Retail POS

By: Alicia Pousa

Any software-based technology that facilitates a retail transaction is referred to as a retail point of sale (POS) system. It offers features including barcode scanning, purchase orders, and receipt printing. Analytics, sales reporting, and inventory management are included. By giving merchants customer relationship management (CRM) features, the software also aids in the development of customer connections.

For staff and consumers, retail POS software offers an intuitive solution that facilitates retail transactions in physical locations (stores, showrooms, etc.).

POS definition

For a product to be eligible for inclusion in the POS software category, it must:

  • Provide customers the option to pay in a variety of ways, including cash, credit or debit cards, etc.
  • Provide capabilities for safe data access and protection of delicate information like customer and credit card numbers.
  • Handle a variety of transactions, including exchanges, refunds, and cancellations of orders.
  • Access to data on items, stock, prices, or past transactions is provided.
  • Reporting and analytics should be used to keep track of order cancellations and returns as well as sales indications for each location.

What can a retail POS system do?

Retail staff members may quickly research items, make sales orders, take payments, and give receipts by using retail POS software. Customers benefit from shorter checkout lines and personnel are able to complete more transactions in less time. Customers can also be informed about the availability of products, their prices, etc. using POS software. Retail managers may also use this kind of software to keep an eye on sales and evaluate inventory or sales data like volume, quantity, or frequency. Some cutting-edge retail POS programs could additionally include tools for managing customer or inventory profiles.

Retail POS hardware

POS software is often placed on specialized hardware that has been manufactured and adapted for it. The key advantage of this kind of equipment is that it gives users a tactile screen that makes navigating easier. There are currently an expanding variety of cloud POS options for mobile devices like tablets or smartphones. Retail POS software interfaces with enterprise resource planning (ERP) or inventory management solutions to share data on items, with customer relationship management (CRM) to exchange customer information, or with other retail solutions like supply chain and logistics to provide the highest level of efficiency. Both POS and e-commerce software, which is only employed for online sales, should not be mistaken with one another.

Cash Register vs. POS System for Retail

Compared to a conventional cash register, a POS system has a number of benefits, including:

  • Compatibility with hardware: A POS system is adaptable and can easily interface with cash drawers, barcode scanners, and receipt printers.
  • Inventory tracking: A POS system may assist you in monitoring your stock levels and placing orders for more items as needed.
  • Employee management: A POS system may help you keep an eye on sales and the productivity of your staff.
  • Mobile payments: retail POS systems allow you to accept tap and QR code payments made using mobile devices.
  • Customer management: You can monitor a customer’s past purchases and send them specifically tailored marketing emails by using a POS system. As a result, you may increase revenue and provide better customer service.

A cash register is a straightforward tool for tallying purchases. As opposed to a POS system, it does not provide the same features and advantages. A POS system is the best option if you’re seeking for a more sophisticated approach to run your retail store.

How to choose the best retail POS system?

Each store POS system must have a few specific features. These crucial characteristics include:

  • Accepting mobile payments such as Apple Pay and Google Pay should be possible with a shop POS system.
  • Customer management: You should be able to construct customer profiles and keep track of their purchase history with a retail POS system. To promote client loyalty, this information may be utilized to send customized marketing emails.
  • Inventory management: Retail organizations must constantly monitor the items they have on hand. This procedure is made simpler by an inventory management POS system, which updates your inventory count when sales are made.
  • Hardware compatibility: A retail POS system has to work with several types of hardware, such as cash drawers, barcode scanners, and receipt printers.
  • Employee management: You should be able to add and remove employees from a retail POS system, as well as monitor employee sales. The performance of employees may be tracked using this data, and top performers can be recognized.

These are the key components that any retail POS system needs to have. There are a few more features, though, that some firms may find helpful.

Accounting software integration: Businesses who need to track sales and costs in one location may find it useful to use a retail POS system that interfaces with accounting software, such as QuickBooks.

Multi-location inventory: For companies with many locations, a POS system with multi-location inventory management functions might be useful. You may track inventory at each site and move merchandise between locations with this functionality.

Website integration: For firms that do both online and offline sales, a POS system that is integrated with your website might be useful. You may manage customers and inventory together with this functionality.

These are a few more features that some businesses could find beneficial. Unfortunately, not every company need these functionalities. It’s critical to pick a POS system with the capabilities your company needs.

Retail Point-of-Sale Systems price

Processing Fees for Payment

You may take credit and debit cards thanks to the payment processing service that is included with the majority of POS systems. 2.5% of the total sale plus a per-transaction fee of $0.10 to $0.30 are the usual payment processing costs.

You may avoid paying processing costs by using your own payment processor with some POS systems. Nonetheless, the POS software will normally need a monthly charge. These costs each month might be in the $50 to $100 range.


You might be able to use your existing PC or iPad as your POS terminal. In this scenario, just ancillary hardware, such a receipt printer and barcode scanner, would be required to be purchased. Prices for peripheral items might be between $100 and $500.

Depending on the sort of gear you want, POS hardware prices might change. A terminal, which contains a touchscreen display, CPU, and software, is the most popular kind of POS gear. Prices at the terminal might range from $200 to $2,000

Choose a POS app that doesn’t need any additional hardware if you intend to utilize a mobile device as your POS terminal. A portable credit card reader, which normally costs approximately $30, would be necessary, though.

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