POS is an abbreviation for point of sale whose literal meaning is the place where a sale is made. POS systems are primarily concerned with the payment mechanism where the customers pay for a service or a product. These systems are the need of every retail business as there are many transactions made on daily bases. However the modern POS systems offer other functionalities that are outside the realm of a POS mechanism.
The advanced POS systems involve an extensive mechanism including hardware like computer, printer, barcode scanner, card payment machine. In addition to that, the POS software includes different functions to facilitate business operations like billing and inventory management.
Types of POS Systems:
There are a number of POS systems available in the market today. Although all of them perform the same core functionality, however they are different in the way they do it. Let’s have a look at some of the common POS systems used for businesses.
Terminal POS is one of the most common types of POS systems used in restaurants, grocery stores, salons and many other places. They usually work based on a combination of hardware and software, however, they may also require internet connectivity. The cloud based data security and 24/7 support is also provided with most Terminal POS systems.
The most common hardware used with Terminal POS are cash drawers and barcode scanners. In restaurants, Terminal POS systems are integrated with Wi-Fi portable devices like kitchen printers to facilitate order management. For retail businesses, Terminal POS systems include the e-commerce integration to streamline all the financial transactions.
The online POS systems provide remote access to the users as they are cloud based. They give the users freedom of using their own hardware like a PC, mobile device and standard printer. A user can access the online POS system from any remote location if they have internet connectivity. They are commonly used for low-volume businesses like small retail shops, small cafes and art galleries etc.
- Mobile POS:
Mobile point-of-sale-systems use the mobile devices to manage the transactions and inventory record. There is POS application installed on the mobile device like Smartphone or tablet and a credit card reader is used for payment. A portable printer is commonly employed for receipt of transactions or email receipts can also be sent to the customers through app. They are mostly used for mobile services, event vendors and freelance workers.
Tablet POS systems are highly cost-effective as they need minimal investment to set up. The tablet POS Apps are made compatible with both iPads and Android tablets. Tablet POS systems can also be integrated with the hardware like cash drawers and barcode readers. Like Mobile POS systems, they are also used for applications where there are small inventory, however, some can also handle complex databases.
Self-service Kiosk POS:
A conventional Kiosk POS is a customized system made to perform a particular function. For example, cinemas use them for selling movie tickets and transportation services deploy this system for selling vehicle passes.
The self-service Kiosk POS use both software and hardware to produce an interactive system for customers. They allow customers to choose the product or services and pay bills by themselves. Keeping their self-serving aspect in mind, they are regarded as a highly convenient choice but they have constraints regarding data management.
Benefits of Using POS Systems:
There are numerous benefits of using POS systems and some of them are listed below:
POS systems are an integral part of the modern retail businesses and they have impacted very positively in profitability. The evolution in the modern business mechanisms demands an upgradation of POS systems to make them more efficient. Considering the trajectory of advancements in POS systems, it is safe to say that this technology is on the right track.