What is the difference between a cash register and a POS system? And what are the advantages of a POS terminal over a traditional cash register that you swiftly utilize in your retail business?
Cash registers were once the lifeline for retail stores. However, new technology provides more benefits, and this once popular device is now a bit antiquated. Today, more small business owners rely on a POS terminal to handle transactions. Unlike a cash register, a POS does more than just open and close.
POS is an acronym for point of sale. These systems became commonplace as more and more people turned to cashless payment options. Today, you may find a POS at your local coffee shop or an all-in-one terminal at a Self-service kiosk. More retailers are expected to switch to a POS system in the next few years.
Here are the many ways in which a POS system is more helpful than using a traditional cash register, simply put, POS terminal vs traditional cash register:
1. Securely Log All Transactions
When cash registers were first invented, credit cards didn’t even exist. Now, however, swiping a credit or debit card is the norm. While some cash registers can run credit card payments, they don’t do it securely. A POS terminal is a must if you want to make sure all customer transactions are safe and secure.
POS systems accept all types of payment options. As a small business owner, you can set up a terminal to handle cash, checks, credit, debit, and gift card transactions. Not only will the terminal complete the transaction, but it will do so in a secure manner. Payments are encrypted, and the system will log every transaction. This feature helps prevent fraud.
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2. Provide Big Data Analysis
Anyone familiar with marketing understands the importance of Big Data. This tool provides business owners with much-needed analytics to help make informed decisions about products and consumer demand. Big Data gives a glimpse into customer habits, including which products are most popular and when people are likely to buy. It can also help you keep an eye on which sales and specials draw in most buyers. Big Data allows you to tweak your marketing tactics in real-time, making it popular with many business owners.
Cash registers were invented long before Big Data was even a thought. A cash register can only collect money, make a change, and print receipts. However, a POS system can monitor sales and locate trends. You can use this information to provide more offerings that are beneficial to your audience. This advantage alone is enough reason to invest in a POS terminal.
3. Improve Customer Engagement
Can a checkout terminal really improve customer engagement? The short answer is yes. Customers want to know their business is important. They’re more likely to return to a store if they feel valued and appreciated. Cash registers only handle transactions; they don’t boost engagement. However, switching to a POS terminal makes it easier than ever to connect with your audience through customer loyalty programs.
Since a POS terminal tracks every purchase, you can also use it to start a customer loyalty program. Some companies, for example, may offer a discount after a consumer reaches a certain spending threshold. If a shopper has the incentive to return, they will choose your store over a competitor. A POS system will accurately track spending and administer rewards.
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4. Better Manage Inventory
Tracking inventory is a must for all retail businesses. Knowing which products are popular will help you better stock the shelves. Keeping an eye on your inventory can also help prevent shoplifting. However, if you still rely on a cash register, you’ll have to count your inventory by hand. Think of how many hours you would save if you didn’t have to manually manage your inventory.
POS terminals are a better option. These systems will instantly remove a product from your inventory once it sells. Best of all, you can view your current inventory stats with just a few clicks. This helpful feature gives you a better picture of what you need to buy and what you need to push. Being able to see your inventory in real-time will also help you figure out when to put items on sale.
5. Enter the World of E-Commerce
Retail stores are very competitive. As online shopping has become more popular, so does the need for brick-and-mortar shops to enter the world of e-commerce. Unfortunately, that old-fashioned traditional cash register doesn’t have the technology to handle online transactions. A POS terminal, on the other hand, can handle transactions across the globe.
Opening an e-commerce site will introduce your business to a much wider audience. Instead of only reaching a limited, local audience, you’ll be able to draw in customers from all over. Your POS system will manage each transaction, including accepting international payments. The terminal will collect all customer data, making it easy to research accounts and quickly resolve any issues. By using a POS to take your retail shop online, you’ll be able to scale your business faster than ever before.
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6. Implement Better Marketing Strategies
A generic cash register can’t market to customers in the same way as a POS terminal. Sure, you can add a friendly message to the end of a receipt, but that’s pretty much it. On the other hand, you can actually turn a POS system into a marketing machine. Making the switch is a surefire way to grow your customer base and boost sales.
POS terminals not only complete transactions and store data, but you can also use them to grow an email list. Simply ask customers for their email address when they check out. The best email campaigns are tailored to a target audience.
You can use the information gathered about a customer’s buying habits to make sure you only send out emails that are relevant to them. Doing this can help you increase your email open rate, click-through rate and improve the perceived value of your product in the eyes of your customers.
POS Terminals Are the Clear Choice
While cash registers once played an essential role in retail stores, their time in the spotlight is over. Today, POS terminals reign supreme. Although investing in a new POS system will cost more upfront, your small business is sure to see an increase in revenues over time. Any business owner looking for a better way to manage day-to-day operations and improve customer loyalty should look no further than a POS terminal.