The Dummies Guide To POS Basics

POS stands for Point Of Sale or Point Of Service. It’s the place where the cash transaction takes place, most commonly a checkout counter. POS systems combine specialized hardware and software for handling business transactions which makes it user-friendly and hassle-free.


What is POS?


A POS system combines inventory, purchase, and management system into a single arrangement. After every transaction, the system decreases the number of products sold in the inventory, without any manual prompt. The sale of each customer is recorded and stored so that the seller can decide in which loyalty category the customer fits in. The customer support team can also use this information to provide quick and efficient help to customers if they have a problem with their purchase at a later date.


POS Hardware


Electronic cash registers, the oldest form of POS, were introduced in the 1970s. During the 2000s credit card devices were popular because they were independent devices and made transactions hassle-free. Apart from this, computers, tablets, etc. are also considered as POS hardware. They can be connected to servers and all the information, like the credit card details, are stored there. Nowadays, it’s essential that the all these devices are compatible with a POS software.


POS Software

POS software was introduced in the early ’90s and it’s evolving till date. They are compatible with POS hardware like cash registers, touch-screen displays, scanners, card readers, tablets etc. Shopify’s POS has an easy order management system as the software includes features like automatic tax calculation and easy refunds. The software keeps track of your daily cash flow, sales and growth and allows for an easy switch between staff accounts. The software is compatible with most card readers and the payment can be done through Shopify without the need for a third-party website. Whenever a customer swipes a card, an automatic profile is created for him/her and this information will be useful for sending out discount or sale alerts later. It’s also essential that a POS software is compatible with the existing accounting software. Since some stores exist in online and offline platforms, it’s imperative that the POS software keeps all the information in sync.


Cloud-based POS


Cloud-based POS systems were introduced in the 2000s and it’s now an integral part of online shopping. All it requires is a good internet connection. Shopify created an affordable cloud-based POS system that can be used both with an online and brick-and-mortar store. It automatically updates the inventory every time a purchase is made, be it online or offline. They can also be used while on the move with any device, like a tablet, as the data is being updated in real-time. This can also contribute to lower equipment costs because you can use your mobile or tablet as your POS interface. It also has a single dashboard to keep track of all your online and retail sales information.

Since data is stored in the cloud, it eliminates the need for physical servers entirely. With a cloud-based POS, the risk of losing data due to physical damages to the hardware can be avoided. With a software-based platform, you will have to pay more each time you expand. But with a cloud-based POS system, you can expand your business quickly and easily. Cloud-based POS platforms can sync easily and running an update across multiple devices is an easier process with this system. It’s cheaper to expand using cloud-based POS because you don’t have to buy new devices for each store. Everything can be managed from your Shopify dashboard.


POS Security

POS systems collect customer information and credit card details. Since they’re confidential, most systems provide end-to-end encryption, which means the data is encrypted in the computers and the servers. But, this information can be hacked or lost if there’s any physical harm to the devices. In a cloud-based POS system, the data is uploaded to the cloud over a secure channel and eliminates the risks caused by hardware devices.


If you’re planning to open a store, online or offline, a good point Of sale system is a must. Shopify offers a reliable, cloud-based POS software which checks all the boxes. It’s user-friendly and you can buy it for your business without breaking the bank. If you own multiple stores, you can easily track all of them using the dashboard. Shopify’s POS is very secure and also offers a lot of additional apps to make your life easier!


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