What makes one point of sale system type different from the next? The most general way to distinguish between POS types is how the salesperson and the customer interact with the system to make a sale. Some POS systems offer methods to complete transactions that aren’t available on others. Transaction speed, ease of set-up, usability, and mobility all make up the POS experience. Comparing point of sale system types will help you make an informed decision that will help your business grow.
Think About Industry When Comparing Point of Sale Systems
When you consider the best POS for your business, first think about how you sell your products and services. Small businesses that sell high volumes of products with little customization need a system that can process payments quickly. Customers walk up to the terminal pay and exit. A repeat sales connection with the customer is less critical to the success of the business.
Services-related businesses, however, tend to spend more time one-on-one with the individual. In-depth customization or customer care is vital to making the sale. These also tend to be higher-end goods or value-added services where customers are paying for your expertise and attention to detail in the services sold. When thinking about what you need from a POS system, think first about your industry:
Salon and Spa
Hair salons, barbershops, and other aesthetic services are a great example of licensed professionals who are client-focused. Salons and spas often offer a unique combination of services, and they also sell a variety of retail products. Repeat business is essential to the success and longevity of the business. Specialty salons have price lists of services and products. They do especially well with seasonal offers and client appreciation promos to increase revenues.
Restaurant and Dining
The restaurant business is also a service and product combined business. The focus here is on quality food and drink. Restaurant clientele can be very particular about their orders. Therefore, the POS system type should allow for a lot of customization in addition to the store menu items. Wireless tab tracking from a handheld device like an iPad simplifies the service experience. The service side of the business is straight-forward, but repeat business is key to restaurant seats staying full.
Retail businesses can vary a great deal with low-end to high-end products. Services are usually less the focus than products, but the store-client relationship is still valuable to the success of a retail business. Just as with salons and restaurants, stores want repeat business. Retail managers need to choose a POS with real-time inventory tracking by category and department to generate accurate sales and offers of all types for all seasons.
What are the Different Point of Sale System Types?
Here’s a look at the 5 most common types of POS systems. As you think about your industry and your specific business, ask yourself which of these would best suit your needs and provide the most important capabilities and features.
1. Mobile handheld POS
Mobile handheld POS allows businesses to accept credit cards through handheld devices that wirelessly connect to a smartphone. They can also connect through a USB dongle cable on a smartphone, tablet, or laptop for flexible options.
The mobile device payment method allows vendors to make sales at trade shows or wherever they need to make a sale without having to carry hardware. More and more small businesses are opting not to use a cash drawer if the clientele doesn’t need it.
2. iPad POS cloud-based
Other wireless payment systems are cloud-based and process payments via an iPad tablet. Cloud-based systems are among the newest POS systems available. The only hardware they require is the iPad. They can also track cash drawer and process credit card payments depending on your payment processing agreement.
Since cloud-based systems don’t require a server, you have a wide range of options for remote data storage. Your virtual business network gives you robust reporting functions alongside other sales and management tools.
3. Touchscreen with back-office server
Many businesses still have this configuration. Touchscreen point of sale systems are deployed with hardware at a fixed POS terminal. They are a traditional touchscreen and usually come with an office server. The main differences between them are the appearance, brand, and some support options.
4. Self-service kiosks and counters
Self-service kiosks have a similar POS experience as a vending machine. The POS machine is hardwired to a business network. The user can log in to an existing account, sign-up, or select a product and pay, depending on the type of business. These are not well-suited for most service-focused environments, but they are great for fast food and other types of on-the-go transactions.
5. Web-based POS with eCommerce
Web-based POS systems work best for companies that sell their wares mainly online. Customers can browse product descriptions, place orders, check-out, and receive updates on the estimated arrival of their purchase. Many kinds of businesses, both B2C and B2B, can run almost entirely on eCommerce sites. Web-based POS notifies the sales manager when new orders get placed, and they can send them into the fulfillment stage of the order.
POS System Management for Your Business Type
Reliable POS systems are critical to all small businesses. High-speed internet is now available virtually everywhere. What makes one point of sale system type different from the next is the data and reporting that are available to managers once the sales cycle is over.
|Mobile handheld POS||Minimal hardware||No offline sales|
|iPad POS cloud-based||Inventory reporting, sales, and employee management||Reliant on 3rd party data storage and archive|
|Touchscreen with server||Internet not required||Hardware failures without proper backup can be catastrophic|
|Self-service kiosks||No employees required||Limited services application|
|Web-based POS with eCommerce||Sell your products online||Real-time inventory levels not integrated with retail store|
Closing sales isn’t enough. When comparing point of sale systems, it’s crucial to think about what features you need to improve how you can manage your business and make more sales.
Key features give you robust reporting options you may have never had access to before such as:
- Sales by department/category
- Cash drawer pay-ins and payouts
- Menu customization
- Product reorder reports
- Sales by discount and employee
A POS partner like talech produces powerful, cloud-based POS solutions for small business owners and a multifaceted suite of features and management tools for any type of industry. Our team of experts can help you determine exactly what POS system type is best for you, and we’ll be with you every step of the way as you implement and use your dynamic system.
Determining which of the point of sale system types is ideal for your business is something that talech stands ready to assist you with. The cutting-edge POS technology that you acquire will improve the experience of your customers while reducing the stress of daily processes on you and your staff. Contact us today and to learn more about what talech can deliver to your business.