For retailers there really isn’t a better solution than POS software.
For the uninitiated, POS stands for point of sale.
It’s software that manages the checkout procedure for customers.
Everyone has a (boring) story about a supermarket self service malfunction, and for many consumers and business owners, this is what they think of when POS software is brought up.
But it can be so much more than that, and an effective use of POS software can make stock checks, ordering supplies, and paying wages easy.
Who Uses POS Software?
Every business type. At any point where an electronic sale occurs, software can be used to monitor and make the transaction simpler.
Casinos, hotels, and even sports stadiums use it, and POS systems can be applied within CRM, alongside general office admin to save time, and automate processes.
It’s not even that difficult to implement, and most point of sale software runs on Windows, or Linux. This makes it easier to adopt new technologies within your business as they slot right in to existing ones.
Mostly, POS is still a tethered option, and businesses rely on high speed ethernet cables to deliver it to end users. But wireless options are now more common place with fast food restaurant drive throughs becoming early adopters of this connectivity type.
Advances in POS Technology
I think that’s it’s worth considering the potential of this technology, rather than its current implementation.
POS isn’t just for automating checkout procedures, it can be used in restaurants to make ordering food simpler.
Waiting staff can be given a PDA device, and it can sync up wirelessly with a computer in the kitchen. This makes it easier for staff to work to deadlines, make changes, and collaborate efficiently across departments.
From this rather simplistic example, it becomes easier to see how POS software can be used to streamline all aspects of a business.
How Secure is POS Software?
Understandably, digitising business processes can make people nervous with security being a main concern. But this type of software is notably safe, and easy to monitor too.
The cloud offers quick and easy backup options, and a business can whitelist the type of devices that access the secure network. This simply means that a business retains control over who can access information, and on what device.
Although security should always be a concern, businesses can rest assured that POS software can be implemented securely across their internal networks.
Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of POS software is the fact that a business can generate useful data on its customers. This helps to build actionable information on buying habits, and the type of product that customers are buying the most.
Shaping your marketing approach strategically around what works best for your customers will result in better experiences all round. It also lets your employees get on with their jobs more efficiently.
Again, it’s all in the information and the details. A business that uses POS software can keep an eye on its inventory, it can better streamline its processes, and in turn, it can increase profits by maximising the aspects of the business that work most effectively.
It’s worth noting too that time intensive tasks like restocking can be automated with a click of a button. The Internet of Things is coming, and POS software will usher in this new world order of connectivity.
Other aspects of a business that can be automated include things like payroll. At every point POS software lets people get on with their jobs with less daily admin distractions.
It’s Not All Good News
We’ve painted quite a rosey picture of POS software options, but there are some negatives to consider too.
The main issue that prevents businesses from adopting point of sale technology is the cost. This isn’t a cheap option, and it’s fallible. Like with all technological innovations, it has to be integrated into a workplace slowly and with care.
Training can be an additional cost, and for many SMBs the cost of implementing POS systems just isn’t worth the benefits. That said, there’s still a lot that can be gained from better connectivity in your workplace, but you have to have a considered approach.
Everyone knows the headaches associated with a computer that keeps crashing. Well, imagine if your entire business infrastructure was digitised and the computer went offline. There are times when you can’t beat a pen and a piece of paper.
But those instances are the exception, rather than the rule. So, as with all new experiences, do some reading, research and talk to other business owners, and figure out the best approach to implement POS software in your own company.
Some Extra Thoughts
Arguably point of sale software is the future of retail. It suits customers who already use computers to shop online, and it ensures that a business runs with more efficiency.
It’s likely that most of your employees own a smartphone, perhaps even a tablet, and this technology can be used to your advantage. Of course security still has to be considered, but you might find that your staff can use their own digital products to access your POS software.
This again makes for a simpler introduction of new business processes. But this sort of approach is business dependant. It can’t really be stressed enough. You need to research the options, identify what you want to achieve, and find the right tech to get you there.
Many startups don’t have a brick and mortar store anymore, and transactions are increasingly moving online. POS software is a future proof investment but be sure to tailor it to your business to see the best results.