A point of sale (POS) refers to a technical system used in a retail business or stores to conduct the purchase of physical goods. It processes out all orders and bills of customers. It comprises the hardware and software units for easy pricing. Some of the POS system units include; a keyboard or touchscreen to select and enter data, display unit to illustrate the billing, and a barcode scanner to scan all goods that have been bought. It also has a cash register that stores all cash paid for the products and a software system that completes the whole process.
Typical Hardware Options
POS contains the hardware and software system that helps it run efficiently. The hardware comprises of the barcode reader and the display unit. The barcode reader scans the product, and the display unit views the transaction by showing it on the screen. One may also consider installing the Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) to back up the system in case there is no power to prevent loss of data. Some POS may be connected to the internet, especially the cloud-based POS. An iPad POS has the Primaseller that has a digital camera that scans the product, sums the payments, and consolidates all the POS into one. The hardware is also connected to the printer that prints all receipts. It can also generate product promotions to customers.
POS Software options available today
Generally, the software system differs depending on the type of software in operation. The Cloud-based software is easy to learn and helps the user to integrate all information in the database systems. Besides that, it can be accessed from any place in the world, thus not restricting the user. The native POS is obtained from the service provider, who teaches the operator how it works. It is commonly used in places where internet connectivity is poor
However, it is system-specific to the installed device and redundant. The software system should be able to record and analyze all information on sales to help operators to make decisions on the inventories of their business. It should be able to manage all data concerning both customers and employees by improving market tools for customers and evaluating employee performance.
Point of sale in todays business environments
POS systems can be used both in small scale business and large-scale companies. This depends on the type of goods and services offered by the industry. Mobile Point of Sale system is used to process and manage inventory and customer data by small businesses. The mPOS can generate a receipt or email it to the customer. Thus, its printer is inbuilt, and the POS is portable. It is mainly preferred by street vendors, event vendors, farmers market vendors, and mobile sellers.
The Tablet or iPad POS is the most popular system used currently. The tablet POS can be offered free, or some require credit on subscriptions. They can back up hardware components like the barcode readers and cash drawers. The tablet POS can manage both simple and complex applications depending on the ability of the software. Small retail stores, coffee shops, and quick-service restaurants use this type of POS system.
The most commonly POS that is used in large scale businesses is the terminal POS. This system is located at one end of the enterprise and uses the cloud-based software. It is commonly used in busy retails, boutiques, and full-service businesses.
The online point-of-sale is preferred by the high-ticket retailers, salons, and small cafes because of its minimal startup costs. It is also not restricted to any place but can be conducted from any location.
Finally, the self- service kiosk POS is specialized to perform a specific task. For instance, business people operating films can use it to allow their customers to purchase movie tickets. It is also widely used in large scale enterprises to enable customers to check the prices of goods and available products before purchase.
Modern POS are of significant influence on many businesses compared to the traditional systems. Integrated POS enhances the easy control of inventories as a single entity in all locations of the enterprise. It automatically updates and tracks inventory data based on online and offline modes.
Cloud-based software which can be operated in any device as long as it is installed helps the manager to access Online QuickBooks and transmit receipts from all channels to one site. The POS system of today has also enhanced both customer and employee informational data.
Customer data helps the manager to keep in touch with the customers’ buying preferences and experience. The system improves employee performance through evaluation and guides the employer on how to assign them responsibilities. Finally, it generates a centralized digital product catalog that is easily accessible to the customers and cashier, especially at the point of sale and checkout.
How to calculate POS system pricing
The cost of the ShopKeep system depends on some factors like; the size of the business and products to be sold. The business manager should also check on the terminals needed and the location of the business. The features of the enterprise should be in line with both the software and hardware characteristics of the POS. The type of industry the business is also based on the cost of the hardware system.
Currently, many enterprises use tablets to run POS software. The tablets and iPads bear a cost of $170-$300 depending on the type of model. Those who use touchscreen monitors when the registers are not portable are buy them at $160- $ 190 depending on the monitor resolutions. Card readers seem to be cheaper among all the hardware components. The square-based card readers can be purchased at $4.99 and cannot be used in another POS system. The cost of receipt printers ranges from $40- $60.
Many businesses whose POS can email the customer’s receipt do not require the printers to generate the receipts. The price of barcode scanners ranges from $50- $200. The type of scanner is determined mainly by the size of the enterprise. Generally, the cost of hardware in small startups business sums up to $920, medium scale enterprise’s hardware can be bought at $1400, and the Large-scale enterprises can acquire their hardware units at $5000.
How ShopKeep Plans and Pricing works
ShopKeep encounters many costs depending on the transaction fees, termination fees, and monthly minimums charged by the credit card processors. ShopKeep may also encounter charges on the hardware maintenance, especially on the purchase of compatible barcode readers, standard cash drawers, receipt printers, iPad stands, and card swipers. Managing directors of these enterprises should prefer transparent-priced accounts to help in ShopKeep services.
ShopKeep offers three plans; basic, essential, and advanced:
The Basic Plan is purchased at $69 monthly per register. This type of plan can be used by startups and can be useful in reducing other maintenance costs.
The Essential Plan is another type of ShopKeep plan that costs $99 per register. This type of plan offers more features for businesses that are more hospitality focused and therefore are popular for coffee shops and similar businesses that require a fast checkout solution.
Finally, The Advanced Plan is a complex plan that is mainly used in multi-locational businesses and also suitable for grocery and supermarket outlets. The cost of the plan is $199 monthly. Merchants who use this type of plan benefit from the unlimited number of registers that can be added on the software without extra monthly charges.
Additional Add-ons to Consider
POS software can run the business efficiently, especially when integrations and add-ons are added to the software. Merchants aim to grow each day of their business and improve their relations with their customers. This can be done by managing customer invoices and purchase orders.
ShopKeep can also enhance consumer needs and preferences through marketing and taking into consideration consumer suggestions. Consumer evaluations help the business to grow as more are attracted to the products of their choice. Online and offline businesses can both do this.
Email marketing is a powerful integration that improves the seller-buyer relationship. For instance, MailChimp helps one to create and design unique templates that are easily customizable and user-friendly. It can personalize the email to a specific person or collaborate with others for easy access. The add-ons like time zone, mobile access, clicks, purchase history, and subscribes improve the business.
The appreciative messages on email like ‘thank you, looking forward to hearing from you’ enhances customer loyalty and creates a sense of belonging, which offers the customer the priority of the company when buying products.
Accounting Software Integration
The right POS software enhanced with adds-on the accountant schemes maintains and protects the organization from liabilities. Integrated accounting properties that are aligned with the point of sale software provides clean and simple reports that will help the business to run smoothly. Some of the accounting solution software include; XERO, Sage50, and Quick Books.
QuickBooks is preferred because of its automatic downloads, categorizes, and reconciles credit transactions. This integration helps one to document all expenses and generate professional invoices that suit the business. It also allows one to control account operations from any place at any time with any device. Its inventory capacity adjusts product quantity and values automatically during sales. Generally, this accounting software is affordable, easy to learn, and appropriate due to its varied services.
Customer Loyalty programs
Loyalty and rewards programs are an integrated service that helps to improve customer relations with the merchant. For instance, AppCard is a simple add-on program to the POS that allows merchants to engage their customers through membership cards. AppCard can be used in mobile phones to send notifications, messages, digital receipts, and emails. This acts as a reminder to the customers, retain them, and attract new ones.
The loyalty program increases customer retention by 25%, and the rewards program attracts new customers as it increases the additional purchase of products by 33%. An appropriate loyalty program helps the merchant to predict the purchasing behavior of customers by collecting and analyzing product-based information. This enables one to understand business trends and find productive strategies to promote the business.
ShopKeep POS vs Toast POS
ShopKeep POS is a revolutionized system that helps merchants to analyze and run the business on a portable iPad with cloud-based registers. It generates updated inventory, sales, and customer records that enhance the performance of the company. Toast, which is commonly used by restaurants, reduces costs, and engages customers. It opens the scope of operation for restaurants and enterprise franchises by incorporating the Android-based POS, which enhances efficient services through new and innovative ideas.
The pricing charges for both ShopKeep and Toast are almost the same because they have a difference of $1; ShopKeep POS price starts at $49 while the Toast POS begins from $50. ShopKeep software enhances reliable pre-sales that supports the system to run effectively and make the right decisions. Its Back-office system increases its accessibility via many devices to import and export data, manage inventories and transactions.
However, Toast software has inadequate financial reporting techniques. The Toast system does not redeem the online orders of physical and electronic gifts. This inconveniences many customers and may limit their purchase. Toast has a complicated online ordering schedule, unlike ShopKeep, which is convenient and easy to learn even through online orders.
ShopKeep POS is affordable software that can be used both by startups and small business enterprises to ease the operation of its activities. The monthly subscriptions to other business software like QuickBooks or MailChimp are cheaper and affordable to many, especially those who use the cloud-based POS system. The standard price of ShopKeep, which is $69 monthly, is affordable and less than the $30 of other software like Breadcrumb.
ShopKeep allows the manager to collect customer information, improve the total sales daily, generate reports, manage employee information, and all inventories from the interactive POS system. The software seems to be easy to learn and use, process transactions by uploading and editing spreadsheets. It can automatically generate orders and alert the user on other inventory data in the system. The software allows 24/7 service to customers and other business partners who prefer its services.
Its durability over a long time gives the manager the confidence to work and even predict future business trends. In conclusion, ShopKeep Software enforces the security of system-based data thus enhancing customers’ trust.