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We encounter them every day at almost every single business we visit. You have seen then thousands of times but probably never wondered what they are or how they provide a service for a company. They are the backbone of every retailer and often their most valuable tool.

They are the Point of Sale System or P.O.S.

This combination of both hardware and software helps retailers everywhere streamline their business while providing consumers with convenient and safe transactions.

What is a Point of Sale system consists of?

Typically a POS system contains both essential software necessary for tracking, facilitating, and logging purchases used via sets of screens, card readers, and scanners.

POS Software

The software helps retailers monitor everything from items being sold per transaction, prices of all stock items, the levels of available stock, as well as other key data like employee hours and sales reports.

By utilizing an efficient POS system, retailers are able to keep track of every aspect of their business without having to needlessly waste resources. As every purchase is logged and stored it is possible for retailers to aggregate data and determine sales trends to better anticipate changes in their market.

The software can be integrated with other key components of the business such as inventory monitoring programs or payroll systems. Quality POS systems help retailers merge all vital aspects of their business into a manageable and easy to use platform.

The Hardware

The physical aspect of the POS system can differ from business to business but largely relies upon variations of certain key items.

A Monitor or register screenA barcode scannerCard ReadersPrintersRegister Drawers

  • A Monitor or register screen is needed to display all of the information stored in the software allowing employees to interact with the program. Transactions are viewed via the register screen, stock levels can be assessed, and time clocks can be accessed the monitor screen.
  • A barcode scanner is often utilized to scan items for purchases allowing employees to pull up item price and begin a transaction. Scanners can be integrated to work with stock management software to continuously update item data in real time.
  • Card Readers pull customer information from credit cards and automatically charge the transaction to associated account. Modern readers now operate by checking that all cards are properly “chipped.”
  • Printers are becoming less and less vital as more businesses and retailers switch to issuing paperless receipts. Now with options available to receive receipts via email or text customers are passing on the physical printed copy, but retailers still provide receipts as instant records of the transaction used by employees to record credit card sales.
  • Register Drawers are heading in the direction of the printers as we move towards conducting more transactions via electronic methods, but for the time being the drawer provides a safe a secure location for employees to store all funds from transactions.

All of the components of the POS system come together to create a vital tool for managing essential aspects of a retail business. As the POS is fully integrated into the very core of operations it is often the most important tool utilized by retailers.

To learn more about the Point of Sale System or to find what you should look for when deciding on a POS system for your own business click on the links.