POS stands for ‘Point of Sale’ (sometimes known as Point of Service), a term applied to the checkout counter or the cashier or any location at which monetary transactions occur. Point of Sale systems can be used in any situation which involves an exchange of money for goods and/or services. For most retailers, this has now come to mean the electronic equipment through which transactions are actioned and recorded. This includes both the hardware and software components of equipment like electronic cash registers, barcode scanners, receipt printers, touch-screen displays, and debit/credit card payment terminals.
A POS System is computerised network with a main computer that is linked to other devices, most significantly the checkout terminals. With a POS system, a retailer can easily record customers purchases and track them, process electronic transactions through debit and credit cards, and even manage inventory. Basically, a POS system offers an integrated solution to keeping track of all the cash flow in your business.
Things a POS system can do for a retailer
1) A POS system allows retailers to analyse sales data – POS software nowadays can process the sales information and thereby figure out how well or not a certain item is selling. By studying the sales trends recorded in the POS system, retailers can make appropriate decisions and adjust their levels of purchasing stock accordingly.
2) By using barcode scanners and card payment terminals, pricing becomes more accurate and the servicing each customer at check-out becomes more time-efficient.
3) POS software programs now lets retailers track and monitor stock of every item in the store. Since sales are recorded immediately at the POS, all data is up-to-date. The system will also calculate and tell you when you need to reorder so that you never run out of anything.
4) With the latest POS systems, the software allows retailers to integrate sales with other functions of the business like accounting. Sales data can be automatically imported to the retailer’s accounting programs.
Most POS systems are easy to learn and simple to operate. They can be configured according to the needs of individual retailers and other business owners. Basically, for any type of business, POS systems allow for effective and efficient cash flow management, stock movement management, and online and/or mobile orders. In Singapore POS systems are increasingly being used in the F&B (food and beverage) industry, where e-menus and self-service payment kiosks are fast becoming the trend.