Point-of-sale (POS) technology has advanced rapidly in recent years, moving far beyond the simple transaction systems of old. Now, a modern POS system can be used across a broad range of functions, from tracking inventory and generating sales reports, to collecting customer information that can be used to boost sales and profitability.
Despite these advancements, however, how many businesses can truly say that they’re utilising the capabilities of their POS system to its fullest? And for firms who do realise the value of POS, what improvements can be made to extract maximum ROI from the technology?
With the potential to unlock a whole new level of customer insight and transactional revenue, learning how to leverage the full functionality of a POS system can be a huge boost for your operations. In this guide, we’ll explore what a modern POS system can achieve, and the benefits of integrating it with your business management software.
- What Can a Modern POS System Do for Your Business?
- The Difference Between a Standalone and Integrated POS System
- The Benefits of Integrating a POS System with Your Business Management Solution
What Can a Modern POS System Do for Your Business?
Thinking of investing in a next-generation POS system? Or just looking to extract more value from your existing system?
The scope of modern POS systems is impressive. Both in physical stores and online, the technology lends itself perfectly to streamlined and optimised business management – with a range of capabilities that allow you to automate processes, track inventory, and integrate with other business-critical systems.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the primary selling points and benefits of a POS system.
- Inventory management and tracking – Did you know that some POS systems can track your inventory? Well, they can, and it can be an extremely useful feature. Such technology works by counting items each time a barcode is scanned, automatically updating your inventory so you can more easily keep on top of available stock.
- Mobile POS for advanced card payments – However small your business, mobile POS has changed the game from a card-reading perspective. Essentially transforming any internet-enabled device into a portable POS system, it lets you handle a range of card transactions that would be impossible to complete on a traditional interface.
- Advanced automation – Saving your staff time while improving customer experience; modern POS systems feature advanced automation capabilities that streamline transactions and order processing and make it easier to attain customer feedback. If you’re yet to harness the power of POS system automation, you’re truly missing out on some timesaving and efficiency-boosting benefits.
- Shared commerce – If you own a physical store but also manage an e-commerce platform, you’ll understand the difficulties of combining data from both in-store and online transactions. Traditionally, businesses were required to export data from separate interfaces and combine them manually, leading to inconsistencies and duplication. Shared commerce, whereby POS payment systems and inventories share a single database, removes this problem, allowing you to run reports and gain insights from two or more POS systems in a unified, streamlined way.
This isn’t an exhaustive list of capabilities a modern POS system boasts, but it does offer a flavour of how utilising the technology to its fullest can benefit different areas of your operations beyond sales and basic accounting.
The Difference Between a Standalone and Integrated POS System
The earliest iteration of POS technology focused solely on simplifying in-store transactions. With time, the capabilities of these early systems extended to accounting and some element of stock management, giving businesses a solid, though limited, sales and management solution.
Some businesses continue to rely on standalone POS systems like that described above. Providing a means of handling transactions, tracking cashflow, and managing stock, they’re a practical, albeit somewhat rudimentary, solution for businesses with limited operational budget.
So, what’s the alternative?
In more recent years, businesses have started to invest in business software or ERP solutions that offer native or fully integrated POS functionality. This unified approach means free-flowing information, greater connectivity, simplified day-to-day management and a better customer service – not to mention the opportunity to leverage advanced technologies as part of your POS strategy.
An integrated POS system working in conjunction with your ERP, CRM, or another form of business management software is ideal for businesses looking to extract more value and opportunities from POS activity. We’ll cover the benefits of an integrated approach in detail below, but suffice to say such technology makes driving sales and business growth much more achievable than a standalone option in addition to the improved customer service.
The Benefits of Integrating a POS System with Your Business Management Solution
So, just how worth your time and money is integrating POS with a broader management solution? Focusing on ERP software, in particular, we’ve listed some of the key benefits that such an integrated approach can bring.
- Real-time data to influence business decision-making – A POS system feeds real-time transaction and customer data into your ERP solution, allowing for greater insights and data-backed decision-making. From here, you’re well placed to make improvements and more effectively target customers to drive increased sales and brand loyalty.
- Customer discovery and management – The marrying together of POS and business management technology opens up a realm of possibility in terms of customer discovery, retention, and management. With a unified ERP-supported POS system in place, your staff can create and access customer records, marketing lists, email addresses and much more at a physical POS location – making it easier to recommend products, offer loyalty discounts, and, ultimately, drive sales.
- Data collection and synchronisation – As part of a unified solution, your POS interface becomes a powerful data capture tool, collecting reams of information from customer transactions on and offline. From names and addresses to order histories, browsing behaviour, and average-spend analysis, all the information collected at the POS stage is fed directly into your ERP system, where it can be used and accessed simply thanks to a centralised database. In addition, any rules, workflows, processes set up in your ERP system will extend to your POS system ensuring you have complete control of your business
- Improved customer experience – Integrating POS and ERP solutions establishes a two-way street between your customer-facing and back-office systems, the perfect vehicle for delivering an enhanced experience for users. With real-time data supporting improved decision-making, you can easily react to changing customer demands and behaviour, for an optimised and friendly experience for every type of user.
- Greater staff flexibility – If all members of your team, across the various departments, are using a consistent system – they’ll be able to operate across different functions of the business far easier. For instance, if you’re short on counter staff, your back office sales team can easily step in as similar screens are used for quotations and other sales processes. And if you have to move counter staff to the warehouse to meet an orders surge, they’ll be able to adapt to the new processes far quicker thanks to their experience with a shared system.
However you use a POS system, there are benefits to be had by exploring its full features and capabilities – from increased sales and conversions to an improved customer experience. Need help leveraging the functionality of your POS operations? Intact can help.
Offering fully integrated POS solutions designed for the b2b industry, we’ll show you how to extract maximum value from your trade or retail counter department. For more information or to learn more about our future-ready solutions, visit the homepage or get in touch with our experts today.