Every business that sells in person has a “point of sale”, often abbreviated as pos software. In essence.
A POS isn’t a standalone machine or program. pos software It is a combination of things. That allows you to efficiently process customer transactions and streamline sales-related business processes.
The look and functionality of the setup varies depending on the technology. pos software
The payment methods you accept, whether you print paper receipts. How you record sales and organise your end-of-day accounting, and what your product inventory system is.
We’ll go back to basics and talk about how customer transactions are processed. What a POS system typically consists of and some of the options available to businesses today.
POS systems then and now
Until a few decades ago, a point of sale system in its most basic form was a cash register. The first cash registers didn’t even “know” the cost of the product. The cashier entered the price of the goods to be bought manually, usually using a price list. pos software
They would then take the money, put it in a cash drawer and give the customer a paper receipt. In some cases, the only proof of the transaction was a paper copy of the till receipt.
As point-of-sale systems evolved
They became more computerised, storing a database of products on a computer server.
Often they also include a barcode scanner to eliminate the need to manually enter prices and record transaction details electronically.
Things are much more complex. While some retailers still use the above systems. Many are moving to advanced cloud-based checkout systems where data is stored online.
Key components of a POS system
Modern POS systems consist of hardware and software components. Software is the tool that records, processes and stores transaction details, but there are important differences in the way different. POS software systems store and use these details.
All modern POS systems have a front-end user interface. And a back-end (sometimes called a back office or dashboard”) for the analysis and management functions behind the scenes.
Transaction-processing staff use the front interface, usually on a touchscreen monitor or tablet. The back office can then be accessed via a separate web browser or application window on the same device. Or on a separate computer or mobile device.
Regardless of which checkout software you use. The two are connected and synchronised, but data can be stored in two ways.
On-premise checkout software has been the norm for computer-based checkout systems for some time
But it is now more common to use cloud-based or hybrid systems. That rely on both the internet and local web browsing. Setting up on-premise POS software is often expensive and often requires professional assistance and maintenance. Cloud-based systems tend to be cheaper (often paid for in the form of a flat monthly fee). And have more scope for integration with other software programmes.
Finally, POS applications can vary widely in terms of functionality and design. Each business sector has its own needs, which can be met by a dedicated POS application. For example, a restaurant may need a table plan to confirm orders and may need a self-service menu interface. To allow caterers to order at their table before serving. A dedicated restaurant POS application can provide this and many other restaurant features as part of the same package.
Businesses have different needs when it comes to point of sale hardware. Let’s take a look at some of the most important hardware components.
The user interface/device where you register your transaction details. This could be a cash register with buttons, a computer monitor. With a touch screen or a mobile device with a POS application.
Cash drawer. Used for storing daily receipts and cash transactions, as well as bookkeeping checks, receipts, vouchers and receipts.
Receipt printer. Used for printing receipts or end of day statements for customers to deposit.
Barcode scanner. Typically used in retail environments with a wide variety of products. Usually linked to a cash register system for inventory counting. So that it automatically updates the inventory of products based on goods sold.
Card reader. Used to process payments made by debit or credit card or mobile wallet via NFC. Traditional card readers require the installation of software (if not included) and a SIM card or landline. While app-based card readers use WiFi or network data from a connected mobile device point of sale software
Networked devices. Regardless of whether you use a cloud-based or on-premises system. You may need a network setup to connect to the internet, or a place to connect your computer system. This could be a router, a modem or a hub to connect multiple local computers.