See the infographic below for the epic full story.
Point of Sale (POS) is one of the absolute most essential functions of any physical retail operation.
The need to accept and change currency for products, in addition to tracking sales and inventory, are the pillars of any physical transaction-based business.
For many businesses, these operations are largely isolated systems of closed loops between simple machines, ones that exchange only the most basic and relevant information. With the advent of enhanced wireless communication such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and 4G Cell service, the capabilities of mobile devices for business applications has become increasingly evident.
Now, your smartphone or tablet to provide the functionality previously only accessible through dedicated equipment.
Gone are the days when a system of wireless inventory scanners or mobile checkout devices need to cost you a fortune. What’s more, the developers of these new, flexible software and apps provide the added value of an inter-connected system of apps, services, data transfer, and integration. For business owners, this means that you can now find solutions that integrate easily with online commerce solutions that extend, adapt to, and enhance your current business operations. This takes your retail’s capabilities far beyond a closed system alone.
Pros and Cons of Traditional POS
Just because you can eliminate your traditional register and sales system doesn’t mean that you should. There is still enormous value provided by dedicated systems. Here are some positive and negative aspects of a traditional point of sale system.
- Secure – held to well-defined, tested standards of security
- Physically Superior – direct the flow of checkout to locations, handles volume with ease
- Feature Functionality – can handle receipts, tag removal, scanning, etc
- Local Backups – you always have access to the data and own it
- Expensive – think thousands of dollars at the most entry-level
- Weak Analytics – High-level analysis of costs, tracking, and more is absent
- Difficult to Learn – It’s a system in itself, not just an app. Most interfaces are robust but non-intuitive
- Integration is Difficult – most 3rd party applications, hardware, and tools will not communicate well with these systems.
Pros and Cons of Modern POS (POS 2.0)
As technology has improved, the adoption of mobile POS systems has become even easier. Here are some positive and negative aspects to these modern, mobile POS applications.
- Mobility – you can bring the sale to your customer
- Enhanced Service – ability to price check and aid the customer, all while ready to accept a purchase
- Adoption – mobile POS is hot, if customers are expecting it and you don’t have it, you may lose market share
- Integration – these apps and systems are designed to play nice with other programs
- Analytics – the devices communicate directly with web services that allow for tracking, inventory management, and other high-level, data-driven functions
- Innovation – support is growing and so is the market so developers compete and drive innovation. This is all to the benefit of you, the business owner!
- Trust – there are security concerns with encryption and wirelessly transmitting data
- Limited Payment Types – can’t accept checks and many don’t function with PIN debit cards
- Durability and Lifespan – these are often complex electronics that can break or die. Additionally, they are often valuable in themselves, making them tempting targets for theft.
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Check out the infographic below to see how a mobile POS system could benefit or replace your current point of sale solution.
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