A gas station is always associated with a pleasant halt after a long car journey. Сustomers come there not only to fill up the tank. They want to receive the appropriate atmosphere and service first. So, why do a countless number of cars stop at some stations while the other ones serve 10-20 clients a day? It could depend on an effective marketing strategy, high-quality fuel, or services, partly provided by the Point of Sale system. It's time to consider which POS software is applicable for gas stations and what tasks it needs to perform.
POS For Gas Station: Features and Infrastructure
Following the Statista forecast, US gas station advertising spendings will be over $ 4 billion in 2020. However, such a global investment may not give expected results if companies use legacy POS software and hardware. For this kind of business, the Point of Sale is a management place due to the following factors:
It has a significant level of integration with all station equipment.
POS manages a fuel delivery system and controls reservoirs filling.
It provides tax authorities with updated information about excisable goods selling. This obstacle also impacts on tax and accounting reports formation, making it complicated.
Point of Sale controls fuel usage.
Thus, the POS system for a gas station is a full-fledged IoT system that:
manages the processes of fuel delivery and cars refueling;
provides the tax authority with the excisable goods sale data;
forms tax and accounting reports;
performs fast settlement operations;
controls the sale of grocery/non-grocery goods.
So, a well-developed POS system can supervise fuel consumption and improve customer experience equally well.
Gas station companies (GSC) always use On-premise systems for several reasons:
Stations are located in different territorial areas: some in the city center, others on the highway outskirts. Thus, the last ones don't always have coverage to use Cloud POS systems. Classic On-premise Points of Sale allow a trouble-proof operation regardless of external circumstances. That's why the industry chooses them.
It's principal for GSC to obtain relevant data and protect them. This fact primarily concerns information on the excisable goods sale. On-premise POS are safer and more reliable for such purposes.
Equipment is the central aspect of the correct Point of Sale system functioning. It's divided into two parts: hardware for tax purposes and all the rest. The distinction is the first one is purchased from a seller, certified by a tax authority. Such a provider is liable to a state for any malfunctions of equipment operation. Other equipment, such as gas nozzles, fridges, coffee machines, etc., the company buys from any suitable supplier.
Thus, almost all gas station processes depend on the POS system. To perform them, it must be based on powerful software and managed by new hardware. Also, the head Point of Sale characteristics in this case are:
Flexibility. Prices in the fuel market are regularly changing. So it's needed to maintain some stability for the buyer, making the cost difference imperceptible. For this aim, the system must update loyalty programs and fuel prices in a real-time mode.
Reliability. POS manages a variety of processes and countless amounts of information. Thus, it's a must for the business that the system runs quickly and smoothly. It also needs to ensure full data safety.
Accurateness. It's worth it to minimize the gas station staff participation in the POS system operation to avoid mistakes. It is necessary to develop a user-friendly interface that allows customers to make purchases on their own.
Customer experience improvement. The client must not feel the difference between buying gasoline and chocolate. Regardless of their features, all types of goods purchase should be reflected on one check by default. The client should receive the qualitatively provided services. The complete POS system for gas stations allows it, providing a personalized approach, fast demand satisfaction (refueling, grocery shopping, etc.), the ability to control the processes, and so on.
Point of Sale Systems For Gas Stations and Retail: What Are The Differences
Gas station activities are similar to retail ones. These industries sell goods, have loyalty programs, and regular customers. Why can't POS systems be the same in both cases? What are their differences?
The first and principal gas station POS system distinctions are a high integration level with all equipment and multifunctionality. An employee can run all of the service delivery instruments from one place. At the same time, for retail, the Point of Sale is just a cashier workplace for grocery, and a system capable of managing goods (booking, sending, etc.) for non-grocery stores.
The POS system for GSC is designed for the sale of excisable goods - gasoline, while not every store sells other goods subject to an excise tax.
Gas station chains always use On-premise systems because of location and reporting peculiarities. Retail can purchase any suitable type of POS, incl. Cloud or Hybrid solutions (combining Cloud and On-premise elements).
Thus, the Point of Sale system is a complicated instrument that: seamlessly interacts with all station equipment and performs various functions. For example, cars fueling, gasoline delivery management, grocery selling, etc. Gas station POS upgrade is a must for this industry as it provides a stable customer experience improvement. A well-designed Point of Sale allows a high-quality service provision and instant adaptability to business environment changes.