However, just because you have heard of something, does not necessarily mean you know everything there is to know about it — especially if your source is less than reliable or you are a first-time small business owner.
iPad pos hardware for retail
We’d love to do you a strong and enable you to understand everything there is to know about point of sale systems. They’re such a crucial part of your business operations, whether you have a small retail store or a five-star restaurant; POS systems not only get you through your daily operations but also help propel you to the future.
To put it simply, POS systems are a combination of hardware and software built to streamline business operations in the point of purchase (POP). They are quickly replacing cash registers because they could do more than simply take payments. To help you see what we mean, let’s have a close look at point of sale systems. We’ll cover what exactly they are, why you want one, and where you can purchase one.
What’s POS Software?
Point of sale software is a cash register, but brighter. It’s the focus of your checkout, letting you ring up sales, process yields, and tally your everyday earnings — just like a cash register. But, that is where the similarities end. POS software does more, much more.
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In regards to a POS system, the program is truly the driving force behind giving you the perfect performance and features to run your company. If we were speaking in terms of vehicles, the program are the engine. Without a functioning engine to make the car go and electricity all the other components, you simply have a useless heap of metal — aka POS hardware, but more on that next.
POS applications has shifted significantly over the past 10–15 years from something which was only available as an on-premise solution for large businesses with a dedicated IT staff and deep pockets. Nowadays, you’ve got cloud-based solutions that run on tablets such as iPad cash registers and POS systems which are pretty much plug-and-play right from the box or download. For retailers and other smaller businesses such as restaurants, it doesn’t get much better than that.
POS Software for My Business: Things to Look For?
When it comes to picking the ideal POS software for your business, you do not need to buy the most expensive one or the hottest one, you only need to purchase the one which works best for your unique organization. All businesses will operate somewhat differently than another, even in the same industry. Therefore, what may work for your restaurant or retail store won’t work for the one down the road.
We LOVE our new iPad POS system! After 9 years with a fine but antiquated POS system, we researched everything (literally) that’s out there — for a few weeks (weeks ) to obtain a system which would fulfill our listing of 22 requirements (somewhat unique requirements to get a special business model). iPad POS was the only one that fulfilled virtually every requirement!
Here are some general characteristics you will want to look for when vetting POS software solutions. We’ll discuss some of the industry-specific features later, so stay tuned.
In the modern fast-paced, world where clients will just as soon get a product online if they can not find it in your shop, it’s vital that you’ve got tight inventory control. Too little inventory may result in missed sales and earnings. Too much inventory could result in suppressed money flow.
Keeping tabs on your employees can be a company in itself. Who will only work evenings? Who only works ? What are my labour costs so much this week? Can I put someone else on the program this weekend? It is just like a game of Who’s On First, retail edition. It is enough to make your head spin.
Fortunately for you, many point of sale systems might help alleviate those headaches. You may make worker profiles to store their contact info and their credentials to get the POS system.
Reporting and Analytics
If your POS software can provide you many different reports, great. If it can offer you the perfect reports, even better. Reports and analytics may provide insights and enable you to monitor Key Performance Indicators (KPI) about your organization, letting you make smarter, data-driven decisions.
Some report of those reports are:
- Sales by item
- Sales by employee
- Shift reports
- Revenue by product type and label
- Sales by customer
- Sales by discount
- Sales by payment type
- Inventory value
- Item reorder reports
- Cash drawer action such as pay-ins and payouts
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Client Management and Loyalty Programs
Most POS applications will have a client database, customer relationship management purpose (CRM), a customer loyalty program, or all the above. Engaging with your clients either through email marketing or loyalty programs is a powerful weapon to get customers back into your store — do not be afraid to use it.
Actually, 58 percent of consumers are familiar with retailers using their purchase history to personalize a prospective shopping experience. The key is, finding the ideal clients (viewers ) and sending the right message.
While POS software is definitely the heart of your retail business, it is usually not the one thing working behind the scenes to ensure a smooth operation. Many point of sale systems integrate with third party suppliers for email marketing solutions, ecommerce platforms for sale online, and accounting software for accounting.
POS software ought to be able to deal with all your payment types or tenders, not just a number of them. The most usual tender types include, money, credit cards and debit cards, gift cards, checks, coupons, and NFC payments such as Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. We are not saying you will need to take each tender kind, but your POS system should provide you the choice to so you have the maximum flexibility.
If a point of sale system has integrated payment processing, not only will you be able to take all types, but you will have the ability to see the breakdown of the tenders and accurate records on ones that are reported as obligations like gift cards.
Whether you are a food truck and your entire performance is mobile, or you have a retail shop with a traditional brick and mortar storefront, it is always wise to think mobile in regards to your point of sale system. In actuality, in 2018 mobile POS (mPOS) is forecasted to surpass standard POS terminals.
Any retailer can attest that no matter how much square footage you have, there’s never enough space. Retailers in metropolises like Singapore where space is at a premium and also a minimum, know these pains all too well.
A mPOS solution like an iPad cash register not only provides you a smaller footprint in your checkout area, but in addition, it provides you the opportunity to select the voucher to your customers on the ground. The industry term for the latter is line breaking, and it is a superb way to offer a quicker, more efficient checkout process and a positive customer service experience.
Now that you’ve got a good handle on what POS software is and the features that you need for your company, let’s talk about the hardware.
Going back to our automobile analogy where the program is similar to the motor, this means the hardware is the shiny hunk of metal on the outside. When technology businesses develop applications, they empower specific pieces of gear to work with this. Some of the hardware elements that are likely to be compatible with your POS applications are:
- iPad or Android tablets and enclosures
- Barcode scanners
- Receipt printers
- Cash drawers
- Label printers
- Credit card terminal
Based on the nature of your business, you may or may not require all these elements, but this gives you a excellent starting point.
Types of POS Systems: What Are My Options?
Speaking of the nature of your company, the form of business you run will determine the perfect POS system for your requirements. Up until this point, we have spoken in general terms any storefront, whether retail or restaurant, requires a point of sale solution. And while this is true, not all of POS systems are created equal — is 1 solution designed to serve all sectors.
Retail POS Systems
Retail businesses have a special set of requirements and requirements that differ from the demands of restaurants and vice versa. While in some cases you may have the ability to use a retail POS system in a quick-service restaurant (QSR) environment, it won’t burst in a full size restaurant or pub.
Some Distinctive retail POS requirements are:
- Label printing for things without UPC codes
- Employee commissions
- Item matrix and product variants to support unique products sizes, colors, etc..
- Scales for weighted items
- Ecommerce integration to set up an Internet store
Exactly like retailers, restaurateurs have their own set of special needs when it comes to a POS system. How many fine-dining restaurants do you know that scan a UPC code on your filet mignon before they serve it to you? Precisely, none. Restaurant and pub POS systems don’t require a barcode scanner or label printer. But, here are some of the features they do want:
- Remote ticket printing to send orders from the POS into a kitchen printer or pub printer
- A custom table map to quickly begin checks and determine what tables are occupied
- A way to keep a Lot of checks open simultaneously
- A way to split open checks, merge or move them
- The ability to assign order types like dine-in or takeout
- Online ordering so clients can purchase from their smartphone or pc
Salon POS Systems
Last but not least, if you have a salon or spa and you are looking for a retail or restaurant POS system, you are not doing yourself any favors. Although, like retail POS systems in QSR institutions, you may have the ability to use a retail POS solution in some capacity on your salon, but it is not going to be your very best fit. Like the other two businesses we discussed, salons have their own particular requirements such as:
- Online Booking — While walk-ins are welcome at most salons, nearly all customers make appointments to make sure they get the support they need at a time that is convenient for them. Modern salons and spas utilize online appointment setting applications so customers can quickly book appointments without even ringing the secretary.
- Calendar Management — Going hand-in-hand with appointment setting, salons also require a way to handle their employees’ calendars, so they understand who’s booked and when.
- Memberships — Many spas charge membership fees for specialty or premium services, and they want a way to track everything. A way to securely store consumer card information, process recurring transactions on a regular basis and have a card expiry report so that they can proactively reach out to those clients whose card is set to expire.
How Much Can POS Systems Cost and Where Can I Buy One?
POS systems are no longer a luxury for small companies, but instead table stakes if you would like to remain competitive in the evolving business landscape. While it could be a necessity, the great news is they no longer take the luxurious price tag they did over a decade ago.
Cloud-computing, the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business model, and the evolution of consumer tablet devices such as iPads have created the perfect storm at the point of sale market. It’s allowed software companies to create strong POS solutions for small business owners and dramatically reduced cost as a barrier to entry to a fraction of what it once was.
Before tablet and cloud-based POS systems, it was not unusual for POS solutions to cost a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars to set up and maintain. For a small business owner, that is a little fortune.
These days, if you are a tiny retail shop, you can pay less than $1,000 to begin with an fantastic POS system like Vend, which covers both hardware and software. That’s a huge difference in price, and one cash-strapped small business owners can get on board .
Not only have point of sale solutions gone down in price, but they are also a lot easier to get your hands on. A whole lot of POS businesses provide a self-service model where you can download the app, set up your shop, and order hardware without having to speak to someone. And that is great if you are a self-service type of guy or gal.
However, typically, particularly in regards to such a critical part of your company operations, you would like to have the ability to pick up the phone and speak to someone. You are going to have questions out of what you are able to find out by yourself. Or perhaps you can not figure it all out by yourself, and you will need a little advice to put you on the ideal path.
When it comes to choosing a POS system, ensure you pick a software supplier that’s there for you 24/7/365 by chat, email, or telephone call.
Another alternative to purchasing a POS system straight from the software business is to experience a certified reseller. Resellers act as the middleman between the software provider and the end user. Sometimes, they can provide in-person services (such as tech support) that the software company can’t and that makes them an invaluable asset to not only the merchant but also the software firm.
Why Should I Invest in a POS System?
Small business owners must invest in point of sale applications as it’s just smart business. Running a business is hard. It is long hours, often meaning weekends and holidays away from the family because those are the busiest times of the year or week.
Are you sick of spending all your time at your store, cafe, or restaurant without a rest in sight? Don’t you need to make life easier and put more hours back in your week? The significant advantages of a POS system are that it may do that. Actually, businesses which are purchasing POS applications for the first time report that improving efficiency is a top priority.
The Bottom Line
After reading this report, you need to have a solid comprehension of what’s a POS system. However, more importantly, you ought to be aware of the features and performance that you need from a point of sale to conduct your company effectively, where to buy one and how much they cost. If you can walk away from this article in confidence in your POS need, then we have done our job.
The perfect point of sale system will change your business.
►►► ConnectPOS is a cloud-based POS software compatible with multiple platforms including Magento, Shopify & Shopify Plus, and BigCommerce.