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Point of Sale is a place where sales are conducted. It is referred to the place of physical cash registers, where money changes hand in return of goods and services. Transactions take place at the point of sale. Traditional point of sales was physical market places but the modern day point of sale includes virtual markets as well. These are smart phones, tablets, laptops and desktops. The POS systems are customized according to the business requirements and customer needs. A retail store Point of Sale should have scales for measurements and cash drawers and receipt printers, whereas there is no use of scales in bars and restaurants. Bars and restaurants should customize the item sold when a person orders a special drink or meal. The modern day POS systemall the verticals like financial, warehousing and inventories in one system only whereas traditionally they were considered independent and manually and independently performed.
Cloud computing has given birth to Point of Sale as Software as a Service. It can be accessed from the internet using internet browser wherever there is internet connection. Cloud based Point of sale system have many advantages over traditional Point of Sale systems. There is instant centralization of data and the ability to access data from anywhere wherever there is internet connection. Cloud based Point of sale systems has lower costs as well. Earlier Point of Sale systems were restricted to physical locations and market places but cloud base point of sale systems has expanded POS systems to mobile devices as well. The cloud base POS systems are independent of platform and operating system limitations. They are made compatible with a wide range of hardware. In cloud based POS system, the user data including sales and inventory data are not stored locally but are stored in remote servers and the system does not run locally as well so there is no requirement of installation.
Cloud based POS are used as checkout systems as well. They reduce the risk and fraud occurring in traditional checkouts and payments. These checkout systems require the following checkout hardware:
- Cash drawer
- Receipt printer
- Credit card reader
- PIN pad
- Bar code scanner
The checkout system is now faster and more efficient because of cloud based POS system. The checkout system using cloud based POS is expensive and include its own transaction cost so it is often recommended to invest in cloud based POS checkout system only if the annual revenue generated is more than the threshold revenue level.
Concluding, the POS system offers various options for customization, convenience, mobility, optimization of space at a lower cost as well as real time data to boost sales and aid management in better decision making. For instance an analysis of the sales by hour would look out of sorts if one employee was frequently not registering sales in comparison to their co-workers who were frequently registering sales. The system containing accurate supervision, analysis of real time reports and management could, decreases the risk of theft also.