If you’re in any kind of retail business, making it easy for your customers to pay you is very important. The way you can do that is by having an efficient point of sale system that makes payment easy for the customer and makes record-keeping and reporting easy for the merchant.
I have a friend who works with a point of sale company called Harbortouch who agreed to share with my readers some of the keys to his business and why their products are so important to any business.
What is POS?
P.O.S. stands for “point of sale”, and it means the transaction that takes place whenever a customer purchases a product or service from a merchant. Every time you stick your card into one of the readers at the drug store, swipe it at a gas pump, a bartender slides it through their machine, etc., that is a point of sale transaction.
There are two components to a POS system – the POS hardware and POS software. The hardware is the actual equipment used, also called a terminal. That little card reader on the counter at CVS or the grocery store is a great example of a terminal.
The video below from my friend’s company does a great job of explaining this system:
There are many different types of POS systems. The first is a restaurant POS. This is an important function in the business as to receive cash and credit/debit card payments. On top of this, the system should be able to collect and track sales and tax data which the merchant will need for accounting purposes.
Outside of just the financial capabilities, other features include sending orders from the terminal where the serving staff inputs the order to the terminal in the kitchen or behind the bar so the other staff can prepare the food and drinks. It can also keep track of food usage and inventory, allowing the owner to make better operating decisions when analyzing the data.
Similar to restaurant POS systems, there are also bar POS systems that have much of the same functionality, with slight differences.
Very different from the above-mentioned systems is retail POS. A merchant who operates in retail will want and need a different set of features as the nature of the business is dissimilar. Features that you could expect in this kind of software would be inventory, color and size matrixing, employee commissions, gift registries, customer databases, and purchase orders. A digital barcode scanner is also important in this type of business.
As for reporting capabilities, a retail merchant would want software that could produce data on sales, customers, vendors, and inventory.
There are other types, of course, it’s not limited to just those described above. Small businesses, salons and spas, and other business types all have specific needs to make their business run smoother. A company like my friends can cater their software to best fit with the merchant.
I’d like to thank my friend for stopping by to give us some information on the types of products and services his company offers, and why it is so important for any merchant. If you run a business and need these kinds of services, now you know who to talk to.