As a small business owner with a brick and mortar store, managing sales and inventory was always a challenge, especially if you had multiple locations. Then you added your online store into the mix, and the challenge became not only managing multiple locations, but environments. This is where a Point Of Sale (POS) system comes in.
The first POS system was created in 1879, you may have heard of it – it’s called a cash register. Cash registers remained virtually unchanged until the late 1980s, when they started to evolve into the complex systems we see today. Now, with expanding options in where and how we make sales as well as pay for them, modern POS systems have become mandatory for today’s retail business.
There are many benefits of having a POS. A big one is being able to accept multiple forms of payment such as PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay and others used by smartphone owners. This is crucial if you want to capture millennial consumers, who coincidentally have the most spending power of any demographic. Millennials are also more apt to shop online, even if they need to pick up their purchase in person.
The true benefit of a POS to the business and business owner is that no one can be hindered to complete a sale simply because their preferred method of payment cannot be accepted. The ability to accept additional payment methods not only increases your revenue, it keeps you competitive — since you know your competition is using a POS as well.
Another POS benefit of equal importance is more efficient management of not only your offline store(s), but your online store as well. A POS allows you to manage both environments in tandem, or as separate single entities if you prefer.
A POS will increase the efficiency (and revenue) of your business by telling you exactly:
- What you sold
- Where you sold it
- How you sold it
- Who (or what) sold it
- How many are left
- When to restock
- What is selling best and where
- Provide reports of it all
- And more!
Such information is extremely valuable in that you can use it to:
- Buy the the right amount of inventory or ingredients
- See which location is doing well (or not)
- Consider offering more payment options
- Track employee performance
- Know when to increase inventory
- Gauge product demand
- Offer sales or promotions
- And more!
Another cool aspect of today’s POS systems is that many are cloud-based, allowing you or your customers to make transactions from almost anywhere. They also have functional subsystems that will work even if your internet goes down.
Once you’ve decided to implement a POS, you need to decide which one is right for you. The answer to that depends on the size of your business, whether you sell online as well as offline, your industry and even if you’re a restaurant, retail establishment or service provider. Here’s a great breakdown of some of the best POS systems available.
To summarize, implementing a POS will boost your revenue, improve your efficiency, keep you competitive and add even more value to your website. Without one, you’re going to be seeing two disappointing words much more often: NO SALE.