Point of sale systems have come a long way since they were introduced as advanced replacements for cash registers in the 20th century. Modern point of sale (POS) solutions offer more than just the ability to ring up purchases; they integrate multiple functions such as merchant services, inventory control, payment processing, scheduling employee shifts, collecting customer data, and even automating marketing functions.
With the right POS system, a small business owner can do a lot more than replace her credit card machine and upgrade her checkout routines; POS solutions can greatly boost the competitive edge of retail and hospitality businesses by increasing accuracy and presenting information in a way that can enable analysis of sales and operations.
Over time, developers of POS solutions upgrade their solutions according to changes in the industry and market demands. If you are still using the same POS system that you installed five years ago, here are five reasons you should strongly consider an upgrade:
Energy Efficiency and Saving Space
In the restaurant industry, new business owners are known to flock to the showrooms of liquidators and used equipment dealers; this is an excellent strategy to get started and acquire your first POS system. If you are still operating a POS unit with a battered touchscreen and a large cash drawer that also holds the CPU and hard drive, you are missing out on the new space and energy-efficient systems that take up considerably less space and run much, much faster.
Convenience and Security
Modern POS systems are increasingly hosted in the cloud, which means that your business data is stored in a data center that offers PCI-compliant security measures. This also means that your data will not be lost if your establishment is lost due to theft, fire or natural disasters.
Advanced Merchant Services and Payment Processing
Your merchant services provider will likely offer you a low cost POS solution that you should not dismiss as a gimmick; in most cases, these cloud POS systems are offered because they make it easier for merchant processors to provide advanced services. An example in this regard would be a POS unit that works with custom gift cards, online ordering, business analytics, and much more.
Omnichannel Customer Services
Aside from the increased security that cloud POS systems provide, business owners should think about the omnichannel advantage they offer. A deli store owner, for example, can implement a system for the convenience of customers who wish to place orders and pay for them right from their smartphones. The seamless integration between, for this example, online ordering and the point of sale system gives customers a variety of ways to order without adding additional stresses to the business. Another example would be automatically offering a loyalty coupon on a receipt when the loyalty customer spends a certain dollar amount.
Customer Relationship Management
Modern systems have a plethora of great sales tools to make your business more efficeint. CRM integration is one of the most attractive features of modern POS systems. Let’s say a boutique hotel wants to reward frequent guests with a 60 percent discount on their birthday; this is a CRM marketing strategy that older POS systems cannot handle.