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POS Display Match-up: Touch Screen vs. Traditional

Point-of-sale (POS) technology is in a revolutionary phase. Beyond registering cash flow, today’s POS systems can be the key to making your retail small business more profitable and your life easier, especially if you’re using the right POS display to input all your data and transactions.

POS displays, or your cash register’s monitor, are available in two basic forms: touch screen or traditional point-and-click. Though you may not have realized it, the nature of your business can often influence whether you’re a touch screen or a traditional POS display user. Consider these features of each type of display to decide which would be better for your store.

Touch Screen Display Thrivers

While easy and fast to use, touch screen POS displays aren’t for everyone. Keep in mind there are two different types of touch screen displays: desktop versions that can sync up with a keyboard, barcode scanner, printer, etc., and mobile devices with POS software and a clip on credit-card reader. Desktop touch screen POS displays tend to work well for retailers that sell products at a fixed price and don’t negotiate prices for add-ons — this could range from a farmer’s market booth to a shoe store.

Retailers that use touch screen POS displays can capitalize on the mobility afforded by tablet and smartphone POS devices. Mobile devices allow your employees to get out from behind the counter and interact with customers on a more personal level. But without an external keyboard, entering customer or billing information can take a lot of time. If you are considering using mobile touch screens for checkout, remember the less data entry your purchases require, the better suited your business is for touch.

Traditional Point-and-Click Fans

For businesses with larger and more diverse inventories that require you to go deeper with customization or product selection, like a retail store that offers related services, for example, traditional point-and-click POS displays are the better option. When you need speed inputting words or numbers to multiple entry fields, point-and-click is just more practical.

Retailers that need to input notes for orders or purchases, or use multiple data entry fields during one purchase, should stick with a traditional point-and click-system. "Since we have so many items and pricing variations, a drop-down menu is absolutely the way to go with our register," says Jolene Grey of Pets Plus in Laguna Niguel, California. "The keyboard and mouse make everything easier. By inputting just three letters, for example, we can quickly look up bulk items that don’t have a SKU, or even check the last item customers have purchased — like if they forget the type of dog food they bought on their last visit to the store. These are ways our POS system helps us be both fast and customer-oriented." In general, as the amount of information associated with purchases increases, so does the convenience of point-and-click.

So what’s the right option for you? If your business is more mobile or quick serving with a limited number of products, little to no customization and fixed pricing, you’ll likely benefit from a touch screen system. However, if the variety and volume of your products require you to slow down or use more layered data, you may want to stick with a traditional point-and-click system.

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