Today’s point of sale (POS) systems do far more than simply ring up and record transactions. For businesses large and small they are a primary system of record for sales, inventory, merchandising and marketing. POS systems provide valuable reporting on how your business is performing each day as well as revealing long-term tr
ends that can pinpoint issues around labor productivity, the sources of shrink, pricing strategies and how various promotions perform.
A modern computerized POS system can be cost-effective for businesses with as little as $500,000 in annual sales, and the savings can be significant, often providing a return on investment (ROI) within one to two years.
Following are six key benefits a point of sale system can deliver to a retail or food service business:
- Improved Inventory Visibility: In addition to accurately tracking sales, a POS system significantly improves inventory management. You can spot obsolete or broken inventory more quickly, and work from more accurate total counts with which to compare on-shelf inventory. Detailed daily reports provide alerts about ordering additional products when stocks are low, and historical sales data can help predict future inventory needs more accurately.
- Better Management of Pricing and Promotions: POS systems automate processes around both current and marked-down prices as well as limited-time discounts, coupons and promotions. In addition to automatically managing and reconciling various types of discounting, point of sale system reporting allows the retailer to determine which promotional strategies produce the best results, helping retailers sharpen future efforts.
- Pump Up Labor Productivity: Because POS systems automate many time-consuming tasks, such as dealing with inventory disparities and cash register reconciliation, they free up your employees for activities that generate revenue and/or boost customer service. The use of barcode scanners means faster checkouts (and more accurate daily inventory), and tying your POS system to SKU-based pricing creates consistency at all your stores and locations.
- Reduce Shrink: Every modern POS system includes receiving and inventory functions that can help pinpoint the causes of inventory loss, while also reducing out-of-stock conditions that do so much to negatively impact sales. Switching to a point of sale system can typically reduce theft by as much as 2.5%, as employees watch inventory more carefully because they know that stock is now being monitored. When shrink does occur, retailers are quickly made aware of discrepancies.
- Restrict Access to Store Systems: POS systems can serve as the access point for many key retail systems, and today’s technology can be equipped with the latest in security features – from video surveillance to secure pin codes and MSR badges. Deploying a POS can thus restrict system access only to authorized personnel, and identify when non-authorized personnel attempt to breach security.
- Improve Marketing Capabilities: A POS system can store the names, addresses, and e-mail addresses of customers, creating a list that can be used for direct mail or digital marketing campaigns – or simply to get on a first-name basis with your best customers. More sophisticated POS databases can be used to target promotions to specific groups of customers as well as to personalize marketing and promotional communications.
These are just a few of the areas where a point of sale system can streamline retail operations and provide timely, relevant reporting that helps boost productivity and profitability.