An introductory guide to point of sale (POS) systems

Read our introductory guide to choosing the best POS sale systems for your business.

Helen Cockle

Choosing the point of sale (POS) systems is crucial in planning for your business's future. POS systems allow your company to accept payments and provide analytical data on your business's sales. This is why we've compiled this short guide to choosing the best POS sale systems for your business.

Point of sale system (POS) - explained

POS systems refer to payment gateways where clients make a payment for goods or services. POS systems consist of POS system hardware, enabling your business to accept payments, including things like cash registers or self-service touch screens, and POS system software, allowing the hardware to operate. POS sale software has many functions - it eg generates sales reports, creates customer engagement features and stores inventory records. The POS system is a network including a main computer linked with tools to be placed in your retail store (eg checkout terminals and a barcode scanner).

Contactless payment with phone
POS systems refer to payment gateways where clients make a payment for goods or services.

Advantages of having a POS system

Having a POS system as a (small) business owner enables you to record and track sales easier. Your POS system would supply layers of data for you to analyze eg buying habits of your customers. Modern POS systems can assist with inventory management. By recording the data on each sale, they can eg send alarms when you are running low on a specific product or even inform you how to improve buying patterns for your retail business. Your POS system can also save client data which helps you create better-targeted marketing and ultimately increase customer loyalty. A good POS provider can help manage your paperwork more effectively. Having individual aspects of a business management function, such as bills, orders, sales data, and inventory in a central system tends to prevent errors.

Man paying with VISA card
Having a POS system as a (small) business owner enables you to record and track sales easier.

Which POS system is best for me?

  • Payment types: Ensure there is a variety of payment types available through your POS system. It is advisable to include modern types of payments, such as digital wallets, mobile payments, or contactless cards.
Receipt being printed
Ensure there is a variety of payment types available through your POS system.
  • Inventory management: As one of the main selling points of POS, inventory management can have many different functions, such as digital scanning, stock management by variation, unique serial number identification, and tracking of multiple transactions.
  • Customer management: Some customer relationship management features may be part of your POS system (eg records of customer purchases and demographic information). In some cases, you may even get built-in loyalty and rewards programs.
  • Sales reporting: Your POS system should be able to generate sales reports. In these reports, a new POS system should break the numbers down by net profit, cost of items sold, profit percentage, and gross margins. Also, a good POS system will allow you to look at your business's sales performance using visual charts.
  • PCI compliance: Ensure your POS software complies with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and other regulations on processing, storing, and transmitting payment card information.

You may also want to consider factors like the setup cost and monthly processing costs, employee performance tracking, or the fees for your POS software.

Wallet and phone on a table
You may also want to consider factors like the setup cost and monthly processing costs, employee performance tracking, or the fees for your POS software.

We can help

If you’re interested in discovering more about this, or want to learn more about how you can grow faster with better, instant prediction information.

Learn more

More from the Blog

What Is A Balance Sheet? Definition, Template & Examples

Business finance can get complicated, but an up-to-date balance sheet means you always know what’s going on and where your money is.

Read story

Do Small Businesses Pay VAT?

VAT is a tricky area of business finances. Find out what VAT means for you and your small business, who should pay it, and why.

Read story

Types of Business Insurance for Small Businesses

Find out what types of business insurances small businesses should have, and which are required by law.

Read story