Whether a company is in the business of selling goods or services, a system has to be in place to register sales and process the payments that are made for them. Back in the day, a simple cash register and accounts book took care of this, but it’s a much more complicated and sophisticated world today. We’re talking about automation and the fact that most business transactions take place in the cyberworld – online.
Today’s customers also have numerous ways to pay for their purchases. These could be anything from credit cards to an online app. Then there’s the matter of issuing invoices and receipts, logging the sale, and adding on any tax.
All of this – and more – is carried out by a point-of-sale system, or POS.
What is a POS system today?
Modern, automated POS systems are essentially a cluster of hardware and software that facilitates sale transactions, such as registering purchases and processing the payments for them and taking money from the buyer’s financial account and placing it in the seller’s. The digitalization of this area even allows for useful sales data to be collected; data about what’s-been-sold-when that can be applied to inventory management, analysis, and forecasting.
What is included in a POS system?
A POS system has two main components:
An integral part of a POS system—hardware—is the collection of physical devices used. Hardware typically consists of the following:
The computers, tablets, and mobile devices the seller uses to process and record a sale. There has to be a working Internet connection for the system to function.
Devices for registering and receiving payments
Barcode scanners, credit card readers, and mobile devices.
Tag and chip readers
Tags and chips are miniscule wireless devices that emit information via radio waves, meaning they can be read from a distance. They’re known as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). Like a scanner for barcodes, a tag and chip reader can access the information the chips contain about the product they’re embedded in.
Instructions for the hardware, POS software provides a single source for processing sales and managing inventory. Software like DEAR Systems has a state-of-the-art point-of-sale section that’s loaded with features. These include managing unlimited outlets and registers, giving permissions to limited users, registering sales and processing payments — integrating all methods of payment — and retrieving sales.
How to select the right POS system for your business?
Choosing the right POS system can take time if you don’t know what to look for. Here are the questions you should be asking yourself:
Does the POS system integrate online and offline channels?
If you operate in multiple sales channels, like offline and online, you will need a POS system that can integrate them seamlessly. These channels include:
- offline outlets like brick-and-mortar stores, street markets, trade shows and trucks,
- online marketplaces, like websites and apps, and large ecommerce platforms like Amazon, eBay, and Best Buy.
Does the POS system generate reports and forecasts based on data?
A good system can do this at every POS by keeping track of all sales. The data that’s collected can be turned into detailed reports and forecasts for future needs. When used well, these reports can be very advantageous to overall business performance.
Can the POS system be accessed from different devices?
You might want your employees to have access to your POS system from their own devices; or you, yourself, might want to use it on your mobile phone. If that’s the case, you’ll need to make sure the POS system you end up with can accommodate this.
Can the POS system process different types of payment?
Your customers might want to pay you with cash, card, app, or UPI. Whatever their preferred method, you’ll want a POS system that can process all payments. Buying a system that has this ability keeps you in good standing with young shoppers, who easily embrace new technology, and keeps you looking relevant.
Can the POS system adapt to different order fulfillment methods?
There are basically three ways a company can get its goods to a customer. These are:
- Processing and delivering it to the customer directly themselves,
- Hiring a transport company for the shipping, and
- Employing a third-party logistics (3PL) company for all or part of the process from warehousing to delivery.
Some companies might take advantage of all three order-fulfillment methods, using one for small orders and another for those that are larger. If a POS system can’t accommodate this, maybe it isn’t the right one for you.
Can the POS system integrate third-party apps?
Every company has third-party apps incorporated into their digital systems. They could be software for ERP, accounting, inventory management, or a host of others. Any POS system you’re looking at should be able to integrate them all.
Does the POS-system provider have customer support?
If something goes wrong, such as being stuck in a POS operation, or not being sure how to make the best use of the system, you’re going to need to call on someone who knows the ins and outs of the software — customer support. Making sure the system you invest in comes with this could save you money, time, and aggravation.
Is the POS system affordable?
You do need to make sure that the POS system you buy is worth the money. You definitely don’t want to spend a lot for limited features, and you don’t want to pay for features you won’t use. So shop around.
Final words on selecting the right POS system for your business
There are a number of POS systems out there to choose from, and you may even already have an inventory management software with its own POS system. If so, that’s great. If not and that’s what you’re looking for, we suggest you take a look at DEAR Systems, which comes with a POS system that checks all the boxes above.
If you want to know more about DEAR Systems, call one of our experts today.