Point-of-Sale (POS) applications are one of the most important software systems in a business and are usually placed at the ‘point’ or location where the transactions take place. Key features of point-of-sale solutions include maintaining accurate records of incoming and outgoing transactions made by the business daily.
These include cash, cheque, and electronic payments such as credit and debit cards, and also issue poof of such payments by issuing a receipt to the customer.
This POS data is used to generate reports and provide the business with valuable business insights on employee scheduling, inventory management, cash flow, and important sales data analysis. In this modern-day, an efficient point-of-sale software system that meets the needs of the business is an absolute necessity!
The Importance of POS Application
For a long time, we have been used to seeing different types of POS systems on-premise in the retail business. Who can forget the loud yet nostalgic “ka-ching” sound made by the traditional premises, cash register, or at our favorite ‘brick-and-mortar retail store? These point-of-sale machines can be as simple as one of those bulky legacy POS systems used at your regular family-owned small business or friendly neighborhood gas station. Legacy POS systems are on-premise, are not mobile, store their data on the system hard drive, and are very difficult to integrate with other business management software.
These legacy POS systems are no match for the more sophisticated self-service point-of-sale software systems used at larger retail outlets, such as supermarket franchises. The software, hardware, and other components used to create POS systems with these advanced features are more complex than a basic point of sale system. A self-service POS allows retail customers the freedom to manage their transactions and checkout without the need for a physical cashier. At the height of the COVID pandemic, such point-of-sale systems were invaluable as they allowed for minimal contact between buyers and sellers.
Why POS Apps System Is the Future?
Even more advanced mobile point-of-sale management solutions, such as the Miva Merchant and Square retail POS systems, have increased features, such as inventory management, reports, and a mobile credit card reader. This POS software facilitates easy mobile transactions on Android and iOS mobile platforms. One of the main features of this POS system is how easily it integrates with mobile devices such as a smartphone or tablets to allow for transactions anywhere! In addition, this POS app easily facilitates customer loyalty programs, employee management, and mobile payment processing with just an internet connection, device, and a mobile POS platform. These point-of-sale systems also help with inventory management on the go and versatile point-of-sale management to provide retail business owners with reliable POS solutions.
What is an example of a POS?
The main examples of POS operating systems nowadays are:
- Retail Stores
- E-Commerce Stores
E-Commerce stores, such as Spring, Redbubble, and Printful, utilize web-based retail POS systems that use a virtual storefront, which is essential, done for the business owner without the need for additional POS hardware components. These POS systems facilitate retail transactions via the internet and include features such as secure checkout, a robust loyalty program interface, and a larger capacity to store customer data. In effect, cloud-based POS systems simplify online business transactions without the business owner being required to build point-of-sale components or purchase point-of-sale software.
Online retail e-commerce giant Shopify is another example of a mobile cloud-based POS system, which utilizes a virtual storefront for customers. One of its major features includes a ready-to-use online POS system, loyalty program management, seamless integration across virtual platforms, a mobile app for dynamic POS solutions, and even a dedicated online customer service team to resolve issues. A mobile cloud-based POS makes it easier for entrepreneurs. They can easily generate POS reports, manage inventory, store customer data, and receive valuable business insights without technical knowledge of point-of-sale software, hardware, or mobile payment processing systems.
How do I Create a POS Application?
Once you have decided to create POS systems that meet the need of your business, you will need to consider a few important factors before you start to build point-of-sale systems solutions.
Evaluate the POS needs of the business
To create POS systems that are best suited to your business, you will first need to evaluate the needs of your business. Depending on the type of business you own, its POS software, hardware, and features will vary. If you wish to create POS systems for the food business, such as restaurant POS systems, you will need additional hardware and software that is different from a regular retail store, such as a clothing boutique.
Will your business customer management depend heavily on using POS gift cards for its customer loyalty program? Is your retail store online based only, does it only have a physical store location, or does it operate as a hybrid retail business (mix of both online and offline)? How will you choose to administer your employee management and keep track of your team’s sales performance? It is clear that before you start to build point-of-sale systems, careful consideration should be given to business needs in orthologue POS solutions with the most suitable features.
Choose the right POS hardware & software
Now that you narrowed down the software, hardware, and features that your business needs, you will need to select the right mix of these POS solutions for your business. The POS solution you choose will depend on the type of POS setup you wish to have. For example, how many kitchens display or point POS on-premise ordering systems you will need for a restaurant business versus that of an online print-on-demand business which may require more cloud-based software with less emphasis on the hardware.
Budget for the POS system
The type of POS hardware & software solution that is developed will depend on your budget. The amount you spend on the POS project and getting the right development team or ready-made DIY solution is up to you! Bear in mind that the results and features of these POS systems will vary based on how well you invest in creating them. You will also have to factor in the cost of its management, whether there is ongoing tech support, software development, integration across mobile and web-based platforms, and also whether your POS system can facilitate periodic upgrades.
Some businesses may opt for ready-made POS mobile solutions or do-it-yourself programs that require a less up-front investment of time, except for tasks such as uploading products to the POS system to facilitate inventory management. Others may opt to continue using their legacy POS systems, despite the difficulty in getting upgrades to the software, clunky hardware, and susceptibility to viruses. In addition, these legacy POS systems are more prone to data loss in the event of water or other external damage, have less data capacity, and are unable to generate flexible reports. They also have less integrated features than the more advanced cloud-based POS systems.
Choose the right POS service provider
To eliminate the hassle, many business owners choose to have service providers select, develop, and install the right data system that meets the needs of their business. Many well-established POS vendors also offer to train employees to use the system, set up the POS, and offer ongoing POS maintenance and customer service in addition to software upgrades as part of an impressive package! It’s hard enough managing a business. Allow the software experts to take care of your POS solutions, so you don’t have to!
What is Needed for a POS system?
Point of -Sale solutions comprise both hardware and software that is best suited to the business. This is important whether you are in the restaurant, supermarket, retail boutique, or online craft business.
A POS system requires a station to place or house the hardware, even in the case of a mobile app that may require an attachment as used with the Square platform.
This point-of-sale solution also requires a credit card reader (which can be mobile), a receipt generator, a monitor or terminal display, a cash drawer, and a barcode scanner for pricing data.
A standard point-of-sale app for a retail store will require software features such as inventory management, sales tracker, secure payment gateway, reporting, and data analysis software tool, and a system to set track, adjust and manage pricing data. However, to select the right POS software solution, the type of business will need to be a factor.
Business Model Considerations
A retail business that operates both online and offline (physical store), may need a versatile mobile POS solution for its online store. The features of the point-of-sale solution will allow the business owner to process transactions using mobile devices, giving the business greater flexibility for mobile payment processing. This business model will require up-to-date POS software and hardware for its mobile platform, compatible devices, and online connection that will allow for seamless integration.
An exclusively online business POS system will require software and hardware that meets the needs of both the customer in addition to the retail business itself. POS features may include having a mobile payment gateway, where customers have the autonomy to facilitate their cloud-based transactions for online purchases, such as with Shopify.
A brick-and-mortar store such as a supermarket may require self-service POS systems to cut down on waiting time in line at the store, facilitate faster transactions, and reduce the need for additional staff. In addition, they may need a POS terminal with an easy-to-read display screen that faces the customer, so they can keep track of their purchases.
However, pizza restaurant, for example, may prioritize a POS mobile ordering app solution for its customers that allow them to facilitate their transactions online, and also a kitchen display system for restaurant POS systems to manage inventory for customers.
How to Use POS System Step by Step?
Whether mobile, self-service, or web-based, one of the most basic features of the POS solution is to receive the order from the customer and record the sales. This is input into the system via an online solution, cloud-based POS app, or on-premise legacy POS. In inputting the order, the transaction is recorded in the software for the POS data management system.
The POS payment process begins once the order is logged and the customer has indicated the desire to make a purchase. The payment is processed via cash, gift cards, credit card, or via the online mobile gateway of the POS system. The amount of the transaction is also recorded by the software on these POS solutions.
Store Customer Data
Information about the date of the transaction, payment solution used, and details of the customer’s purchase are stored on the POS. This is useful in the event of any issues such as returns. In addition to general information, the POS records data on the customer, such as name or ID, gift cards used, customer loyalty program management, and the sales or service that was received.
A sales receipt is generated for the customer with proof of the transaction being stored by the POS solutions within the database for the business. This will assist in generating accurate sales reports when needed.
The necessary POS adjustments are made to the stock levels by way of inventory management. In this way, the business can keep track of the inventory available based on the number of transactions for the day.
Generate Sales Reports
Using the POS sales data that was stored, the business owner can generate reports that give valuable business insights. These POS sales reports provide data on inventory management, customer loyalty programs, employee management, gift cards generated, staff management scheduling, and tax information.
How Do I Make a POS Report?
POS reports are made by analyzing the data stored in the POS system and using it to generate valuable business insights. These POS reports incorporate inventory management, customer loyalty programs, employee management, and sales data to generate these insights. Depending on the type of reports you wish to generate, different matrices can be used. These POS reports include:
Cross-referencing the employee management POS software data with the number of sales will yield valuable insights on the top-selling employee for a particular period or overall. These employee reports can provide valuable data on the best and worst-performing employees during a specific quarter. The POS software can also generate information on whether additional staffing is needed or whether there are too many employees in a particular department.
Vital employee salary information can be garnered from these reports and cross-referenced in comparison to sales volume or hours worked. As This information can be used to guide the staff management scheduling and shift assignment. The insights from the data generated in these reports also affect employee management decisions such as remuneration, commissions, and hiring or firing of an employee.
Inventory decisions are also affected by the analysis of POS sales data. POS software can generate reports on the top-selling or worst-selling products by analyzing data from sales and inventory. These reports can provide valuable information on top-selling products in a particular sales period and identify even the exact variable of the product. The inventory data generated from these POS sales reports guide inventory management decisions, as the business owner decides whether to discontinue an item that is doing poorly or double the order for inventory that is moving extremely fast.
Valuable customer management information can be obtained from the POS data analysis software features. This includes the number of purchases a customer has made in a specific period or special days for customer appreciation programs. This data helps when managing customer loyalty programs and creating customer management strategies by tracking the habits and preferences of your customers.
This POS software would give insights into their most preferred payment options, shopping days, and products of choice. This can even guide pricing decisions as the business may opt to create custom pricing options based on the spending habits of recurring VIP customers. In this way, effective customer management becomes a key feature of using POS solutions. This POS data-rich approach increases the loyalty of your customers and also drives more sales to your business.
Investing in the right POS software and hardware service provider will help your business to grow to the next level.