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What Is A POS System?

What Is A POS System?

  • January 7,2016.

What Is A POS System?

POS system stands for Point of Sale system and it refers to a system that manages the moment at which aretail transaction is completed and a customer pays a merchant in exchange forgoods or services.

So at its most basic level, were essentially talking abouta cash register. Modern POS systems, however, do a whole lot more, includingaccepting credit cards, managing inventory, tracking employee hours, andoffering extensive sales reports.

Additionally, many modern POS systems are flexible enough to integrate

with other services to make business management easier, includingalternative payment options and accounting solutions.

There are hundreds of different POS systems currently available thatoffer a wide variety of features at different prices. The goal of this guide isto familiarize you with the key factors that you should consider when

deciding which POS system, if any, you should invest in for yourbusiness.

Why Should You Use A POS System?

If you dont have a POS system, you probably dont know what youre selling, whenyoure selling it,and how much of it youre selling. You dont know your inventory counts. You cant check sales without being

in the store. You dont know whos working and when. Basically, you are facing a serious informationdeficiency that is making it more difficult for you to make smarter businessdecisions.

Using a POS system allows you to manage your business more effectivelyby giving you the tools to keep track of everything from

sales to inventory to employees and much more.

Using a POS system saves you time and money by providing you withreal-time and accurate reporting that can help you make smarter businessdecisions and better position your business to plan for growth and expansion.

Key Elements In Choosing A POS System

When choosing a POS System, there are a number of factors to consider.In this guide, we will walk you through each of these Key

Elements that we believe to be most important:

Ease of Use

Once youve chosen to use a POS system, it should be easy to set up and simpleto use.

You should be able to manage the setup process yourself and trainingcashiers and managers should take minutes, not hours. A system thats confusing tolearn or complicated to use will decrease employee satisfaction and waste timethat could be better spent elsewhere.

Your POS system should offer an intuitive interface to process salesquickly and keep lines moving. A system that is difficult to use leads tolonger lines and unhappy customers who are then less likely to be repeatcustomers.

Managing inventory and employees should be straightforward andpainless, allowing you to be able to change things easily on the fly.

Running reports should be simple and the reports should be easy tounderstand so that you can get a snapshot of exactly what you are looking tolearn about your business without having to ask too

many questions.

Your POS systemshould

offer an intuitive interfaceto

process sales quickly and

keep lines moving.

Customer Service

Be sure to find out about customer care when considering a POS system.Though not common, from time to time your POS system may experience issues.Without the ability to call someone to fix the problem quickly, you could losesales, so make sure that your POS system

provider offers comprehensive support.

In addition to dealing with problems, you may also simply want to learnmore about existing features or how to add a new feature to your POS service.Whichever provider you use should have both documentation on their website andreadily available customer service representatives

to help walk you through either situation.

In conclusion, friendly customer care should be available via multiple

channels (phone, email, chat) every day for no extra charge.

ShopKeep offers free,award-winning

customer care seven days aweek by

phone, email, and chat. Ourfriendly

team is always there toanswer all your

questions, allowing you tospend

more time growing yourbusiness.

Adaptability and Evolution

Mobile payments arepredicted to overtake credit card payments in less than a decade and mobileloyalty programs are becoming commonplace in a variety of environments. POSsystems that expect to be relevant in the years ahead must be built on aflexible platform that can support

integrations with mobilepayment providers, and accept contactless payments such as Apple Pay.

Two key trends in the POSspace right now are mobile payments and cloud-based software delivery and datastorage.

1. Mobile payments are predictedto overtake credit card payments in less than a decade and mobile loyaltyprograms are becoming commonplace in a variety of environments. POS systemsthat expect to be relevant in the years ahead must be built on a flexibleplatform that can support integrations with mobile payment providers such asLevelUp.

2. Meanwhile, cloud-based POSsystems, like ShopKeep POS, eliminate the need for costly and time-consumingsoftware upgrades, while also ensuring that your data stays safe and alwaysaccessible only

Simple and AffordablePricing

The cost of a POS system hashistorically been very high and continues to be in many cases, preventingsmaller and mid-size businesses from replacing their cash registers. Theseexpensive POS systems usually require an initial investment of several thousanddollars, with some

solutions costing well over$10,000!

Todays software as aservice (SaaS) subscription model makes getting a POS system much moreaffordable, as cloud-based systems can be run from an iPad and/or any computer.For example, startup costs at ShopKeep POS are only about $1,000.

However, extra costs aresometimes hidden in the details, so make sure that your POS system has simple,pay-as-you-go monthly pricing (ShopKeep POS is $49/month) without long-termagreements or cancellation fees.

Be aware that some POSvendors may mask subscription costs by forcing you to use a certain credit cardprocessor, so make sure to read the fine print and focus on providers with themost transparent pricing and open platform. ShopKeep POS allows you to chooseany credit card processor.

With no contracts, simple pricing, and regular product updates,

ShopKeeps iPad and cloud-based POS system is the perfectsolution

for small business owners looking for a new, modern POS system.

Robust Reporting

While all POS systems giveyou sales data to some degree, the capabilities and clarity of a systems reportingplatform are not all created equally.

Your POS system should beable to generate detailed sales reports that not only identify your bestselling items and returns, but record margins and measure the effectiveness ofyour pricing. Inventory tracking is a feature you should definitely make sureto have as well.

Your POS system needs totrack sales by department, item, and hour so you can adjust staffingaccordingly and allocate floor space more efficiently. Additionally, a built-inemployee time clock feature will make keeping track of employee hours a muchsmoother process.

While detailed exportablereports will be useful for more in-depth analysis, its also importantto be able to see on-screen reports and charts with easy-to-grasp snapshotviews as well to get information faster.

Direct integration withaccounting software like QuickBooks is a great feature to lookfor in your POS system. This option will save you valuable time and ensureaccurate numbers for all your

business reporting.

Your POS systemneeds to track sales

by department, item, andhour so you

can adjust staffingaccordingly and

allocate floor space moreefficiently.

Data Accessibility

While recording sales andinventory data is basically a given when using a POS system, having thatinformation accessible wherever and whenever you want it is a real gamechanger.

The most convenient andtech-savvy POS systems also offer smartphone apps that allow business owners tosee real-time sales data in the palm of their hand.

Data Security

Data safety and securityshould be among the most important factors you think about in the choice ofyour POS system. So when considering your options, you need to make sure toinvestigate the security of your data in every system, particularly aroundtransactions. And with

a number of recenthigh-profile hacking incidents, this issue is more relevant than ever.

In order to stay safe on thetransaction level, your POS system should never store customer credit cardnumbers and all transactions should be fully encrypted. ShopKeep POS encryptscredit card information right when you swipe and works with a unique swiper key,meaning it cannot be used by any other service.

Quality Hardware

The hardware thataccompanies your POS system should be functional, durable, and stylish, whichis one reason why iPad POS systems are so popular!

Some POS vendors pair theirsoftware with second-rate hardware and peripherals in order to piece togetherthe cheapest package. As a small business owner, the last thing you want to dois waste time struggling with a constantly jammed printer or a flimsy standthat doesnt withstand the daily grind at your counter.

Quality hardware will payfor itself in short order and save you time and patience in the long run. Thisgoes not only for the most commonly used items like a cash drawer and receiptprinter, but also for your POS system stand. Having an ergonomically andelegantly designed stand that matches the décor of your shop will maketransactions more enjoyable for cashiers and customers alike.

ShopKeep partners with thebest hardware

providers in the business,providing

reliable and affordableproducts that are

also guaranteed to make yourstore look

good. Plus, every ordercomes with free

shipping and easy returns.

About ShopKeep

The simplest way to makesmarter business decisions, NYC-based ShopKeep is an affordable, completeplatform for running a shop or restaurant from an iPad with real-time reportingon the web or from your smartphone.

Backed by award-winningcustomer care, the ShopKeep iPad app rings sales, processes credit cards andmobile payments, prints and emails receipts, and prints orders remotely to thekitchen.

Founded by a fellow businessowner, every aspect of ShopKeep is designed to enable merchants of all kinds,from coffee shops to boutiques and much more to be successful. It is used bythousands of

merchants around the worldevery day.

Interested in signing up fora free trial? Simply visit orcall a POS Specialist at 877-756-0183!

Questions To Ask YourProspective

POS Provider:

Do you offer unlimitedsupport? If so, whats included?

Do you charge for it?

Can I integrate my currentcredit card processor? Are there any additional fees to do so?

Can I customize theinventory menu used to ring up our items?

If so, can I group itemstogether?

Can I collect my customers contactinformation, and do I have access to this data anytime?

Can I view my customers visit andtransaction history?

Backed by award-winningcustomer care, the ShopKeep iPad app rings sales,

processes credit cards andmobile payments, prints and emails receipts, and prints orders

remotely to the kitchen.Can I offer giftcards, loyalty, and discounts from my point of sale?

Can this system alert mewhen my inventory is low?

How long does it take to setup (hardware and software)?

How long to train my staff?

Are there employeeperformance reports? Can I track employee time and export the data for payroll?

Can I access my reports fromanywhere? Can I give access to others to view reports?

Do I have to purchase anentire hardware package or can I select the pieces that are essential for mybusiness?

Are you PCI compliant? Howdoes your system ensure security?

Does the system encryptsensitive data?

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