Are you planning to start a retail business and thinking of accepting cash from the customers? Think again! When the economy is going cashless and people have started making optimum use of their debit and credit cards, why do you want to go old school and get stuck with accepting cash in this era. Point of sale (POS) software is the heart and brain of any retail business as it involves all monetary transactions.
For handling sales of your company along with managing the inventory and sales and payments, it is very important for any organization to have the perfect point of sale system in place. This software has to be efficient and transparent so that all transactions are recorded, figures are properly displayed for the seller and the buyer on separate screens.
There are several devices that have come into being for the same. Before getting one developed for them, retailers need to know which one would be the most suitable for their business.
The first step for getting a POS developed for your organization is to approach a experienced and top-notch POS system development company. Not everyone will be able to develop one efficiently as much as an experienced team with a prior experience in the same will be able to do it.
Time has changed a lot of things and has introduced technology in almost everything. Shopping malls and retails shops have realized the need of contributing to cashless economy over the years. And the best way for them to implement this idea was by introducing the Point of Sale (POS) system. With the help of this system, they get machines or any other sort of devices that help them tally the amount a customer has to pay for the products purchased by him and transfer money directly from his credit or debit card to their account. Even the mid-scale departmental stores have started billing with the help of this system.
Complex systems can be streamlined with the help of an efficient Point of Sale system. There are several activities that can be performed with the help of this system. From billing to raising invoices and handling all transactions through one single machine, there is a lot that you can do with the help of a single POS.
In this blog we are going to emphasize on the types of POS available, the key features that need to be included in the software and the cost of developing a POS software.
Types of POS
What is POS made of? It is a combination of software and a hardware making it a complete package for doing billings on the counters of shopping malls or independent stores. While the hardware consists of the device, car reading machine, cash drawer and invoice printing machine, the software is made to bring the hardware to life. The software varies from business to business as per the requirements of the organization.
Take a look at the three most common types of POS:
1- Terminal point of sale:
Ever go to a grocery store and made payment through one of the POS’ available? They need a combination of both the hardware and the software as the barcode scanner is needed to scan each product individually to generate an invoice, which is printed through the printing machine and the card machine is used to swipe the card for the deduction of the amount.
2- Mobile point of sale:
The second type of POS, this one is a card reader that is integrated with a mobile device for making all transactions easy on this platform. All you have to do is configure the software on your mobile device and use the debit/credit card machine to swipe the cards. The amount will automatically be displayed in the account of the retailer. There are several other functions that can be performed with the help of this type of POS. Retailers can manage their sales and generate reports of the number of products sold by them in one transaction or over a period of month, among other things.
3- Cloud based point of sale:
This is a web-based POS system which gives you access to the real time data and is the best for ecommerce and start-ups. All information regarding sales, customers and business operations can be accessed on your mobile or laptop screens. This POS system is more flexible and has techniques that are simple to use.
Hardware components requires for a POS System
The POS software cannot be run standalone, as it requires a set of hardware devices to enable smoother and transparent transactions. We are not going to take a look at the hardware components that are required for running the software:
1- Cash drawer:
You cannot completely restrict all transactions to card or e-wallets apps. There are several buyers who still intend on paying cash on purchasing the products and that cash has to be secured in a cash drawer which can be purchased as one of the hardware for your POS system.
2- Screen for registration:
Remember the time when desktops and big laptops were used at each payment counter? Have you noticed how seamlessly those have been replaced by smaller devices like iPads among others? Well, this device is helpful in viewing the database of any product. Salesmen can also take a look at the entire sales in a day on that same device.
3- Barcode scanner:
You might have seen the tool in most salesmen’s hands which is used to scan a barcode on the product for billing purposes. This is used to manage the sales and get the data of the product during the checkout procedure. This device can also be helpful in managing the inventory as it helps the users get access to the number of products that are lying in their inventory.
4- Credit card and debit card readers:
The swipe machines might look easy to you as all you need to do is just insert your card, enter the pin code and the amount to be deducted. Well, these devices are specially made as a part of the POS system. It is important for all retailers to have a secured credit card reader adhering to the EMV guidelines. If there is any fault or gap at the end of the retailer, this might land them in huge financial troubles.
5- Receipt planner:
It is important for the salesmen to hand over the bill receipts to the buyers for future purposes such as in the case of exchanging the product or for returning it. Besides the regular details of the price of the product, important instructions regarding exchange policies, timings, etc., are all mentioned in the bottom of each receipt.
Advantages of having a Point of Sale System in Retail
We are living in an era where we don’t need require registers, pen holders or bulky desks for securing the money earned. Since digitalization has become the new trend in our society and across industries, people have been trying to do all with the help of their phones and e-wallets, or maybe through any other sort of handheld and easy to use devices. Similarly, no one walks into stores or malls with a lot of money for safety purposes. They are more inclined to swipe their cards, accept the digitalized bill and walk away with their shopping bags.
So, have you ever wondered how these hardware devices and the POS software has benefitted the users?
We have listed down some advantages of using this system at your billing desk:
- Efficient and enhanced payment procedure.
- More products can be billed in little time.
- Customers do not have to wait in long queues for their turn for billing.
- Supports cashless economy as allows people to pay through their card without having to carry money all the time.
- Inventory overheads costs come to a bare minimum.
- All functions done in the inventory come under the scanner and one can save a lot of time with the digitalization of the same.
- The back office done can be done by easy and simple clicks.
- The salesmen can focus more on serving the clients as too many won’t be required at the billing counter.
- The accounting tasks become easy as the salesmen do not have to do anything annually or with the help of a calculator. The automation of the entire process makes it easy for the salesmen to get a breather.
- Helps in getting more traffic to your store.
Features to be integrated in your POS system
The software needs a number of features to be integrated into it right from the beginning to help the Salesforce in getting a better understanding of how it works. These features also enhance the efficiency of the salespeople along with the Point of Sale system itself. Take a look at the important features which should be mandatory as a part of the software:
1- Generation of Receipt:
One of the most important things for a buyer while purchasing a product is the bill receipt. It contains all necessary information like the price of each product, discount percentage applicable on any of those products and the name of the cahier. The POS system should be able to generate the receipt efficiently with the accurate information of all products in the shopping basket of the buyer. Lastly, the total amount one has to pay for purchasing all that is in their car should be displayed at the bottom, so that it is fast and easy for the buyer to make payment and let the other shopper in queue to reach the billing desk.
2- Searching the Product:
There are times when the barcode scanner does not work for some products. In this case, the billing person can log in the details of the product and acquire the cost of the product from there. This saves them the time of asking other salesmen for the price of that very product. A product’s name and its category are logged in the back end which should appear with all details upon being searched on the device.
3- Managing Inventory:
Keeping a tab on the inventory management software of any store and managing it effectively is of high concern for the store owners and inventory managers. The POS system does everything on the software itself, helping the store owners in a great way. The system software is also accurate and each product sold is recorded in the back end, giving the exact number of products in the inventory of the organization. This way the admin can re stock the inventory if they are intimidated about low stock.
4- Managing the Employees:
This feature enables the admin to get the account of time spent by each employee at work. A proper log is maintained where the employees’ in time and out time is recorded for future purposes. With the help of this feature, the admin will be able to pay off the salaries of the employees at the end of the month.
5- Customer Management:
Most big stores in the malls offer discounts and special prices to their regular customers. But to get a list of the customers who have been associated with the brand and store for long, they have to download the data and history or purchase of each customer. This helps them maintain loyalty amongst their returning customers and lure them with new offers and special loyalty programs.
6- Access on a Mobile Device:
The POS software has eradicated the need of having bulky systems at the billing desk, which have now been replaced with small devices like a mobile phone on a tablet. This also allows access to the admin on the POS software remotely. They can get an insight into the real-time POS analytics even from the comfort of their homes.
7- Customer Loyalty and Points:
These days almost all big brand showrooms and even the small grocery stores have started offering loyalty points to their esteemed customers. This imbibes the sense of belonging in them and they tend to buy more products to increase their points. The POS system is enables to access each customer’s account with the help of the billing device and software. In case any customer asks for information on their loyalty points, the person in charge of billing can simply enter their number and check for their details. Similarly, the POS also gives the sales person the authority to redeem the points of a customer if the latter intends to do so.
8- Customer Relationship Management:
The CRM of the Point of Sale system enhances the experience of each user by saving their details in its back end. During the time of registration with the store, a salesman might ask a new customer for all his details like his birth anniversary, wedding anniversary, etc. The CRM stores all these details and sends out discount vouchers or birthday discounts to the customers during their birthday or anniversary months.
9- Purchases get more streamlined:
In case a store is running low on stock, it can get in touch with the stores with the availability of a product and reach out to them in case a particular product is in demand. This enhances the efficiency of the store, streamlining the purchases.
Advanced Features of a POS Software
One of the primary concerns of any big store! Since the POS system is connected with the billing of products and money is involved in it, the app owners and the admin have to take special care of the safety of their customers information. A single glitch can lead to a fraud of thousands and lacks. The admin should make sure that their POS adheres to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), so that all the information is secure with them.
2- Quick Billing procedure:
Since technology has taken over the billing methodology of the stores, there are fewer steps and fewer clicks to be done. This way one can save time during the entire billing procedure.
Each department of the store should be able to make report with the information available through the POS. This is how they come to know what is going on in the store and which aspects need more attention. A strong reporting also gives the admin access to the latest trends of their store and the customer likes and dislikes.
Pricing Models of a POS Software
A POS is developed by a team of experts who have prior knowledge and experience of working on the same. Here are some pricing models that you can consider while getting a POS developed for your store:
1- Monthly Payment:
One of the most common and expensive modules for developing POS, this one requires a team of experts on board in the office premises of the organization, that is paid on a monthly basis. This might cost the admin a lot, but there are several benefits of hiring experts on a monthly payment basis. Assistance is just a call away in case the system gets stuck in any case scenario. Once can never expect the billing desk to face any issues.
2- One-time Payment:
This one is quite rare as the admin would not like to risk it by giving all the money at once. There is no consistency in support at the later stages and the billing desk people might not get future support. The only advantage of this module is that it is lesser expensive that the monthly payment module as the payment done is just one time, and the app owners do not have to incur any costs after that.
3- Hidden Charges:
The store owners should know that there are several hidden costs in the entire process. While you see the big costs, you must also know about the charges that might not seem big in the beginning, but once you settle all the costs, you will see these also billed along with the POS development billing.
These hidden costs include:
- Customer service charges
- Hardware cost
- Credit card charges
- Charges for additional features
Cost of POS Development Software
The main cost that the app owners have to incur on is the manpower. The number of people working on the development of a POS has a great impact on the cost of developing a POS software. Whatever the development cost of a POS is, app owners should know about the money they would have to spend on the regular upgrading of the POS system.
Around three to four percent of the monthly revenue is spent on upgrading the system and almost 12 per cent in spent on the same annually.
Once should know that a budget should be assigned to the POS system so that no additional costs are incurred. Once you bring a development team of POS system on board, you can venture out in various business opportunities.
Do you have a business idea and don’t know how to get started? Get your stock and inventory in place, a store for selling your products and streamline the billing system. The first and foremost thing to take into consideration is getting a POS system team on board who will efficiently develop a promising and easy billing system for your brand. This helps them save a lot of time and focus on other things as well. A well-equipped POS system will refrain the store owners from spending too much on manpower as everything can be done easily with the help of this system.
Rahul Mathur is the founder and managing director of ARKA Softwares, a company renowned for its outstanding mobile app development and web development solutions as well as specialized in Android and iOS app development. Delivering high-end modern solutions to all over the globe, Rahul takes pleasure in sharing his experiences and views on latest technological trends.