Does your business need a point of sale system? The short answer is – it depends. In some cases, not having a POS could hurt your sales and block you from some potential clients. Let’s address when having a point of sale system would be beneficial and the occasions where a traditional cash register or another system may still work. We’ll also provide recommendations on what to look for in a point of sale system if it is right for your situation.
You Are in an Assembly Line Checkout Service
Imagine walking into a fast food restaurant. The customers stand in line to place their order. Their order isn’t made until they pay, and they’ll pick it up when it is available. In these cases, you can keep the traditional cash register. However, if you have a casual dining restaurant with staff visiting customers at their tables, you should consider adopting point of sale systems to process payment for orders at the table. You’ll improve the efficiency of your wait staff since they don’t have to walk back to a register with the customer’s debit or credit card. Customers, too, benefit from the point of sale system and the transaction processing in front of them reduces the risk of their financial information being stolen.
POS tools like Vend’s point of sale electronic systems can accept payments from multiple parties, perfect for the group that wants to split the bill. In the case of Vend, it can also accept different payment types, so one person can be recorded as paying cash while others pay via credit cards and digital payment services.
One variation of this theme is the big box store. You may have a line of registers at the front of the store for most purchases, but your organisation could benefit from having point of sale systems in specific departments. For example, the furniture or electronics department staff could have a point of sale system that lets them close on a sale then and there instead of escorting someone to a register in the back of the store to ring up the transaction. And every step the customer must take is like one more second on the load time for a website – the longer it takes, the more likely it is they’ll change their mind and abandon the transaction.
You Go to Where the Customers Are
If you are sending staff to where your customers are, you’re better off using a point of sale system to process orders where the customer is than trying to bring them back to a temporary or permanent cash register.
For example, you’ll lose sales if someone cannot just pay right there on the trade show floor and leave and instead have to be escorted to a cash register ten meters away. If you’re sending employees out to service customers in a farmer’s market or flea market, you’ll close on more sales because you can sell it to someone then and there with whatever payment method they have. If you say that they have to pay with cash in these situations, you’ll lose a large fraction of your potential business. And this is equally true for street vendors who want to broaden the number of payment options they can accept.
Remember that the top point of sale systems let you actually go out on to the street to sell items on display there, supplementing the sales still rung up at the register. If you have a particularly busy sale, you could move some of the products out to the pavement or move a kiosk outdoors and handle some of the traffic there, improving the experience of customers inside the store.
A long-term benefit of POS systems is that they can issue “store credit” instead of cash back when someone demands a refund, reducing the odds of fraud, which is very common in the retail sector.
Some of the most advanced point of sale systems let you sell gift cards, even when you’re selling on the street, and they also accept layaway orders that are immediately fed to the inventory management system. Or, you can accept parked sales so that your customer can come back for what they forgot without accidentally selling it to someone else. That you eliminate 90% of data entry and the related errors that have to be reconciled later simply saves your accountant time. The automatic report generation gives managers insight as to the activities of their team and identifies top selling products or top producers.
Service providers who travel to their customers’ location fall into this category. A point of sale system lets you record billable hours, issue printed receipts and automatically uploads the financial information to your system. A side benefit of a point of sale system is that it dramatically eliminates the need for employees to handle cash that they may not track or steal items later listed as lost; the POS system lets you track sales and activities on a daily basis, identify likely sources of your losses and separate duties to minimise the potential for fraud in the first place.
Your Sales Are Online and Offline
If you’re running a true eCommerce site that operates solely online, you may not necessarily need a point of sale system. Your website should process the orders for you, including payment collection. However, if you’re visiting clients and customers at trade shows, product demonstrations or trying to sell products on the street, you’d benefit from getting a point of sale system to process these orders and payment for them on the spot.
One of the benefits of the Vend point of sale system is its integration with inventory and fulfilment software. Another benefit is its integration with your customer relationship management system and inventory management systems. For example, you can identify repeat customers and apply discounts to their order, literally on the spot, or track layaways and “parked sales” so that someone can come back and pick it up later. This allows you to personalise your service and build loyalty with your regular customers.
Another benefit of a POS system is that it also doubles as a time clock, which greatly facilitates payroll. It also helps with accounting as well. Preparing taxes becomes seamless, and you could completely skip working with an accountant if you only have a handful of employees. Inventory can be done in real time as well and a POS will greatly reduce the chances of making errors. Taxes, discounts, and other deductions are also automatically saved, making bookkeeping that much simpler.
There are cases where a POS system becomes indispensable. A point of sale system could be used to improve customer conversion rates and the efficiency of your staff. Bookkeeping is made simpler since reporting is done in real time. If you go to where your customers are, whether in their homes or flea markets, you want a point of sale system, so you can process orders quickly and accept any payment method. If you sell products online, then you may need a point of sale system if you start supplementing the online sales with sales at trade shows and conventions.