Have you ever been to a business that had a terrible Point of Sale (POS) system? Of course, you haven’t because retailers and restaurateurs know that their businesses will sink quicker than the Titanic without a good POS system. There are many different brands and types of POS systems ranging from basic to Fortune 500-level complicated. When selecting one for your business, you should know everything there is to know about these systems, so you’ll be sure to get the right one.
Types of Point-of-Sale Systems
While all point-of-sale systems ring up customers’ purchases, keep track of products, prices, and promotions, and runs sales reports, the software is what determines the type of system it is. Point-of-sale software is usually categorized by the industry it’s suited for. Some of the most popular software are:
- Mobile (Cell phone or other mobile devices)
These are not usually interchangeable. Some of the more basic point-of-sale systems are simple enough to be used in different categories since they aren’t as detailed as the more professional software. However, you should save yourself a future headache and get software that is specifically designed for your business.
The equipment used in POS systems has dramatically changed over the last few decades. A POS system used to be just a cash register–a typewriter-like machine where you key in the sale and it prints out receipts and reports on small strips of paper. They aren’t completely obsolete–there are a lot of smaller mom n’ pop businesses that still use cash registers because they are cheap compared to today’s Point-of-Sale systems.
For most thriving, growing businesses, a cash register won’t cut it. Modern point-of-sale systems are more dynamic and can be used on almost any type of device from a cellphone to a full computer system. Even cell phone point-of-sales can accept debit/credit cards and can keep track of every report you can imagine.
Point-of-sale systems use equipment such as printers, barcode scanners, computers, card swipers, keyboards, and so much more. They usually have internet access and sometimes even wi-fi capabilities. These advanced systems can handle anything you throw their way–even payroll and accounting functions.
Use this information to assess the type of POS system that you need for your business. We really don’t recommend a cash register for any business today. If you want your business to expand, go ahead and invest in a good point-of-sale solution the first time around.
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