Retail point of sale systems, commonly just called “retail POS systems,” are one of the most essential pieces of modern businesses — it’s pretty difficult to run a business efficiently without a POS system these days, regardless of what services or products you sell, or how small your business may be. But if you’re a new business owner, you aren’t too up-to-date with new technology, and you’re still wondering “What is a POS system?” — here are a few points about retail POS systems, and why they’re so necessary:
- Organization is always key for any business, especially if you run a small business and you have limited storage and shelving space. One of the most important features of modern POS systems is the ability to manage inventory numbers, providing you with real-time detailed data about all the products in your store. Besides simply viewing how many items are on the shelves, you’ll be able to track sales trends, look for product substitutions, and contact manufacturers or suppliers quickly; many newer retail POS software systems even alert you when certain products need to be re-ordered.
- Purchasing items from vendors is another important task, but this one is often overlooked since it’s easy to forget that your business isn’t just selling items to customers, but is also buying those items from the vendors or manufacturing companies. The major benefit of having a newer retail POS system here is that you’ll have some assistance with re-ordering items quickly, searching for alternative products or brands, and negotiating costs with the vendors in order to reach the lowest possible price.
- And last but not least, speaking of selling items, the “point of sale” part of a POS system is (obviouly) an important feature! Point of sale tools allow you to make transactions and record the information for later sales analysis, and will provide you with the equipment to process payment methods like credit cards and food stamp cards (as well as cash). Industry-specific POS systems are definitely important here, because these specific systems will come with software tools that have been designed for certain types of businesses (like restaurants, pharmacies, or retail stores). At the most basic level, a good POS system will make your transactions faster and will reduce errors (or make it easy to fix them).
POS systems come in all shapes and sizes these days, and with so many suppliers and software programs available, it isn’t hard to find one system that has been designed perfectly for your business. More on this.