A point of sale (POS) system is much more than a way to take a credit card payment. In the 2020s, POS is the digital heart of your business that connects each moving piece so you can see your entire operation at once and make decisions that promote growth.
The question is, how do point of sales systems work? The answer is, that’s largely up to you. The best systems can be personalized to match your unique product, setting, skills, and customers so that everything runs off the same platform and you get the most value for your spend.
Before you can get the most out of your own personal POS systems, however, you have to understand the basics. Here are some of the most common questions we come across when discussing POS potential:
- What is a Point of Sales System?
- How Will I Work With a Digital POS System?
- How Much Does POS Cost?
- Is it Difficult to Master a POS System?
- Can I Keep Using My Accounts Software?
- Is There a POS System for My Specific Industry?
- Will My POS System Work Offline?
The answers to these questions will lead to still more as you explore the benefits of upgrading to a digital POS solution, but without further delay, here are some answers to the most commonly asked questions around how do point of sales systems work?
1. What is a Point of Sales System?
A point of sales system is a business-wide platform that contains all the tools you’ll need to prepare for and perform service. In the modern retail landscape, it means converting all your disconnected, paper- and register-based tools into internet-connected mobile devices that make it easy to serve, easy to pay, and easy to please.
Digital POS streamlines your business down to tap-n-go payments, touch-screen accounts, automated invoices, and error-free digital messages between staff.
2. How Will I Work with a Digital POS System?
Your POS provider will do all the heavy lifting when it comes to installing your new systems, but the changes to the way you work should be greatly simplified and improved.
- At the register: You can still use a single point for your transactions, but now it’ll be a low-profile tablet iPad and customized hardware setup rather than a clunky cash register—you can add cash drawers, printers, scanners, and payment devices as you see fit. Alternatively, you can take mobile payments from hand-held devices, offer to send a digital receipt, or create a personal tab.
- Inventory and accounts: All the purchasing, stocktakes, invoicing, and inventory you used to record across multiple sources is combined into a single online platform. You can access the data, including live sales, at any time and from any device, and you can automate many of the more mundane tasks such as tracking invoices.
- Communicating with the team during service: All of your food and drink orders, urgent messages, and coordination across multiple sites can be sent via highly visual links to digital terminals, so there are no more hard-to-read notes or misunderstood codes. It’s like having your own social media network while you work.
- Connecting to the Web: The best POS solutions unify your in-store and online worlds so you can pursue new revenue streams and promote your brand. You can connect online sales to your in-store inventory, synchronize prices and offers, and better cater to customer inquiries and bookings.
3. How Much Does POS Cost?
Two of the most important advances of the past decade combine to make upgrading to a digital POS solution affordable—cloud computing and on-demand subscriptions.
Cloud computing has removed all the hassle and most of the cost of running the world’s best business programs, so you no longer need storage space, an expensive license, or an IT expert on hand. Instead, your provider takes care of the tech while you get on with using it.
To capitalize on the popularity and convenience of cloud delivery, POS providers have adopted subscription, or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), models that let you spread out the cost of software and hardware across ongoing, on-demand, no-commitment subscriptions.
The result is cutting-edge business tools for as little as $29 a month, with no upfront fees.
4. Is it Difficult to Master a POS System?
The best POS solutions are no more difficult to navigate than a social media app and no more complex than an online menu. Like a smartphone, there’s a lot of different features built into a POS platform, but just as with your phone the controls, functions, and options are touch-screen accessible and intuitively designed.
More importantly, your POS provider should cater your system to your unique business and your preferred way of working, so you can make sure everything flows in a logical order.
5. Can I Keep Using My Accounts Software?
Such specific queries always depend on the POS system you select, but Yes, you should be able to find a solution that will integrate with your existing accounts tools. Popular options such as Quicken, Sage, or Xero can be merged with a new POS system so you can continue to use your most trusted software while upgrading to a better overall performance.
6. Is There a POS System for My Specific Industry?
While there are POS products marketed to specific business types, these can be limited in their offerings for a growing organization. It may be better to consider a comprehensive solution with a broad base of functions that can be adapted to your particular needs. Some industry-specific features to look for include:
- Restaurants – Table management, multi-point messaging
- Salons and Spas – Comprehensive online reservations, loyalty programs
- Cafes – Barcode and label printers, mobile payment tech
- Mobile Services – Digital receipts, in-app inventory
- Retail – Automated purchasing, sales analytics
- Small Business – 24/7 support, automated invoicing
7. Will My POS System Work Offline?
Yes, it certainly should! While all the best bits of a digital POS solution are linked together in the cloud and across your personal devices, the best options will continue to operate should you lose connectivity, albeit in reduced capacity. There are big differences between offerings—for example some systems will include specialized offline data plans, while others may be stripped down to cash-only functionality—so make sure you understand what’s going to happen should your connection drop out.
How Do Point of Sale Systems Work? They Get Your Business Ready for Anything
The most important question you have to consider when getting ready to upgrade your POS system is, Is my business ready for the 2020s? The coming decade will be a digital one and businesses of all sizes that are able to streamline their services and performance around these efficiencies will have an advantage. Upgrading to a system that thrives on digital communication puts you in a better position to succeed.
The POS solutions created by talech customize the best available business tools for your unique enterprise. Our engineers devote their time to identifying your challenges, and use this information to produce innovative solutions that level the playing field.
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