Gone are the days of ringing up a sale on a traditional cash register, where you not only entered your customer’s payment information, but you also entered the type, quantity, and price of the product or service. Ahhh...the 70s and 80s. Great decades for music, but not so great for efficient shopping. After all, we were still using the phrase “charge card” back then.
Well, times have changed. Payments have evolved by leaps and bounds. Digital payments are now the norm. Convenience isn’t just preferred, it’s demanded. Now, cloud-based software impacts our daily lives.
Enter the modern-day point-of-sale (POS) system. Let’s drill down into how to use a POS system, giving you the ultimate guide to improve your sales.
So, what is a POS system? A point of sale system is the payment solution that allows your customers complete their payment for your services or products. It’s the hub of your business, as it also gives you analytical feedback on sales, inventory, customer trends, invoices, and more. It’s the traditional cash register modernized with current technology complementing your customers’ desire for maximum flexibility and convenience.
A POS system combines both hardware and software, allowing you to seamlessly process your customers’ transactions. Your POS system’s software can be located on-site, like traditional software, or it can be cloud-based, such as software-as-a-service (SaaS) options. Your POS system will even deposit your sales into your bank account for you, freeing you from yet one more task.
Let’s examine the POS’s foundation in more detail.
Business owners can access POS software though on-site or cloud-based systems. On-site systems are just that; they are installed on-site at your brick-and-mortar business. In other words, these POS systems are stored on your local server and may require you to purchase multiple licenses, depending on how many employees will need access. Because this software is stored on your local server, it doesn’t require an internet connection.
Cloud-based POS systems are hosted online, allowing you to access your business data anywhere, anytime. You may have heard this software referred to as software-as-a-service (SaaS). SaaS systems will enable you to have your system automatically updated and maintained as opposed to having to schedule monthly or yearly updates on your on-site system.
Depending on your business, you may have different POS hardware requirements. For example, a restaurant will require different equipment than a clothing boutique. Let’s look at some hardware options you may need for your business.
First, you may require a cash register with a touchscreen tablet, a mobile credit card reader, or a stationary credit card terminal. These hardware options will be compatible with a POS app, allowing you to access the same system from multiple devices. For brick-and-mortar stores, you’ll need a cash register drawer, for well, cash, as well as checks, receipts, and coupons.
Additionally, depending on your business, you may require a receipt printer or a barcode scanner, which also connects to your inventory reports. Further, for brick-and-mortar establishments, you’ll need a card machine, allowing you to accept credit, debit, chip cards, and mobile wallets. Because consumers demand flexibility and convenience, you’ll want to provide an array of payment options.
In addition to processing a variety of payment options, you can also keep track of your sales and inventory through inventory management features. These features allow you to keep tabs on your products or services as well as their quantities through your POS software.
Additionally, as each item sells, you can identify your top-selling products or services, keeping your inventory stocked. After all, there’s nothing worse than having a paying customer with no inventory to sell to them!
Reporting & analytics.
To move forward successfully in business, you must know your numbers. You can’t grow your business by putting your head in the sand and hoping everything will work out for the best. Modern POS systems have reporting capabilities, giving you much-needed information on the state of your business.
For example, you can track inventory on hand, low stock, and patterns in customer preferences. Additionally, you can see how fast items are selling and which items are your most profitable. By understanding how your products perform, you can better serve your customers while simultaneously growing your business.
With a POS system, you can also get a report on your sales, giving you an overview of what's most profitable. With these reports, you can understand how much money you’re really making. Finally, with analytical reports, you can track individual purchases, giving you insight into those who are engaging with your brand. By understanding your numbers, you can make wiser and more efficient strategic choices for the growth and profitability of your business.
Beyond accepting payments, understanding your inventory needs, and gaining insight into customer behaviors, POS systems also deliver some extras. For example, you can incorporate integrations, giving your POS system even more power.
By integrating your POS system with your accounting software, your ecommerce platform, or your payment processor, you can incorporate all of your business platforms into one service, easing your administrative tasks. Through integration, all of your systems will talk to each other, allowing you to more easily manage your business across multiple channels.
When you’re comparing different POS systems, you want to determine if the system integrates with your other financial services or bookkeeping programs. If the POS system seamlessly integrates with these other services, you’re not only making your life easier, you’re also streamlining your data and reporting, giving you the most accurate picture of your business.
How to choose a POS system.
If you want to accept credit and debit cards at your business, it’s a good idea to learn more about POS systems. These systems can benefit the smallest of businesses. The more data you have about your business (such as information about your sales and your customers) the better decisions you can make to grow it.
POS systems offer businesses of all sizes tremendous benefits. From tracking inventory to sending detailed sales reports to offering multi-location management, POS systems reduce administration by consolidating several tasks into one system. Completing all of these tasks manually would be tedious and burdensome. By implementing a POS system, you’re free to focus on tasks that will grow your business, instead of being weighed down by organizational duties. With a POS system and data intelligence streamlining your business, you can elevate your business, while making your day-to-day easier.
The benefits of implementing a POS system should be a must-have for your business. At North American Bancard, we offer low processing fees, don’t require long-term contracts, and offer free terminal placement. We help make it easy to provide your customers with the frictionless transactions that they’ve come to expect.
Whether you’re looking for an onsite or cloud-based system, we make it easy to get the technology you need to accept payments wherever your customers take you. We’ll even help you customize your payment processing to your specific business. To set up a consultation, contact us here or give us a call at 877.840.1952.