Technology is changing the way businesses operate. And one of the most common ways that enterprises have started relying more on technology is in point-of-sales systems. A POS system isn’t a new innovation. 56.5% of businesses have already implemented a POS system in all their stores. But the POS market continues to change over time, and more improved versions are coming out. These versions are now allowing business owners and managers to streamline many parts of business operations.
What are the key features of a point-of-sale system and how is it making business operations more simple? We look at five areas in which POS systems are now changing for businesses across industries.
Almost all types of POS systems have some sort of order management system. What these systems do is help companies track, organize, and analyze orders coming through the business. This feature can come in handy for many B2C businesses with high volume sales, such as restaurants and retail stores.
An order management system keeps a database of past orders and keeps pertinent details that businesses can then use to validate orders, fulfill them, or file them for tax purposes. While it’s not impossible to run a business without an order management system, having one helps a lot, especially if it’s automated.
E-commerce and Last-Mile Delivery
The COVID-19 pandemic brought about an unprecedented growth spurt in the e-commerce space. More businesses are now thinking of ways to create a successful online store and sell there. POS systems used to be an exclusive in-store experience. But now, new versions of cloud-based point-of-sale systems are making it easy for companies to integrate online orders, accounting, and sales tracking through e-commerce channels.
When integrated with on-demand delivery apps, POS systems can also help businesses tap into the last-mile delivery market. This extension plays heavily into the food business as these food delivery portals, like UberEats and GrubHub, provide another stream of income for small businesses.
Another one of the POS benefits to merchants is inventory management. Personnel and sometimes even business owners spend a lot of precious time and energy manually keeping track of inventory stocks. This kind of issue is highly painstaking, especially for fast-moving low-margin businesses like grocery stores.
With automated inventory management, POS systems can track how many stocks of a product have gone out and how many are remaining. Moreover, some POS systems can provide automatic alerts as soon as a business hits a critical volume level so that the business can produce or order more stocks.
Accounting and Finance
A POS system is different from accounting software, but the two overlap in many areas. So much so that this two software should almost always go together. Finance departments or accountants will find it much easier to reconcile books with a POS system in place. It helps put more clarity into inventory that goes out and sales that come in.
A business can and will run without a POS system. But having one will lessen, or even eliminate in some cases, financial disbalances in the sheets. That’s because a POS system significantly lowers any human error in the register. This not only benefits the company. It also protects staff that has to handle register duty.
Customer Relationship Management
With the use of a point-of-sale system, your business can operate a loyalty program for repeat clients. That’s because there is software that allows you to track customer history, including when they purchase, how much they pay, and how often they return.
In the case of restaurants, this can be a powerful way to reward frequent guests, and further delight them. You can give them a free drink or discount so that they will be encouraged to keep coming back. Doing so will help you extend the customer’s lifetime value.
Any business that wants to grow should put time into business planning and strategizing. This process involves financial forecasting, sales goal setting, and product analysis, all of which can become much easier with a POS system that runs on a system with data and analytics. With the rise of a cloud-based version of POS software, companies can now have a better snapshot of relevant data that can help you make more informed decisions to grow the company.
A POS system’s analysis reports can show:
- What products sell the most and what don’t perform as well
- What days sales peak and decline
- What times sales peak and decline
- What promos and campaigns work
- Which customers keep coming back
- And so much more.
Cloud-based is the Way to Go
While many businesses now use a POS system, most of them aren’t cloud-based. In the US, over 20% of food businesses use a cloud-based POS system. Cloud-based systems provide all kinds of benefits and can help businesses operate much smoother.
If you want to adopt a POS system for your business, here’s a list of POS systems that you can use for your business. If you don’t want your business to get left behind growth-wise, then it’s high time you start adopting or updating your POS systems.