How does a POS System for Supermarket work?

The supermarkets of today face a conundrum.

On one hand, online grocery stores which provide unparalleled convenience and safety to consumers threaten to make supermarkets obsolete. On the other hand, supermarkets are under siege by the rise of food delivery and meal kits.

This trend was already observed in 2018, when demand for food service grew faster than food consumption in homes across Europe and the United States [1]. The pandemic has also encouraged more consumers to try out contactless delivery options, for both cooked food and grocery deliveries [2].

These new competitors have shrunk the pie for traditional supermarkets. Moving forward, how can supermarkets maintain or even boost their position?

A fully stocked supermarket aisle, photo by Franki Chamaki on Unsplash

In 2019, a study by Oliver Wyman predicted that the use of labour in supermarkets will see a staggering 40% decrease within five years [3]. This is in part due to the adoption of technology, including self-service kiosks, online orders, and automation of administrative work.

The study also emphasised the importance of fact-based, data-centric decision making.

A POS System for Supermarket can help make these predictions a reality.

This article will deep dive into three POS systems suitable for supermarkets: POS Nation, IT Retail, and Centric POS.


POS Nation

About POS Nation

With over 10,000 customers and 10 years of experience, POS Nation has a wealth of knowledge to tap on. POS Nation is based in the United States, and only offers services and support to businesses within the country.


Getting started with POS Nation

POS Nation has three pricing plans, “Flex Monthly”, “Freedom POS” and “Custom Build”.

“Flex Monthly” works like a traditional POS subscription service, where supermarkets pay a monthly fee of 99 USD. In contrast, “Freedom POS” requires a payment of 999 USD for both the software and hardware purchase.

As its name suggests, “Custom Build” is an additional option for supermarkets which have the scale to customise their POS solution plan.

POS Nation also has great help and support features. Even if your business is not paying for their support services, they have many useful articles on their Linkedin page, and organise training webinars once in a while.


Which supermarkets should choose POS Nation?

POS Nation has a comprehensive suite of sales services for supermarkets. For example, it supports customisable hotkeys for select products, enabling cashiers to key in orders more quickly. This is crucial for supermarkets, as the quantity of items at checkout are much higher than in other business types.

A supermarket haul, photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash

In addition, supermarkets will be able to input mix and match pricing or discount bundles to help customers save. A pleasant in-store experience will encourage repeat customers, a win for any business.

Sales analytics can then be used to analyse customers’ purchase patterns. POS Nation can make these reports viewable on your mobile phone, for an additional fee. Thus, for business owners who do not wish to make this purchase, sales data may be less convenient to look at.

POS Nation is also strong on inventory. There are no limits on the number of SKUs that can be keyed into the system. Also, employees will be notified when inventory runs low. The function of automatic purchase orders to replenish inventory can be set up to streamline processes even more.

Employee working on inventory, photo by The Standing Desk on Unsplash 

An interesting function provided by POS Nation is case breaking. Typically, inventory will arrive at supermarkets in cases. However, the goods within these cases will have to be separated for sale to customers. POS Nation automates this process with a few simple clicks, so a product inventory can be saved both as “one case” and “forty bottles”.

Despite all these great features, there is one shortcoming of POS Nation that supermarket owners should be aware of – the software has a limited number of third party integrations. It can only be integrated with accounting software Quickbooks as well as your website.

All in all, POS Nation is a good fit for supermarkets as it has strong sales and inventory capabilities. However, POS Nation also faces the limitation of having few third party integrations.


IT Retail

About IT Retail

IT Retail was created by Martin Goodwin, a supermarket retailer who could not find a comprehensive POS solution for his stores. Having been around since 1993, IT Retail is well-established in the supermarket POS segment.

IT Retail’s vision should resonate with many supermarket retailers – it is “committed to providing innovative, simple, and powerful technology solutions that boost grocery retailers’ profitability”.

Every member of the IT Retail team works as a cashier in one of their partner’s grocery stores for a day, so they understand the needs of a supermarket on a deeper level.


Getting started with IT Retail

IT Retail’s POS software was specifically made for Windows operating systems.

Priced at 79 USD per month, IT Retail is an affordable option for local, single-outlet supermarkets. The pricing for large supermarket chains can be obtained by speaking to IT Retail’s sales representatives. In addition, supermarkets will have to pay for hardware.

Unfortunately, IT Retail does not offer free trials to prospective customers.

However, IT Retail has a nifty tool on its website – a savings calculator. Supermarket owners can key in a few simple details about operations and costs to find out how much they can save by switching to IT Retail.

Customers of IT Retail will also enjoy on-site installation and 24/7 customer support services.


Which supermarkets should choose IT Retail?

IT Retail has great sales data analytics functions. Supermarket owners have raw SQL data access, or look at curated dashboards of sales figures. This is possible even across multiple stores and can be integrated with supermarkets’ online stores.

IT Retail’s sales dashboard presenting a range of metrics

In addition, IT Retail has a solid customer relationship management system. Supermarkets can customise rewards for customers such as points and vouchers. These rewards will automatically show up during transactions, so employees can ask customers if they would like to redeem their rewards at a glance.

IT Retail’s customer relationship management interface for discounting

Security is key to supermarket operations. IT Retail offers regular software updates to keep abreast of security developments. Payments are also secured with PCI compliant payment solutions. Lastly, transactions are automatically filtered to mark out suspicious activity, preventing employee fraud or theft.

Lastly, IT Retail’s POS system can be used for employee management. IT Retail claims that cashiers can be trained to use the system within 10 minutes, perfect for efficient onboarding.

Easily add, delete, or update employee details, and configure the amount of access each employee can have to functions and reports. Employees’ performance can also be compared against the store average to determine reviews and bonuses.

In sum, IT Retail is a solid POS system running on Windows. Other than their strong sales and customer relationship management systems, IT Retail has bolstered its security features for supermarkets.


Centric POS 

About Centric POS

Based in Malaysia, Centric POS has served businesses from Sarawak to Cameron Highland.

With many examples of their collaboration with small businesses, Centric POS is no stranger to the POS industry. They specialise in Android POS software for a range of services, including for supermarkets.


Getting started with Centric POS

Centric POS’s pricing plans are not available on their website, but business owners can drop the team an email or call to get started.

Centric POS’s software is easy to set up. Everything from configuring “Master Set-up” to connecting an email account can be done in the “Settings” tab, providing added convenience to supermarket owners and employees.

Clear and intuitive setup screen settings on Centric POS

The Centric POS team has also prepared many useful YouTube tutorial videos to guide supermarkets if they require the assistance. For example, business owners can find out how to split or combine bills, manage stock control, and even change the printer’s IP address at their fingertips.


Which supermarkets should choose Centric POS?

Supermarkets, with their multitude of products, may be difficult to handle for employees. With Centric POS’s flexible item configuration, supermarkets can arrange products on the screen more intuitively, increasing ease of usage. This has the added benefit of speeding up transactions, a plus for busy customers.

Centric POS in action, on iMin’s D3 desktop POS hardware

Centric POS also has great reporting capabilities. Sales data can be configured to automatically email key personnel. This ensures that relevant members of your team are updated in a timely manner.

POS hardware integration is also great on Centric POS. While Centric POS’s software should be able to work with any Android-based device, it has chosen to partner with iMin Technology for POS hardware. This means that businesses have a range of POS hardware to choose from, including mobile POS and desktop POS devices.

In addition, Centric POS’s hardware can be seamlessly connected to supporting devices, whether your supermarket needs a barcode scanner, weighing scale, or receipt printer.

In conclusion, Centric POS is useful for supermarkets looking for good inventory, sales reporting, and hardware integration capabilities.


Supercharge your supermarket today

Happy customers browsing a supermarket in Canada, photo by Marie-Michèle Bouchard on Unsplash

Despite all the up and coming competition, supermarkets are still a mainstay in consumers’ lives today. With the help of tools like POS systems, supermarkets can take their value proposition up a notch to stay firmly rooted in the hearts and minds of their customers.

Consider investing in a POS system tailor-made for supermarkets to start the ball rolling!

Interested to know more about POS Solutions? Clink here to explore more.


*All information about POS Nation, IT Retail, and Centric POS were obtained from their respective websites, accurate as of November 2021.





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