What is Point of Sale?
A point of sale (POS) (also referred to as a point of purchase (POP)) refers to the time and the place where a merchandising business is conducted and completed. It refers to the time and place where a buyer pays for the goods or services that he/she wants. Many also refer to the point of sale as the point of service as the POS is simultaneously the point of customer order and the point of purchase.
At the POS, the seller of the goods or services will give the buyer an invoice and may also provide the various options that the customer can utilize to pay for said goods or services. This invoice may be a printout from a cash register or a calculation of the total amount of money the buyer owes for what he/she has purchased.
There is specialized hardware and software that can be used in various points of sale situations. This hardware and software is usually designed to meet certain needs (depending on the business being done). Examples of these tools include cash registers, scanners, weighing scales, etc. Different types of POS software can perform various specialized tasks. For instance, some can do inventory management, warehousing, among others.
Industries are progressively implementing point of sale systems and an observable reason for this is that a point of sale system negates the need for price tags for goods that are for sale. Retailing prices are automatically concomitant to the code of a particular good are when totalling stock, hence the cashier only ought to scan this product code to conduct a transaction.
Where the price of a commodity needs changing, the seller can simply change it automatically via the inventory window. These are a couple of advantages of using a POS system. Others are the possibility of creating customer discounts, stock control and awarding points for loyalty. The arrival of cloud computing has augmented to the prospect of point of sale systems to be used as a service. This can then be opened from just about anywhere, using just about any web browser.
With the earlier progresses in the communication procedures for point of sale’s management of hardware, cloud-based point of sale systems is autonomous from operating system and platform restrictions. Cloud-based points of sale systems are likewise made to be attuned with a variety of point of sale hardware and some mobile devices (such as tablets). Thus, cloud-based point of sale has also helped to expand point of sale systems to various types of mobile devices. These mobile devices can also be used to scan barcodes and QR codes using specialized apps and the devices’ cameras as well as disbursement termini using the NFC technology that is built into the devices or using payment card readers.
A variety of point of sale companies creates their POS software unambiguously to be cloud-based. For instance, Epos Now’s point of sale software has been using cloud-based technology since its 2011 launch. Other businesses which released point of sale systems prior to the 2000s has since improved their software so as to adapt to ever-changing technology.
Cloud-based point of sale systems is quite different from the older point of sale systems mostly since user data, such as transactions and catalogue, are not kept locally. They are stored in a server in a separate location. The point of sale system is similarly not operated locally; hence no installation is required once the seller has purchased it.
How Does a POS System Benefit a Business?
The benefits of a cloud-based point of sales system are numerous. Immediate control of data, admittance to data from anywhere on earth so long as there is an internet connection, and lower costs at start-up are three of them.
Cloud-based point of sale systems will necessitate a stable internet connection. Because of this, it is imperative for a seller to use a device that has its very own 3G or 4G capability. This is to prevent problems in case the primary internet connection suffers.
As well as being considerably cheaper than the old-style point of sale systems, a big advantage of cloud-based POS systems is that there are millions of developers in just about every country in the world who create software applications that can be used by cloud-based point of sale systems.
A POS system not just a regular cash register. A point of sale terminal can easily be connected to other terminals, as well as to a server in a remote location. A point of sale system can be extended with devices such as barcode readers and mobile devices that are wirelessly connected to the central system. The seller can also use point of sale systems to can manage any number of transactions in advantageous ways and modify it as the business’s needs evolve over time.
The chief benefit of a point of sale system to a business in comparison to a cash register is the kind of sales report you can get from a POS system. A point of sale system provides a very detailed and informative business report. It has software that allows the seller to analyse all sorts of sales data in a number of different ways. This includes time periods, items sold and promotions (by cashier or by store if there are a number of branches).
A point of sale system helps manage inventory (and makes it a lot easier) and sort it as the seller sees fit. A point of sale system is an important long term cost-effective investment for any business.