There’s an evolutionary difference between a point of sale system and a cash register. The former has grown out of the latter and retained its core functions, but they are now very different business tools.
The key differentiator in the point of sale system vs. cash register consideration is connectivity. A point of sale solution connects every aspect of your business to create an all-in-one system that’s accessible from any digital device and makes business easier and more efficient. Every item you buy is tracked from arrival in your storeroom to departure with your customer, with all the pricing, marketing, and staff influence along the way accounted for in the profit.
A cash register is an effective, although isolated, count of every penny that passes over your counter. In a way, it provides a final answer without really considering the complexities of the questions that produced it. Each product has its place in business, but only a POS system will actively contribute to improving your bottom line by providing you with the kind of data that can help you make more informed decisions for your business. Here’s what you need to know about point of sale systems vs. cash registers.
The Answers a POS System Provides
A POS solution makes this revenue contribution through all the number-crunching it can provide away from the actual payment exchange. A Cloud-based system not only gives you anywhere, anytime access to your business software, it also links all those tools together so you can understand how every purchase order, loyalty discount, and staff training session impacts your success.
In practical terms, it means the program you use to manage—and potentially automate—your purchase orders is directly linked to the sales events clocked on your POS checkout and a live count of your inventory. You can use this information to run real-time data science reports that tell you exactly what is selling, when, and to whom, and—perhaps more importantly—how much each sale costs you. It’s the same kind of high-end analytics the name brands use, and it offers the same advantages—you get to know your business and your customers better.
In addition to these digital insights, a modern POS solution has another advantage over the traditional register: It is not a single tool but rather an entire platform of tools. In fact, many of the leading providers now offer all-in-one solutions that include:
- Personalized online presence
- Order management, including returns, voids, discounts, and variations
- Integrated gift cards and loyalty programs
- Staff management, including online self-service
- Customer-facing displays
- Personalized barcode printers
- Taxation and accounting software
Your average cash register can’t perform any of those tasks. Because of that, it’s not really possible to compare the two anymore, as they’ve become so uniquely suited to different roles. Still, there is a place for the more straightforward cash drawer.
A Case for Cash Registers
Not every business needs to invest in high-level data science or to bring together different facets of a business strategy. Sometimes, all you need is a reliable way to complete a customer experience and help people with their day.
If you’re running a quick-service pop-up restaurant, for example, or a family operation that manufactures as well as markets, then there’s little need to sign up for a rolling POS system subscription when you can just buy the simpler hardware outright—although the power of the Software-as-a-Service, on-demand marketplace has made those subsections highly negotiable for even casual businesses.
You may, however, feel the competitive pressure to provide an online presence and to impress customers with a dynamic in-store display. If this is the case, then simplifying everything into a single POS solution is arguably simpler—and cheaper—than piecing together unrelated software and hardware around an existing register.
And, while your current business may not require a sophisticated POS platform, it’s not to say you won’t need it in the future. It’s also certainly easier to grow with a digital solution.
Point of Sale System vs. Cash Register: Comparing Apples with Apps
Ultimately, comparing a cash register with a POS system is an uneven task. It’s like comparing apples of the fruit variety with Apple products of the Steve Jobs variety. A digital POS system gives you the flexibility to bring the reach of the internet into your store and to streamline the way your business processes work within that store. It is a difference in potential that can save and or make you money.
For example, a robust cash register will have the tech to service a range of preferred customer payment options, from cash all the way through to cordless smartphone tap apps. A POS system, on the other hand, will provide those same flexible and secure payment options while also giving you the opportunity to partner with a range of financial institutions so you can leverage your business toward getting better transaction and access rates.
The point of sale system vs. cash register debate is a bit of a false narrative because the former is an evolution of the latter and not really an alternative.
If your business has multiple suppliers, revenue streams, levels of staff responsibility, and a range of inventory—or you hope it will one day—then you need the power and potential of a digital POS system.
The point of sale solutions created by talech can become the center of your business. If you’re debating between point of sale systems vs. cash registers for your business, talech’s experts can help. Within a single platform accessible from your phone or home computer, you can manage your inventory, your staff, your finances, and track the value of every dollar you spend. Sign up for a free demo today and take command of your business.
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