As business needs evolve, you may find that you need an integrated, all-in-one point of sale for your business. We’ve prepared these tips as a guide of what to look for in an integrated point of sale system and how it can benefit your business.
What is an integrated point of sale (POS) system?
An integrated POS system is a combination of hardware and software (such as Square Register) that helps businesses process sales, handle payments, and manage inventory, employees and customers. Compared with traditional cash registers, integrated point of sale systems enable businesses to run more efficiently by reducing manual data entry and errors, improving inventory control, and providing real-time data and reporting.
What are the benefits of an integrated POS?
- Faster checkout. Implementing an integrated POS will speed up your checkout process, allowing you to serve more customers. Whether you use a barcode scanner or touchscreen, with prices pulled automatically from the backend, there’s no need for manual data entry and less chance of pricing errors.
- Access real-time reporting. An integrated POS lets you view valuable real-time data and assess your business’s performance at a glance. Whether you’re accessing a customer’s sales history to create a targeted promotion or want to see which staff are selling the most of a certain product or special offer, an integrated POS will let you make informed decisions.
- Better customer experience. An integrated POS allows you to serve your customers faster while providing them with a more personalized experience. With real-time access to customer information and sales histories, your frontline staff can engage with buyers and provide a differentiated customer experience that results in great word of mouth and increased sales.
- Fewer payments vendors: When one solution combines the services of POS software and managed payments, there’s fewer invoices to manage and fewer numbers to call when you need support. Square also offers a range of other integrated payments solutions - including Square Online, self-serve ordering using QR codes, and Square Invoices.
- Improved stock control. A point of sale system that integrates with your inventory management software will give you better visibility and control. You’ll be able to view stock levels across your store(s) at a glance and set up alerts for when stock levels of a particular SKU are running low, giving you confidence that you’re always holding enough stock.
- Reduce costs. Streamlining your checkout and inventory management processes will save you time and money. Faster transaction processing and less data entry reduces labour costs and stocktake becomes more efficient and less time-consuming with your POS syncing automatically with your inventory management software.
What are the features of an integrated POS system?
Point of sale systems include both hardware and software components. The right POS hardware and software for your business will depend on your size, sales model (brick and mortar, online or a combination of the two), the number of locations you operate from and more.
When comparing POS systems, look for a solution that will be able to grow with your business. While you might not need every piece of hardware or software on this list initially, integrated POS systems often include the following components.
Common hardware components for an integrated POS:
- Display. You might choose to manage sales from a countertop monitor or opt for a tablet to give you mobile flexibility. Standalone displays are one option - for instance POS systems like Square Register come with two screens; one for the employee and the other for customers. However, solutions like Square Stand share the same screen (the iPad) between employees and customers with a simple swivel.
- Barcode scanner. A barcode scanner will help you to reduce transaction times if you sell a variety of physical products.
- Card reader. With cashless the payment method of choice following COVID-19, you’ll need a credit card reader that supports fast, contactless payments. Square lets you accept chip and PIN payments using Square Reader, Square Terminal and now Square Register (which allows you to accept payments right on the built-in customer-facing display).
- Integrated payments. Solutions like Square Register seamlessly link what’s shown on your POS screen to the card reader to accept payments (which also doubles as a customer-facing display), so that you don’t have to manually key in the cost of a sale on a card terminal when you’re accepting a payment.
- Receipt/order printer. Sending digital receipts via email or SMS saves you the cost of receipt paper rolls, but some customers still prefer to receive a paper receipt. Kitchen order printers are a popular addition to integrated point of sale systems at restaurants.
- Cash drawer. Many start-ups don’t have a cash drawer initially, but it’s something you may want to add to your integrated POS in the future.
Common software components for an integrated POS:
- Website integration. A POS system with website integration will allow you to sync online orders with your inventory in real time.
- Flexible payment options. Make it easy for your customers to pay you by accepting payments by card, Apple Pay, Google Pay or gift card.
- Inventory management. A POS that integrates with your inventory makes managing stock easy. Square for Retail lets you view stock levels, manage vendors, send purchase orders, create low-stock alerts and more.
- Customer relationship management. An integrated POS can give you valuable customer insights and help you to create and manage a tailored customer loyalty program via your point of sale system.
- Employee management. Use your integrated POS to manage staff clocking in and out, monitor sales performance and assign system access.
- App integration. An integrated POS should streamline your operations from the sales counter to the back office. A point of sale that integrates with your accounting, appointment scheduling and delivery software will support you as your business grows.
How do I get started with Square Point of Sale?
Square Point of Sale is a customizable POS system built to support businesses of all shapes and sizes. It’s simple to set up and use, offers advanced integration with a range of software and hardware solutions, and there are no setup or monthly fees. Visit the Square website to create a free account and start selling in minutes.
Plus, Square Register offers a comprehensive integrated POS system for your business - learn more about Square Register.