Point of Sale (POS) software is a system that can process retail transactions online or via mobile apps on smart devices. A POS system will calculate the amount owed on a sale and provide options for customer payment, invoicing, and receipt.
Once a sale is recorded in the database, POS software can perform all kinds of backend operations to provide managers with information to make their businesses more efficient. Some of the key functions of a POS are:
- Manage and record all sales
- Track customer behavior and individual customers
- Help manage inventory
- Handle bookkeeping and accounting
- Handle discounts and coupons
- Minimize losses
A typical POS solution will consist of POS terminals at the checkout counters, barcode readers, POS printers, POS cash registers, credit card readers and customer displays. Some of these can be combined together - the keyboard or the monitor could include the magnetic card reader for example. Touch screen enabled POS systems have become commonly available, improving employee productivity further.
The main types of POS software include:
- Basic POS: Basic POS solutions support up to 5 terminals and are suited for small businesses that have about $3 million in revenues. These solutions are often sold together with the accompanying hardware.
- SMB POS: These solutions are for businesses that want to deploy up to 40 terminals and that have revenues of about $50 million annually.
- Large businesses POS: These usually deploy up to 200 terminals and are used by companies that have revenues reaching $250 million
- Enterprise POS: Enterprise POS are used by businesses that have large revenues and need to deploy a large number of terminals across several locations.
The top features of POS software are:
- Create and print bills
- Customer support
- Market reputation and user feedback
- Handle credit cards
- Handle gift certificates / cards
- Handle customer loyalty cards
- Support frequent buyers
- Create and manage customer records
- Calculate sales commissions
- Manage promotions and ad campaigns
- Compliance with PCI (Payment Card Industry) standards
- Managing returns and exchanges
- Tracking employees
- Inventory management
- Accounting and bookkeeping
- Integration with other software and reporting solutions
- Peripheral support
- eCommerce support
- Managing promotions and ad campaigns
- Industry-specific features and functionality
The benefits of a POS system include:
- Decreased transaction costs
- Increased sales
- Improved efficiency
- Easier and more streamlined shopping and payment experience for customers
- Quicker sales transactions
- Improved customer service and experience
- Increased efficiency in monitoring sales and inventory
- Enhanced reporting
POS software can enable many types of companies with payment processing capabilities for sales transactions. There are a variety of POS systems on the market, including those that are pre-configured with industry specific tools and features for restaurants, retail, and more. Choosing the best POS system will depend on researching options and features and understanding exactly what your company needs for processing sales transactions and accepting payments from customers online or offline.