POS System Cash Register Replacement
The most vital tool for any business is a machine to process sales.
It wasn’t that long ago that the only affordable option available was a basic cash register, which included a cash drawer, receipt printer, and occasionally a card reader. These days, however, advancements in technology have replaced the basic cash register with more advanced point-of-sale systems.
However, a POS is more than just a cash register replacement. These systems are part of an integrated business platform that can scan, process, and track transactions, manage inventory, streamline accounting, enable customer marketing, and much more.
If you’re looking to update the technology in your business, a simple cash register won’t do. Here are five business processes that are simplified by replacing a cash register with a cloud-based POS system.
- Improved Customer Transactions and Specialty Functions
- Seamless Inventory Management
- Accurate Financial Accounting
- Targeted Customer Marketing
- Maximized ROI
Improved Customer Transactions and Specialty Functions
A cash register only accepts manual input of purchases, which requires the cashier to find the price of an item, calculate tax, and process the transaction. This can be a time-consuming process, and encourages errors. Additionally, it doesn’t take into account the variety of other options your staff might need.
POS systems handle purchases as an end-to-end process, and some systems are tailored to specific industries.
The NCR Silver POS system, for example, offers features like dynamic pricing, also called event-based discounts. If your restaurant or bar has “happy hour” specials, this type of system can be configured to automatically adjust the prices in the timeframe you set. That allows your employees to ring sales faster without having to check the time or calculate the discounts.
Restaurant-specific POS systems offer a much broader range of functions than a traditional cash register, including quick check splitting, customized table layouts for easy seat management, orders sent from the entry system to a kitchen printer, or even online ordering and delivery tracking functions.
Or look at MindBody, a popular POS platform for yoga studios and fitness-based businesses. With MindBody, cashiers are able to process much more complicated transactions, adding discounts, tracking multi-session, loyalty, and subscription plans, and displaying customer information to allow for a personalized experience.
When a credit or debit card is used, this type of system is able to store the information and even set up recurring payments. The POS system also tracks check-ins, scheduling, and can send email/text reminders to ensure customers don’t miss sessions they’ve paid for.
Because of this functionality, yoga and other fitness studios are able to offer their students a wide range of plans to fit their lifestyle while ensuring teachers are fairly compensated and the overall business generates a profit. All of this is accomplished using a Mac computer with a software POS installed as opposed to a basic cash register.
Seamless Inventory Management
There’s nothing more frustrating for a customer than driving all the way to a store in order to purchase a product only to find out it’s out of stock. With a normal cash register, it’s impossible to track your inventory and know when it’s time to reorder.
POS systems not only process transactions, they allow for inventory management, even across multiple locations.
For example, the Revel POS system is a processor-agnostic POS that allows you to process transactions virtually anywhere. With Revel, inventory can be tracked and synced to ensure you’re optimizing your inventory. Restaurants and food service businesses can even track down to the ingredient level.
Reports can be generated to show the popularity of specific items allowing you to see at a glance how each item is performing at each location. Even if the network goes down, Vend can store information locally and sync it once a connection is available.
Accurate Financial Accounting
A standard cash register requires a lengthy end-of-day accounting process. Cross-checking discounts, determining which employee processed which transactions, and manually entering information in accounting software like QuickBooks can be tedious and mistakes often happen.
The connectivity of a cloud-based POS system automates many of these processes, reducing errors and increasing processing speed.
Clover POS is designed to be an all-in-one solution, including a touchscreen input, cash drawer, receipt printer, high-resolution camera that can scan barcodes and QR codes, and encrypted card reader. Clover uses a secure server to back up transactions and includes a reporting feature that makes accounting more accurate and efficient.
Because of the Internet connectivity, you can easily export reports to both Excel and QuickBooks either at the terminal or remotely. By keeping financial data digital instead of printing it out, your company will not only be more green, it will also be more secure, as you can control access to reporting functions.
Orders can also be reopened, making it easier to process refunds and exchanges. This is a helpful customer service function that couldn’t be performed on a standard cash register.
Targeted Customer Marketing
Big data analysis has become a buzz term in business over the past few years and with good reason. It’s important for businesses to understand their customers in order to focus marketing efforts to bring them back. With a basic cash register, you can’t collect and store customer data, much less analyze it.
POS systems make customer tracking a breeze, allowing you to implement frequent customer promotions and send marketing materials such as coupons, sales, and new product notifications easily and seamlessly.
Revention has been featured heavily on Spike’s Bar Rescue because of the POS system’s wide range of customer tracking and marketing features for bars and restaurants. The software’s databases and query engines allow you to customize marketing searches to easily identify customer buying habits.
You can create email lists and send customized marketing emails all from within the Revention POS. The platform can create and apply coupons, build and track loyalty programs, and even geographically map customers to allow you a bird’s eye view of where your establishment is most popular.
The major reason basic cash registers are often chosen over a POS is an upfront cost without a monthly subscription fee. This is because of the limited capabilities of a cash register. Although $200-$500 may seem like a sensible price range, these machines provide no ROI, and that initial investment is never recouped.
A POS pays for itself by acting as a centralized database for business operations. The software as a service (SaaS) business model actually reduces overall costs while allowing the system to receive consistent updates and upgrades.
ShopKeep is recognized as one of the best and most cost-effective POS solutions on the market, at only $59 per month for each register. It’s upgradeable to allow for a wide range of payment options including EMV and NFC and is compatible with nearly any credit card processor.
In addition, ShopKeep includes tools for customer relation management, employee management, inventory management, and comprehensive reporting. By housing and managing all of this data, it is a valuable tool that increases sales, saves money, streamlines ordering, and builds customer loyalty.
A POS system is much more than just a cash register. By combining features to allow customer data tracking, inventory management, and transactional reporting, a POS is the cornerstone of any sales-based business.
The combined savings and revenue generation made possible by a POS system makes it a much more economic purchase over a basic cash register, allowing for many marketing, accounting, human resources, and other operational functions to be performed in a centralized place.
By installing a POS in your business, you’ll reduce errors and automate processes, making the entire business run faster and more efficiently. Check out our product directory of POS systems to find the right POS for your business today.
Brian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned freelance writer focused on business and technology. His work appears in Huffington Post, Fast Company, and The Street.