Top 7 Key Features to Look in a POS System
The correct tools can make all the difference in the fast-paced world of e-commerce, where transactions are essential to a company’s survival. The global market for point-of-sale (POS) software is more than just a figure; it’s evidence of how technology can fundamentally alter the way that organizations operate in the future, point-of-sale (POS) software becomes an indispensable tool for e-commerce companies operating in many sectors. It does more than just make cashless transactions possible; it also serves as the foundation for efficient inventory management, analytics, and sales tracking—all of which are necessary for maximizing sales tactics.
The Global Point-of-Sale (POS) Software Market Size, Share & Industry Trends Analysis Report published by KBV Research depicts that the Global Point-of-Sale Software Market size is expected to reach $20 billion by 2028, rising at a market growth of 10.6% CAGR during the forecast period (2022-2028). The POS software is a crucial tool for eCommerce businesses in various industries. It supports cashless transactions, tracks sales and inventory data, and offers analytics to optimize sales strategies.
As businesses seek advanced features like personnel management analytics, inventory tracking, and customer data management, the demand for POS software has surged. Agile eCommerce SaaS POS systems render a difference in customer service experience by mitigating human error and offering access to crucial data, irrespective of location restrictions, with an internet connection.
eCommerce SaaS systems enhance the efficiency of handling personnel, customers, payments, invoicing, and inventory. They can be installed on various devices, and cloud-based solutions have gained popularity due to accessibility through web browsers. POS software is pivotal in streamlining business operations and analytics across diverse sectors.
If the core of your business is to sell products, then you should invest in a POS system today. But before that, let’s understand what a ‘Point of sale’ system is. This article will help you to learn about the following aspects:
What is a POS system
POS stands for “Point of sale”. A POS system is used for sales at brick and mortar and eCommerce stores.
Gone are those days when retailers used a cash register to process sales, after which the data was transferred to accounts and stock lists. Today, with the help of retail POS software, you can simplify your billing, promotions, returns, and much more.
The point of sale system can be integrated with other systems and software such as eCommerce platforms, accounting apps, ERP, and warehouse management system.
A full-featured enterprise POS system can handle sales monitoring and reporting, analytics, inventory tracking, mobile connectivity, customer data management, employee management, and robust integrations.
Types of POS system
POS systems are available according to the organization’s need, from simple processors to complex cloud systems, depending upon the type (physical or online) and size (small, medium, and large enterprises). They are generally classified into three types:
A Mobile POS system or mPOS uses an electronic device such as a smartphone, tablet, or another mobile device as a terminal to which you can attach a credit card reader. It is highly portable and lets you connect peripheral devices, such as barcode scanners and receipt printers.
mPOS systems are used to process payments and may have other capabilities such as inventory management, loyalty programs, sales monitoring, reporting, etc.
These systems are best suited for small businesses, entrepreneurs, retail stores, pop-up shops, and quick-serve establishments. mPOS systems are highly affordable and convenient and don’t take up too much space.
A terminal POS is a software/hardware-based system with add-on peripherals such as barcode scanners, credit card readers, receipt printers, and cash drawers.
These systems have extensive capabilities, including inventory management, reporting and analytics, payment receipts via email, CRM, and customer loyalty programs.
They are best suited for retail stores that have cash-dedicated cash wraps. Due to their advanced functionalities and reasonable prices, they are used in restaurants, grocery stores, boutiques, book or magazine stores, salons, and electronic stores.
A cloud POS is an online or web-based POS that can be easily used with your existing hardware, such as a computer, tablet, or printer.
These systems have all the functionalities of a terminal POS. The only difference is that, instead of being installed on a server that you run, a cloud POS system is installed in data centers that are maintained by the POS vendor.
They are suitable for all types of businesses, especially startups, because of their tangible benefits in cost, simplicity, flexibility, and function.
Key components of a POS system
Hardware and software form two major parts of a POS system that work in tandem to conduct sales transactions:
The hardware of a POS system consists of the physical setup like a cash register connected to a PC or server or even a portable device such as a tablet or smartphone connected to a cloud-hosted system.
It may contain add-ons such as a barcode scanner, receipt printer, label printer, cash drawer, scale for weighted items, and a card machine to process the payments via debit or credit card.
The POS software stores the information and maintains it within a database. A feature-rich POS software provides many capabilities, such as billing and order processing, sales monitoring and reporting, inventory tracking, returns, analytics, mobile connectivity, customer data management, employee management, and loyalty programs.
Many POS software can be integrated to 3rd party software, such as accounting software for bookkeeping, email marketing solutions, and ecommerce platforms for selling online.
POS market growth factors
Factors contributing to the fast development of the POS market comprise the cumulative preference for cashless transactions, notably driven by the acceptance of Android-based mobile POS systems stimulated by various financial institutions. Besides, small and medium-sized enterprises are gradually adopting wireless POS solutions owing to their cost-effectiveness and capability to offer value-added services. That is why it attracts merchants to these systems. Additionally, government initiatives favor the adoption of mobile POS for transparent pricing and money transfer information, leading to an anticipated expansion in the POS software market throughout the forecast period.
POS market restraining factors
Data security concerns pose a significant restraint in the retail point-of-sale (POS) software market, as vulnerable POS systems can lead to various security issues, including hacking and data theft. Therefore, deploying POS terminals with robust security features is crucial to safeguard sensitive data. The advancement of technology and business system integration has heightened the risk of cyber attacks.
In terms of applications, fixed POS systems currently dominate the market due to their enhanced functionality and capabilities, making them preferred by brick-and-mortar retailers and restaurants. However, mobile POS systems are gaining traction for convenience and swift payment services.
Cloud-based deployment mode is rising due to technological advancements, offering cost-conscious end users simplicity in payment through monthly fees. Large enterprises demand customized POS software to manage complex business operations effectively.
The restaurant sector is witnessing significant growth in POS software usage, driven by integrating restaurants with online delivery services, leading to increased data analytics, marketing, order management, and payments. North America leads the market due to the high demand for integrated POS software and the rapid growth of the U.S. healthcare industry’s payment and administrative needs.
Key features to look for in a POS system
Now that you know what a POS system is, here are seven key features that you should look at while purchasing it:
- Billing and order processing
A point-of-sale system must have basic billing and order-processing functionality. It should be able to bill orders by scanning items and capturing different payment modes.
It has the capability to generate order invoices, reprint, and email to end customers, along with adding the discount, customer details, additional remarks, and salesman’s name to an order.
- Sales monitoring and reporting
The point-of-sale system must be able to generate a robust report on sales results. It should be able to report hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly takings and outgoings so that the merchants can easily understand the overall success of their business.
Sales trends such as seasonal demand in products, forecasts based on sales trends, insights on unnecessary product overspending, and information relating to stock management are some of the features of an advanced POS reporting module.
- Inventory and stock management
A POS system’s inventory management module must always provide complete visibility and accountability at the store level.
The system should provide a view of lot-wise inventory, SKU transaction history about ‘in’, ‘out’, and ‘within’ movements of any SKU, and inbound & outbound inventory.
It should be able to make stock adjustments, i.e., increase/decrease stock while viewing inventory and capture the reason for stock adjustments.
- Cross-channel returns management
Accepting cross-channel returns and facilitating refunds and replacements from any store location are some of the functionalities of a POS returns management module.
The system should facilitate the creation of multiple returns for one sales order at different time intervals. It should capture details like the reason for the return, the salesperson’s name, and remarks.
- Customer relationship and experience
A point-of-sale system can help you retain your customers by storing customer data and purchase history. This can be used to provide a personalized experience to your customers.
Customer data is beneficial for advertising as this data can provide insights into which customers would be interested in your sale. For example, sending a sale flyer for “30% off on over sized shirts” to a customer who wears a medium-sized shirt would be a waste of time.
- Employee management
It is surprising for many when we say that a POS system can be used to manage employees. But, an employee management module of a POS system can help you manage your staffing levels, employee hours, and sales performance, which allows you to track employee productivity.
You can track your employee activity by linking it with each transaction. This will help to bifurcate the excellent and weak performers so that you can take appropriate actions to improve their productivity.
- Loyalty programs and gift cards
Today’s SaaS POS system goes beyond processing sales. As you have learned in the previous sections, a feature-rich POS can help increase efficiency and provide insights to help you improve your productivity. These are the reasons for you to switch to a POS system today. See how Vinculum can help you achieve that with a cloud-based Point of Sale system.
Seize the opportunity to streamline your business processes, enhance customer experience, and stay ahead of the competition. Discover the power of Vinculum’s POS system – your key to success in the ever-evolving e-commerce landscape. Make the switch today and witness the transformative impact on your business. Ready to take the leap? See how Vinculum can be your strategic partner in embracing the future of Point of Sale systems!”
An MBA marketing graduate from IIM, Akash Jain works at Vinculum group, where he manages product marketing, content and social media marketing. An ardent learner of new things, he is passionate about scaling up marketing operations, implementing new-age marketing automation and customer psyche.
Subscribe to our blog and stay updated!