5 ways a POS system can improve your small business - POS System on a checkout counter

5 ways a POS system can improve your small business

Friday, January 10, 2014

A point of sale (POS) system is a form of technology that allows businesses to automate a multitude of operations in overall workflows. Most commonly, POS systems act as a cash register, support checkout and transactions with customers, track inventory, monitor customer loyalty programs, support employee management needs, and provide other solutions to support business needs. 

POS systems gained traction in the business world initially when used for sales data; however, broader internal operations benefit from the automation that POS systems provide. POS systems are commonly used in retail businesses or e-commerce platforms that require secure payment processing during transactions.

POS systems are often cloud-based or operate with POS software. POS software can function on a mobile POS system (such as an iPad), an app, or with a more traditional POS hardware such as a computer. When considering all of the parts to a modern POS system, it is necessary to understand that various POS systems have different parts. An all-in-one POS system can include the following:

  • Register terminal screen: The register terminal screen is the screen employees use to view POS data, edit purchase orders, manage email marketing, control the cash drawer, enter customer data, and process customer information. 
  • Customer-facing screen: The customer-facing screen is the screen customers use to authorize transactions, sign up for social media alerts, and complete payment processing. User interface is a critical part of modern POS systems, including advanced technology with touch screens, face recognition, and fast payment solutions. 
  • Barcode scanner: A barcode scanner is a POS integration option that allows employees to scan items for price checks and during checkout. 
  • Credit card reader: A credit card reader is a tool that allows customers to tap, swipe, or insert their credit card for payment processing. 
  • Cash register: A cash register is the place where cash is stored in real-time. The cash register is only accessible by certain employees and often has multiple security measures to protect business assets. 
  • Receipt printer: A receipt printer is a common part of a retail POS system that prints receipts for customers. With modern POS systems, there is an option that is quickly becoming the preferred method which involves customer receipts being sent via email or digitally, per customer request. 

POS systems can be tailored and customized for whatever needs or specifics a business may have. For larger-scaled businesses, it is necessary to have an all-in-one POS system that can offer as many features and functions as possible for business operations. For businesses that focus on service provisions, a POS system may only be necessary to manage payments and store customer data. With this flexibility, businesses can integrate a POS system that brings their business the best value and supports daily business processes and operations with ease and efficiency. 

5 ways a POS system helps your business grow

As businesses transition alongside the increase in e-commerce platforms, it is essential that businesses are prepared to meet customer demand with agile and smooth operations as well as a modern approach to overall customer experience. Companies that adopt new POS systems in their business processes are more likely to experience increased sales, improved customer engagement, strengthening of relationships with new customers, and a better way to track profit margins. POS systems can automate many parts of business transactions, resulting in improved performance of your business. 

POS business growth is changing the way business operations and tasks are completed. As you consider the right POS solution for your company and business operations, here are five ways that POS systems can improve your small business. 

1. Enhanced customer experience and customer engagement 

When POS systems are part of the customer experience, customers are able to check out faster and utilize alternative payment methods. For example, some POS systems allow for integration with Apple Pay so that customers can pay with that method if they wish. 

In addition to flexibility with payment, modern POS software is quick and easy to use which enables businesses to place customer relationships as a priority. Employees who use POS systems can focus their attention on building rapport with customers instead of having to complete manual processes that take more time as well as time away from customer interactions. With this extra time, businesses can build loyal customer bases through customer management data and customer loyalty programs.

2. Support measures for data security

POS systems for retail stores and other small businesses are designed to offer functions and features that protect sensitive information. For example, many POS systems enable login features so that only business owners and other approved users can access the software system. Moreover, POS systems, particularly those that are designed for e-commerce platforms, can protect payment data gathered during payment processing either through encryption, tokenization, or other innovative forms of technology.

3. Report generation and analysis

Business owners can leverage POS software to collect key metrics regarding the overall operations and functions of their business. POS systems can track employee performance, including hours worked, transactions completed, and customer ratings associated with each employee. For small and growing companies, this could be a key feature that can boost business sales, because early on sales and marketing efforts are in their early stages and therefore need to be regularly assessed.

Report generation on POS systems can also track customer engagement, the popularity of particular products, peak sales times, and other data points to learn more about the market segment for the business. Ultimately, reporting with a POS system supports business owners by allowing them to analyze data and trends to increase sales, compare data between various locations (if businesses have multiple sites), analyze ongoing trends related to their business, and produce key data for better-informed business decisions.

4. Task automation

Modern POS systems offer businesses a competitive advantage in cost savings by automating manual tasks which, in turn, saves time. The types of automation on POS systems can range from calculations completed during customer transactions to tracking employee wages and hours worked. Automation can be especially beneficial for small businesses where tasks, responsibilities, and duties may overlap with several team members. 

Some POS systems include accounting software that help support human resources duties as well as cash reconciliation, calculating profits and losses, and tracking cash flows for any time period desired (e.g., weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually, etc.) Thus, with the support of this technology, employees can spend more time on their duties and focus on tasks that management deems as priority.

5. Inventory management

Small business owners can benefit from the adoption of POS systems, particularly systems that offer functions to track inventory. From the touch of a screen, businesses can access data that shows what is in stock, how many of each product has been sold, and the total amount they were sold for. Inventory tracking supports measures toward cost savings because business owners can order the necessary materials or supplies in bulk and also project future customer demand. 

POS systems can incorporate SKU, serial numbers, tags, or any other identification process that a business uses to locate and identify products sold at their company. Many POS systems allow for customization of data so that businesses can input inventory information that will be most relevant to the products or services offered. This way, if a customer has an inquiry about a particular product or service, that information can be easily located in the system and communicated accurately and efficiently to customers.

Are you ready to find the right POS system for your small business?

Heartland helps nearly 1,000,000 entrepreneurs make and move money, manage employees and engage customers with human-centered technology solutions that allow them to rise above the daily grind and lead their businesses into a brighter future. Learn more at heartland.us.