Why use POS Machines?
The basic function of a POS, or point of sale machine, is to process transactions for products or services. Every time a customer purchases an item at your store, they are completing such a transaction.
POS machines can also serve as a hub where everything from inventory, loyalty programmes, to after sales service can be monitored and modified.
Even though there are many benefits POS systems can provide for a business to run smoothly, research shows that 56% of single-store retailers are still not using them. Instead, many are still using a manual, ragtag combination of of cash registers, QuickBooks and Microsoft Excel.
So why have retailers not taken to POS systems yet? Implementing new technology—especially technology that’s vital to your business process, can be scary and overwhelming at the same time. We are here to help.
Here’s all you need to know about the hardware components of a POS machine, to achieve a full understanding and prepare for buying decisions.
Anatomy of a POS Machine
- Display Screen
The first thing you will see on a POS machine is its display screen. POS machine screens are usually touch screens, much like consumer electronic products. Some POS machines have the option of adding a second screen, to display information to customers.
A good display screen is clear, responsive to touch, and displays colours vibrantly.
Having a good display screen enables your cashier to take orders quickly and accurately. For businesses with a second customer display screen, the quality of the screen may be seen as a reflection of the quality of the business. When used well, a second customer display screen may also showcase product visuals, effectively promoting your products.
The body of a POS machine determines the functions it can have. For instance, a compact desktop POS may not have printing or second customer display capabilities like a larger and sturdier desktop POS.
However, note that size is not the only determinant of functionality. While small, some mobile POS are able to scan, print, and more.
Some businesses, especially those with a strong brand aesthetic, may also be concerned about how the POS looks. Black is the most common colour of POS machines, but colour may be customisable if your business can hit a minimum order quantity.
Not every POS machine comes with a built-in printer, or can be connected to be printer. For POS machines with built-in printers, it is advised to consider the location of the printer – is it easy to reach for cashiers?
The quality of the printer is also of paramount importance. A crisp and quickly printed receipt will leave a better impression on customers, and enable them to double check their order quickly.
Some POS machines come with a built-in scanner. This is usually the case for mobile POS and self-ordering kiosks, but less so for desktop POS and kitchen display systems.
Scanners are useful for contactless payments as well as scanning QR or barcodes for loyalty programmes and other applications.
In F&B and retail, not keeping up with the times can mean certain doom for businesses. Do not let fear prevent your business from progressing, and get your research done today!
TIP: Here’s some useful advice, don’t ever use your POS machine to surf the Internet. This may expose it to malicious malware or virus which may compromise your whole POS system.
Interested in POS hardware? Find out more here.