point of sale systemThe POS system is without a doubt one of the most important parts of your entire operation. While customer satisfaction should be one of your primary concerns, your utmost goal when running a business is to make sure that you are actually making a profit. Is that always going to be easy? Absolutely not, but when you have a good set of POS equipment, the job gets considerably easier. What is the point of sale exactly? Why is it so important? The answer isn’t nearly as complicated as you think.

Understanding the Point of Sale

The Point of sale is literally the checkout location in the store where the customers wills can their items, and you will receive payment. Payment can be taken in many different forms, from cash, to credit, checks, and EBT cards if your store is authorized to handle them. The point of sale has become complicated in recent years, which necessitates the use of many different components in order to make a sale. These components can include:

POS Touch Screen Monitor

This is an item used on both sides of the counter, for both customers and for the worker managing the sale. The customer will use it to enter their information, whether it is a pin number or a signature, and the worker managing the sale will use it to ring up the transaction.

Point of Sale Receipt Printers

Once the transaction is completed, a receipt must be printed, and provided to the customer. There are several different types of receipt printers, some that even print coupons for the customer to use at a later date. The two primary types of receipt printers include:

•  Thermal Receipt Printers – These are much faster than the alternative, at about twenty lines per second. Additionally, they are quiet, and they work through direct contact on the thermal paper. Because of this, they do not require ink or toner, and are often considered to be more profitable.

•  Ink Receipt Printers – As expected, these use print heads that drop liquid ink onto the paper, and the greatest advantage is that they can print color logos, coupons, and generally appear to be higher quality. The downside is that while they might cost less initially, they make up the rest in ink expenditure.

POS Touch Screen MonitorBoth of these fulfill a different function, and some companies opt to use more than one at their point of sale.

Point of Sale Bill Counter

This is not often something that you will find at the typical retail store, but a bill counter is often used to count a stack of paper money, ensuring that the right amount is paid and that it is accurately counted. This eliminates mistakes and helps to streamline the process.

Point of Sale Magnetic Stripe Reader

More often than not, credit cards and debit cards are being used as the preferred form of payment and a magnetic stripe reader will serve to read the information from the card, and transmit that information through your point of sale system. As soon as this is done, a new process will be enacted in which the information will be verified by an off-site server, meaning that your point of sale system will need to be connected via a high speed internet connection. There was a time when dial up was acceptable, but as times change and technology moves forward, point of sale systems move into the future as well. The magnetic stripe reader for your POS system will need to accept different types of data storage, so keep that in mind.

Setting up a good point of sale system is without a doubt essential to your company, and with that being the case, you should consider all of the points we have made above, and more. It’s time to create a good POS system that will serve your customers well and keep you in business for the foreseeable future.