Merchant POS Machine
Your point of sale system (aka POS) is arguably the most important tool you have your store. From ringing up sales and taking payments to tracking your inventory and storing customer profiles, the right merchant POS machine can keep your retail biz running like a well-oiled machine.
But like with most tools, a point of sale system is only as good as the person using it. That’s why it’s important that you and your team know the ins and out of your POS so you can get the most out of it.
Each solution is different, so there’s no one right way to answer the question of how to use your merchant POS machine. But most modern solutions today have similar general functionalities that you should be aware of.
This post will shed light on some of those features and offer tips on how to get the most out your point of sale solutions.
Let’s get started!
How to use Merchant POS machine to ring up sales
The primary function of your POS is to ring up sales, so you need to familiarize yourself with the sell screen of the system. Every solution is different, but generally, your POS will let you ring up sales using the following steps:
Add items to the sale – This is the first step of the checkout process. Depending on how your system is set up, adding items can be done by:
- Scanning the product’s barcode
- Searching for it on the sell screen (most POS systems have a search bar / product lookup functionality)
- Using a sell screen shortcut (Vend, for example, has “Quick Keys” for frequently bought items)
From there, you can adjust the quantities depending on how many units the shopper is buying.
Apply discounts – If you’re running a sale or would like to apply discounts to a line item or the entire basket, you should be able to use your POS to do so. If your system doesn’t have this feature, see if it lets you adjust the item price manually.
Take payments – This is the part where you get paid. Pretty much all POS systems have the capabilities to take cash or credit card, so the process of accepting these payment types is pretty straightforward.
That said, other solutions enable you to offer additional payment options including:
- Gift cards– If you sell gift cards, make sure they’re integrated with your POS so can accept them as a form of payment. Some point of sale solutions have partnerships with gift card companies so check with your provider and see if you can score a deal.
- Mobile payments– Depending on your POS and payments processor, you may have the ability to take mobile payments such as Apple Pay. Check with your solution providers to learn more.
- Loyalty– If you have a loyalty program, you can also take loyalty points or rewards as a form or payment.
Multi-store inventory management – This is critical if you’re running more than one retail stores. You want your POS / inventory management system to have centralised stock control capabilities so you can manage products from multiple stores from one platform.
Ideally, your solution should enable you to transfer stock from one location to the next, as well as generate reports for each store.
It’s a pain to manage stores on separate systems, so if you own a multi-outlet retails business (or you’re planning to expand) make sure you can do everything from a single solution.
Multi-channel inventory management – Ditto for multi-channel retailers. If you sell both online and in-store, then your sales and stock movements should be synced across all your channels.
This enables you to have a tighter handle on your inventory, so you know exactly what you have and where. Plus, you won’t risk overselling a product online. From your customers’ perspective, there’s nothing worse than ordering something online, only to learn that it’s unavailable in-store.
Multi-channel stock control also enables you to offer services like buy online, pick up in-store, so your online shoppers can choose to swing by your shop to get their e-commerce orders.
Stock counts – Conducting physical inventory counts regularly is essential to staying on top of stock, so it’s a nice bonus to have a merchant POS machine that has built-in stock-taking features.