Do you have an online business and want to sell products in person? To check customers out and take payments, you'll need a point-of-sale (POS) system.
However, selecting the best POS system for your company might be difficult. With so many options, features, and reviews to consider, deciding on a POS may be difficult.
That is why we have put together this complete reference to POS systems. Continue reading to learn all you need to know about selecting the ideal point-of-sale solution for retail selling.
What is a point of sale (POS)?
A point of sale, often known as a point of purchase, is the location in your store where transactions are performed. Consider your store's checkout counter as your point of sale because it is where customers are checked out, payments are taken, and receipts are issued.
What is a POS system?
A point-of-sale (POS) system is the software and technology that allows your company to perform in-person sales and take payments from consumers. It functions similarly to a cash register, but it also allows you to track sales, manage inventory, gather client contact information, and much more. After each sale, modern POS systems transfer payments to your bank account (no bank visit required).
How does a POS system work?
A POS system computes the entire price of a customer's purchase, accepts payment, and adjusts inventory levels to reflect the transaction. The standard POS workflow consists of four steps, which are as follows:
- A customer chooses to buy your products.
- Your POS system calculates the sum of all items.
- The customer pays.
- The point-of-sale transaction is settled.
A customer chooses to buy your products
You may check stock levels and pricing in the POS system while customers browse your store's merchandise. When the customer is ready to buy, utilize the bar code scanner to add products to their shopping basket. If you're using Shopify POS, you can scan product labels with the camera on your iPad or smartphone.
Your POS system calculates the sum of all items
Following that, your POS system computes the total cost of all goods (including any sales tax) and adjusts your inventory to reflect sales. This is also where you may provide discounts or use promotional coupons to increase client loyalty.
The customer pays
Customers will pay for their purchases with a credit card, debit card, gift card, cash, or a digital wallet such as Google Pay or Apple Pay. You can also take split payments, which means accepting two or more payment kinds in a single transaction.
The point-of-sale transaction is settled
The deal is formally concluded after the payment is received. At this stage, you will issue a receipt to the consumer by printing or emailing one. The receipt serves as evidence of the POS transaction or purchase.
Benefits of using a POS system
Today's POS systems go beyond simply managing transactions and purchases. With point-of-sale software such as Shopify POS, you can:
Accept payments anywhere
Mobile payment processing is a distinguishing characteristic that distinguishes current POS systems from their conventional predecessors. Using this feature, retailers may serve clients and accept payments from anywhere with internet access—whether at a fair, inside their store, or wherever in between.
Centralize your inventory management
When you employ diverse techniques to handle online and in-person sales, inventory management may become a complicated beast. However, point-of-sale solutions such as Shopify POS combine your sales channels and allow you to administer your complete business from a single platform. Inventory levels for your ecommerce business and retail outlet are immediately updated as products are sold, received, exchanged, or returned in-store or online.
Create in-depth customer profiles
Modern POS systems also assist you in collecting, managing, and analyzing customer data. Customers' purchase history, lifetime value, remarks, and contact information may all be saved in profiles. Look at everything a consumer has purchased from you, both online and in-store, and then recommend more relevant things to raise your average order value.
Improve in-store sales
The correct POS features can help you improve shop foot traffic and revenue. For example, Shopify POS allows retailers to send follow-up emails to undecided customers about things they were interested in but did not purchase. Sometimes a simple reminder is all that is required to turn consumers into purchasers.
What features are essential to a POS system?
When evaluating POS systems, you should check for the following features:
Integrated payment processing
The disadvantages of employing third-party payment processors are well known. They make controlling cash flow considerably more complicated than it has to be, with hidden fees, locked contracts, and extended payout schedules.
However, current POS systems provide PCI-compliant payment processing. Shopify POS, for example, enables businesses to take all major payment methods, including debit and credit cards, as well as Samsung Pay and Google Pay, as well as track both online and in-store transactions from Shopify's user-friendly back end.
Multichannel inventory management
Select a POS system that will assist you in managing inventory across numerous channels, such as your online business, several retail locations, and warehouses. This will assist you in ordering enough merchandise to meet client demand while avoiding overstocking (or tying too much capital with too much inventory).
Furthermore, smart inventory management will spare you from manually tracking and reconciling stock daily to verify that the inventory available on your online store corresponds to the real stock accessible in your stores and warehouses.
Let's face it: no one enjoys waiting in line to pay. Fortunately, current POS systems address this by bringing the checkout to the consumer. With mobile POS, you can check inventory, accept payments, and handle refunds without leaving the customer's side.
If you frequently interact with many customers at once, mobile POS systems allow you to save the customer's cart and recover it later. This allows you to go from one contact to the next without losing order data, resulting in a more seamless overall checkout procedure.
Flexible order fulfillment options
When it comes to purchasing from merchants, modern customers demand flexibility. You must create a buyer's journey that gives buyers in charge of the buying process, whether in-store, online, or through social media platforms like TikTok.
Choosing a POS system that works nicely with your ecommerce platform simplifies the process. You can combine your offline and online sales channels with Shopify POS, allowing users to browse, shop, and receive purchases in the way that is most convenient for them.
How to choose the best POS system?
Whether you want to try your hand at offline selling or replace the present POS in your retail store, it's vital to select a POS system that meets your demands.
Finding the proper POS system needs some study and evaluation, but the return on your investment will be well worth it. Begin by assessing your current requirements, but also consider the future. Do you wish to sell in-store as well as online? Do you wish to extend your retail presence?
Ideally, the POS system should assist you in the following ways:
- Offer flexible purchase, payment, and delivery options.
- Serve multiple customers effectively.
- Make flexible returns and exchanges.
- Sell everywhere your customers are.
- Gain visibility into your inventory across all locations.
- Access order histories, customer profiles, and loyalty programs
- Share information with your other business systems.
Get the best POS system for retail
Shopify POS includes all of these features and more. You can manage your physical shop and online store inventory in one location using Shopify's point-of-sale system, and you can access hundreds of reports that consolidate your sales data. You also receive omnichannel features, which allow you to sell wherever your clients are. Shopify POS is the ideal POS solution for businesses that want to delight, convert, and keep consumers.
Point-of-sale (POS) system FAQ
A POS system generally consists of both hardware and software. A card reader, bar code scanner, cash register, and receipt printer are examples of POS hardware. Most POS systems now feature software that can be accessed via a mobile device, such as a tablet or smartphone.
A prominent example of a POS system is Shopify POS. Retailers may use Shopify POS to execute financial transactions and keep ideal stock levels in their physical stores. You can also utilize Shopify's POS to spot patterns based on recent product performance or seasonality.
The cost of a POS system is determined by the features desired and the number of outlets you manage. If you operate a small physical store and wish to take cash payments, you can utilize Shopify POS light for free. Shopify provides a Pro version of their POS system for multiple business locations and sophisticated capabilities such as inventory modifications for $89 per month per location.