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How to Develop a POS System: A Complete Guide

Ashok Sharma
A #DigitalStrategist, Marketing Consultant, #SOCIALMEDIA INFLUENCER, and #GrowthHacker
・7 min read

Are you aware of Point of Sale (POS) systems?

If you had the chance of working on a retail or restaurant business project, you might have heard of them and the value they bring along.

With a transaction value of over $2,489,471 Mn – POS systems are taking the payments industry by storm. Businesses are now preferring them over other modes of payment.

They are even approaching software development firms to develop powerful POS software that can save them from the hassle of manually maintaining records, keeping track of cash, and preparing receipts.

As a result, POS software development is another booming sector with promising career growth and huge potential revenue.

Now, you might be someone working in a POS software development company trying to develop a POS system that has everything the client has asked for.
Or
You might be a software developer who wants to venture into the entrepreneurship world by building a POS system that takes the industry by storm.
You know what you want. But you do not know how to get started.

If that is the case, you no longer must worry.

In this blog, I will guide you through various aspects of POS systems like:

  • Why are businesses interested in POS systems?
  • Different types of POS?
  • Components of a POS Systems
  • What businesses really look for while buying a POS system?
  • Essential things to keep in mind during POS system development.

Let us begin!

Why are Businesses Interested in POS Systems?

POS system’s ability to give businesses access to valuable data like customer purchase history, inventory level, and sales reports is one of the major reasons why businesses are interested in them. However, that is not all. Here are some other reasons:

  • POS systems save businesses a lot of time by reducing their workload.
  • POS systems save money by reducing costly overheads.
  • POS systems increase the store traffic by enhancing the customer experience.
  • Businesses can better manage their employees using POS systems.
  • POS systems offer much-needed assistance in improving vendor relationships and marketing business the right way.

So, POS systems offer immense value to businesses and that is why they are being widely preferred by business owners.

Types of POS Systems

1. Mobile POS
Mobile POS systems are suitable for businesses that are constantly on the move and do not manage a lot of inventory. They are easy to use and portable. All you need is to install the POS software on a phone or a portable printer to print receipts. You can even email receipts directly to your customers.

That is why, Mobile POS systems are mostly used by market vendors, event vendors, merchandise vendors, contract workers, and daycare providers.

2. Terminal POS
Terminal point of sale (POS) systems are the ones we see at full-service restaurants, retail and grocery stores, boutiques, salons, spas, and antique stores. They are mostly hard-ware based but still require access to the Internet or use cloud-based software.

Terminal POS systems are often sold as all-in-one solutions because they come with barcode scanners, cash drawers, and even provide 24x7 support along with cloud backup.

3. Cloud-hosted POS
Cloud-hosted point of sale (POS) systems are mostly preferred by startups. The best thing about them is that they are not just easy to use but also offer the added functionalities of the terminal point of sale (POS) systems.

Also, since cloud-hosted POS systems do not run on the local servers, it’s easy to handle them. They are flexible and cost-effective too.

Components of a POS System

1. POS Software
The main software running on the POS system, which allows businesses to scan items, check reports, and manage customers.

2. Cash Drawer
A drawer to hold the cash along with the transaction receipts. It is typically present in a terminal POS system and has software that tracks how many times a cash drawer was opened to prevent fraud.

3. Receipt Printer
A small printer to print out a slip of paper with the customer’s order for their reference. Businesses can even customize receipts with their logo or go paperless by directly sending receipts by email.

4. Magnetic Stripe Readers
Used for capturing credit/debit card details to process payments. Magnetic stripe readers may be incorporated into the POS system itself so that users can privately enter their PIN. Some of them even have a signature capturing screen on which customers can digitally sign their transaction receipts.

5. Barcode Scanners
Typically used in retail stores. Barcode scanners accurately display the product detail like pricing, stock levels, or description.

6. Associate Display
Many modern POS systems come with this option. It helps stores to verify scanned items, billed amounts, customer details, and payment mode.
Note: All these components may vary from one point of sale (POS) system to another.

What Business Look for while Buying a POS System?

1. Ease of Use
Ease of use is the first thing businessmen are looking for at the end of the day. Their schedule is already hectic. The last thing they would want is to spend hours trying to figure out how the POS system works. Instead, they want to invest in things that can grow their business.

2. Ability to Manage Stocks
Have you ever seen a shopkeeper trying to check with his helpers if a grocery item is still in stock? Retail stores would want to eliminate that. Instead, they would want a point of sale (POS) system that can keep a record of all items and give them insights on the stock management.

3. Ability to Monitor Sales
Businesses want a clear overview of sales trends so that they can see which products perform better and then make accurate business forecasts accordingly. For this reason, the ability to generate sales reports and capture sales trends can be a useful addition to point of sale (POS) systems.

4. Multiple Modes of Payment
Businesses want a point of sale (POS) system that goes beyond traditional payment methods and offers users the convenience of choosing the payment style they deem suitable (mobile payments, card payments, or split payment option).

5. Ability to Generate Order Bills
Businesses also need a point of sale (POS) system that can quickly generate bills and receipts so that payments are a breeze.

6. Ability to Manage Returns
Businesses want a point of sale (POS) system in which they can easily manage returns/refunds, replacements, or even multiple returns of placed orders. Each returned order should be clearly reflected along with the reason for return in the database.

7. Customer Relation Management
Point of sale (POS) systems should be able to effectively manage customer data and provide actionable insights to businesses. This will aid them in taking the necessary steps towards driving customer loyalty.

8. Loyalty Programs and Gift Cards
Loyalty programs and gift cards are other things that businesses look for in an ideal point of sale (POS) system. They help in improving customer retention as people feel tempted in returning to places where they feel rewarded.

9. Ability to Generate Comprehensive Reports
Businesses also want a point of sale (POS) system that can keep them updated with their sales, inventory, and product stock with the help of comprehensive reports. It will help them grow by offering them valuable insights into the latest trends and opportunities.

10. Security
Even the point of sale (POS) system with compelling features is worthless if you cannot protect your customer’s sensitive data and integrity in it. That is why businesses look for a POS system that complies with industry standards and takes necessary measures to protect customer details.

The key to developing a successful point of sale (POS) system is to include all these features during POS development. If a POS system has everything the businesses want, there is no reason they will not buy it.

Essential Things to Keep in Mind
Keep pricing in mind while developing a point of sale (POS) system. While you would want to offer your customers an all-in-one solution, you would also not want to exceed their budget.

Your point of sale (POS) system should be simple and easy to use. Rather than trying to do multiple things simultaneously in a sloppy way, make sure your POS does a few things efficiently.

Integration can be a useful edition during POS system development. It will allow businesses to use a variety of different tools simultaneously.

Your job does not end with the customer purchasing your POS system. It only starts. Make sure you are available all the time to provide them support and resolve their queries.
Provide your customers with much-needed guidance about your POS system. Having a knowledge base, a video tutorial, or a training guide will prove a lot helpful. Even your clients will appreciate this gesture.

Learn from the existing POS systems in the industry. Study them to see why they are popular among users. This will give you the much-needed idea about the POS system you want to develop. For starters, you can study the review of the top five point of sales solutions by Neil Patel.

Conclusion
Building a product without knowing what consumers want is the most unwise thing to do. Chances are your product will be a hit or a miss – and if it is a miss, your efforts will go in vain.

That is why you should know what customers want while developing your product. This theory applies to just about every product, including POS systems.
Hopefully, this blog gave you an idea of what businesses really look for in a POS system and what you should keep in mind while developing it.

Now, apply this knowledge in practice and see the result for yourself. Also, don’t forget to share your experience. I would love to hear from you.

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