5 reasons why your business needs a POS system

couple paying for a restaurant bill with a pos system terminal
Modern POS systems can take payments from many platforms, including Apple Pay on iPhone (Image credit: Shutterstock)

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Take it from us – the importance of the POS system in business cannot be understated. The development and evolution of point of sale systems (or ePOS) has increased rapidly over the past 20 years, benefiting the retail, leisure, and hospitality sectors by integrating cloud services, mobile and a multitude of other handy features designed to improve your bottom line.

Ultimately, POS systems are about maximizing sales – something that they do in a multitude of different ways. There are plenty of game-changing features we could mention, but we’ve stuck to the five main reasons why your business needs a POS system. 

Hopefully this will help you determine if a modern POS system is the right investment for your business.

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1. POS systems save time and money

If the old adage of ‘time is money’ is to be believed, your company’s profitability can shoot up after getting a POS system. 

That’s because you can become more efficient in multiple areas of the business – not just sales (though it plays a large part). Even becoming 10 per cent more efficient in your operations processes as a result of using a POS system can have a huge impact on your bottom line. 

Using an efficient POS in your business will make you more cost-focused and can be a powerful motivator in helping your employees (and managers, for that matter) achieve individual sales targets and objectives, in addition to identifying where sales can be improved.

For example, through means such as improving customer service. Companies that don’t bother with a POS system (or implement one effectively) will often suffer from long queues at the checkout; they also find it more difficult for cashiers to retrieve information for customers who want to find out more about items. By being intuitive, today’s cloud-based POS systems reduce risk by preventing frustration and minimizing the loss of time and productivity, all for the benefit of the customer.

2. Increase functionality and ease of use

woman using a POS system in a restaurant

POS system touchscreen terminals are much easier to use than traditional cash registers (Image credit: Shutterstock)

You can greatly improve the functionality of your business through a POS. 

One of the main ways this is possible is by selecting a system that is cloud-based, which allows you to run the business and retrieve reports and useful data from any location and on any device. 

That said, employees can only make the most of a POS system’s useful functionality if it’s easy to use. Unlike traditional cash registers, which were not designed with ease of use in mind, POS systems are designed to be as useful as possible to companies within certain sectors. 

For that reason, it’s worth doing as in-depth research up front as possible to determine whether a POS system has been designed for the sector that your company is based in. 

Ones designed for retail, for example, will offer inventory management functionality, while ones designed for restaurants will sport large interfaces that make it easier to book tables in darkened environments.

3. Reduce (or eliminate) employee error and theft

POS systems do a lot of the hard work for employees and their managers. Not only will they calculate all manner of sales-related activity, they can also hold employees to account and figure out which are performing best (and, conversely, which aren’t pulling their weight). 

They can also reduce errors: if you are calculating stock takes or orders manually, then it means that your business is being exposed to unnecessary errors caused by your human workers. 

This wouldn’t be a problem if it happened once a day, but when multiple errors go undetected it can add up. 

Additionally, POS systems can detect employee theft, which is the original reason that inventor James Ritty invented the very first POS system back in the late 19th century. Any decent small business POS has the data needed to understand the source of losses and determine where weaknesses are, and where action needs to be taken.

4. Get real-time actionable reports and data

A POS system opens up your business to the world of customer data and all the benefits that brings. Over time data can be collected and utilized in many ways, to reap rewards. After all, you cannot run a business based on insight and intuition alone. Through accurate data collection you can create successful strategies and make informed business decisions. 

When you have sufficient data, for example, you can order in exactly the amount of actionable stock that a certain store needs (and has proved popular with customers). You will be then able to introduce price reductions and special offers on goods according to that data.

A POS system will also offer analytics features that provide specific information, such as low stock count; best selling items; worse selling items; off-peak hours; and peak hours.

5. Improve the customer experience

woman paying for service in a salon using a pos system

A POS system tracks all customer interactions so you can provide a better service (Image credit: Blake Wisz / Unsplash)

Using a POS system can greatly improve the customer experience. This is achieved using features such as customer ordering and inventory tracking, which enables product look-up and ordering to a store from other franchise locations (for example). 

Additionally, a cloud-based POS system frees up your employees to provide customer service and sell items directly from the shop floor on a mobile device – such as an iPhone or iPad – which then feeds back to all other areas of your system. 

The best POS systems will record thousands of existing customer enquiries, meaning that other customers who have the same problems or queries can be served more efficiently faster, when compared to stores that would have to look up answers without that context each and every time.

Further reading

If you're looking for more information about POS systems, then try our features: How to choose a POS system for your business, How much does a POS system cost, and How does a POS system work?.

Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.