Point of sale is a term used to describe a transaction being processed. There are several types of POS solutions, because transactions are processed differently for different industries or types of business. An e-commerce business for instance will use a retail POS solution, because it deals with the buying and selling of products online. A good point of sale system must be able to handle all of the intricate details involved in placing an order online.
The most common POS solution used by e-commerce business owners is QuickBooks. Even though it is a financial software with an emphasis on accounting, it includes so many other features that help manage and track the different aspects of an online store from order processing to inventory and customer data handling. If your e-commerce solution has QuickBooks integration, you will be able to enjoy managing your entire business in one central location. It is the perfect solution for anyone with no formal accounting background and makes running a business a lot simpler.
A retail POS solution should be able to process orders for both online stores and brick and mortar shops. A business with both an online and offline presence will need to be able to synchronize the two for their business to run smoothly. Whether you have a physical store in addition to the one on the web or attend trade shows and other live events to sell your products, it's important to be able to simultaneously keep track of all of your orders. Many of the offline POS solution features are exactly the same as the online one, they include:
- Order processing
- Accept payments
- Discount, gift certificate and tax configuration
- Generate sales receipts
- Automatic inventory adjustments
A POS solution will work in the same way offline as it does online, but there are a few more devices that are needed in order to complete the transaction. A product that is added to a shopping cart through an online store must be scanned using a barcode scanner in a physical store. The product details and price are then recorded for a final tally. Credit card payments are processed differently as well, customers simply enter their credit card number during checkout online where the actual card must be swiped through a credit card reader to capture all the necessary information in a real store. The final step comes in the form of an invoice that is emailed to the customer on the web or a sales receipt that is printed on a sales receipt printer in a store. All of these devices work together in the same way as an e-commerce checkout process, simply plug them into your computer through a USB port and orders can be processed simultaneously.
The best part about using a POS solution like this is the time and money that it saves. Combining the task of managing your online and offline stores makes running the business as a whole that much easier. Not to mention the fact that if you currently only support one type of store, you can scale your business by including the other type sometimes in the future without having to completelyructure your entire business.