Why A Point of Sale System Streamlines Retail Businesses

by Hank Coleman

Point of Sale SystemSmall businesses have a host of problems facing them now that weren’t even remote considerations 15 years ago. The foremost problem that small businesses face is how to balance online marketing with retail outlets. What products do you want to sell online? What products do you want to combine with both your physical and digital location?

These questions are just the tip of what a small business owner thinks about. Sales can become a compounded problem when you only have one true inventory. You don’t want to risk selling out of an item and leaving customers waiting. You also do not want items to sit on your shelves. Finding a robust point of sale system can solve many of these evolving problems.

What, Exactly is a POS System?

POS system, or point of sale system are fairly self-explanatory. It is a software that manages your inventory at your cash register. For example, if you sell shoes both online and out of a brick and mortar store, you may have two different inventory systems.

The POS system would blend these two inventories into one, thus allowing any changes made to your online store to immediately reflect upon your physical location.

Hand Held Registers

Many pubs and restaurants are going to handheld POS systems. This is because using a handheld tablet gives a more personable user interaction and saves the business time along with the overhead of paper, pencils, and other stationary. All the client does is look through the menu while the waiter or waitress explains their choices.

They make a selection and hand the item back over. There’s no wait or worry that something will get lost in translation to the bar or kitchen.

This person-to-person benefit isn’t only evident in a restaurant setting. Creating a friendly user interaction can give you a leg up on your competition in many ways. Instead of going to the back of a storeroom to look for an item that the customer requests, your sales woman can simply scan through the tablet she carries.

This allows her to know definitively if the requested item is in stock, where it is located, and if she is able to get it now or if it will have to be shipped. Unlike a messy storeroom, nothing can be missed and no sale will be lost.

Taxes Built In

Managing the sales tax across different states is a headache, even for those who are business savvy. Knowing what to charge for which items in every state is simply impossible. That’s another reason why point of sale systems are extremely useful, according to the blog at Food Service Warehouse.com. They keep track of all that fine detail for you.

Instead of running numbers in your head or creating formulas, all you need to do is run the sale through your POS system.  The software will take care of everything for you, shipping, handling, and sales tax will be managed correctly each time. You can reflect this on your customer’s receipt.

Expansion Made Easy

Mobile payment platforms can turn any hand held device into a point of sale, explains SBA.gov. Therefore, when you’re ready to grow your business, it’s as easy as buying a card reader and a new mobile device. You can turn your iPad into a cash register or use your cell phone to make a sale at a convention or fair.

By being able to take your point of sale with you easily, you make doing business from multiple locations a snap. This means that you have more chances for revenue and better opportunity for growth.

Another way that expansion is easier with a point of sale system is the fact that you can use your iPad as an all-in-one tool. It can connect to your card reader, print a receipt, and run a cash drawer all with a simple software system. That same tablet you have running your cash drawer can come off of its stand to show a customer items that are on back order.

It can also plug into a scanner for when you are making sales or in-taking new stock. The flexibility with the POS system means that instead of having many dedicated tools, all you need is one. This does, however, make it important for you to keep your files backed up and stored safely on a regular basis to avoid losing all of your information if a device is stolen or damaged.

Another nice feature of POS systems is that you can personalize your interactions with your clients. Their information can be saved in your system, meaning that your store can suggest items to repeat customers. Instead of simply logging in, they can be greeted with ?welcome back Customer Name? and given choices of how they want their experience to go. In-store options include being able to print a receipt, pick up a shipped item, or even having the receipt sent to them digitally.

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About Hank Coleman

Hank Coleman is the founder of Money Q&A, an Iraq combat veteran, a Dr. Pepper addict, and a self-proclaimed investing junkie. He has written extensively for many nationally known financial websites and publications. Hank holds a Master’s Degree in Finance and is currently pursuing his Certified Financial Planner credentials. Email him directly at Hank[at]MoneyQandA.com.


Hank Coleman has written 528 articles on Money Q&A. Learn more about Money Q&A on Twitter @MoneyQandA and @HankColeman.


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