Before deciding the best POS system for your business let us begin some general discussion of this system. Below i have discussed some basic features of this system to get a clear understanding of the system.
What is a POS system ?:
POS stands for point of sale. A point-of-sale transaction is what takes place between a merchant and a customer when a product or service is purchased, commonly using a point of sale system to complete the transaction.
So when you are at your favorite retail shop or restaurant and you make a purchase you are completing a point of sale (POS) or point of purchase(POP) transaction.
Salesperson typically use a POS system to complete a sales transaction. In terms of technical definition a POS system is a combination of POS hardware and POS software to create a POS machine for processing a transaction and payment.
What is a POS terminal?
A POS terminal is another term that can be use instead of POS. A POS terminal can be defined as the electronic equipment performing the sales transaction and processing the credit card payments. Used in most retail shop businesses, a POS terminal combined with the POS software helps to manage everyday sales transactions and operations.
A brief history of POS system:
In August 1973, IBM released the IBM 3650 and 3660 store systems that were, in essence, a mainframe computer. It was used as used as a store controller. By mid-1974, it was installed in Pathmark stores in New Jersey and Dillard’s department stores.
In 1974 William Brobeck and Associates built One of the first microprocessor-controlled cash register systems. It was used by for McDonald’s Restaurants.
In 1992, Martin Goodwin and Bob Henry created the first point of sale software that could run on the Microsoft Windows platform named IT Retail.
Present time POS system started to appear in the market since 2000s with the advent of cloud computing. Cloud computing has opened the possibility of POS to be deployed as software as a service, which can be accessed directly from the Internet, using any internet browser.
Software and Hardware components of POS systems:
There are two common software deployment methods:
This method is a traditional way of installing software. After purchasing the software with license you can install it on your computer system or servers. Maintaining and updating the software is your responsibility. In that case you may need to take help from dedicated IT personnel,
This is also known as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) POS solutions. You access and support the system via the internet. You need not to be worry about internet connectivity. If your internet goes down, most systems tracks sales and sync them once you are back online.
The hardware would be the same whether you choose on-premise or cloud based deployment method of software. The following hardware components are crucial for supporting POS software:
Standard monitor that displays the product database. It would also enable other functions like viewing sales report. In this case iPads are more convenient than bulkier monitors.
Barcode scanners: Automates the checkout process. Scanning barcodes pulls product info and adds it to the checkout total. Barcodes, when scanned, may also integrate with inventory management systems to automatically adjust stock levels.
Credit card reader:
Secure and EMV-compliant credit card readers are extremely important for retail business.
Paper receipts are important to provide customers a quick snapshot of their purchase. You can also print employee sales totals, hours and other information. Besides paper receipts, e-mail and text receipts are also gaining popularity.
In addition, you can also print employee sales totals, hours and other information.
use of cash drawer may become obsolete in the coming years, but cash is still the main thing. And as long as it is, you need a secure place to store cash.
Benefits and must have capabilities of POS systems:
POS system simplify crucial business operations. A recent analysis of Software Advice’s free consultations with POS software buyers identified several must-have capabilities buyers seek in new POS systems. These include:
- Sales reporting: Record and analyze sale data to make important business decisions.
- Customer management: Record purchase data and keep in touch with customers through marketing tools for example e-mail, text message etc.
- Inventory management: Manage quantity of stock to determine when and how often to reorder products.
- Employee management: Provide clock-in/clock-out tools and manage scheduling and payroll.
Even with all of these good benefits of POS system majority of retail business establishments in Bangladesh still do not use this system. These businessmen are using a combination of manual methods, cash registers and, in some cases, Excel for bookkeeping. But why they are not using POS? Several points have been identified. One of the reasons is retailers think implementing a new technology would be very difficult.
However, retailers who are not using POS and are afraid of implementing this system may face some bad consequences. They run the risk of slowing down their operations and missing critical data that could help them grow their business faster. Having key insight about their customers, their inventory level and when they should order more supplies are examples of information a POS provides.
Choosing the Best POS System for Your Business:
At this point we have a fairly good understanding about POS system. Now comes to the point how we choose the best POS system? In other words what are factors that we need to consider while selecting one retail software for our business? Below are the facts that need to be judge critically before making the final decision:
✔ Does the functionality of the system suit your specific business needs?
✔ How much does the software really cost?
✔ Is your only option to sign a contract?
✔ Are there any hidden fees?
✔ Is any hardware proprietary?
Types of POS system:
There are five types of POS system:
- Restaurant POS system
- Bar POS systems
- Retail POS systems
- Small business POS systems
- Salon and Spa POS systems.