Modern-day business is dynamic and requires multiple skill sets, advanced technology, and constant update to keep a business thriving. The retail business is undoubtedly rewarding but is quite difficult at the same time.
That said, it is essential to keep in mind that “the only thing worse than starting something and failing is not starting something”. – Seth Godin, Author
Technological advancement has been a boon in supporting the monotonous tasks of a retail business, thanks to the efforts of Eugene Mosher who invented the first graphical point of sale (POS) software in 1986. Although, the traditional point of sale (POS) system refers to cash registers which were developed in the 1800s by an Ohio-based entrepreneur James Ritty, who is regarded as the originator of the point of sale (POS) system.
So, what is a point of sale (POS) system?
If you are looking for a cash register for sale, then let me inform you
that gone are the days when the point of sale (POS) system referred to the
traditional cash registers. The point of sale (POS) system has evolved over the
years and with modern technology came a modernised point of sale (POS) system
that is capable of doing much more than just store cash.
The point of sale (POS) also referred to as the point of purchase (POS) is the place and time where a retail transaction is completed. Here, the retailer calculates the total amount owed by the customer for the purchased item, and prepares an invoice. The customer pays for the item and the retailer issues a receipt for the transaction as proof of purchase. To ease the entire checkout process, retailers use a few devices like cash drawers, barcode scanners, and receipt printers. These devices are called point of sale (POS) hardware. The point of sale (POS) hardware components are connected to a central terminal via a point of sale (POS) software that facilitates the checkout process and performs other retail operations. The combination of these hardware and software components is called the point of sale (POS) system.
As already stated, modern-day point of sale (POS) systems are designed to perform multiple functions to ease retail operations, other than just storing cash. Knowing the functions would help understand how important point of sale (POS) systems are in running a retail business in today’s world.
Functions of a Point of
Sale (POS) System
1.Processing Payment: The most basic function of a point of sale (POS) system is to facilitate transactions. Processing debit and credit cards is a key part of payment processing that benefits both eCommerce stores and physical stores. You can also accommodate near-field communication (NFC) as a part of your payment processing so that customers can pay via mobile payments apps like Google Pay.
2.Managing Transactions: As a business owner, you would need to keep an account of your inventory database, customer tipping, and receipts. Point of sale (POS) systems help in speeding the transaction process, and maintaining accuracy. The easy-to-use interface makes the checkout process convenient.
3.Reporting Sales: To track the performance of your retail business, point of sale (POS) software is extremely beneficial. It provides important metrics and generates sales reports to determine the financial health of your business. These reports can help you make an informed decision, allowing you to optimise your business operations for better profits. Reporting also helps you figure out which products are selling better, the amount of money you make each month, and your profit margins.
4.Managing Inventory: Tracking and managing inventory is an essential aspect of a retail business. An effective point of sale (POS) system helps you track a particular product when a customer seeks it, notifies you when any of your product is running low on stock, and tracks the incoming and outgoing of your products. There are some point of sale (POS) systems that allow users to set automatic purchase orders. Other than that, you can access your inventory in real-time, from any location.
5.Customer Relationship Management (CRM): Building a rapport with your customers is the most crucial element to build brand identity. Customer tracking and management that most point of sale (POS) systems support allows you to record the customer information that would help you establish a better relationship with your customers by providing them personalised services based on their purchase history. For repeat customers, you can offer rewards and discounts through customer loyalty programs that would not only encourage your present customers to visit your store but motivate them to convince their network to visit your store too.
6.Managing Employee: To run a business seamlessly, you need to track your employee’s productivity. Point of sale (POS) systems will help you manage and maintain better relationships with your employees. You can set their work schedules, track their coming in and going out time, track the number of sales they have made, and reward the top-performing employees too.
Now that have covered the basic functions that a point of sale (POS) system offers, the necessity of a robust point of sale (POS) system for a business is quite evident. Therefore, let us dive into the main topic of discussion- popular point of sale (POS) hardware in Australia.
Listed below are the major hardware components and the bestselling ones.
1.POS Terminal: The point of sale (POS) terminal is the monitor or screen where the merchant can process transactions, and view and track all the operations through the point of sale (POS) software. It is the heart of a point of sale (POS) system. Most the modern-day point of sale (POS) terminals support touchscreen capabilities that are faster and more convenient to use.
The popular POS terminals in Australia are-
- 1.ELO DESKTOP 1517L LED RESIST VGA SERIAL USB
- 2.200I 15” POS TERMINAL I3 W/PCAP 8GB 12
- 3.ELEMENT 315 D2500 2GB 64GB
SSD 14 RES FLAT
2.Barcode Scanner: As the name implies, barcode scanners are used to scan and read barcodes from products, and are amongst the most important components of a point of sale (POS) system. Scanning a product using a barcode scanner expedites the checkout process, ensuring accuracy. There are different types of barcode scanners in the market but the most widely preferred ones are the handheld barcode scanners. These devices are easy to use and carry and do not involve complex wiring.
The bestselling barcode scanners in Australia are-
- 1.ZEBRA LS2208 BARCODE SCANNER USB
- 2.HONEYWEL VOYAGER 1250g LASER BARCODE SCANNER
- 3.ZEBRA SCANNER KIT DS9308 with 1D,2D SCANNING
- 4.ZEBRA SCANNER KIT DS9308 with 1D,2D SCANNING
- 5.HONEYWELL SCANNER ORBIT
3.Receipt Printer: Even though emailing invoices is the new trend, there still are customers who prefer a hardcopy of their invoices. To print these receipts, a device called a receipt printer is used. If you are purchasing a receipt printer separately, ensure that it integrates with the other hardware components of your point of sale (POS) system. There are 2 types of receipt printers - thermal receipt printers and impact printers (dot-matrix receipt printers). Thermal printers work when a printhead (which generates heat) comes in direct contact with the thermal paper rolls (which are chemically treated), thereby eliminating the requirement of ink or toner, for example, Epson Thermal Printers. On the other hand impact printers have pins attached in a form of series on the printhead which when impacts a paper creates dots in the form of an alphabet.
Talking about modern receipt printers, we cannot miss out on the advanced mobile receipt printers that help with the transaction process on the go and makes business operations even more seamless.
Some of the popular thermal receipt printers in Australia are-
- Some of the popular impact/dot-matrix receipt printers in Australia are-
- 1.EPSON TM-U220B DOT MATRIX RECEIPT PRINTER
- 2.BIXOLON SRP275IIIA DOT MATRIX RECEIPT PRINTER USB
Bestselling mobile receipt printers in Australia-
- 1.BIXOLON SPPR310 BLUETOOTH SERIAL US
- 2.BIXOLON SPP-R200III BLUETOOTH PRINTER no MSR
- 3.STAR MICRONICS SM-T300I MOBILE MFi PRINTER
- 4.CITIZEN CMP-30 3” PORTABLE THERMAL PRINTER
- 5.STAR SM-L200 MOBILE BLUETOOTH RECEIPT PRINTER
- NOTE: If you are looking for ID card
printers, you need a laser or an inkjet printer.
4.Cash Drawer: Even though cash registers are a passé, cash drawers never run out of trend. Merchants still require cash drawers to store cash and other important bills and receipts. To maintain the safety and security of the cash stored in the cash drawer, especially during business hours, the opening and closing of these are connected to the point of sale (POS) software and would require the merchant to prompt a command from the computer.
- The bestselling cash drawers in Australia are-
- 1.VPOS CASH DRAWER EC410 BLK-24V
- 2.POSIFLEX CR-3100 CASH DRAWER with USB INTERFACE
- 3.GC-100FD FIP-TOP CASH DRAWER
- 4.POSIFLEX CR-2210 FLIP-TOP CASH DRAWER
- 5.POSIFLEX CR-4104 with
5.Payment Processor: Since people these days prefer cashless transactions, you need to have an EMV-enabled card processor that can read all forms of debit/credit cards, thereby facilitating the payment process. At the same time, you also need to ensure that you have near field communication (NFC) that supports accepting payment via apps like Google Pay, Apple Pay, etc.
Some of the popular EVM-enabled card reading machines in Australia are-
- 2.PAYPAL HERE
Customer-facing Display: You would get to see these screens at the checkout counters at a retail store. As the merchants scan the products chosen by the customer, all the details about the product including the price, tax, and the total price gets displayed on the customer-facing display. Retailers also use these displays to show advertising information or customised messages to the customers.
- Wrapping Up
If you are a new retail business owner, it is always wise to opt for point of sale (POS) bundles instead of picking out every hardware component separately because you would need to ensure that every component complements each other for smooth functioning of your business.
- Shopify hardware
- VEND compatible hardware
- Square register compatible hardware
- Kounta compatible hardware
- TouchBistro Compatible Hardware
- These are some of the popular point of sale (POS) bundles which are extremely popular in Australia.
- If you are wondering where to purchase your point of sale (POS) components, you are in the right place. POS Plaza is Australia’s one-stop destination for all point of sale (POS) needs. Contact us and get personalised assistance with all your point of sale (POS) needs.