If you’re a retail business on the up-and-up or your outfit is already an established one, then you may have already heard about using a PoS for retail management. You may also have decided on getting one for your business, knowing that the investment will pay off handsomely in both the short and long term.
However, what you might not be aware that there are multiple types of PoS, and one may not be quite as good a fit for your business as another. So in order to help you make a better informed decision when it comes to picking the right PoS system for you, the following is a handy guide to the different general types of PoS systems that are commercially available today.
The terminal PoS system is usually seen in businesses that have a visible cash register or a counter where all the transactions take place. While they are usually hardware and software based, most systems that fall under this particular PoS type still require internet access to function properly. Some may even be completely cloud-based software, necessitating a constant online connection even more.
Terminal PoS systems are often sold as all-in-one solutions, with the hardware and software bundled together in one complete purchase. The requisite accessories required for a typical PoS system such as barcode scanners, card swipers, and cash drawers are also included in this package. Besides this, around the clock technical support and cloud-based backup may also be offered, with the former usually being the norm.
Depending on the exact type of terminal PoS, there may be other features that come included with the package. For instance, terminal PoS tailored specifically for restaurants may come with tableside device Wi-Fi integration for easier patron ordering, eschewing the need to hire waiters or servers. Versions tailored for retail establishments may also include extensive inventory tools, label printing, and eCommerce integration.
This particular type of PoS is perfect for businesses that are high volume and sport low-to-medium prices. Such businesses include full-service restaurants, retail outlets, grocery stores, fashion boutiques, antique stores, book stores, salons, spas, electronic stores, and more.
The mobile PoS system, in contrast to the terminal PoS system, is much smaller in scale yet just as useful. It is generally distributed as a smartphone app that’s bundled with a credit card reader attachment. Other optional attachments such as barcode scanners and receipt printers are also available for added functionality. More often than not, the app itself comes free of charge in exchange for signing up with a payment processor. The card reader and any other attachments are also provided with little to no cost.
This particular PoS type is ideal for businesses that do not involve a lot of inventory and employee management but require a high degree of staff mobility. As such, this is ideal for small-scale operations like street vendors, fair/event vendors, freelance or contract workers, contracted professional services, and other similar outfits.
The next step up from mobile/smartphone PoS is the tablet PoS, where the same kind of mobility is needed along with powerful inventory tracking/bookkeeping/employee tracking features.
A tablet PoS system works in pretty much the same way as a mobile PoS, where the PoS app is installed on the tablet and any optional accessory (a card reader/receipt printer) comes bundled alongside it. The only difference is that the mobile device is usually much bigger and comes with certain features that should prove handy to businesses with a bigger inventory and a higher head count.
Suggested applications of tablet PoS systems include mobile vendors, quick-service restaurants and bistros, wine clubs, coffee shops, gift shops, professional services, art galleries, small theaters, and more. Basically, any small-scale business that requires a bit more control and finesse when it comes to managing its resources.
Self-Service Kiosk PoS
Self-service kiosk PoS systems are specialized solutions meant to allow the customer to facilitate the transaction by themselves without the need for a cashier or human employee. For example, a large theater may offer a self-service kiosk for customers to purchase and schedule movie tickets on their own. Another purpose could be for customers to be able to price check and then check out groceries on their own.
This allows the business to make their operations much more efficient while also saving on manpower. This setup usually mimics that of a terminal/desktop PoS, but includes additional security functions so that all transactions are one-ended and does not lend to any risk of malicious customer activity.
Examples of applications where self-service kiosk PoS are typically used include ticket sales, transportation firms, patient check-ins, human resources, parking, etc.
When it comes to solutions that can help your retail business get on the fast track to success, one of the most effective things you can do is to get a PoS system for it. However, the choice of what type of PoS system matters a great deal. Study the types listed above carefully and make your decision based on your retail business’ size, needs, and potential growth. If you find yourself still confused, then don’t hesitate and consult a professional right away for their advice.