Kym Eaton

What is a POS system & why do I need one?

In our back-to-basics series of articles, we'll be looking at the information you might need if you're just starting out and need to find the best POS system for business such as a cafe, restaurant, bar, deli, nightclub, pub, or any other type of hospitality venue. In this article, we're going back to the start to discuss what a POS system is, and why you might need one.  

PowerEPOS in a cafe

Check out POWEREPOS, our cloud-hybrid POS software, in action.

What is a POS System?

Point of Sale or POS means the place where ordering and payment transactions are processed. 

A POS system is made of POS hardware and POS software. These components provide operators with the tools they need to accept popular payment methods, as well as manage and understand their overall businesses. A good POS system help could also help to analyse and order inventory and manage employees, customers, and sales.  

Traditionally, server-based POS systems were on-premise, which means they used an on-site server based in a specific area of the store or venue, and the desktop computer, cash register, receipt printer, barcode scanner, and payment processor were all set up at the front desk and couldn’t be easily moved.   

Fast forward to the early 2000s and cloud computing started to become popular. Then the advent of cloud-based storage and computing brought about the next step in POS technology evolution, mobility. 

Why do I need a POS system?

We've put together the most important factors when considering whether to install a Point of Sale system at your venue.

1. It saves time 

  • Speed up payments – Take payments by card and accept payments anywhere in your store or venue. Just carry a mobile EFTPOS machine such as Tyro Pay@table to take payments to the customer. 
  • Speed up Inventory management – Some POS systems provide built-in stock and inventory management making it fast and easy to deduct and track stock and inventory as it's purchased. 
  • Process payroll faster – Some systems can automatically compute payroll and print payslips. 
  • Locate transactions faster – As all data is digitised, searching for transactions using the search tool is easy, regardless of how old the transaction is.
  • Say goodbye to manual data entry and stocktaking – No more writing down orders and counting inventory manually. You’ll be helping the environment as well by reducing paper usage.

2. Understand your business better 

  • Keep abreast of your business – Reports and dashboards using your live, cloud-stored data will help you make better business decisions faster. Track your sales and performance so you can make adjustments on the fly and optimise revenue.
  • Real-time inventory tracking – POS systems that allow you to track stock and inventory can send alerts when stock is low, complete purchase orders, and track your vendors. 
  • Unbiased employee attendance monitoring – Monitor employees to see who sells the most, their performance and attendance.  

3. Build relationships with customers

  • Build customer profiles – Some POS systems provide internal or third-party membership capability to provide personalised experiences and targeted marketing.  
  • Reward customers – Get to know your customers better by tracking purchases and offering rewards along the way.
  • Loyalty programs – Some POS systems provide loyalty program functionality where customers can collect points using different mechanisms such as a swipe or RFID card.

4. Get mobile

  • Tablet POS systems – Smaller than your regular POS system, tablet-based systems are popular and regularly take the place of full-size POS terminals. Cloud-based POS software on a tablet is a great POS solution as it can be more affordable and take up less space due to the size of the tablet and no longer needing a physical server. Also great for events and trade fairs, just connect to wifi through your phone or a dongle and you're ready to take card payments.
  • Smartphone POS systems – Some POS systems can go anywhere as they run on a smartphone. Useful for micro businesses, just attach a credit card reader and you’re ready to take payments anywhere your customers are.

If you're ready to discuss the POS system you need for your business, get in touch with us or book a demo and we'll show you how our cloud-hybrid POS, POWEREPOS, is the right POS to make your business more profitable.