From time to time, a would-be customer will ask us, what’s the deal with all these modern POS systems? Why are they so complicated? What happened to a good old-fashioned cash register that rings through sales and that’s it? Why do we need all the other stuff?
There’s no doubt about it, POS has gone through its own technological revolution in the past decade or so. Everything is digital, everything is connected these days. POS is no exception.
True, there are people who hanker for simpler times. If you run a small business, you might wonder about the cost of installing network infrastructure so you can hook your checkout up to the internet, or whether you need POS terminals packing the kind of computer processing power serious gamers rave about.
And what about having to learn to use these modern POS systems? It sure sounds a lot more complicated than dialling in a sale into a straight-up cash register.
In fact, digitized POS systems are designed to make life easier, whatever the size of your business. And that’s all because they don’t just process and log sales in isolation. Computerised, connected POS systems provide the foundation for running any kind of business software you like. Sales, payments, accounts, inventory, ERP/logistics, customer management – you can link it all together, fully integrated and accessible from the same platform. POS becomes the hub of your entire business operations.
Here’s how that can benefit your business.
Of all the benefits modern integrated POS brings, the one that convinces most small businesses to switch is speed. With a traditional cash register, a cashier has to manually input prices to log a sale. With POS software that is hooked up to a product database, you can pull in prices automatically. All you need is a barcode scanner or some other way to identify the item.
This speeds up checkout for your customers considerably.
Cash registers give you a clue in their name about what they’re designed for. Handling cash payments. Vendors have long had to have card readers as part of their POS set up. But with the world moving increasingly in the direction of contactless and mobile payments, it’s becoming more important to prioritise ‘cashless-first’ payment options, again for speed and convenience.
Integrated POS systems with multi-touch readers and connected payment platforms ensure your customers can pay the way they want, without friction.
All your data in one place
Another benefit of having things like sales processing, payments and accounts all connected together is that it automates your record-keeping and creates a single source of truth for your data. That makes life easier from an administrative perspective. But it also gives you a huge intelligence resource to draw on to help make decisions and optimize how you operate.
Take inventory, for example. By connecting your sales platform to your inventory software, you can update what you have in stock and what is out on the shelves with every sale. This means you can replenish faster and reorder well in advance of running out of stock, avoiding potential missed sales. You can also dive into the data to analyze sales patterns, giving you a deeper understanding of what is and isn’t in demand, what lines to capitalize on and what to replace.