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Getting the person’s attention is a huge work and a struggle for all retailers. Then, efforts are directed to the smooth purchase process. And finally, a common visitor becomes a customer on the checkout stage. Have you ever thought how similar is a good old cash register machine to a checkout on the e-commerce website?
After racking our brains for some time, we’ve figured out that there is no big difference, except retail app solutions can give way more benefits to the business branch.
Today, we’re telling you how the best point-of-sale system influences the whole user experience and what you can do to use it to your advantage.
POS System: Definition and Historical Overview
Point-of-sale systems have made a long way to transform into a convenient software solution. At the basic level, we understand that a POS system is a cash register helping to conduct payments and store the information about them. But such systems have made quite an impressive career, and now they may serve as sales, customer, and inventory managers.
As computerized POS systems are used by hotels, restaurants, supermarkets and other businesses, the market never stops growing. For now, we manage our smartphones and tablets to make our shopping, and point-of-sale systems play one of the main roles in it. But first things first…
1. The Incorruptible Cashier back in 1879. This is the first name of the POS instrument which helped to register transactions — sounds promising, doesn’t it? A little bit later, with the National Cash Register Company (which still exists), new features appeared: paper receipts, drawers, and bells.
2. The appearance of the electronic motor in 1906. Inventors from NCR (National Register Company) made an impressive work to improve their product and to promote it on the market. So, in 1906, the POS systems got their first motor, and by 1950s, it became a must-have in hundreds of retail stores.
3. Going mobile in the 2000s. Things were going well, and in 2014, business owners in the UK named mobile POS solutions the most valuable in-store technology for customers (Statista). But with all that functionality point-of-sale technologies have now, business owners also love using them.
What Benefits You Get with a POS System
We’re pretty sure that there is no place in your organization where you put so much of data — only a POS system knows how to cope with it. So, it’s not surprising why so many companies strive to optimize their work through point-of-sale instruments.
The list of the opportunities you get with a stable POS system is longer than you think. But let’s see the most important points:
- Real-time access to the inventory storage.
- Smooth synchronization with the accounting tools.
- Instruments to manage marketing activities.
- More control over return authorizations.
- Valuable data on the customer’s portrait.
- Useful upsell recommendations, etc.
Each of these points is a valuable asset for the organization. How exactly can point-of-sale systems do all of it? Let’s take a closer look at the main software characteristics.
Top 4 Features of the Best Point-of-Sale Systems
So, no matter how big your business is, there are some basic needs that each company has. When you’re about to buy a POS software or build your own solution, things are pretty much the same — there is a required list of features you must consider.
1. Smooth checkout processing. Well, this is the main reason why the first POS tool was created many years ago, and we still need this feature now. Point-of-sale systems help businesses to avoid numerous human errors during the checkout process, such as price miscalculations or the product’s search.
2. Gathering sales data and analytics. A good POS instrument captures and analyzes the sales information of your business. Firstly, you will know what items have high sales indexes, but the most important thing here is the data on the revenue you eventually get after selling each product. This is how you will know where to concentrate your sales powers.
3. Collecting data about your customers. With a strong tool, you will have purchase histories of all your customers and identify those buyers who spend the most. It means you have a key to the customer’s loyalty because you know whom to turn to — this is where customer management begins.
4. Calculating your inventory. But you will know not only the number of the items which are stored in your stock — you will know their color, size, season, and any other possible characteristics. And finally, if you track these items, you will know which product traits your customers prefer more — yellow or blue cars, for instance.
Development Tips to Build a Point-of-Sale System
It looks like an inevitable thing for most of retailers: to take part in a big competition, they have to go online. Eventually, we’re all aware of the advantages you get, and one of them is broadening the target audience. We know what are the basic development tips of the POS system that will work for your benefit.
Inventory updates in a real time. Lots of point-of-sales solutions you will find on the market allow you to update the data on products once a day. Some entrepreneurs may be fine with that as they run a small store. But our team is pretty sure that real-time updates are the only right decision for businesses as they grow.
Imagine that you have at least two stores and a certain product has been sold, but the system has not updated yet. The first thing you might think about is a disappointed customer who will never come back to your store. You don’t want that happening to you, right?
Synchronization of the inventory data. There are often such situations when a company works on several online platforms, so the new business activities are held online and offline at the same time. In this case, you will need not only regular updates but also a smooth synchronization across all channels you work with.
If a person has to fill in the information on the new products separately for each platform, his sanity is at risk. But there’s a bigger problem you’ll have — much time will be spent on the task that your software will immediately accomplish instead of your employees.
The advanced management of customer database. We’ve already mentioned how important it is to keep all the information about your customers in one place. But a professional team can give you a little more than that.
This is what you can get with the help of experienced developers:
- Profiles with as many details as possible.
- Information on the loyalty program usage.
- A general database which gathers profiles from all channels, etc.
Support of several payment methods. Cash or credit cards in the eCommerce branch are already classics which is mandatory for any online business. Payment methods are going further now along with other entertaining options for customers.
For example, reward points for shopping can be not only a part of the loyalty program — they can be integrated into the online user experience. The same goes for chip cards — lots of customers consider them as a saver payment method, so use this information to build relationships with the clients.
Support of multiple operating systems. When it comes to managing point-of-sails systems, merchants now want to have flexible solutions, not a massive hardware tool. To provide such flexibility, POS software should be built with the support of desktop and mobile platforms. Depending on the individual requirements, it can be Windows, MacOS, Android, or iOS. Modern development companies can put all necessary management functionality in your smartphone — it’s never been easier.
New Levels of Growth for the Retail Business
Progress in the retail sphere is led by new technologies, and we gladly welcome new discoveries. Even the story that started in the XIX century now has a new face and offers new opportunities for entrepreneurs.
POS tools have become a strong management solution helping retailers to control payments, inventory, and relationships with the customer in a real time. Moreover, you can bring all this data with you in your mobile device. No matter what platform you prefer, our team has a strong expertise in mobile app development and will gladly use this knowledge building your POS system.