While many people may think that a point of sale system and a cash register are the same thing, that is not completely true. Technically, a cash register is where the money goes after the sale is completed. A point of sale system involves almost every part of the transaction including the capture of customer information that can be used for future marketing purposes.
Point of Sale Systems Are Generally Digital
A POS system is generally digital and can be mobile if necessary. Small businesses usually attach card readers to smartphones or tablets to allow customers to make purchases with a credit or debit card from wherever they are. Larger retailers may use a mobile POS to allow more customers to check out at once during an evening rush or during the busier holiday season. While cash registers can be mobile as well, they are still generally used as a place where money is held.
Point of Sale Systems Capture More Information
With a POS system, a retailer can gather information about each sale as well as information about larger sales trends. For instance, it may be possible to find out how much money was made between 5 p.m and 6 p.m on Thursday night compared to that same time period a year ago. It may be possible to determine the demographics of its customers as well as see how much of a given product it has sold. This may be useful in creating incentives such as discounting popular products to get more customers in the door during slower times of the year.
Point of Sale Systems Allow for Better Relationship Management
When a customer makes a purchase through a POS system, a company can follow-up with that person if necessary. For instance, a business can ask the customer to fill out a survey or leave any comments that they may have about their shopping experience. It may also be possible to target frequent shoppers with exclusive coupons and other discounts that they may be interested in based on prior purchases. All of this may be done through email or other electronic methods, which may be easier for the company and more convenient for the customer.
While a POS system and a cash register both process transactions, the POS system is more dynamic and offers a wealth of information that cash registers won’t provide. While a cash register may collect information as part of an overall system, it only has one function on its own. Therefore, businesses who want as much business data as possible should search for a POS system as opposed to using a traditional cash register.