The Australian POS software market is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 10% in the period between 2020 and 2024.
Modern companies use this technology for a range of tasks. Retail POS software is essential to any business that sells products in person and it can perform various processes. Along with POS systems, this will allow your workers to sell products or services to customers.
So what is POS software, and why is it important to businesses today? Keep reading to find out.
What Is Retail POS Software?
POS (point of sale) software is a type of retail management software that businesses can use to process and manage in-person transactions. Staff in a retail store can use it to find products, create orders, and accept payments.
Several tools come with POS software, such as:
- Inventory management
- Sales reporting
- Integrated loyalty programs
There are various types of small business POS software. Many of the most popular examples allow merchants to sell both in-person and online. As different software has different features, it’s important to consider your needs to decide on the best solution for your business.
The Difference Between POS Software and POS Systems
People often confuse POS software and POS systems, but they’re not quite the same. POS software is an operating system that can operate on various devices. A device that has POS software installed on it is considered a POS system.
A typical retail POS system would be a tablet or a card reader, for example. It’s whatever device your employees use to make sales, check inventory, accept payments, etc.
Benefits of POS Software
POS software offers a range of benefits to retailers. This is even more true if your business sells both in-person and online.
Manage Inventory in One Place
Inventory management is one of the most important aspects of a retail business. Many businesses choose to use an API (application program interface) to share inventory data between separate systems for in-store use and online sales.
APIs are generally built by third parties, which means they don’t come from the companies that provide your POS software or your e-commerce platform. They don’t always share data in real-time, which can make them unreliable. Using POS software can ensure all inventory is managed in one place for both online and in-store sales.
See Online and Store Reporting
As with inventory management, you can also see all reports in one place. This gives you a better, clearer view of your business as a whole.
With POS software you can view information on all of the sales throughout your business. Various filters allow you to get insights into different types of products so you can see what’s doing well and what isn’t.
Complete View of Customers
If your e-commerce platforms and POS systems are connected you can effectively track, manage, collect, and use customer data. You may be able to look at things like a customer’s purchase history to see how long they’ve been a customer, how many purchases they’ve made, etc.
Being able to quickly gather these customer insights will make it easier for you to improve your customer service as well as your marketing. You can develop more catered marketing strategies, and your workers can better serve customers based on their profiles.
Improve In-Store Sales
As you’re able to better serve customers, you’ll be able to generate more sales. POS software can make suggestions for accompanying products based on what a customer is buying.
POS software can also help with lost opportunities, making it easier to turn them into sales. One way it can do this is by letting your employees send follow-up emails to online shoppers if they have items in their basket but don’t make a purchase. This can help encourage customers to come back and finish the buying process.
Accept In-Person Payments
One of the more basic functions of POS software is that it makes in-person transactions incredibly easy. It can accept payments in a range of forms such as:
- Magstripe credit cards
- Chip cards
- Contactless Payments
- Gift cards
- Card-not-present transactions
This gives customers a range of payment options to choose from, reducing limitations. Modern POS software allows for mobile payment processing. This means that customers can make purchases in a range of locations and you’re not restricted to just your retail store.
Important Features of POS Software
When looking at POS software, there are a lot of options available. There’s a range of features that you can look for which can be beneficial to your business. Depending on your requirements, you should look out for these features to find the ideal solution:
- Inventory management
- Useful integrations
- Analytics & reporting
- Barcode scanning & printing
- Flexible payment & returns
- User accounts & permissions
- Customer management
There are various other features that certain POS software solutions may offer.
What Devices Does POS Software Run On?
You can choose from a range of devices to run your POS software. Depending on the nature of your business, some options may prove incredibly useful.
Tablets and other portable devices can be incredibly useful if you want to make sales in less conventional locations such as events or festivals. Your workers can carry these around to help find products or process sales.
These days, being able to accept card payments is crucial. Having card readers that accept contactless payments, chip cards, and magstripe cards is ideal.
Some customers may prefer to use cash, so you want to be able to facilitate this. POS software can track cash transactions throughout the day so that you can balance the cash draw at the end of the day with ease.
Email receipts are becoming more common, but you should still be able to print paper receipts. Your POS software can print out receipts with purchase details in case the customer needs them.
Bar Code Scanners
Bar code scanners are essential at a till to scan products and add them to a customer’s purchase. They can also be used for stock checks.
Finding the Right Retail POS Software
With so many options available, it can be difficult to find the right retail POS software solution for your business. At Tower Systems we develop POS software for small businesses and have been doing so for 20 years.
We can discuss your needs with you to create a solution that’s ideal for your business. To get a better idea of what we do you can click here and book a free demo.