If you are running a retail store, having a good Point of Sale (POS) machine can be a great asset which can take your business to the next levels and also keep you ahead of your peers.
From grocery stores, departmental stores, medical to retail eatery stores, having a POS machine can help you sophisticate your dealings with customers, improve customer handling ability, reduce errors, improve operational efficiency, and hence can lead to business growth.
POS machines are not the mere card swiping machine which we see in our neighbourhood stores when we transact through digital payments options –credit or debit cards. These machines are only used for transaction purposes and can’t do the functions of a cash register. So what is POS then?
What is a POS?
POS is an abbreviation of Point Of Sale or Point Of Purchase, which represents the place in a shop where actual transaction for the purchase of goods happens or gets completed. Modern POS machines include a set of hardware components which are integrated with a retail software suitable for the business concerned.
Modern POS is referred to as the sophisticated cash registers of the yesteryears but with loads of added features to simplify business activities and enhance customer satisfaction.
There are several advantages for having POS machine at your store. In India still majority of the 1.2 million small and medium retail stores are using traditional method while transacting with customers. With government pushing digitalization, many of these retail store owners are moving to automate their store using POS machines. There are a lot of reasons why these retailers are switching from the traditional POS method to the sophisticated modern POS system.
Removes Human Errors
Any physical handling of accounts or records can open to human errors. It is difficult to remember everything in today’s digital world. We have systems available which do a whole lot of works for us automatically. In retail businesses too, merchants can use POS machines to remove physical errors and enhance the operational efficiency.
Not only for maintaining daily account balance, modern POS is useful for managing inventory with almost nil per cent error. With cloud POS technology coming in, merchants can be able to know the status of his inventory in multiple store locations as well as warehouses and take prompt business decision even while on the go.
Not only this, you can calculate the daily transaction value, most traded products, products nearing expiry, foot falls for a particular period, and also can track real time the payments for suppliers and wholesalers.
It is the fact that losses to traders are sizable due to pilferages that occur at Point of Sale or any other part of the store. Theft by own employees cause considerable loss to merchants. Since there was no tracking system, store executives used to take advantage and cover it up easily. But with modern POS machines, store owners can keep a track of the complete product life cycle—right from purchasing from a supplier/wholesaler to selling it to a customer. Store owners get automatic alert if there is any mismatch and discrepancy with the available products at store and sales data.
POS machines can work faster than the traditional cash registers; hence can reduce the checkout process considerably. With barcode scanning, things have become smoother at POS counters. Customers these days prefer faster checkouts and avoid standing in a long queue to pay for their merchandise. With fewer staff, more customers can be attended. Moreover, customer data, such as personal contact number, email id, buying pattern, loyalty bonus points, reward points, coupons, and payment methods can be recorded for future analysis for better customer relation and business progression.
With POS data available, you can judge your staff’s efficiency in handling customers during peak hours, get real time alerts and updates on inventory position and send updates automatically to customers on new arrivals, offers, discounts and most favoured products.
Transact on the go
With the availability of Mobile Point of System and Cloud POS facility, you can do the transaction with customers wherever they are – anywhere inside the store or at their door step. The seamless integration helps retailers to sell products and accept payments hassle free while on the go. Whether it is indoor or outdoor, for every transaction, the system automatically records orders and customer data and updates the inventory.
Offers Omni-channel Facility
With mobile technology giving a great push to retail business, people want integration of various touch-points to seamlessly interact with their favourite store for buying the merchandise. Customers want that their mom-and-pop store should be reachable via smart phone and online. Recently, some stores even offer the facility where the customers can order online and take delivery at any of the stores while going back home.
Through omni-channel, customers can go straight to the store to buy, order via phone, check the availability through online using desk-top or mobile phone, use app or messaging services and buy their favourite products.