The whole point of starting your retail store is to ultimately hear the glorious ka-ching sounds that ring from your cash register. And it is evident that the one item in a retail store a business owner cannot do without is the cash management system. Whether it’s the traditional, electronic cash register or an elaborate computerized point of sale (POS) system, every store needs a machine to process sales.

Your cash register should be doing more than just being a safe place to store money. It should have the ability to save money, quickly process a customer’s transaction and accurately keep records. Now before you run off to a replace your old register with these newer POS systems that seem to be more intelligent than your staff, take a moment or an hour to understand your business needs, the cash management options and POS hardware available and make your selection based on an educated decision.

Some questions to ask before choosing a point of sale system:

  • What tax does your business collect on a sale?
  • How many departments or categories need tracking in your store?
  • How many products do you have?
  • How many products will you grow to have in the future?
  • How busy is your store?
  • Will you need more than one register?
  • Will you accept coupons?
  • How will your clerks process refunds?
  • What types of payment does your business accept?
  • Will you do gift cards?
  • Will you have a loyalty program?

One thing is clear, though, today’s retailer requires the ability to run database marketing and that only comes from a POS system. By this I mean the ability to capture customer information and purchase history. You need the ability to market to the person who is likely to buy and not everyone who ever bought from you. This will will you capitalize on your marketing budget and increase your ROI.

A good POS system not just handles financial transactions but also tracks inventory, and records all types of business data.The biggest difference between a cash register and a POS system is efficiency and communication. When a transaction is processed at a retail store or any other type of business, the POS system not only records the transaction, it automatically does real-time tracking of everything related to what the customer purchased and updates your inventory so you never run out of stock without knowing beforehand. All this information is stored in a database where authorized company reps can access it when they need to.

In a nutshell, a cash register is a machine that records sales transactions, gives change and holds money but a digital cash register will give you:

  • More detailed reports
  • Inventory management and control
  • Customer relationship management (CRM)
  • Marketing tools
  • Omni-channel capabilities
  • Improve accuracy
  • Loyalty programs
  • Gift Cards
  • Easily grows with business

In today’s competitive market, businesses can’t afford to be inefficient. This is one reason a lot of them are getting rid of their cash registers and transitioning to POS systems. In the long run, the systems will improve efficiency, reduce administrative costs, streamline record keeping and improve customer service.