What is a POS System?
Essentially the POS system is the place where a customer pays for products or services. Combining hardware and software components, the POS system allows for any form of payment such as cash, debit cards, credit cards, mobile, and even accumulated loyalty points.
What is a POS System for Retail?
One industry that benefits largely from the modern POS system is retail. These specialised POS systems will include a range of features that prioritise the needs of retail owners and their respective customers.
What is a POS transaction?
This is the moment a transaction is finalised when a customer makes a payment in exchange for goods and services. For the finalisation of a POS purchase, the customer is required to enter a PIN number, sign or provide a fingerprint scan for authentication. This allows the bank to either authorise or deny the transaction.
Components of a POS System for Retail
There is a wide range of really user-friendly POS systems on the market, however, they will generally require the following hardware components:
- Monitor – this could be a tablet or computer monitor which displays the product database and other functionalities.
- Cash drawer – as cashless transactions become much more commonplace, this is likely to be phased out. In fact, by 2025, Business Insider predicts that 75% of all transactions will be cashless. However, there are still many cash transactions in South Africa and the cash drawer remains a secure place to retain cash when payments are made.
- Barcode scanner – this reads all the product information stored within the barcode and adds it to the checkout total. With certain POS systems, the sale can be integrated with inventory management to adjust stock levels.
- Card readers – for all card payments, the POS system can either read the card’s magstripe (swiping the card) or read the card’s chip.
- Receipt printer – this is another component that might eventually disappear as email and text receipts become more dominant. As it stands, customers do still rely on paper receipts for a purchase overview and to return items.
Depending on your particular business needs and budgetary limitations, there are a number of key features associated with POS for retail. Here’s a quick look at some of the features you can expect to find:
1. Sales Overview
All POS systems for retail should give you a report of sales, the difference being the amount of detail supplied and ease of use. Some of the sales’ information supplied will include sales’ reports (total cost of items sold, net profit, etc) and store sales performance.
Your customers’ data can be tracked and stored in a POS system for retail through its Customer Relationship Management feature. This is aimed at developing long-term customer relations by linking a transaction to a customer, tracking customers’ purchase history, capturing personal information, and then providing personalised marketing techniques.
You’re also able to incorporate customer loyalty programmes with the more advanced systems, as well as setting up timed promotions for specific customer groups. Loyalty programmes have been shown to retain customers which is five times cheaper than having to attract new customers, so well worth implementing. Through these programmes, customers feel appreciated because they are rewarded for their repeat business.
Through sales’ tracking, your POS system for retail can actually monitor and even replenish your store’s inventory. Inventory is a difficult balancing act and will directly impact your cash flow. Some of the inventory management features include digital scanning, inventory identification and level tracking, consolidation of purchases and orders, and managing stock. Using real-time inventory tracking, you can be assured your inventory levels are always accurate.
For businesses with multiple stores, this feature allows you to support your business growth by consolidating inventory, customer, and staff management across all store locations. You can effectively manage your entire business in one place while comparing store performance.
Omni’s Accounting Electronic Point of Sale (ePOS) system
One of the leading POS systems for retail on the market is Omni’s ePOS system, an all-in-one option for retail. This programme incorporates credit and cash register sales, full cash-ups, teller sales’ analysis, cash controls, barcode scanning, label printing, with Windows POS supporting Windows Server (Cloud), 7, 8, and 10 Compliant.
The ePOS computer system features include:
- Full POS
- Credit card machine integration
- Back Office fully integrated into POS
- Stock Control fully integrated into POS
- Complete Accounting fully integrated into POS
The ePOS software functions include:
- Cash register sales
- Credit sales
- Sales from quotes
- Sales from sales’ orders
- Scanner ready
- Touch screen ready
- Void sales (with permissions)
- Returns (with permissions)
- Pay-outs (with permissions)
- Multiple tender types
The Omni ePOS supports a range of small-to-large business applications throughout the retail sector. These include:
- Hardware, paint, and décor stores
- Liquor stores
- Plant nurseries
- Jewellery stores
- Electrical fittings
- Stationery shops
- Cellular shops
- Tyre outlets and motor spares
- Gift and Novelty Stores
- Home entertainment electronics specialists
Questions to ask when investing in a POS system
If this is the first time, you’re investing in a POS system for retail, there are certain questions you’ll want to ask the supplier before choosing one that will work for you. Some of these include:
- Will the POS integrate with my existing software?
- Do you have a website or accounting software?
- What payment methods can the POS accept?
- What are the costs involved?
- What are the key features?
- Do I have to enter into a contract?
Surviving in retail means mastering administrative, management and marketing skills while overseeing everything from inventory levels to contacting customers. An efficient POS system will ease the administrative burden by integrating relevant sales’ information, assisting in the smooth running of your day-to-day operations.