Point of Sale (POS) software typically allows merchants to process customer payments at retail locations. However, this group of software does more than just handling retail transactions. Other key functionalities of POS software include inventory control, automatic price updating, recording sales by branch and/or by employees and electronic ordering. Some products even allow you to analyze sales data, calculate taxes on buyers and update product information and accounts receivable records. More advanced features include the ability to identify customer buying habits and the ability to track which products are bringing in the most revenue. Read the full software guide...
Point of Sale (POS) software is any digital solution that helps businesses manage their checkout operations at physical locations.
The software assists in the tasks of scanning goods, processing payments, issuing receipts, processing loyalty points, redeeming coupons and keeping a record of the sales.
Checkout operators can also use the software to check the price and availability of products and manage returns and exchanges. On the other hand, store managers often use POS software to keep track of retail transactions and inventory data.
More advanced products calculate taxes on goods and automatically update product information and receivable records. Some products even offer reporting and analytics to help you analyze sales data, monitor customer buying habits, identify the top-selling and slow-moving products, and view sales report by location or employee.
Most products can be integrated with your existing CRM, accounting and inventory management applications to facilitate better decision-making.
Cloud-based POS solutions are growing in popularity because they offer more mobility and flexibility and require lower upfront costs. While these products typically work via the internet, some even allow you to work offline and synchronize data when your internet connection is restored.
Depending on the type of business they serve, POS software products can be categorized into the following types.
The first thing to consider when choosing POS software for your business is what type of buyer you are. If you run a small retail store, you’ll need a simple product with the payment processing and inventory tracking functionality. Products designed for single store owners often also come with integrated CRM and accounting modules to help them manage everything from a single system.
On the other hand, large companies need a fully-featured software suite that does more than just handling retail transactions. For instance, a multi-location retailer may look for a product that allows them to view sales report for each store, create a single purchase order for all locations and track item transfers between stores. Some products even allow managers to set a custom price for products. That means you can sell the same product at different prices in different locations.
If you are looking for hospitality POS software, consider choosing features based on how your business conducts its everyday transactions. For instance, a quick service restaurant may need POS software capable of handling drive-through orders, while table-service restaurants may need a product capable of creating custom menus, handling open checks, managing table reservations and tracking inventory.
Conversely, POS software for bars often includes the age-verification functionality to help you avoid penalties due to underage service. Some bar-focused products can be connected to your pour spouts to make sure bartenders are not over pouring drinks and driving up your costs.
Products focused on other business types are also available. For instance, field service providers can find a POS solution that also offers the GPS tracking feature. POS software for pharmacies often helps comply with FDA regulations, while POS software shoe stores may offer color, size and style matrices, so you can create a custom attribute set for each item.
You should also consider some generic factors, regardless of the type of POS software you need. Here are some questions to ask.
Is the software user-friendly? – Some products present a steep learning curve to your team, while some offer a simple user interface.
What platforms does it support? –Some products support Android, iOS and web-based platforms, while some support only one or two of them.
Does it offer an open API? – POS software with an open API can be easily integrated with your other applications. Consider whether you need this.
Is the product scalable?– If your business is growing fast, consider choosing a product that will grow with you.
Does the vendor offer guides and customer support? – You may also want to check if the vendor offers phone support, chat support, FAQs and guides.
|2-Factor Authentication||Adds an additional layer of security by requiring an extra step in the login process. Usually external devices are required for this or a text message with a verification code is sent to the user when trying to login.|
|API||Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are programmatic intersections with external products or platforms that allow for custom integrations with your own solutions or other solutions you are using.|
|BitCoin||BitCoin support - a digital currency operating independently of a central bank.|
|Budgeting||Planning and tracking capabilities for financial budgets and plans often used to manage funds across different departments or for investor / shareholder oversight.|
|Contact Management||Manage large amounts of personal or business contacts in a centralized system.|
|Customer Management||Manage customer databases and/or track outstanding shipments, payments and more.|
|Dashboard||Dashboards are digital interfaces commonly used to visualise data or give quick access to important features and functions of online platforms. They often serve as an overview gateway in software applications.|
|Data Export||Exporting functionality can be used to streamline the migration of data sets and information across systems, platforms or applications.|
|Data Import||Importing functionality allows you to use data sets from other systems or platforms to cut down on data entry requirements or to more easily migrate records from similar applications you have used in the past.|
|Data Visualization||Data visualization features render a visual interpretation of data sets through the use of charts, infographics and other visual cues generally in form of a reporting dashboard.|
|External Integrations||Integrations with other software products or platforms to improve efficiency and compatibility across systems.|
|Forecasting||Forecast upcoming expenses, sales, revenue, user levels, etc. through the use of predictive methods and past data.|
|Inventory Tracking||Stay on top of inventory levels, to manage the storing, reordering or production of stock items.|
|Multi-Currency||Support of different currencies for payments, accounting purposes, taxes, reports and more.|
|Multi-User||Supports more than just one user account and generally allows for collaboration with colleagues.|
|Notifications||Includes notification support and sends you alerts with information on important events and other time sensitive instances. For example through push notifications on mobile phones or email notifications.|
|Payment Processor||Integration with external payment processors like PayPal, Master or Visa, generally for credit cards and similar methods.|
|Supplier Management||Manage suppliers and purchases required in the day-to-day operation of a business.|
|Third-Party Plugins/Add-Ons||Offers additional features or integrations built by third-party developers in form of plugins or add-ons.|
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