Point of sale systems (POS) have been streamlining customer purchases since the 70’s. With the advancements in digital technology the software’s multi-tasking abilities have continued increased. The right POS will organize information, manages inventory, generate reports, record and analyze sales and transaction data, will merges with accounting software and integrate with third party providers for online ordering, delivery services etc.
We’ve put together 10 of the most frequently asked questions we get asked.
What is POS (Point of Sale)?
POS is short for Point of Sale, which really is short for capturing data at the point of where a sale is made. The term came about as evolving computer hardware and software made it possible to capture the sale information at the time the sale was made.
Why should I use POS Software?
A POS system is software package that is frequently packaged with an accompanying compatible hardware package used to organize and operate your business. So with the high volume of cash and credit cards that pass through a restaurant each day make a POS system a necessity. Not only does a POS system track every penny of your sales, many POS programs also act as credit card processors. This makes swiping credit cards more secure for both the customer and the business. Overall the software links your customer service, inventory, accounting, payroll and other departments within one program, which helps centralize your business tasks. When you use a POS you are saving time and managing your business operations more efficiently.
Additionally It can also improve the customer experience with efficient sales programming, reduce waste with automated inventory reconciliation and expiration and ordering alerts, and prevent theft.
What is a locally-based POS system?
A locally-based point of sale (POS) solution means the POS system runs from a self-contained software program installed on one or more onsite POS terminals (PC’s). The POS application does not require an always on Internet connection but Internet access would be required for credit card processing.
Usually this requires an up front software purchases, and can be a bit more costly.
What is a cloud-based POS system?
Cloud-based POS systems process and store sales data online as opposed to locally on your computer or on-premise server. The frontend POS interface is made for use on internet-enabled devices including tablets, smartphones and touchscreen monitors, while the backend can be accessed through any web browser.
Cloud-based POS systems are sometimes referred to as POS applications (apps) instead of software, since they are often used on mobile devices.
Cloud POS is usually subscription based, don’t require long term contracts and you pay a per device fee. Overall it’s more flexible.
How is my POS system connected to my credit card processor?
Most restaurant POS (point of sale) systems utilize an Internet connection to transmit the credit card transaction data from your POS system to the credit card processor for authorization and settlement purposes. Your POS system connects directly to a credit card processor or could require a third party interface to process credit card transactions. An always on Internet connection is required for most POS systems.
Can I transfer my data on a current POS to a new POS software system?
If the current software can export customer and inventory details, it is possible to transfer the data into your new system, but each case would need to be evaluated individually.
Is it possible to operate the POS software from a home computer?
Yes, you don’t need to always purchase the devices you can easily upload the software onto your computer.
Can a point of sale system help me make more money?
When used right a point of sale can help you cut costs and increase profits. Here’s how:
1. Reduce costly manual errors and fraud
2. Identify top and bottom sellers
3. Track your gross profit
4. Faster checkout means shorter queues and more sales in less time
Is my business too small to warrant or benefit from a point of sale?
All businesses who sell a product or service can benefit from a point of sale as long as you find one that fits your needs and budget (if your point of sale costs you more than you earn, then it is obviously not a great idea.) For a small business being run by one person, it’s often even more important to save yourself time so you can focus on growth. There is a system to suit everyone.
Is it essential to have a point of sale system that can integrate with other systems?
Absolutely. Having an integrated system is a huge time-saver and will dramatically reduce the number of errors and potential for fraud.
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See you next week!
Your devoted hostess,