What’s a Point of Sale (POS) system and why is it so important?
The Point of Sale (POS) is typically the time and place where a retail transaction is completed. In a physical store or food outlet, this could be with a member of staff at a counter using a Point of Sale system or, as is increasingly the case, a self-service kiosk of some description.
POS systems have transformed the way retailers operate over the last century. Now entirely digital, they serve as the nucleus of your business, combining payment processing with additional features, such as inventory, customer and staff management, as well as discounts and loyalty schemes. A good POS system will have a huge impact on speed, efficiency and service – all essential to delivering an exceptional customer experience and encouraging repeat custom.
A virtual Point of Sale
As the retail and hospitality sectors have evolved, POS has shifted, with many transactions now taking place at self-checkouts where customers process their own orders using a kiosk, which has a touch screen monitor.
Self-service kiosks are often combined with digital signage and, in food outlets, with Kitchen Management Systems (KMS) to maximise their performance. Digital signage allows you to push powerful messaging, imagery and dynamic video content to your customers from the moment they enter your store (or even before). Meanwhile in quick service restaurants (QSR), they provide a vibrant, colour-rich way to display your menu, meal deals and offers.
A KMS, on the other hand, is a back of house system that integrates with your POS, displaying orders in real time and providing clear instructions to kitchen staff. These integrated technologies take order processing to the next level and add high value, both operationally and financially. In fact, self-service kiosks not only speed up order processing and reduce queues and abandoned sales, but they can increase your average order value by up to 30% through the use of upsell and cross-sell prompts. Providing many benefits for customers and retailers alike, kiosks, digital signage and KMS are undoubtedly here to stay, but how do they integrate with the all-important POS system?
Kiosks don’t replace POS systems
A common misconception about self-service kiosks is that they completely replace POS systems when, in fact, they’re designed to work in conjunction with them, serving as an additional, more efficient channel for your customers to make purchases. The payments and data collected by kiosks are typically fed directly to your POS system, allowing all orders to be viewed and processed in one place.
This seamless integration extends to digital signage and KMS. Data from your kiosk and POS system sales can be used to determine the content for your digital signage, such as promoting bestsellers, targeted offers or bundles. And orders will be displayed on your KMS regardless of whether it came from a kiosk or POS system.
And, despite the speed, efficiency and upsell opportunities that kiosks offer, there will be a need in some instances for customers to deal directly with a member of staff. The difference, perhaps, is that increasingly POS will move from behind the counter and onto the pocket devices and tablets of staff!
So, do you need POS, self-service or KMS? The answer… probably all three!