An efficient Point of Sale (POS) system is central to the daily operations of any business. POS systems enable smooth trading by accurately totalling customer purchases. Costs can be relayed to the customer and payment options provided to complete the transaction. Traditionally, Point of Sale systems included hardware, like a cash register or till, combined with software which recorded the financial transactions of the store – but POS systems have undergone important and exciting changes in recent years.
In an era of fast-moving trends, SMEs are adapting to integrated, adaptable POS systems which can be accessed from anywhere, allowing the smooth transfer and analysis of financial and inventory information. Let’s unwrap how POS systems have evolved over the years and how having a modern POS can enhance your business.
Cash registers, once so much a part of stores like Selfridges in the 1800’s paved the way for the inclusion of paper invoices in the 50’s and 60’s and in the 1970’s IBM debuted the first computer-driven cash registers. These screen-based systems were just for show, as there wasn’t any real processing power behind the systems. From here, newer, adapted technologies were introduced in the 1980s – such as standalone credit card machines. These changes helped to make POS processing easier for both the customer and business owner.
In the 1990s, bar coded items -which could be scanned into software systems- made traditional price tags obsolete. From 2000 onwards retail POS Systems became even more powerful with the focus on integrated software that could track and manage inventory, create detailed financial reports and include payroll modules and mobile POS systems.
Cloud POS vs Traditional POS Systems
Point of Sale technology took an even greater leap forward in 2002 when cloud-based POS systems made their first appearance. Now, transactions could be processed through a remote cloud service and data could be stored online. POS data could be accessed directly using a wi-fi connection.
The secure nature of Cloud POS reduces the risk of losing access to data or having your data compromised. The Cloud is generally compatible with already existing POS hardware, meaning there are no limitations to integrating cloud-based POS systems.
Unlike traditional POS systems that operate independently, cloud-based POS systems allow any internet-enabled device to access data. This includes smart phones, tablets and monitor-based cashiers using a web browser – and that’s not all.
The future of POS
Cloud-based POS systems include customisable features that can be adaped to suit individual business needs. Modern POS combines e-commerce, POS, and order management functionalities in one cloud-based platform. This ability to smoothly integrate a range of business functions is
an exciting feature of modern POS. When used alongside cloud-based platforms mobile POS is predicted to replace traditional POS systems in many retail concerns. Mobile, iPad and even smart watch payments mean payments in the future will be integrated with web-based payment options that can be executed just about anywhere.