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Picking A POS System: What's on the Market Today

No matter what your retail business sells, you need a point-of-sale (POS) system to take and record transactions. And having the right POS system in place can have a huge impact on your store.

How? A robust POS system can:

  • Track inventory and alert you to shrinkage issues
  • Help you run the store remotely
  • Track coupons and other promotions
  • Speed up checkouts and cut down on pricing errors
  • Free up staff to focus on customer service responsibilities

When you’re shopping for a POS system, you should invest in one that fits the whole package: your company’s needs, work processes, products and goals. Take a look at a few of the options on the market today and what they can offer your retail small business.

Hardware

POS system hardware comes in several forms, from a basic analog cash register to a sleek, modern wireless system. Here’s an overview of today’s POS system hardware options, including typical inclusions for each option:

System Details

Good
Example: Sharp XE-
A107 Business Cash Register

  • Least expensive option
  • Generates a receipt and little else
  • Ideal for paper bookkeeping and smaller businesses with minimal need for financial reporting or speed
  • Typically can’t track sales trends in larger businesses

Better
Example: Sharp XE-
A507 Cash Register

  • May include additional peripherals
  • Features barcode scanning and some basic reporting
  • Many can track inventory and provide daily reports compatible with QuickBooks

Best
Example: pcAmerica
Retail POS system

  • A turnkey POS system, including full system hardware and accessories
  • Can track inventory, stock levels and purchase orders
  • Can process purchase orders, discounts/coupons, layaways and rentals
  • Offers seamless integration with QuickBooks POS software
  • Includes touch screens that can be programmed to present messages and other promotions

Software

POS software is where many of the most common systems really shine. Although basic POS software typically generates revenue reports and little else, intermediate and advanced systems offer powerful integration with inventory management, customer information and bookkeeping.

Many top POS software solutions on the market today are Web-based or cloud-based. These virtual POS software options allow you to access your POS system via the Internet — letting you track, analyze and tweak inventory and trends from anywhere in the world. Virtual POS software can be particularly convenient if you operate an e-commerce portal alongside your physical locations, unifying companywide data into a single dashboard.

The Right POS System for You

Your POS system is essential for operating your business and can have implications on your customer experience and brand. Consider the spectrum of POS systems and be sure to select a solution that fits your operational needs.

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