Point of sale is no longer the same as what it was several years ago. Point of sale – or POS – was referring to retail transaction only – customers bring goods, retail staff calculate the amount, issue a receipt and get paid for the amount. It was a terminal, rather than a system.
Today, POS has transformed; as a small business owner, you need to be aware of the transformation and when you see fit, adopt the changes to give your business an edge over your competition.
POS today is all about integration, and it’s no longer taking care of transactions only. You can now do reservations, launch customer loyalty programs, and do various back office functions, such as stock control, staff management, and reporting.
With the connectivity offered by the Internet and mobile technology, POS can now even take payment from a mobile device and place orders online to partner stores and shops – both online and off line.
Let’s talk more about the online ordering feature of modern POS system.
The recent trends show that POS system is not only for off line retailing. It can now serving online stores, handling face-to-face transactions using a mobile device and integrating transactions – including stock controls and reporting – with other services.
Online ordering lets customers place their order online via their own computers and smartphones. Not stopping there, it is also working the other way around: Customers can now order from a physical location – restaurants, off line retail stores, etc. – and have the order fulfilled and managed online.
Online/mobile POS benefits both customers and small businesses. Franchising.com reports that online ordering benefits restaurants with more orders, increased average check size, increased marketing ROI and unified customer interface which is able to integrate multiple POS providers.
Let’s take several POS system examples to explain this better.
Shopify, a popular e-commerce platform, has launched a retail-hacking technology, allowing you to take orders for Shopify stores. Via an iPad app, you can now sell your Shopify store’s product in an off line retail store.
Your operations off line will by synced with your online store, which means your inventory, product catalogs, payment, customer/order information and reporting are managed by Shopify POS.
Square is among the first to offer retailers the capability to take credit card payment via mobile devices. Facing competition from GroupOn and Shopify, it’s now partnering with other online platforms to better-power its system.
Recently, Square has partnered with Intuit to offer a powerful POS solution, integrating its mobile payment service with QuickBooks accounting software, which means you can now send transaction data – including online orders – straight to your QuickBooks account.
Initially, this service is only available in the U.S., but considering QuickBooks’ global reach, there’s hope that the service can be made available worldwide. Fingers crossed.
Online ordering via a POS system also works wonder locally. Fedelta POS, headquartered in Australia, offers an integrated POS system, which also allows you to integrate your off line POS system with local online retailers’ ordering system.
For example, Brisbane point of sale from Fedelta POS can serve Brisbane-based restaurants to place online liquor orders from ILG, one of Australia’s biggest liquor wholesalers via the POS system.
As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities made available via a POS system which integrates with online and mobile technology. When you adopt the technology well, you can make your customers’ life easier, which almost always translated in more customers, more sales and/or more average orders per customer.
Be sure you consult with the right POS system provider to see whether integrated POS management system is for you.