Point of Sale Systems in the Digital Age
Find Out Why You Should Use a POS System
Computer based Point of Sale (POS) systems are multi-purpose tools that make customer transactions accurate, convenient and fast while improving a business’ operational capabilities.
POS systems can help hotel, restaurant, café and retail businesses gather sales data and thus improve customer intelligence. This can support product positioning and the experience that they provide, leading to better customer relationships and brand loyalty.
How Do They work?
A POS system is essentially a combination of specialised computer hardware and software that can support a business’ ability to analyse the state of their inventory, pricing strategies, sales transactions and customer relationships.
POS system hardware is typically found at checkout areas: cash registers, touch-screens, barcode scanners, receipt printers, and credit card machines are just some examples of such hardware. It is however important to recognise that it is POS system software that adds the most value to a business’ operations. The data gathered by POS software can add value to the brand and improve competitive advantage [tweet this ] by leveraging the understanding of customer behaviours and emerging trends.
POS Systems Today
Today’s POS systems are decentralised and each interface is a personal computer that can manage a wide range of functions independently while communicating with local peripheral devices and systems, such as hand held scanners and wireless credit card machines.
Whereas retailers in the past have had closed POS systems that were isolated to individual store locations, POS systems today are interconnected and are not critical for a system’s overall functionality. Moreover, today’s front end systems can communicate with back end systems that are used to monitor and analyse sales and promotional performance, such as stock keeping unit turnover rate, ROI on promotional activities, etc.
Mobile and Self-Service
The growing adoption of mobile personal computing technologies and the growing technological competency of the average consumer have led to a progressive decentralisation of POS systems that are increasingly using self-service elements.
Two developments within POS technologies in particular are making service transactions faster, more convenient and more accurate: self-service checkouts that are prevalent in supermarkets and mobile POS (mPOS) systems that are commonly used at pop-up shops and other retailers that require added mobility.
The Future of POS Systems
The development and adoption of affordable technologies will be the main driver of change in POS technologies, namely the affordability of radio frequency identification (RFID) and adoption of near field communication (NFC) technologies.
RFID will allow for even more convenient purchasing possibilities [tweet this ] as they will replace the need to scan items individually with scanning a group of items simultaneously, dramatically cutting down the checkout time. Similarly, NFC payment solutions will allow for shorter verification times and more secure payment processes.
In the last four decades POS systems have evolved from a technical luxury to a necessity in a world of intelligent retailing. New empowering technologies will allow businesses to further understand and predict customer behaviours while making the brick-and-mortar experience more appealing for consumers.