Your Common Point of Sale Questions, Answered

Whatever the size or your business or industry you serve, you’ve likely wondered whether there’s a better way to do business, and work smarter, instead of harder. The answer to your question is simple: Yes — a POS system! When you integrate a point-of-sale system (POS) into your operations, you optimize the efficiency of how you manage critical business functions, including customer checkout and payment processing, promotions and marketing offers, sales and operations reports, and even inventory. Though trusting your business’ success to such a system might feel a bit overwhelming, POS systems are quite simple to implement, regardless of your current operational model, technical know-how or existing equipment. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions business owners tend to have about POS systems, and the straight-talk answers on how they work.


Q: Why do I need a POS if my cash register is doing the job?

A. Though you may not perceive your current cash register-based checkout as “broken,” it is a reactive approach to doing business: You passively wait for customers to come to you to purchase. You may run hourly sales reports, but you don’t really know why customers purchased, which offers were redeemed most or whether your inventory levels are adequate. By contrast, a POS empowers you to manage the critical inner workings of your business including transaction detail, product-level sales history, customer purchase behavior and inventory on hand (even at multiple locations). Armed with this knowledge, you can course correct appropriately to drive sales and prevent inventory issues that lead to lost sales and poor customer experience. Ultimately, a POS system is about making informed, analytical decisions to drive positive business outcomes.


Q: Can I really afford a POS?

A: Much like purchasing a computer and tailoring the accessories and software you purchase to meet your specific needs, costs vary significantly based on the POS system you choose, along with the optional features that can improve operations and support future growth. Realistically, expect to pay anywhere from a hundred dollars a month to a few thousand dollars a year. Consider the value associated with technologies the POS offers, including mobile POS terminals that streamline customer checkout, on-demand technical support and software that is designed to “talk to” other accounting or operational systems you want to maintain.


Q: How will I train myself (and staff) to use a POS?

A: If you can use a computer or a cash register, you can use a POS system. If you choose to maintain a fixed terminal, most POS systems come equipped with the necessary hardware and preinstalled software you need to hit the ground running. If you’re using a mobile POS solution, the devices are as simple to use as other tablet computers to which you may be accustomed.


Q: Isn’t my business is too small for a POS?

A: Because POS systems help business owners optimize internal and external business functions to reduce real and inherent costs associated with them, small businesses benefit from POS systems as much as larger ones. Choose a POS system that is equipped to grow with your business over time, keeping scalability in mind, to ensure that your small business is poised to grow into larger one, seamlessly, over time.


Your Thoughts

Is your retail business already using a POS system? What are your favorite benefits from it? What other questions do you have?