The evolution of point of sales systems

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Today’s checkout queues on the high street are very different from those that existed even as recently as a decade ago. Some stores have even opted away from traditional point of sales (POS) checkouts altogether. If you visit an Apple store you don’t stand in a queue. The sales person retrieves your order from stock and deals with your purchase using a mobile device. More and more, we are expecting this type of service, and POS systems have to keep evolving to accommodate us.

It’s also important to remember that POS systems are not just about sales anymore either. They provide businesses with the ability to manage inventory and customer relationships. The data that these systems provide, from a customer relationship point of view, is helping to provide the personalised shopping experience that we have all come to expect.

Why is evolution necessary

Any retail customer today expects to have the most time effective and personalised experience possible. Today’s POS systems need to enable this to happen. Of course, it isn’t just the customer who needs POS systems to evolve. Businesses are now operating in a more competitive market place, with the Internet opening the shop window to the world. They need the enhanced statistical data that modern POS systems provide. This enables them to manage inventory and customer relationships all in one place.

What is changing?

One of the biggest changes that has come to POS systems over the decades is their functionality. POS systems are still used at the point of sale in the business, but they are also used as an ongoing management tool. Today, when a business uses a POS system they can use it to help them manage payroll and hours worked for staff. They can also use the system to help with the management of inventory; an important consideration in retail.

One of the most important facets of a POS system is the assistance it can provide with customer relationship management. Businesses can access data concerning the purchase habits of customers, enabling them to personalise the shopping experience. People appreciate the convenience of personalisation, and the feeling of appreciation it brings. This helps to attract more customers to a brand, and to retain their interest.  All of these aspects can be accessed using a single POS solution, which can be operated using a tablet if the business chooses to. This makes the solution convenient and mobile.

It remains to be seen what will happen in the evolution of POS systems in the future. It’s likely to be a different story depending on business requirements. For instance, the customer experience that works well in Apple stores would probably not be suited to your average supermarket. The trick is for businesses to us the POS technology that continues to evolve to their best advantage. They need to choose the POS solution that is best suited to their business and the product or service they offer.

 

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