What is a Point of Sale System?
If you run a business or manage inventory, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of POS software. But what exactly does it do, and how does it work? This article will go over the basics of POS systems and answer some frequently asked questions about what software is used in POS systems and how they vary from one another.
Different Types of POS Systems
Every POS system has its own specific hardware, but these pieces of equipment are often similar or identical in type. Common hardware includes barcode scanners, cash registers, credit card readers, and receipt printers.
Hardware isn’t everything, though. It’s important to understand what software is in your POS system, including:
- Inventory management
- Customer loyalty tracking and rewards program
- Reporting functions
Another aspect to consider when looking at POS systems is their platforms. Some companies offer cloud-based and on-premise solutions, while others specialize in one.
Hardware Versus Software
Whether it’s an old-fashioned till or a modern computerized point-of-sale system, any cash register falls into one of two categories: hardware or software. Hardware systems are complete registers and computers (computers to keep track of sales data). Software POS systems require you to have existing hardware in place, such as a cash register or barcode scanner.
Once the equipment is connected, you can use any standard web browser to access your data from anywhere there’s Internet connectivity. In addition, some POS systems work on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets with apps for remote access.
Different Uses for a POS System
A point-of-sale system is an integrated software solution that allows retailers to run their entire operation right from one terminal. This ranges from basic POS systems, like Lightspeed HQ and Shopify POS, to enterprise systems like JD Edwards or SAP that can cost millions of dollars and run an entire store. So what are all these different types used for? What makes each solution better for certain needs than others? In today’s post, we’ll explore some common uses for different types of POS systems.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Different POS Types:
- Full-Featured POS: Provides all of your point-of-sale needs in one place and allows you to customize and brand it with your own logo.
- Cloud-Based POS: Usually offered as an all-inclusive package, it lets you access and use your system on any device. It’s also easy to move to another location with little or no training required.
- Software-Based POS: Lets you start out small and grow with your business. It works great if you’re already using accounting software, like QuickBooks.
- Stand-Alone POS: Stand-alone systems tend to have less functionality and can’t be integrated with other business software.
If you plan to run your business out of a physical location, then you’ll need to consider what kind of point-of-sale system (POS) will best suit your needs. Most POS systems are tied to specific hardware, so make sure that it integrates with your preferred hardware provider if you purchase software from one company. If software and hardware don’t have an interlocking platform, then you may need additional staff or infrastructure to operate your point-of-sale system successfully.
POS systems are essential to any business and should be considered carefully before investing in one. There are many factors to consider when purchasing a POS system, such as price, capabilities, and what software best fits your company’s needs.