A point-of-sale (POS) system is a great tool to facilitate retail transactions as well as improve overall business operations. It also provides a convenient way for customers to settle their payments for goods or services. Some POS systems even provide businesses with ways to integrate features like discounts and loyalty programs, which are attractive to many customers.
Many POS systems are composed of software and hardware components. The front-end software is where the business transactions are processed while the back-end software lets business owners access important data. This can include sales figures, inventory, and analytics. When it comes to hardware, POS systems use a device, like a barcode scanner or a POS terminal, to input data and transact sales.
There are different types of POS systems you can choose from, depending on what your business requires. Since getting a POS system for your business will incur costs, you need to make sure your investment will eventually pay off. To help you select the right POS system, below are some of the different types of POS systems and the kind of businesses that suit them best.
On-Site Terminal POS System
Terminal POS systems are the most common types of POS systems and are what you see being used in many retail businesses. They are usually offered to businesses as an all-in-one solution and come with specific hardware and software. The typical hardware in this type of system includes a desktop computer or touch-screen monitor, cash drawer, barcode reader, and receipt printer.
While an on-site terminal POS system is more advanced than a traditional cash register, it has some limitations like mobility. It needs a dedicated area where you can facilitate transactions like a checkout counter. You also need to be on-site to access analytics reports or apply any changes in the system such as inventory or prices. In addition, this kind of system comes with bulky hardware and can take up space in your business establishment. If you have ample space, this POS system is a suitable option.
Even with some of its disadvantages, an on-site terminal POS system proves to be beneficial to a lot of businesses like restaurants and grocery stores because it allows multiple terminals to be set up. In restaurants, for instance, a central terminal allows waiters to input customers’ orders while a separate device in the kitchen can print out the orders so kitchen staff knows which dishes need to be prepared next. Additionally, businesses with high volume and low-to-medium priced goods are best suited for on-site terminal POS systems. This includes retail boutiques, book stores, salons, spas, and more.
Mobile POS System
Mobile POS systems, also referred to as mPOS, are more compact compared to terminal POS systems. It is composed of an app and a mobile device to process transactions. The device can be bundled with different attachments like a credit card reader, barcode scanner, and receipt printer. Also, the system features cloud-based storage, which allows business owners to access transaction data anywhere.
If your business requires flexibility in the location where you process transactions, the mPOS is a great option. Vendors like food trucks, traveling retailers, farmers’ markets, and freelance workers are best suited for such a POS system. In addition, a mPOS is beneficial to businesses who want to make the checkout experience more convenient for their customers. For example, restaurants can use mobile POS systems to provide an option for tableside ordering or payment. It can help drive more sales as it doesn’t require clients to wait in long lines or look for the counter.
Self-Service Kiosk POS System
Self-service kiosk POS systems are specialized solutions that allow customers to make transactions without the need of a cashier or employee’s assistant. You can usually find such systems in grocery stores where shoppers can directly scan their items and pay for everything themselves. It reduces the checkout time and gives customers more control over their experiences.
If you own a casual restaurant or café with simpler menu options, a self-service kiosk POS system is an ideal solution. It can shorten lines and wait times for your customers. It can also help customers settle bills easily. For a business that uses a self-service kiosk POS system, it would be placed in front of the establishment so it acts as the initial process. In such a setup, your customers can select their orders and settle the transactions immediately.
In addition, self-service kiosk POS systems are great for large cinemas so patrons can look up movie schedules and purchase tickets with ease. They are also very helpful for parking locations, where clients can settle ticket payments and quickly exit the site.
All business owners need to examine their expenses to ensure maximum return of investments. It’s the same with choosing the right POS system. Every POS system has different advantages that best suit a certain type of business, with some features that are more applicable to others. Before picking a POS system, remember to evaluate what your business requires based on its size and potential growth.