What is Point of Sale POS software?
Point of sale POS software is a combination of a billing, accounting and inventory management solution for retail, restaurants, supermarkets, hypermarket, small shops and medical stores. A point of sales software helps in billing, generating invoices and keeping track of the inventory. A POS software can be used with your computer, tablet or mobile. A POS machine is an electronic device which is used to process card payments. It includes a register screen, bar-code scanner, receipt printer, and credit card reader. All of these together make up a POS system.
Be it a retail store or a café owner, every business owner can use a POS software because of its efficiency and ease of use. Retail POS software is used to manage transactions and payments. It is a central component of the billing function of a business, and also helps in menu customization, employee management, customer management, stock handling, CRM, etc. Restaurant POS can do all of these plus it can also be used to split cheques and add tips. POS software is a great tool for any merchant who wants to streamline the business processes.
Who needs Point of Sale software?
Anyone with a brick and mortar shop and in the retail or F&B business, has a lot to gain with a POS system. From retailers who want to keep track of sales and purchases to restaurateurs who need a helping hand with customer relationship management, retail management software can assist with all these and more. Businesses can use a point of sale software for inventory tracking & management, account receivables, payments, feedback management, online ordering, etc.
Supermarkets, hypermarkets, small shops, grocery stores, restaurants, and businesses with a service to sell can use a POS software.
Why you need POS software?
Have ever come across a situation where your inventory count did not match the data in your system? Or perhaps, sales went unrecorded or checkout took a long time? If your answer to any one of these is a resounding yes, then you need a POS software solution.
The most basic reason you need a POS software for supermarket is to improve your store’s billing operations, generate invoices and checkout faster. Aside from these, you can use a POS system to maintain a comprehensive check on inventory, perform customer relationship management, and handle other-related functions. You can also use your POS software to accept debit and credit card payments. As per a survey, 44% customers prefer paying through debit card and 33% prefer paying with a credit card. POS software brings flexibility in processing routine transactions and solves everyday problems that are encountered in the business.
If you are facing issues in managing your multiple outlets with respect to stock management and inter-store transfers, a POS software for supermarket can help you out with its integrated franchise management feature. It allows you to manage your different outlets through a unified platform from a single location.
For restaurant owners, a restaurant POS software improves the kitchen and order management process. A POS software for restaurants sends orders to kitchens directly, without the need for manually writing tokens, and reduces chances of mistakes. Its inventory management module helps in keeping a track of stock items, consumption rates and stock to be ordered. In case of quick service restaurants, fast food joints and food trucks, a restaurant POS solution is preferred for quick order input and fast check out.
Modules in POS System
A POS system comes with the following modules to ease your work, increase efficiency and boost profit: -
- Inventory Management: The inventory management module of a POS software helps with stock handling, procurement and logistics, supply-chain, warehouse management, inter & intra warehouse transfers, stock planning and more. For stores that handle large volumes of FMCG products, this module is particularly useful to keep a hawk-eye view over their movement. Inventory management also helps in automating manual activities, that would require excess human resources. A POS software’s inventory management solutions simplify your tasks related to managing stock. Once product details are entered into the system, you can track their shelf movement anytime. And, rest assured knowing that in case of sale, the system will mark it sold for the future reference. Additionally, should stock volume be on the lower end, retailers will be reminded about placing orders for the respective items.
- Billing & Invoicing: Billing & invoicing, as the most important module of any POS billing software, helps with generating receipts & bills, calculations, financial record maintenance, marking products sold/exchanged, etc. Let’s assume your store sells 350 products. If you were to bill them manually, you open up the possibility of human errors. You could potentially miss marking a product as sold in your register or fail to account for certain sales which leads to financial turmoil at a later stage. With best POS billing & invoicing software, you eliminate that risk as every purchase, big or small, is registered into the system along with purchase history and stock status.Additionally, the billing & invoicing module assists with bookkeeping by maintaining detailed records of transactions, taxes and expenses. Different elements of accounting such as tax registry, ledger maintenance, dues tracker, and balance sheet maintenance, can be performed by the billing & accounting module. Most POS billing software payment solutions in India are GST-compliant, so your invoices are calculated and generated correctly. This prevents any discrepancy in your financial numbers.
- Sales Tracking & Reporting: When a customer walks into your store for the first time, POS machine is used to make a record of their personal information. This record contains the details of the said customer, their name, phone number, email id, address, purchase history, birth and anniversary date, etc. Based on these details, a retail store can communicate discounts, along with exclusive deals geared towards the customer. A POS terminal keeps comprehensive sales records that are accessible from any device. Sales records help businesses in understanding the status of their sales, products in demand, products that aren’t selling and the most popular day/time when customers purchase more. Additionally, this module works in tandem with the inventory management feature. Sales reports highlight the products that need to be purchased and the one’s that need to be cleared from the shelf.
- Employee Management: Employee management is a useful add-on module that helps businesses keep tabs on their employees. With this module, managers can track attendance and shift timings, and assign tasks to employees. If you run a hypermarket or a large-scale grocery store, this is a critical module for your use. Such stores tend to hire a large number of employees, and it can be tiring to manage them manually. With the employee management module of the best POS software, you can assign shifts to your employees, maintain time-sheet, and keep track of which employee is on leave or absent in real-time.
- CRM: Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is vital for any business. The goal of CRM is to keep customers happy and satisfied and eventually, turn them into loyal patrons. After all, happy customers lead to better word of mouth publicity and more sales, eventually. CRM module assists with the customer’s journey- Informing them about the happenings in your store and keeping them interested enough in your products & services. With the CRM module of top POS software, businesses can get customer feedback on what they like and what they dislike. Additionally, a CRM module helps in maintaining constant communication with the customer through promotional messages, emails and texts. This feature is also useful for building meaningful customer relationship by wishing them on birthdays, anniversaries and other important days. You might as well call your POS machine as loyalty management software.
- Analysis: The analysis module helps in customised report generation. These reports are made as per your requirement. It presents you with all the details in a synchronised form. Product wise sales and purchase analysis, stock and sales summary, stock ageing are some of the things covered under the analysis module. You can directly mail these reports if required. Also, you can export it to excel, PDF and other formats.
Types of POS Software
Since POS software is used in a variety of industry, there are several types of POS software available, target their specific needs.
- Retail POS Software: Getting a POS system is the most practical solution for streamlining the sales process through their point of sales transactions. With using cash register and handheld devices to process transactions, it makes the retail experience of a customer better. With the help of retail POS, you can interact with the customer instead of sitting at the register counter, and take payments from the customers from anywhere in the shop. A retail POS software is designed for the retail industry to ease out their business processes. It contains a computer, cash drawer, receipt printer and barcode scanner collectively known as the cash register. A retail POS also contains a debit and credit card reader as well. With the help of a retail POS software, you can:
- Manage faster billing at peak hours
- Get knowledge of what is present in the store and what isn’t
- Track and manage performance and analyse your sales with the help of system generated reports
- Integrate with latest retail technology
- Make use of CRM by pulling new shoppers to your store and retaining the existing ones with the help of loyalty programs
- Manage multiple stores
- Restaurant POS Software: Restaurant management software is used to make the activities happening in the restaurant easier. In a restaurant business, with the help of a mobile POS, the waiters can send the orders directly to the kitchen. The POS designed for a restaurant business also has a bill splitting feature, which makes it easier for the customers to pay their bills. With inventory management inside POS, you can track your ingredients and keep your kitchen stocked up with the essentials. You can:
- Track your sales and taxes
- Get a faster billing processes
- Control your inventory better with the help of POS
- Never go out of stock with your most used ingredients by using a restaurant POS
- Get regular KPI reports for quality reporting
- Menus can be set up and changed according to your needs
- Manage table reservations
- Get several marketing tools to help your business grow
- Accept card payments
- Run loyalty programs
- Spa Salon POS System: Whether you are self-employed or work for a dedicated lifestyle organisation, POS system is something you should definitely use. A spa salon POS system will provide you a lot of features. Some of them are:
- Track your appointments easily
- Accept gift cards and coupons from customer
- Upsell on the spot and collect payment
- Set up advance spa or salon appointments
- Improvised email marketing
- Run loyalty and reward programs efficiently
- Store before and after pictures of clients to use in the future
- Manage payroll and scheduling
- Point of sale machine: A POS machine includes barcode scanners, receipt printers, and chip and pin devices. You don’t have to update your inventory details every time, a POS machine will be able to update it automatically. A POS also helps to eliminate manual price checks, to track employee details and their performance and to record employee schedule and work hours. With all these benefits, electronic POS requires regular updates to function according to the industry standards.
- POS in Banking: In banking, POS enables the bank to acquire transactions from merchant POS terminals and route these to the appropriate card network. POS Software tools can provide a web-based portal to review and monitor transactions as well. You can:
- Get instant access to account information
- Enables provides services like cash and cheque deposit on the POS terminal, bill payment, refund, etc.
- Allows you to have more security and end-to-end protection
- Monitor every POS activity remotely
- Cloud Based POS System: Cloud-based POS is a web-based Software-as-a-system solution (SaaS) solution that doesn’t store your data on the local device, but on the cloud. You can retrieve data, process payments, and get automatic updates with the help of the internet. You can also access your data from anywhere through the internet. A cloud POS system also provides advanced analytics which can help you to make better business decisions. There is no need to pay additionally for maintenance as a cloud POS system has the feature of Automatic upgrades and data backups.
- Mobile POS System (mPOS): With the number of mobile devices increasing every day, a mobile POS comes in handy for both the users and the business owners as it is a platform will does not even require an investment from the business owner. All they just have to do is download a payment app. With the help of mPOS, you can do a variety of things:
- You can access the information about your inventory anytime anywhere
- You can increase your sales by interacting with the customers with the help of mPOS
- Because of its mobility, it is extremely easy to use
- You can access customer data
- You can have a variety of payment methods which helps the customers to make payments easily
POS Software Features
A POS system simplifies your task of billing, accounting, reporting, inventory management, etc because of the following features: -
- Ease of Product transfer: POS software has modules that allow you to transfer goods from warehouse to stores and between warehouses. Specifically, it is useful for stores with multiple outlets and warehouses. This feature lets businesses keep their stock level across locations balanced and steady. If one outlet has more demand for a product than another, you can use retail POS to identify the stock and prompt the logistics team to move stock across location.
- Report generation: Every POS system comes with a report generating feature. It helps in generating quick and precise report, customised to your need. Reports can be generated on product basis, customer basis, category basis, etc. Best POS software retail ERP offers preprogramed templates for reports. However, you can always modify them as per your requirement. For instance, let’s say that you have generated purchase report which has grids like product name, quantity purchased, purchase order number. However, if you want ‘quantity left’ and ‘product sold volume’ to be part of it, you can always do that.
- Customer data: A POS printer software contains all the data related to a customer- Name, contact number, address, etc. And you can use as the customer information to know which products are demanded more by a particular customer. How frequently does the customer make purchases? What is their average purchase value? You can have this information for all your customers and accordingly, you can build a loyalty program.
- Auto purchase order: Retail POS technology is here to simplify your work and lift the burden off your shoulders. One such small stuff is keeping a track of your stock. If an item is running low and is in demand, the POS software will prompt you to replenish its volume immediately. POS machine will not only notify you about the same but also help you in sending purchase orders pronto.
- Data Security & Backup: A POS software provides users with the ability to create a backup of their data. This backup is stored either on a remote server or within the business premises (depending on user’s preference). With data backup, you don’t have to worry about losing critical information of your business, as come hail or drought, your data will stay secure. Additionally, retail POS software is designed in line with modern security and encryption technology. It ensures that prying or snooping eyes don’t get access to your valuable personal information. Additionally, the possibility of getting hacked or locked out of your system is significantly reduced.
- Cloud-Based Pos System Solution: Most POS are available as a cloud solution. While on-premise versions are also available, there are significant advantages of a cloud-based solution. A cloud-based POS solution removes the need of keeping physical servers in your office and ensures that data isn’t lost in case of property damage. Cloud services are also heavily encrypted and secured, ensuring complete data protection.
Advantages of POS Software
Here are those advantages of best POS software in India which make businesses of all types and sizes rely on them: -
- Improves Sales Number: With a Point of Sale software, you can effortlessly find out your sales’ numbers and understand what’s selling more and what isn’t selling as expected. Accordingly, you can take steps to market these products.
- Creates smarter inventory: POS tool informs you of the products with most sales, best shelf-life and those which are popular among your customers. You can use this information to stock up on top-performing products and eliminate/reduce the volume of under-performing items. This helps in creating an inventory that pays off in the long run, and maximizes the usage of your storage space.
- Faster checkout: A well-built and feature enriched retail management software will ensure that the checkout process is simple and quick. All product details are available on the POS system screen by simply scanning the product via barcode reader and payment is received in a hassle-free manner via multiple payment modes. The whole process is fastened by the POS system and customers are happier than ever, as they don’t have to wait in long queues. Manual work is not required to complete the checkout process.
- Eliminates human error: A manual system runs the risk of human made errors. Cashier can forget to write down sales details into the register, accidentally bill the wrong product, assign the wrong MRP to a product, etc. With a POS machine, the entire billing and bookkeeping process is machine based. There is absolutely no room for any human error.
- Improves efficiency: Retail owners work on tight margins. There is a lot to manage in stores and in the warehouse. Using manual methods to keep track of records become difficult with time. Tedious tasks such as stock management and sales reporting consume so much time that opportunities to grow business are often missed. However, a POS terminal automates these mundane tasks, leaving you with ample time to focus on those areas that will generate extra revenue in the business.
- Quick service: Do you like standing in those long queues in supermarkets? Of course not, no one does. A POS printer software breaks long queues by replacing manually- handled cash registers with an efficient machine-run billing system. Simply put, products are scanned through barcode scanner and all details appear on the screen. In fact, if there is any discount or scheme going on with that product, it’s automatically picked up by the software and applied to the bill. All a cashier needs to do is press a few buttons, receive the payment and hand over the bill to the customer.
- Detailed invoice: Complete details related to the product are already there in the system. Unlike earlier times when invoices were generated manually, only date, product name, number and price used to be there on the bill. However, now all those details that are there in the system related to a product are printed on the invoice. Complete product information including name, price, discount, item description is clearly mentioned in the receipt.
FAQs of Pos Software
Q. Am I required to purchase IT infrastructure to use POS software?
A. No, you don’t have to buy new IT infrastructure to use a POS system. POS can be used with a Windows or Mac powered computer device with absolute ease. You can also integrate and use it with tablets and smartphones and use a POS app.
Q. What should be the employee-strength of my business to use POS software in India?
A. There’s no minimum or maximum number of employees required to use POS software. Even a kirana store with two employees stand to gain a lot using a POS retail software.
Q. Cloud vs On-Premise: Which POS software model should I get?
A. That’s a decision only you can make, as it’s dependent on your requirement. An on-premise model is suited to businesses with the capability to house IT servers and infrastructure, and with a dedicated IT team. Cloud model is for those without a dedicated IT team or the requisite infrastructure. Having an on-premise POS can be a bit costly, since it entails infrastructure purchase on top of license purchase & maintenance cost. A cloud model offers the ability to pay for license without the added cost of infrastructure procurement.
Q. How difficult is it to integrate a POS software with my existing computers?
A. Not at all. POS software can be integrated with absolute ease, with your existing system. It can also work in tandem with other software, even though you won’t require any other solution if you use a POS.
Q, Will I need to dedicate a lot of resources to train my employees in using POS software?
A. When you purchase a POS system for your business, you’ll be trained by professionals who can guide you and your team through the solution. So, no you won’t have to dedicate too much resource into training your staff in using best POS software.
Q. My business doesn’t need all the modules offered by the average POS software. Can I only get the ones I need?
A. Yes, you can purchase a customized POS solution customised with the features you require for your business.
Here are the things you should keep in mind before buying a POS software:
Identify Your need
Identifying your business need is just a fancier way of saying that as a business, you need to ask yourself of getting a POS software. Are you looking for automation in billing & invoicing? Is the streamlining of inventory operations your priority? Once you know about your business needs, you’ll be in a better position to understand how the features of a POS can fulfil those needs.
You will be using the POS app every day; therefore, it is important that it is easy to use. It is imperative for a POS system to be user-friendly. If a system itself is complicated to operate, you can’t expect much help from it.
There are several POS solutions available in the market in different price ranges. If budget isn’t a constraint, you can opt for an on-premise solution. But, if your budget is tight, you can opt for a cloud-based solution on a monthly/annual subscription basis. You can also go for a POS software that gives you the option to customise and use only the features you need, and significantly reduce the purchase cost.
Request for Free Demo
Before making a purchase, find out if you can use the product on a trial basis or get a free demo. This will let you get familiarised with the tool and realise if it’s suited to your dealership. Most vendors will be happy to give you a free trial, so don’t forget to ask.
List of Best POS Software Vendors in India