Updated: Dec 8, 2021
Has the buyer ever wondered what allows us to weigh the goods at the supermarket checkout without the classic scales? Or how the payment for food delivery goes if a client pays with a plastic card near his house? These are about POS (Point of Sale) system functions.
According to MarketsAndMarkets, the US POS market will grow up to USD 3.7 bln by 2023. And not in vain. This digital instrument will give a business much more than good service and a satisfied customer. Let's take in order: what is POS, and why it's an integral part of goods or service sales. All the answers are here.
How Does Point Of Sale Software Work?
POS system is a set of equipment and programs, automatizing trade procedures, staff workplaces, etc. It's designed to receive payments from customers and store information about goods. All of the system elements are integrated. They make a service provision faster and convenient.
Among other things, software for Point of Sale performs the following functions:
communication with fiscal authorities,
generation of sales information,
loyalty programs support,
human resources management,
prevention of mistakes.
Point of Sale seamlessly connected with other digital solutions used by a company. It is principal not only for cashier staff but also for analysts, marketers, and others. Due to POS, it's possible to determine customer behavior trends and build a strategy for further more efficient interaction with clients.
The system consists of the cashier's screen, system unit, a special keyboard, and a fiscal recorder. The first elements make it possible to carry out settlement operations. The last one is responsible for check printing and providing information for government agencies. The set can also include a barcode scanner, customer display, cash drawer, bank terminal, and built-in electronic weights.
POS has its features depending on the specific business area. For instance, restaurants and gas stations use different Points of Sale.
Everyone visiting a supermarket observed the simplest example of POS system operation. The customer comes to the checkout with a cart of goods. A cashier scans each product's barcode. This procedure is performed by using a hand-held or built-in scanner. The consumer can see information about the type, weight, and price of goods on a relevant screen. At the end of the scanning procedure, the client can use a card, applying it to the bank terminal, or pay in cash. In the last case, the employee uses the key to open the cash drawer to put bills and change if needed. After the settlement operation, the cashier issues a check generated by the above fiscal recorder.
And there are dozens of such examples. But is there any universal Point of Sale model suitable for different conditions? Perhaps humanity will develop such a digital solution later. Now, there are several types of POS systems that consider each business sector's needs and can meet them.
What Are The Different Types of POS Systems?
Modular/Monoblock POS. The difference lies in the system elements arrangement. A modular one is better in usage. Its parts are easy to place at hand. Monoblock POS comprises a unified body, which is complicated to move.
Portable POS. They include mobile systems and POS applications. The last ones require a compatible mobile device. Mobile Points of Sale are broader and cover not only a piece of software but also equipment.
Touch Screen POS. Systems work equally well on gadgets and special hardware. They are great for fast-food restaurants because it's much more convenient for customers to place orders in this way. And staff can gather and process relevant data quickly.
Cloud POS. All payment transaction data are stored in the cloud. It minimizes the risk of losing information and allows accessing it from any connected device.
Open API POS. The most flexible ones. They can be changed under the needs of each company. On the other hand, such systems require regular updates and maintenance.
Multichannel POS. The right solution for companies using a multichannel or omnichannel approach. They are scalable and can process countless amounts of data from different sources without distortion or loss of information.
Thus, a Point of Sale system is one of the most effective ways to conduct settlement transactions, which provides a business with much more development opportunities than it might seem at first glance. To use the full POS power, companies must select it based on their goals and features of every particular industry.