In short, POS software sales are on the rise because retailers and restaurateurs need to keep pace with changing technology and consumer demands. With margins thinner than ever, new POS software solutions also offer new possibilities for savings, and retailers are more willing to invest in new solutions that save money.
Here are eight ways that POS software is saving businesses time and money:
- In-store sales reconciliation – Sure, POS software handles the basics of the sales transaction. A scanner reads the product data, calculates taxes, charges the customer, and generates a receipt. But POS software does so much more to help run the business. Rather than manually calculating overall sales using spreadsheets, the software tracks sales for you. For a single location, POS software can run on a server as part of the network tied to accounting and other applications, or to reconcile sales across multiple locations the POS software can run in the cloud for access from anywhere.
- Inventory management – POS software is essential to inventory management. Whether a business owner has one location or several, the POS system tracks every sale. A centralized POS system also makes sure that prices are consistent from location to location, and it matches transactions to inventory to prevent theft.
- Online sales support – Smart retailers understand that they have to sell online. Whether they have their own online catalog or are selling through third-party services such as eBay, the POS software can track online orders and returns, including revenue and inventory.
- Special offers – Want to run a sale? POS software can track specific sale items, including markdowns and profit and loss. Even for complex sales terms or coupon items, discounts can be programmed into the POS software so prices are automatically adjusted and revenue calculated.
- Customer management – A good POS software solution keeps track of customer transactions so when a customer makes a new purchase, the system will show past history, participation in customer loyalty programs, special shipping instructions, birthdays, and anything else you want to program into the system. Many retailers are linking their POS software with CRM to send thank you notes, sales reminders, and personalized offers to preferred customers.
- Portable Point of Sales – Some businesses require POS software that goes with them. Retailers who operate pop-up locations or restaurants that offer catering or have food trucks can use mobile POS software that integrates with their central system. Using an iPad, tablet, or custom handheld device transactions can be synced using a wireless or cellular connection with an online transaction system.
- Restaurant orders – Food service and restaurants have their own POS needs. Orders have to be tied to the kitchen to facilitate food preparation. Inventory management tracks meals served as well as tips, taxes, and related information. The information gathered by the POS software can be invaluable in fine-tuning the menu, developing specials, and managing staffing. Many restaurants are adopting handheld POS devices to speed orders and improve customer service.
- Online food orders and mobile payments – Just as with retail, hospitality is going online so more web POS features and mobile convenience for customers are in demand. According to a recent survey conducted by Hospitality Technology, online ordering is the most sought-after feature in restaurant POS software, according to 51.2 percent of restaurateurs. The second most desired feature is mobile wallet support, according to 48.8 percent of those surveyed.
These are just some examples of the ways businesses are benefitting from full-featured POS software. Every business has their own unique requirements, but there are plenty of POS options available. The best strategy is to adopt technology that not only meets immediate needs but can grow with the business.
What specific features or POS examples stand out for you as essential for any business?