The answer to this question depends on who’s asking. A Point-of-Sale (POS) system can be invaluable to certain types of merchants, and is a “must have” in certain retail/restaurant industries. However, many businesses will have little to no use for a POS, since they aren’t customer-facing or they don’t have fast-moving inventory levels. Every business has different needs, so it’s hard to make blanket statements about what you’ll want to invest in. But, here are a few common factors to keep in mind when considering a POS:
- Will you be tracking inventory, or will you have the need to scan product barcodes? If the answer to this question is “yes” then you may wish to consider using a POS. By scanning products and managing your inventory levels, you can save time and money by ensuring you have the products you need stocked when you are running low. But if you only sell a few products per month or track your inventory manually, this may not be a necessary feature.
- Do you have fast moving lines and customizable products? Having a POS can help speed your lines up and can also make complicated orders easy to input. For example, a frozen-yogurt shop can easily have employees edit the toppings on an order, split the tab between two people, and have them both sign the screen within a matter of seconds. A properly setup POS can really help speed your line up and minimize employee input time. But if your business doesn’t cater to long lines, this may not at all be necessary.
- Do you have many employees handling transactions? POS systems can really help you manage your employees. Allow your employees to clock in/out right from the POS. Track down which employee ran a specific sale at a later date. Restrict specific actions by certain employees. All of these situations are possible with a POS, but not with a standard terminal. If your employees will be handling sensitive payment information, it may be best to use a POS.
As you can see, deciding on a POS system will be a different process for each business. Many business types simply don’t require the above functionality. If your business sells a service, high-end product, or takes orders over the phone then a POS system simply won’t make sense. You’ll do better off with a standalone terminal, and you’ll save on the monthly fee of a POS system. But if you think a POS system is something your business can benefit from, we highly recommend Clover Mini.