Retail POS Software Simplified
Retail POS software is designed to enhance the efficiency of the sales process and make it simpler to take care
of customers at the point of sale.
Contrary to what some business owners believe, retail POS programs are beneficial not only for major
establishments but also for small and mid size businesses that can streamline their sales processes through their
So, if you would like to purchase a program to meet the sales requirement of your company, here is a look at the
different types of retail POS software and what you should look for when buying one.
Types of Retail POS Applications
Retail POS systems can be classified into two broad categories; hospitality and retail.
The growing breed of retail software is designed to cater to the needs of specific industries. The next
classification is done on the basis of the software and hardware used. Then, there are the myriad accessories that
can be used with the point of sale system to expand its functionality.
Data can be entered into the system with either the standard keyboard which is inexpensive albeit prone to
errors or hardware such as a wireless barcode scanner, or
touch screen LCD monitors, etc. can be used for this purpose.
Handheld devices can further augment the efficiency of the system by helping to distribute the information
required to make the sale. Finally, an integrated credit card reader can be used to accept payments; alternatively,
a business owner might also consider using a computerized cash drawer.
Retail POS software systems vary from each other like any other class of database software; however, there is
degree of commonality on certain key features. For instance, a non technical manager should be able to conveniently
use the program for different product mixes and price ranges.
Another essential feature is cash flow monitoring which should integrate with the accounting program, tax
reporting as well as credit card merchant systems. The user interface is the third vital feature;
it should be modifiable, so that it can be used effectively and easily even by an entry level employee.
When purchasing a retail POS system, the obvious and primary choice is between the type of program that you need
based on the industry that you operate in. It would be futile and cumbersome to choose a retail system for a
hospitality business when operating in the retail sector.
You will also need to decide on the platform that the system operates on; both Windows and Mac based programs
are available. While Windows based systems are easy to use; they are also prone to errors and failure. On the other
hand, Mac systems will need a little getting used to; however, they are more resilient than their window based
Look at the specific features of the product vis à vis the requirements of your business. For instance, try to
analyze if you need inventory tracking, customer data collection, business profit tracking etc in the
The next step is to choose accessories that suit the demands of your business. The type of accessories that you
choose will have a direct bearing on the cost of the system; for example, programs that use touch screen monitors
will cost you considerably more than those that require regular CRT monitors.
Finally, look at the warranty and service offered with the system. You will find that most reputable
manufacturers will be happy to provide 24/7 phone and internet support, to sort any technical issues that you may