What Is Point of Sale Integration? Why Do I Need It?
If you’re still running your business with a cash register in 2022, then you’re reading the right article! We’re going to outline exactly what is point-of-sale (POS) integration, why POS integration is the best move for your business, and have you chucking out that cash register by the end of this piece. Let’s begin!
Cash register vs. POS system – what’s the difference?
Your cash register basically records all sales transactions, allows the cashier to provide the customer with change, and stores the cash. In days gone by, this was enough. But with increased digitisation and customers requiring different payment options, POS software is what you need. POS is a computerised system that handles all your financial transactions, tracks your inventory and records all types of business data. Your POS software is actually automating all transactions for a more efficient business operation. (Read more about POS systems in this related post.)
What is the difference between a POS system and a payment processor?
The point-of-sale system is where the payment transactions and inventory management actually happen. The payment processor (along with your POS hardware) is the service that communicates the transaction of information between you, as the merchant, the issuing bank and the acquiring bank.
What are the different types of POS systems to consider?
There are also lots of different POS systems to compare before you decide on the best one for your small business. The POS systems include:
- Mobile POS system (mPOS): People often ask what is the difference between a POS and an mPOS? Essentially, it’s a sub-set of POS – an mPOS is a POS app found on a smartphone, tablet or other mobile devices. Depending on the POS software you choose, it could be free in exchange for payment processing. It comes with a card reader and a portable receipt printer (or emailed receipts). If you’re a small business with minimal inventory – such as a hairdresser, beauty therapist, freelancer or market vendor – then this is a great option for you.
- Terminal POS system: These are found at a retail counter and are both hardware- and software-based. Some rely on cloud-based software and they generally include a barcode scanner and cash drawers. These can be found in retail outlets, spas and restaurants, and other areas within the hospitality industry.
- Self-service kiosk POS system: These are more customised POS software options for different industrial uses. They can be found at cinemas (self-service movie tickets) and grocery stores (self-service checkout). There are also non-POS options such as airport check-ins or looking up products in a store.
- Multichannel POS systems: If you have a multi-location business or chain store, then the multichannel POS software is hugely beneficial. It integrates your sales across all stores and manages inventory levels. This is used by e-commerce stores that need to monitor inventory or pop-up stores.
- Open-source POS systems: While this might be an expensive option, this POS software is fully customisable so you can adapt it to your particular needs. This is best suited to large-scale enterprises for enhanced customer experience.
What payment methods can a POS system accept?
As we mentioned, the modern customer wants to pay using a variety of different methods, and a POS system is able to accommodate this. Here are some of the payment options available:
- Cash: For small businesses, many customers will still choose to pay with cash, which means no overhead costs. However, there is a risk of theft.
- Credit or debit card: Many customers like to pay with a card and this offers more accuracy. These do require connectivity which can be a drawback in certain areas.
- Digital wallets: Online shopping and exchange is more mainstream and so many eCommerce sites are integrating digital wallets into the POS offerings. Digital wallets can also be used by brick-and-mortar stores.
- Split payments: If your customers want to share bills at restaurants and cafés, the POS system can support this functionality.
- Gift cards: Store credit or rewards systems: Points or rewards systems are a popular way to attract repeat business. POS software can accommodate loyalty programmes, gift card purchases or returns for store credit.
What are the benefits of an integrated POS system?
POS system integration is essentially interlinking your transactions with the rest of your business operations. If you’re still wondering why you should consider point-of-sale software integration, then read on!
1. Time savings
Where a cash register simply processed your payments, a modern POS system is a hub that interconnects with other operations. Because it’s an all-in-one system, POS accounting software minimises managerial tasks related to payroll, scheduling and inventory management, saving your business so much time.
2. Faster service
Customers will not wait to purchase an item if they can get it somewhere else. With POS software, you’re decreasing waiting time and enhancing customer satisfaction. Integrate with your customer relationship management (CRM) tool and see the difference.)
3. Customer insights
POS provides you, the business owner, with valuable customer-related data so you can customise your marketing by sending personalised messages and targeted promotions. (What a way to encourage customer loyalty!)
4. Constantly updating
A cloud-based POS system updates software constantly so that can enjoy more features and meet changing consumer trends.
5. Customer support
A good POS supplier will offer training, explain the features and provide ongoing support for your POS journey.
What security concerns should you think about in a Point of Sale system?
Another benefit of your POS system is the security features. You’re dealing with critical customer data which you will need to keep secure. POS software, which is constantly updating, has features that ensure secure data management, protecting against cyber-attacks and fraud.
What is the total cost of POS integration?
eCommerce is certainly the way of the future, and POS integration is vital for businesses to achieve their eCommerce goals. But what is the cost of POS integration? It obviously depends on who you go with, but a top provider like Omni Accounts is able to provide you with an integrated POS solution for as little as R1 999, exclusive of the annual licence fee. Considering the long-term time and cost-savings your business will enjoy, it’s really affordable.
So, what is POS integration? It’s the future of your business! So get rid of the old cash register and contact Omni Accounts to start future-proofing your business today.