Best Point of Sale (POS) Software
If your brick and mortar shop needs the best Point of Sale software which is the best fit for your needs; GoodFirms has listed a range of widely used POS system software to choose from. Point of Sale systems not only helps in generating bills for the customers, but also enables the users to identify sales trends, manage inventory, suggest product re-purchases, etc. Depending upon the intrinsic size of your business, you can choose the best POS software. GoodFirms has researched and listed various POS system software solutions available in the market, which you can go through and select the best, which caters to your business needs.
Point of Sale Software Buyer's Guide
The buyers guide to POS (Point of Sale) software provides in-depth information to the business people and can help them in choosing the appropriate point of sale system for their industry. Retail, hospitality, consumer services, multi-service businesses (like health, nutrition, entertainment, theatres, and hotels) make use of point of sale app regularly.
The companies and businesses get hold of commerce by making use of point of sale systems that helps in promoting longevity in the business. Along with businesses, the information in the buyer’s guide allows consumers to have profound knowledge and understanding of a quality product or service due to which the consumers feel inclined to remain connected to the same business.
POS is an abbreviation for Point of Sale or Point of Service. It means the point of sale transaction or deal that happens between a merchant and a customer at the time of purchasing the product or service. The POS solution is generally used to carry out the transaction.
In simple terms, Point of Sale serves as a system that allows the sale of physical goods in a retail store. The POS system is performed in a store at the time of the checkout, the processing of the bills, and at the time of the payment of bills.
For example – If you are purchasing something in a retail shop, then you are undergoing the process of point-of-sale.
"Point of sale is where you reach 100% of your audience 100% of the time." By Paul Hudson (writer, philosopher, and entrepreneur)
What are the different types of (Point of Sale) POS?
In businesses, the point of sales ranges from simple mobile payment processors to large multi-location companies. The various types of POS systems are as follows:
Mobile Point of Sale - If the users do not manage a lot of inventory and prefer to be mobile, then Smartphone POS services is an apt option for processing payments. Small businesses, like event vendors, contract professionals, and freelancers, will find this system suitable. The business owners only have to download an app and create an account for a mobile POS system.
Suitable for – street vendors, event vendors, mobile services.
Terminal point of sale - Terminal point of sale (POS) system is used to seeing in businesses at the counter. Though they are hardware/software-based, but can even use cloud-based software. Over swipe and chip-based cards, the POS terminal usually detects all modes of payments. The modern POS terminals discover NFC (near field communication) / contactless cards, Apple Pay, Google Wallet, and Samsung Pay all.
Apt for – busy retail, antique stores, grocery stores, restaurants.
Self-Service Kiosk POS- The customers can input the necessary data and check out their purchase with the help of self-service POS systems. Even if the workers are not physically present to manage the sales process, then also the users can run their business with the help of this POS system.
Apt for - ticket sales, large retail stores, parking, human resources.
Tablet POS- iPad and Android point of sale systems are accessible and require nominal investment. If the users own an iPad or an Android tablet, then they own minimal upfront investment. For complicated functions like employee time tracking and synchronized inventory management, the user can make use of this system.
Suitable for – salons, small retail stores, cafes, food trucks.
This type of POS solution is suitable for mobile vendors, coffee shops, gift shops, small retail stores, pizzerias, ice cream parlors, art galleries, small theatres, salons, quick-service restaurants, juice bars, and professional services.
How Does a Point of Sale system work?
The POS system helps in running the business smoothly by saving time and reducing paperwork. It works in the following manner:
- Installation and set up – The POS system involves physical hardware components and software system data. The POS provider sets up the account. The user can add inventory, employees, and customers. The POS Company teaches users how to make use of this POS system.
- Collects data- The POS systems fetch customers’ data including the phone number, name, and customer number. In the industry-specific software, there are features of inventory management.
- Promotion - The Point Of Sale solutions allow users to design simple marketing strategies that help in gaining more business. It offers email marketing and direct mail reports.
- Reporting and Back Office – The users can review the sales reports and can manage inventory, employees along with the customers. The POS system provides reports that include the details of the cost of goods sold, low inventory along with existing inventory, customer purchase history, item-specific sales reports, and gross sales.
What is a Point of Sale (POS) transaction?
POS transaction is the state where customers offer payment for the exchange of goods and services. It occurs when the deal is finalized. The user can use cash, debit cards, mobile payments, or credit cards for the payment.
Before making the authorized transaction, the user requires the PIN number, signature, and fingerprint scan that helps in completing the POS purchase. From the PIN number or other security features, the authentication information travels through the ATM networks to reach the issuing bank. The bank holds power to approve or deny the deal based on transaction type and amount of funds present in the account of the cardholder.
What is a point of sale terminal?
POS terminal serves as the physical equipment that allows merchants to process payments to complete a customer purchase. For the cash register, the POS terminal is a computerized replacement that helps in processing credit and debit cards. The POS terminal allows the customer to complete the transaction by entering a card PIN.
For example- In the restaurant, after eating, you make the payment. For paying the amount, you may use credit cards or cell phones to pay with Apple Pay or Android Pay. The machine or system used by the restaurant to take your payment is termed their point of sale terminal. It takes the payment of the customers by adding up the totals along with the sales tax.
What is a mobile point of sale (mPOS)?
Mobile point of sale (mPOS) serves as the smartphone or dedicated wireless device that executes the task of a cash register or electronic point of sale (POS) device. With the help of a downloadable mobile app, the user can transform any smartphone or tablet into an mPOS.
The user can experience better processing capability, enhanced communication, sophisticated consumer analytics, real-time inventory management, and wireless connectivity with mPOS smart devices. In the small business sphere, the mPOS system has become more and more popular. It is cheaper and more flexible than the ePOS (electronic point of sale) system. As per the business requirement, the mPOS can be connected to external hardware like card reader, cash drawer, printer, and barcode scanner.
In retail stores, the mobile POS system helps in attaining consumer data, empowering employees, and generating more dynamic sales opportunities. The user should use the secure, simple, and affordable mPOS system for their business.
Difference between on-premise POS and Cloud-based POS?
If you are in a dilemma to choose between an on-premise POS or a cloud-based POS system for your business, then the below-mentioned points will help you in drawing the conclusion.
On-Premise - The user can access data from only one location as it is a closed network. Your business will be responsible for the protection of your on-premise server, so it is considered a better option.
Cloud-Based - The user can access the cloud-based system from anywhere in the world as it stores data online. The data in this system is more secure as the technical experts maintain the servers.
Integration and Customization:
On-Premise - Based on the business process, the user can customize the on-premise module. The enterprises with a considerable budget can find it an appropriate option.
Cloud-Based - Though the customization in a cloud-based POS system is limited, it is easy and effective to integrate the new module to a cloud-based system. This system is less time consuming, and users don’t have to be fretful about the networks and servers.
On-Premise - The user does not have to depend on any ongoing service fees for hosting. The user has the freedom and control over the data with this system.
Cloud-Based - Being a subscription-based service, this system has little or no direct cost. The vendors automatically handle maintenance and updates. On the basis of the business size, the price can vary.
On-Premise - There are broad ranges of features in on-premise modules, and it is difficult and time-consuming to add new functionalities in this POS solution.
Cloud-Based - Whenever any new change occurs, then it automatically gets updated. The user can add new plugins to the system with few easy clicks. The user experiences the latest trends and top accessible tools with the new versions.
On-Premise - The IT team and experts are required by this system that helps in server maintenance.
Cloud-Based - On the basis of the subscription, the cloud-based POS system can be purchased monthly or annually. The POS provider looks after the maintenance of the resources.
On-Premise - Without the internet, the on-premise system works smoothly and efficiently. The hardware and servers are in a closed network, so it doesn’t rely on the internet.
Cloud-Based - The service of the cloud-based POS system is greatly affected if the internet connection is weak or lost.
POS best practices
The user should follow the below-mentioned practices to make the POS system efficient:
- The Pos system should meet the needs of the digital era to meet the demands of reliability, speed, and security.
- The companies prefer cloud-based platforms so that the users can experience unified commerce, the agility of deployment along with scalability.
- The POS solution should be able to enhance customer engagement with the help of technology. The retailers can bring incentives, cross-sell, interact with shoppers, and up-sell by swiping a loyalty card.
- The retailers should make an educated purchase decision with the help of e-commerce and omnichannel experience.
- The store associate uses a mobile POS system by attaching shopping carts with tablet computers and Apple iTouch.
- The retailers should provide a consistent pricing pattern or pricing transparency across all channels, whether physical or virtual.
- The merchants should believe in creating a powerful POS foundation that also supports modern POS systems.
- Retailers should be aware of the changes and updates in the mandatory regulations such as Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). They should use PCI compliant devices, monitor physical devices, and should not connect their POS system to external networks.
Any store that has a point of sale and point of purchase can use POS software. The POS system is widely deployed by ecommerce stores and many brick-and-mortar stores.
The POS system helps in controlling the transactions. From customers, products, sales, inventory, loyalty programs, and labor; this point of sale software solutions automatically updates the essential database.
The retail companies, grocery shops, and hospitality businesses like restaurants and hotels can benefit highly from a POS system. The retailers can accept and process the payments with the help of retail POS software. The user purchases the POS system with hardware and accessories such as to monitor screen, cash register, barcode scanner, receipt printer, and card readers.
What is the purpose of the POS software?
The point of sale system software is becoming the nerve center of every business. It provides an all-in-one solution to a large number of everyday issues. The point of sale solutions collects and records data accurately, which in turn helps users to know about the functioning of the business.POS software is essential due to many reasons:
- Manages the inventory- The point of sale software maintains the business’ inventory. It collects and tracks the information that helps the users to know what sells a lot and at what time it should be restocked. From the reports, the users can decide when they should adjust the pricing.
- Automates the accounting- POS solutions make the record-keeping and accounting process easy and effortless. Directly from the system, the user can collect all the data. If the sound POS system is connected to the computerized accounting system, then the user can clear credit cards, record transactions manage sales, and collect taxes quickly.
- Collects customer data- The user can gather the information from the current customers based on the information input capacities. The POS system allows improving the buying experience of customers by keeping the information related to customers’ phone numbers and email addresses. The customers will find it easy to shop more if their information is stored prior in the system. This results in better CRM.
- Saves time - The POS system speeds up the checkout process and inventory management. It offers faster payroll processing. The user can make use of the search tool to look for any type of transaction.
Features of Point of Sale Software
The prominent features of point of sale solutions are:
Inventory and stock Management- All the time, the point of sale system software offers full visibility and accountability at the store level. It presents the visibility of inventory along with SKU (Stock-keeping unit) transaction history.
Billing and Order Processing- By scanning items and capturing different payment modes, the point of sale solutions perform the functionality of billing and order processing. The POS generates order invoices, email to the customer, add customer details along with discount details.
Sales Monitoring and Reporting - Based on the sales report, the pos software produces a strong report. The merchants properly understand their business, if they receive reports hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly takings and outgoings. The advanced POS solutions offer sales trends like seasonal demand in products and information related to stock management.
Cross Channel returns management- The POS returns management system accepts the cross-channel returns and assists in refunds along with replacements from any type of store location. The POS system captures the details of the reason for the return, salesperson’s name, and remarks.
Employee management- The point of sale software administers the staffing levels, sales performance, and employee hours that ultimately help in tracking employee productivity. With each transaction, the user tracks the activity of the employee, which eventually assists in dividing the right and weak performers. Accordingly, the user takes apt actions that help in improving productivity.
Customer relationship – By storing customer data and purchase history, the POS system helps in retaining the customers. In business, the customer data is helpful for advertising as it offers insights regarding which customer would be paying attention in the sale.
Onboarding and support- The point of sale systems provide interactive webinars, 24/7 support, one on one sessions, email and chat support, customer forum, and account history.
Mobility and cloud – The POS system software customizes the point of sale system. It provides personalized branding on spot transactions, mobile inventory, and quick employee training.
Types of Point of Sale (POS) Software
There are many types of POS systems, and you can pick up the apt POS solution depending on the requirement and nature of your business.
Retail POS Software- This type of system includes label printing for items without UPC codes, employee commissions, scales of weighted items, ecommerce integrations to set up an online store, and product matrix along with item variants to support the different types of product sizes, colors, etc.
Restaurant POS software- This software should cover the receipt printer for attaining the physical check to the customer, ability to assign order types such as dine-in or takeout, online ordering, remote ticket printing, and custom table map.
Salon POS software- This type of solution requires online booking, calendar management, and memberships.
How to choose the best point of sale software?
The best pos software can simplify business operations and allow users to make informed business decisions. The user should consider the following crucial points to pick the best point of sale system for their business:
User-friendly – The point of sale software should be easy to use so that you can manage it comfortably without consulting the manual regularly or depending on the tech support all the time.
Hardware – The type and size of the business decide on the kind of hardware. The small retailers need a tablet, card reader, and cash box, while the more extensive operation prefers terminals, receipt printers, and barcode scanners.
Software – The user should study the options capabilities and costs to ensure that the point of sale app is the right fit for their business needs.
Integration – The POS solution should integrate appropriately with the tools, applications, and software that the user is already using. The POS system that integrates seamlessly with third-party vendors will prove to be the ideal choice for the users.
Automation – The POS system software should be able to automate processes and reduce manual inputs. From the logistics, it should be able to use the data. The point of sale system should hold the capability to update inventory and order information by supplying chain.
PCI Compliance – In small business, it becomes crucial to have the provision of payment security. The pos software should be in compliance with the data security standards, which is recognized by the Payment Card Industry (PCI). The users’ payment data should be safe-guarded with end-to-end encryption and data tokenization.
Support- POS solutions should provide 24/7 support through live chat, phone, and email.
Cost- Before finalizing the POS system, the user should consider the cost of it that includes the hardware and software price. Make sure that the terminals should align with the needs of the users. The user should also consider operating costs.
Features- The user should make sure that the POS system should have the core functionalities of inventory tracking, customer management, invoicing and billing, refunds and returns, employee scheduling, and data analytics.
When the user plans to purchase the POS system for their business, then he/she should ask a few questions to gain information about prospective POS provider, which in turn helps him to know about the POS Company:
➔ Is the company financially workable?
➔ Whether POS is the primary business of that company?
➔ How much experience does the company hold regarding your business industry type?
➔ Whether the company serves as a provider or reseller?
➔ How are the reviews of that particular company?
➔ What are their service parameters?
Why should businesses invest in POS software?
The businesses should invest in POS system due to the following reasons:
- Saves time
- Improved customer experience
- Simplify sales from multiple locations
- Better productivity through integrations
- Gain access to customer purchase histories
- Control of inventory
- Manages Taxes
Latest trends in the POS system
The most recent trends in the POS system are as follows:
Cloud-Based technology - The cloud-based applications that integrate with the POS system is reducing the cost of the point of sale ownership.
Artificial Intelligence - Several companies are automating tasks and learn a customer’s journey through data and digital touchpoints by making use of AI in business applications.
Mobile payments - In business, mobile payment options have made the transactions more accessible and safer and can even improve customer service.
Data collection and analytics - The POS system collects customer details along with data and tax information. It checks employee productivity along with sales.
Rise of Bluetooth - On Bluetooth, the payment is fast and secure. The users don’t have to rely on WiFi. Even when the internet is slow or non-existent, they can work comfortably.
On-demand purchasing - The POS system allows on-demand purchases for the customers. They can purchase food or goods in advance with the help of store-specific payment apps.
Common POS Mistakes and how to shun them
While choosing a POS system, the users make a few common mistakes. Let’s discuss how to overcome the common mistakes:
Pay attention to price only
Mistake- The user can buy cheap and low-quality POS system software that lacks essential functionalities.
Remedy - To run a competitive business, they should spend more to buy a sophisticated POS system that offers essential and advanced features.
Ignoring the hidden costs
Mistake – Busy business owners may ignore the costs of training staff, maintenance of the system, and payment processing. It can result in more expenses than initially expected.
Remedy- The business owner should consider the factors related to migration costs, hardware and software, payment processing, maintenance, setup fees, and additional registers.
Missing the support system
Mistake- Without the support system, the user can face some technical issues that can waste precious time and results in disappointments.
Remedy- The knowledgeable and reliable support system provides technical aid to the users at the time of need.
Buying one size for all systems
Mistake- Every single type of business can’t take the one particular POS system software. The restaurant POS software does not work well with the retailer's needs.
Remedy- The user should choose the industry-specific POS system that helps in increasing the profit along with productivity. It offers a more substantial ROI (return on investment) rather than the generic POS system.
Restricting the customer payment option
Mistake – The POS system offering the limited payment options may turn away some customers from the products and services.
Remedy- More payment options should be given to the customers. The chip payment option will remove the fraudulent charges.
Best practices to keep the POS system secure
- You can keep your POS system secure by following the essential points:
- Make use of PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliant devices
- Never connect the POS system to external networks
- Set firewalls and anti-virus software
- Limit access to the Internet
- Prohibit remote access
- Create strong passwords and often change it
- Lockdown all the devices at the end of the workday
- Appoint security experts
What is the average cost of a POS software?
The cost of the POS software depends on the business size, amount of features it offers, quality of elements, type of industry POS system is meant for, and potential for expansion.
The POS is made up of software along with hardware. The employees can make sales and inventory with the help of the software, and the hardware allows them to run on.
The users should also consider the POS payment processing fees along with the POS system's total costs. The POS hardware costs include tablets, monitors, card readers, receipt printers, barcode scanners, and self- service kiosks.
The small businesses hold the basic features of the POS system, so their prices are more affordable rather than the large organizations that believe in investing in the plans that offer more advanced features.
Free and open source POS software solutions are the apt option for small and start-up businesses.
Why refer to GoodFirms’ list of the best point of sale (POS) software?
GoodFirms platform performs thorough research based on the latest market trends. Here you will get the curated list of best POS software accompanied by the authenticated reviews. By exploring this huge platform, you can gain the knowledge and understanding of the high-quality and accessible POS software available in the market. You can choose the best POS software for your business needs by going through the GoodFirms list on the point of sale systems.
Prioritize your business needs and then accordingly decide the best POS software system for your business. Before finalizing the POS product, make sure it fulfills your expectations, offers you the usability, and efficiently handles your workload.
The implementation of the high-performance POS system in your business will provide you better customer experience. Feel free to talk to the experts at GoodFirms or explore the third party vendors to gain more information on the POS software.