Retail POS Software Solutions Explained
The definition of POS software speaks to its core purpose, which is processing sales. POS software, however, can do so much more than print receipts. Full-featured retail POS software solutions handle inventory tracking, analytics, sales reporting, customer data and employee management, mobile connectivity, and third-party integrations.
POS software comes in a wide range of options. From simple systems to more complex cloud processors, there is a POS solution for any businesses. Whether a retail store is physical or online, small, medium or large, a great POS solution can significantly improve efficiency and profit.
1. What Is POS Software Solutions?
POS stands for Point-Of-Sale, and its software is what both brick-and-mortar stores and online retail stores use to conduct sales. Think of it as cash register with added and various functionality.
A POS system combines with a computer or even a mobile computing device such as a tablet where cashiers input the ordered products, and it automatically tallies the cost. Your POS handles almost every other aspect of your business, integrating into existing systems. Check out reviews for a POS
There are three primary classifications of point-of-sale software, namely:
· Mobile POS.
A flexible system typically used to manage and process payment but can also have added functions like inventory tracking. It is mostly ideal for sole entrepreneurs and smaller businesses owing to its simple setup, pocket friendliness and mobile capable operation •
- Terminal POS.
This POS system has both hardware and software components giving it increased capacity to carry add-on devices such as barcode scanners. It is the most commonly used system by retail businesses due to its practicality and advanced functionality.
· Cloud-based POS
Cloud-based refers to an online or web-based system that is usable with existing hardware and is suitable for businesses notwithstanding their type or size. Cloud POS software offers even start-ups much required technical support, convenience and streamlining of operations.
2. Using POS to Ring up Sales
The core function of any POS is to ring up sales, so you need to familiarize yourself with the user interface. Generally, your POS will let you complete sales transactions by adding items to the sale and then scanning the product’s barcode.
Before issuing a receipt, your POS will enable you to apply discounts to a line item or the entire cart, and then accept payments in a variety of forms. Whether cash, plastic or online, a great POS system will be able to process any payment mode
Some robust POS software solutions providers like Shopify even allow the printing on discount coupons or gift vouchers directly on to the receipt.
Buy now, pay later is a service gaining rapid popularity as it allows customers to take delivery of items they want or need and pay at a later date. Your POS system can process a buy now pay later purchase subject to credit history.
Similarly, a POS system generates and tracks layby sales allowing customers to make deposits towards completing payments of an item reserved periodically. If your business runs a loyalty program, POS software can factor this in when processing a refund.
3. Managing Inventory using POS
Your sales and inventory work in tandem, which is why the vast majority of POS systems offer inventory management features. While the specifics may vary from one system to the next, even the most basic POS system should allow you to set up product catalogue lists of items, attributes, and quantities.
To achieve proper cataloguing, a POS software provider will need to have data fed into the system manually or through importation using a CSV file. Some POS systems like Shopify provide multi-store Inventory, which is useful for businesses operating more than one retail outlet or platform.
Managing retail systems on separate platforms, mainly if a business is multi-store can be challenging.
A POS system allows you to do everything from a single station, enabling you to transfer stock from one location to the next and generate subsequent reports.
POS inventory allows seamless sales transactions in both online and brick and mortar retail stores, synchronizing operations across all your channels. Further, it allows for tighter handling of Inventory; knowing what you have and reducing the risk of overstocking or under stocking.
Multi-channel stock control enables you to offer services like buy online, pick up in-store, so your online shoppers can choose to swing by your shop to get their ecommerce orders.
Other POS Advantages
POS solutions have added benefits such as;
· Stock Counts
Regularly conducting physical inventory counts is essential to keeping track of stock for planning and profit assessment purposes. A great POS will have stock counting functionality to manage Inventory better.
· Stock Re-order Points
Some POS systems let you set stock level alerts or reorder points, which once triggered, automatically generate stock orders.
4. Sales Reporting and Analytics
Modern POS solutions like Shopify have reporting capabilities that give great insight into your sales and inventory metrics. Different systems offer varied options, but you ideally want your POS to at least cover the following:
· Inventory In Hand
You always want to know how much stock you have in your stores, so it is crucial that your POS generates a report regularly.
· Low Stock Alerts
This report points out which items are running low, so you can avoid running out of stock. Running this function alerts you on which items you need to order and in what quantities.
· Product Performance Report (PPR)
This report not only tells a business owner how quickly particular products are selling and which have better profit margins, but it also gives insights into which items are worth investing in and which are very slow moving.
· Sales Summary
Your POS system should ideally have the capacity to generate comprehensive sales reports, which will give you periodic analysis on performance. Sales report show you the cost of goods sold, gross and net profit margins along with taxes paid or due, providing a clearer picture of how your business is faring financially.
· Sales Report Per Product and Type
This type of report allows you to identify your best moving and slowest-selling products. If a particular product is flying off the shelves, for example, you could consider ordering more of it. If a product is a dead stock, you could find ways of selling fast and consider not stocking it in future.
Without robust management, analytics and reporting system, data is just a bunch of figures that serve no meaningful purpose. A great POS solutions system can extract relevant information to reveal trends, strengths, weaknesses and solutions.