The thing that makes tablet POS different from mobile POS is the fact that tablets are usually much larger (in size), which means they have larger screens and their images would be displayed more sharply with vivid colours.
This kind of retail POS system would be handy for businesses with larger inventory. It helps make ordering and purchasing tasks easier for both employees and customers. Businesses with more controlled resources are more likely to use tablet POS systems. For instance, gift stores, art galleries, coffee stores.
Self-service kiosk POS systems
This type of system setup is often similar to a desktop POS, but with extra security, in that way all transactions would be one-ended and risks would be prevented. A self-service kiosk POS allows customers to shop and purchase products by themselves, without assistance from employees. The main intention of a self-service POS is to make operations more efficient while saving money and manpower of businesses.
Examples of self-service kiosks POS could be found in movie theatres, where customers are able to schedule and purchase tickets by themselves. Or in grocery stores, where customers could check the price and checkout products on their own. Self-service retail POS is commonly used for parking, patient check-in, ticket sales, etc.
What retail businesses need POS?
With a variety of POS systems in the market, the trick is to find the right POS for your business.
1. Hospitality businesses - Restaurants, bars
This type of business requires a number of specialized features in the POS system. When looking for a good POS, make sure to look for the one that is easy to change the menu, communicate with the kitchen/bar with printed kitchen tickets. Restaurant POS even has the ability to split bills and keep open tabs for customers. Installing a POS could help increase profits and take out the stress of managing a restaurant/bar. For hospitality businesses owners, what you need is a POS that could efficiently manage your business. Must-have features include:
Inventory management: Though this is an essential feature, it is still one of the most struggling details in order to run a restaurant. Managing inventory could take up a massive amount of your time and create room for miscalculations, which could lead to mixed - up or late orders.
The best POS would help prevent this issue, keeps track of inventory and sale so you could make orders in time.
Customer data: POS systems these days really take customer data into account and make sure to keep its value. Customer profiles and their purchase history would all be saved in your POS. With the information, businesses would be able to create a more personalized experience for customers, like recommendations for a dish/ a wine. Customers would feel valued, as if they are being treated like VIPs. And in turn, referrals of your business and reputation would get skyrocketed.
Order management: Using tablets to take orders is the new favourite at restaurants for customers. A great POS is the one that makes complicated meal orders easy, so that you could create a superior experience for your customers.
Retail POS suggestion:
- Desktop POS for quick service restaurants/bars
- Tablet POS for high-traffic restaurants/bars
2. Retail stores - Grocery stores, fashion stores, book stores, coffee stores
Retail businesses are organizations that sell merchandise. If you own a retail store, look for a POS system that offers inventory management and is able to connect to receipt printers and barcode scanners. This kind of business requires a specific type of POS with features such as:
Multiple payments: Opt for a POS not only accept cash and cards but mobile payments as well. Or maybe a split tender option in case your customers want to spread their payments across multiple platforms.
Inventory management: This component would help you keep track of your products and point out which product best and which don’t. It could also track sales and stocks.
Retail POS suggestion:
- Mobile POS for small stores
- Self-service kiosk POS for high-traffic stores
3. Service-based business - Spas, salons
In this digital era, it is important even to salons and spas to have a sophisticated POS system. It could act as your marketing and branding manager. With integrated technology, your POS will ensure interaction with your customers in various ways. Some features needed for your POS are:
Appointment management: Today, almost every customer book appointment before they visit a salon or a spa and they expect to receive prestigious services. Modern businesses use online appointment scheduling to make it easier for customers to book their appointments without having to book through a receptionist. A decent POS system should have this feature for easy removing, editing and adding information.
Customer relationship management (CRM): This shows how a business deals with customers from pre-purchase through to purchasing and post-purchase. It helps businesses turn leads into customers, customers into return customers, and return customers into frequent customers.
Retail POS suggestion:
- Desktop POS for medium traffic shops
- Tablet POS for high-traffic/ small size shops
By now, we hope you already know all about retail POS systems, what it could do and what business needs retail POS. With that being said, your job now as a business owner is to find the most suitable POS for your business.
At ConnectPOS, we have one of the best cloud - based POS software, with advanced technology and device compatibility, promise to be the perfect choice to elevate your business. Contact us today for your free trial.
Author bio: Cece T. - a Content Marketer at ConnectPOS, technology and fintech enthusiast.