Point of sale (POS) systems improve the consumer experience and make it easier for business owners to oversee inventory, sales, and employee performance, from contactless payments to internet transactions. Additionally, your point-of-sale system supports omnichannel experiences, which are seamless transitions between in-store, phone, and internet sales. It’s critical to know what tools you’ll need to run and expand your small business before shopping for the best small business point of sale finance (POS).
A solid small business POS system allows you to process every sale safely and provides the tools you need to handle administrative jobs more efficiently. Your business kind will determine the types of sales you generate and the tasks you require assistance with. A busy cafe may have different requirements than a clothes store, and a POS system designed for a plumber may not be appropriate for a fitness studio.
Things to consider to choose a POS System
A point-of-sale (POS) is a piece of hardware that allows you to receive payments. If you’re purchasing a new point-of-sale system, be sure it accepts all types of payment, including cash, credit cards (particularly chip cards), and mobile payments. Your POS Finance system should print receipts, hold cash in cash drawers, and scan bar codes if it makes sense for your firm.
POS software acts as a command center for your business. It lets you find goods in your library and ring up sales at a rudimentary level. Sales reporting, customer engagement software, inventory management, and other useful functions are included in more complex point-of-sale solutions.
After each sale, payment POS systems handle the transportation of funds to your bank account. The correct point-of-sale system for your company can help you capture every sale and minimize time-consuming administrative processes.
To set up and utilize the POS system, you shouldn’t need an engineering degree. It should be simple to use. Your POS system should also be simple enough to operate that you won’t need to reference the manual or contact tech support on a regular basis.
Is the system able to automate operations and reduce the number of manual inputs? For example, a good POS Finance solution should be able to update inventory and order information using data from your logistics and supply chain.
Types of businesses using POS system
A point-of-sale system is an essential component of any successful business. It contributes to increased revenues by assisting the firm and delivering features that are specific to its requirements. Every type of business has its own POS system, which is adapted to their own aims and ambitions, and which supports them by increasing overall profitability!
- Shops for sale
Stores that sell tangible goods, such as supermarkets, book stores, and gift shops, employ a point of sale finance system to boost sales and simplify the checkout procedure for their consumers.
A dedicated restaurant point of sale system helps restaurants, bars, cafes, and off-shop caterers improve their order-taking process and speed up the checkout procedure.
- Hospitality and entertainment
POS systems are used to improve functioning and deliver improved customer satisfaction in hotels, clubs, cinema halls, and other locations where consumers value experience.
- Providers of services
Service companies, like physical goods dealers, use point of sale systems to obtain a competitive advantage.
Benefits of a POS System
The correct POS Finance system for your company will benefit your company, employees, and consumers in many ways. For almost any small business, a point-of-sale system is essential. A POS system may do a lot more than just track sales and report on them; it can also save you time and money. The following are features of a great point of sale system for small businesses:
Month-to-month SaaS pricing and low-cost tablet-based hardware eliminate the need for a large upfront investment in on-premise software and hardware that you may or may not chose to keep. Hardware shouldn’t cost more than $1,000-$1,500 per station on average.
- Checkout is quick and easy.
A strong point of sale system makes the checkout process quick and easy, and it eliminates the need to keep track of daily transactions manually. Furthermore, the system will calculate all required taxes for you and may easily integrate with your accounting program.
- Insights and Reporting
A POS system gives extensive information about your transaction flow, allowing you to make smarter business decisions. It automatically captures cash flow, saves time by saving item data on the system, and forecasts revenue for the coming weeks and months. The finest point of sale finance system for a small business aids in the identification of important parts of the firm, such as products, sales, and customers.
- Extensive Capabilities to Meet Your Business’s Requirements
With the latest POS systems for restaurants and retail establishments, business owners can easily accept online orders from clients and have them picked up in-store. Customer management, stock control, and marketing are all included in the most advanced POS systems. Retailers, restaurants, and other small enterprises will benefit from these features. Some POS systems, for example, have built-in loyalty programs that encourage customers to return. They also enable greater fraud detection and security, as well as the ability to examine questionable account activity on their own.
A customizable system allows you to create the ideal POS for your business, ensuring that you only pay for the features you need and not those you don’t. As your company expands, you can update or add features.
Tablet or iPad-based systems follow you around the office. Some POS systems include iPhone or smartphone capabilities, allowing you to accept payments when away from your business or even if you don’t have a physical presence.
Modern web-based POS systems securely save all of your data in the cloud and let you access it from anywhere in the world. Cloud POS Finance systems can also be scaled up or down, with monthly pricing packages.
- Modern Payment Support
In addition to cash and swiped payments, your POS should be able to handle chip cards and mobile/tapped payments (NFC), as well as gift cards, coupons/rewards, and store credit. A growing number of POS systems accept QR code and SMS payments, allowing customers to pay using their own smartphone.
- Integrated Payment Processing
A decent POS should feature integrated payment processing, either through an in-house payment processor or a third-party merchant account that can be smoothly integrated.
- eCommerce Features
As more small businesses sell online, your POS should support online sales, either through an in-house eCommerce module or by integration with a service like Shopify or BigCommerce.
- Socially Distant Selling
In addition to classic eCommerce selling, a modern POS system will provide additional online selling options such as online ordering, local delivery, and curbside pickup—all of which are critical during the COVID-19 epidemic. During COVID, it’s even more critical that your system be able to accept the above-mentioned socially distant, contactless payment modes.
- Loyalty features
Keep customers coming back with a personalized loyalty program (in-house or integrated). You may even create a branded loyalty app for your consumers with some point of sale finance systems.
- Business Management Features
Employee management and payroll, as well as purchase orders and vendor management, are all features that a contemporary POS can and should handle. Industry-specific features, such as table mapping and tipping tools for restaurants, or advanced inventory management for retail establishments, will almost certainly benefit you.
Best point of sale systems to choose from
The following cloud POS systems for small businesses are feature-rich, cost-effective, and adaptable. The best part is that they were created with small enterprises in mind.
Lightspeed is a household name in the world of iPad point of sale finance, and with good reason. The company provides top-of-the-line iPad point-of-sale software for restaurants and retailers. (It’s worth noting that Lightspeed Retail is also available on desktop PCs.) Lightspeed’s comprehensive and sophisticated feature set enables restaurants and retail businesses to manage virtually every area of their operations, from personnel management to vendor management. You get to choose whatever amenities you want and don’t want to pay for, such as self-ordering and kiosk alternatives, digital kitchen displays, gift cards, and a built-in reward programme.
Clover is a one-of-a-kind POS solution for small businesses that is mobile, modern, and distinctively designed. Clover runs on custom Android hardware with a variety of form factors to choose from, including the Station, Station Pro, Mini, Flex, and Go, which you can mix and match to suit your needs. Clover’s software is equally adaptable, allowing you to pick and select features from a large app store to design a system that’s exactly fitted to your needs, whether you run a retail, quick-serve, full-service restaurant, or service sector business. Clover’s clean, basic approach is great for a company that prioritises ease of use and simplicity. You can get up and running in minutes after purchasing your Clover system–you’ll get your entire hardware setup as a package, replete with integrated software apps.
Square was the first completely mobile POS system, and it is still the finest in many ways, despite the fact that many competitors and copycats have followed in its footsteps. Square’s free POS, which can be used on almost any device, began as a simple payment processing system. However, in the ten years since its inception, Square has expanded its business management capabilities to encompass everything from payroll to marketing to business loans.
Toast is one of our favourite restaurant POS systems, owing to its low maintenance requirements. The free Starter package includes a highly intuitive and modern restaurant POS as well as robust reporting and inventory management. The Starter plan includes almost everything your small business needs to get started, but if you want advanced services like online ordering and in-house delivery, you’ll need to upgrade to the $165/month Essentials package. Toast’s capabilities are comparable to those of almost any other restaurant POS finance system on the market, despite the fact that it does not follow the popular iPad POS format. Toast, on the other hand, uses an Android model that leverages more cheap, restaurant-grade technology and provides additional form factor options (compared to iPad-based systems).
Shopify POS is described as “affordable, scalable, and inventive,” to name a few adjectives. Shopify is well-known for its strong eCommerce capabilities, as the firm began as an eCommerce platform that made it simple for retailers to sell online. Shopify POS connects your online and offline sales by offering all of the normal retail POS functionality you’d expect from a cloud POS, as well as your own eCommerce website and blog. Shopify is a wonderful POS for small retail enterprises that can be used on iPad or Android, even if you don’t handle eCommerce. Shopify Payments provides fully integrated payment processing with a unique pricing structure that calculates your credit card transaction fees based on your monthly rate.
SwipeSimple is a mobile point of sale finance app that is available from a variety of resellers. Pricing and quality of services vary depending on where you acquire them, much like Clover. Payment Depot’s SwipeSimple is especially recommended because of their dependable merchant services and low prices. SwipeSimple’s feature set is similar to a condensed version of Square’s. You can accept payments at your store using an iPad or tablet with Star Micronics’ mPOP cash drawer and receipt printer, or you can accept payments on the move with your phone.
Basic inventory management, reports, discounts, gratuities, digital receipts, and an offline mode are all available, as well as 24/7 service and deposits that take 24 to 48 hours. The biggest advantage of using SwipeSimple, however, is that you will have your own dedicated merchant account. Merchants who have been burned by third-party payment processors like Square or PayPal can speak to the fact that having your own merchant account translates to improved account stability.
ShopKeep is a tablet-based POS software that is easy to use and has a lot of essential features. Foodservice and beverage retailers love ShopKeep because of features like raw ingredient inventory tracking and onscreen tipping. It’s also suitable for tiny specialty retail establishments or even hybrid businesses that sell both food and commerce. ShopKeep contains helpful back-end tools including staff time tracking, real-time analytics, eCommerce, and marketing services in addition to a full register. ShopKeep is also well-known for its excellent customer service. There are certain inventory restrictions–the register can only hold 3,000 buttons–so it isn’t ideal for enterprises with vast inventories. Table mapping is a feature that ShopKeep lacks in comparison to full-service restaurants.
If you want to learn more about POS systems, check out the following articles: We discuss how a POS system can help you manage your inventory in this post; we go through how a POS system can help you handle your payments and financials in this article; and we simply propose the finest POS Finance systems available today in this feature.