What is POS Software? How Much Does A POS System Cost?

POS system

31 October 2019

What is POS Software? How Much Does A POS System Cost?

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Janice E. Harrison

POS (point of sale) is software that businesses use to carry out transactions. You can think of it as a more advanced version of the cash register with a computer or tablet. With the help of POS software, cashiers can efficiently make a record of items, and tally the overall cost of goods. Business owners benefit from the POS system to enhance operational efficiency. The integration of software with different accounting apps, databases, or eCommerce platforms offers more flexibility and ease of doing business. A regular POS System cost might differ depending on the type of business you are in or how much control you wish to have over your operations.

Types of POS Software 

POS software does more than just conducting sales. Advanced POS software with useful features can track inventory, sales, provide analytics, and reporting for customer and employee management. Additionally, the POS system comes in a wide variety of options, from processors to cloud-based systems. Based on different business requirements, there are different POS software available. In general, there exist three different types of POS systems. The first one is Mobile POS. Most business owners use the Mobile POS mainly for processing payments. However, you can benefit from other functions of Mobile POS, including inventory tracking. It is best suited for small businesses that want affordable, simple operation and setup. 

The second type of POS system is Terminal POS. While using Terminal POS, you can get both hardware and software-based systems. Because it is reasonably priced and functions flexibly, Terminal POS is the most demanded POS system. The last POS software on our list is the Cloud-based POS. This type of POS system provides the most flexibility for its users. You can use it with your existing hardware, including a tablet, printer, and computer. 

A Short History of POS Software

Understanding what POS stands for can explain a lot about what it does. The keywords “point-of-sale” are self-explanatory; it is something over which transactions take place. In other words, it processes transactions for goods sold, and monies received. The first graphical and commercially available POS system was launched in 1986. It contained a colored touch screen, and numerous restaurants installed that POS software in the USA. IBM introduced its real-time multi-user and multitasking operating system in the same year. However, the first modern POS software came out in 1992, which was available on the Windows platform. 

Today, because of the demands of various businesses, POS software has become one of the most complicated and advanced systems. Initially, POS software was available only for retail, hospitality, and wholesale industries. Therefore, other than managing sales, the POS software included other useful functionalities for businesses, including stock counting, purchase orders, inventory counting, customer loyalty, reporting tools, and more. 

Today we can see POS software in every business. From healthcare management to ticketing offices or equipment repair shops, POS system are frequently used as a means to transact businesses. Its capabilities and features have expanded to fit every business. As you can see, the POS software has become the main component of a functionally independent company. POS systems should, therefore, provide reliable transactions, high and durable operating speed, rich functionality, and remote supportability to meet the demands of various groups of users. 

Two Significant Components of the POS System

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While using your POS system, you will have two major POS system components, which are the software and hardware. As you would guess, hardware components are physical machines. They can contain a cash register connected to a PC or server. Or it can be a cloud-based system linked to your tablet. Also, you may need additional necessary pieces of equipment based on your business requirements. For example, you could have a receipt printer, cash drawer, or barcode reader.

The second part of the POS system is the software component. The hardware of each POS system stores information and manages it within the database. However, the features of the software component depend on the business type and the requirements of your business. Some software components contain general features. Yet others are more niche-based, depending on the type of transactions carried out. 

The software keeps track of day to sales and manages how many items have been sold. At any point, if you need details of transactions carried out, you can get weekly, monthly, or yearly reports without worrying about the accuracy of numbers. The POS software can be connected to accounting systems to get detailed financial reports. Getting error-free tax reports is also possible with POS software. But the most beneficial feature of your software is employee management. Your POS system can manage log in or log out times of your employees. Additionally, you can track the hours your employees have tendered work. 

Based on your requirements, POS software provides a wide variety of functionalities to complete the daily operations in a more simplified manner. 

What Are the Benefits of POS Software?

The POS system is the workhorse of any business. Therefore, we should mention the many benefits it provides for your business. Above all, with the help of POS software, you can accurately manage day-to-day transactions. Activities like selling, money received, name and type of products sold, details of any offer at-hand, and more; can all be handled together without the possibilities of calculation errors. It lets you record transactions, analyze sales, and accurately manage inventory all in one software. 

Another essential feature of the POS system is that it stores and analyzes data round the clock. Without an analysis tool, your data is just a bunch of unrelated figures which serve no purpose. However, POS software offers you analytical tools to extract relevant and useful information from the database. You can follow trends, identify your strengths and weaknesses, and provide solutions for problems. As you can see, the analytic features of your POS software can drastically help in improving business efficiencies. 

Analytics is just one of the many useful features of POS software. While using the software, you will network with other terminals. It will be easy to manage sales only using a single platform. The POS software will also let users communicate with other terminals so that you will be able to track operations using one platform. It is an excellent feature that helps keep your data secure. 

The POS system price is another essential factor for business owners. With all the features of POS software, the overall POS system cost will still be much lower compared to other apps and software available in the market. 

What Advantages Can You Get from POS Software?

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There are many advantages the POS software can give a business. To summarize, they can be put into three words: accuracy, consistency, and efficiency. Your personnel who enters each transaction manually can make mistakes easily. On the other hand, the POS system works with high efficiency because the system uses a barcode reader.

Additionally, adding each transaction takes uptime, which is around nine seconds. However, it takes only 0.3 seconds to input the sale for the POS barcode reader. It is evident that while using POS software, you get efficiency in business operations and do not lose additional time for inputting transactions. 

If you switch to POS software, you will process the transactions faster and as a result, will serve more customers. It is just a single area where your POS software could impact. The second advantage is accuracy. As we mentioned earlier POS software allow you to track the activity of your employees, manage inventory, get sales report, identify trends, and complete many other activities. You manage to complete all these tasks with high accuracy. The accuracy of POS software is that it offers you the automation of tasks. Also, the software prevents employee theft because every person in your business knows that the system tracks each step. 

The third advantage of POS software is consistency. One of the challenges for most businesses is to have consistent pricing of products in every store. POS software will allow you to achieve this type of consistency by providing a product database. You can modify prices easily or apply changes to the POS system cost. The flexibility offered by POS software will help you to make sure that all your customers get the same amount in all stores. 

Features of POS software

Before moving to the cost of POS software, we would like to mention several features you could get from the POS software. Your software should contain these features. But you need to understand the requirements of your business and decide on features based on these requirements, having all the features in one POS software will not help you. You need to figure out how you are going to benefit from those features. Firstly, we want to mention the inventory tracking feature. This feature might be one of the most useful ones for all kinds of business. It helps the owner does decide whether the store is running out of the product. 

The second useful feature you could get from the POS software is sales reporting. From collected raw data, you can get helpful information about product sales, revenue rates Ior about return on investment. As a result, you will quickly decide which products need marketing effort. Customer and employee management are other beneficial features for all kinds of business types. Your POS software saves the purchase history of the customers. By accessing customer data, you can decide on valuable customers. On the other hand, having employee data will allow you to manage them efficiently. 

If you have cloud-based POS software, you will have mobile access to sales data whenever you want. If you have an internet connection, all the business data will be accessible to you. It provides more flexibility as you can manage your business from outside of your business location. Finally, we want to mention about integration feature. The POS software you will use should have the capability to integrate your current apps. It should not prevent you from managing other tasks within your network. At the same time, your POS software should blend with the existing hardware components. 

POS System Cost for your business

POS system cost

The cost of the POS software could vary based on your business requirements. Some essential software options could cost you hundreds of dollars. Yet do not expect lots of features from those POS systems. At the same time, there exist more advanced and more expensive POS software that offers you more flexibility and useful features. The POS system price changes based on several factors. It includes features, and whether you will have cloud-based POS or not. The flexibility of POS software is another factor that impacts the POS system cost. If the POS software is flexible enough to integrate with your existing software and hardware components, then the price will be higher.

If it is the first time you are ordering POS software, you should be ready to pay the sizable amount for the POS system. Especially if you need POS terminals, the price can be higher. Fortunately, software components are cheaper today. We want to mention several features in detail, which will affect the POS system cost.

Size of Your Business 

The size of your business has a significant impact on the POS system cost. Each additional location and register will require an extra purchase from you. A small kiosk or store which does not plan to expand may not even need to pay any purchase for the POS software. There are many free POS software options you could use. But if you have more than one store or location, you will probably need to purchase the POS software. 

Amount of Features

As we have mentioned, features are other factors that impact the POS system price. If you want to get more features, then you will pay more money. But before purchasing the POS software, try to figure out what features your POS should contain.

Quality of Features

The number of features is not the only thing that affects the POS system cost. The quality of those features also plays an essential role. Most POS systems offer customers analytical features. However, some policies provide more advanced analytical tools to help you with decision making. Generally, those features are beneficial for large business operations. If you want those kinds of advanced features, the POS system cost will be higher. 

Type of Industry

Each industry requires different types of POS systems. For example, restaurants and retail are the industries that need their own POS systems. But other niche businesses have their specialized POS software that meets their specific requirements. If your industry is one of the biggest ones like retail, you might need to get advanced POS software with many features. 

Potential of Expansion

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Do you have five years of the plan for your business? If you want to open new locations, you need to choose your POS vendor carefully. Of course, you can always change your POS software. However, choosing the best one, in the beginning, will help you to save money and time.

POS System Cost

If your POS software is cloud-based, then you will not need to pay for additional IT employees to fix bugs and errors. You will only pay the monthly or annual payment for the usage of the software. Most of the vendors consider three main factors while deciding on the POS system cost. These are the size of your business, your industry, and the features you require. If you run a company with a single location, the POS system cost could vary between $50 and $100 per month. However, if you have a large business with more than one place, the POS prices will change between $100 and $300 per month. 

Is POS Software for You?

If you sell products or services, then POS software is the main requirement of your business. As you have learned from this article, POS systems do more than processing sales and business transactions. The software will help you to manage business operations more efficiently. As a result, you will save time, money, resources, which in the end will increase the sales and grow your business. POS system cost is something you will have to take time to consider. With the help of advanced software, running your business will become easier. 

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