The point of sale (POS) or point of purchase (POP) is the time and place where a retail transaction is completed. At the point of sale, the merchant would calculate the amount owed by the customer and indicate the amount, and may prepare an invoice for the customer (which may be a cash register printout), and indicate the options for the customer to make payment. It is also the point at which a customer makes a payment to the merchant in exchange for goods or after provision of a service. After receiving payment, the merchant may issue a receipt for the transaction, which is usually printed, but is increasingly being dispensed with or sent electronically.
To calculate the amount owed by a customer, the merchant may use any of a variety of aids available, such as weighing scales, barcode scanners, and cash registers. To make a payment, payment terminals, touch screens, and a variety of other hardware and software options are available.
The point of sale is often referred to as the point of service because it is not just a point of sale but also a point of return or customer order. Additionally, current POS terminal software may include additional features to cater for different functionality, such as inventory management, CRM, financials, or warehousing.
Businesses are increasingly adopting POS systems and one of the most obvious and compelling reasons is that a POS system does away with the need for price tags. Selling prices are linked to the product code of an item when adding stock, so the cashier merely needs to scan this code to process a sale. If there is a price change, this can also be easily done through the inventory window. Other advantages include ability to implement various types of discounts, a loyalty scheme for customers and more efficient stock control.
So, your POS system is the lifeline of your operations. But choosing a POS system can quickly become overwhelming.
we did the leg work for you to help you find the right POS system for your business. From traditional POS systems (POS stands for point of sale, by the way) to iPad POS systems, we asked around and did the research so you don’t have to. The best POS system is affordable and easy to use, and should also do more than just accept payments and process sales. It should come with additional time-saving features such as inventory management, staff management, marketing tools, customer data gathering, task automation and other capabilities that make it easier to run and grow your business. The vendor should also provide dedicated solutions for your type of business and offer 24/7 customer support.
Best All-in-One POS System for Small Business: MAGATH POS
MAGATH POS has everything you need to run and grow a brick-and-mortar store. Beyond processing transactions, MAGATH POS also comes with features to help you run your business, save time and boost sales. This vendor also has dedicated solutions for different types of stores in a wide range of industries.
With a POS system:
You can analyze sales data, figure out how well all the items on your shelves sell, and adjust purchasing levels accordingly.
You can maintain a sales history to help adjust your buying decisions for seasonal purchasing trends.
You can improve pricing accuracy by integrating bar-code scanners and credit card authorization ability with the POS system.
There are plenty of popular POS software systems that enable you to use add-on devices at your checkout stations, including electronic cash drawers, bar-code scanners, credit card readers, and receipt or invoice printers. POS packages frequently come with integrated accounting modules, including general ledger, accounts receivable, accounts payable, purchasing, and inventory control systems. In essence, a POS system is an all-in-one way to keep track of your business’s cash flow.
Features to consider in a POS system include the following:
Ease of use. Look for software with a user-friendly graphical interface.
Entry of sales information. Most systems allow you to enter inventory codes either manually or automatically via a bar-code scanner. Once the inventory code is entered, the systems call up the standard or sales price, compute the price at multiple quantities and provide a running total. Many systems make it easy to enter sales manually when needed by letting you search for inventory codes based on a partial merchandise number, description, manufacturing code or vendor.
Pricing. POS systems generally offer a variety of ways to keep track of pricing, including add-on amounts, percentage of cost, margin percentage and custom formulas. For example, if you provide volume discounts, you can set up multiple prices for each item.
Updating product information. Once a sale is entered, these systems automatically update inventory and accounts receivable records.
Sales tracking options. Different businesses get paid in different ways. For example, repair or service shops often keep invoices open until the work is completed, so they need a system that allows them to put sales on hold. If you sell expensive goods and allow installment purchases, you might appreciate a loan calculator that tabulates monthly payments. And if you offer rent-to-own items, you’ll want a system that can handle rentals as well as sales.
Security. In retail, it’s important to keep tight control over cash receipts to prevent theft. Most of these systems provide audit trails so you can trace any problems.
Taxes. Many POS systems can support numerous tax rates-useful if you run a mail order business and need to deal with taxes for more than one state.
Perhaps the most valuable way POS systems help you gain better control of your business is through their reporting features. You can slice and dice sales data in a variety of ways to determine what products are selling best at what time, and to figure out everything from the optimal ways to arrange shelves and displays to what promotions are working best and when to change seasonal promotions.
Reporting capabilities available in POS programs include sales, costs, and profits by individual inventory items, by salesperson, or by category for the day, month and year to date. Special reports can include sales for each hour of the day for any time period. You can also create multiple formats for invoices, accounting statements and price tags. Additional reports include day-end cash reconciliation work sheets and inventory management. Examine a variety of POS packages to see which comes closest to meeting your needs.
Every business is unique; you may find that none of the off-the-shelf systems meets your requirements. Industry-specific POS packages are available–for auto repair shops, beauty and nail salons, video rental stores, dry cleaners and more. In addition, some POS system manufacturers will tailor their software to your needs.