A point of sale is essential in retail. Different steps are required to make selling possible, which is what we call the “point of sale process”. Indeed, the point of sale process is defined as the steps made in the point of sale systems to ensure safe transactions when goods or services are sold to customers.
You might be wondering, what exactly are those steps? The answer… depends on the type of system you use!
To help you understand, this article will explore two point of sale processes: the traditional point of sale process and the new point of sale process.
Traditional point of sale process:
- Printing the Receipt.
New point of sale process:
- Point of Sale Software Preparation.
- Giving the Receipt.
- Automatic Data Update.
- Supplier Orders.
Traditional Point of Sale Process
Many retailers still use a traditional cash register as a point of sale. In those cases, the process is quite simple, because of the limited features. Many tasks needed to manage the store are external to the point of sale systems.
The traditional point of sale process then looks like this:
The point of sale process starts when the customer is ready to buy. The clerk scans the items to get the prices in the cash register to know the total costs of the purchase.
Once the items are all listed in the system, the selling step is concluded by making the customer pay for their purchase. The clerk then takes the money and is ready to start the second and last step of the traditional point of sale process, which is printing the receipt.
2- Printing the Receipt
Once the transaction is done, it is important to give a proof of the purchase to the customer. A receipt is then printed and given to the customer. The store also keeps a copy of the receipt for its reports and for the accounting team.
Those two steps are part of the traditional point of sale process, using a basic cash register. Now, let’s dive into the new point of sale process!
Also, make sure your invoice version includes all the necessary items you owe your customer.
New Point of Sale Process
A traditional cash register works well enough, but there are new and more powerful point of sale systems: POS softwares. Built to make retailers’ lives easier, point of sale softwares have additional features that are very useful.
Obviously, every point of sale software has its own features. Some may be more appropriate to you than others! For this article, let’s use a POS software we know very well here: Alice POS. This software is made for retail. Its features are then built for the needs of retailers. Restaurants, hotels and bars might have some different needs that won’t be covered in this article. Just keep in mind that the new point of sale process is complex and depends on the POS software’s features.
A new POS process should look like this:
It’s not hard to see that there’s way more steps in this process than in the traditional one. Let’s find out more about each of those steps.
1- Point of Sale Software Preparation
Before using a point of sale software, it is important to do the initial settings and preparations. The first step is to import all your inventory into the software, to configure the prices and to give personalized access to the staff members.
Once this step is complete, the point of sale software is ready to use in the store, and the rest of the point of sale process can continue.
Did you know that a good and powerful point of sale software can help you promote your store to new customers? Indeed: it is possible to create special offers and promotions in the POS software. Also, with a good POS, you can link your retail store to an online store to reach out to an even broader audience!
Sales & Promotions
Unlike the traditional cash register point of sale, a POS software is useful even before you have customers ready to buy from your store. Create enticing promotions in your entire store or for specific products. It is so easy to do with the right tool!
Obviously, it is possible to have sales and promotions in your store without a point of sale software. However, managing them is so much easier! With POS software, you will be able to stay on top of your game and promote your store effectively.
Online stores are all the rage right now and we know they are here to stay! For retailers, this is a great opportunity to sell more.
Unfortunately, starting with an e-commerce store isn’t always a piece of cake. How to synchronize inventory between the online and physical stores? How to manage sales on multiple channels?
With POS software that can link to e-commerce platforms, those problems are solved! The new point of sale process then also goes way beyond in-person sales.
It wouldn’t be a point of sale process if it didn’t include… selling! In this version, this step is similar to the step in the traditional point of sale process we’ve covered earlier. Only, it is better!
Once a customer is ready to buy, the POS registers the items, just like a normal cash register. But that’s not all: a good point of sale software had additional features to make your work even easier.
For example, Alice POS has a cross-selling feature to help the retailer sell more. Depending on the purchase, the software suggests related products that are often sold together. This is a great way to easily make more sales and show your expertise!
An important feature found in most point of sale software is the ability to offer different payment methods. Nowadays, customers are used to being able to use a variety of payment methods, such as credit cards, debit cards and PayPass. With POS softwares, you can offer many payment methods to please your customers!
4- Giving the Receipt
Once the transaction is completed, it’s time to give the receipt to the customer! With a point of sale software, you can offer different types of invoice: paper or digital.
Customers are getting more concerned with the environment and want to reduce their waste. Offering digital receipts is a great way to do just that! It is also cheaper for the retailer, because it uses less paper.
Also, POS softwares saves the invoices into the system, which greatly helps for the accounting! Some even let you organize them by types to make your work easier.
5- Automatic Data Update
An important step of this process is the automatic data updating in the system. Tasks that used to be done manually are now being done automatically, with less effort. That’s what makes a POS software so useful!
When an item is bought in your shop, the inventory is automatically updated in a good point of sale software to withdraw the quantity sold. Retailers have access to up-to-date information at all times! With a POS software, long gone are the days spent manually counting the items for the inventory.
The point of sale process covers a part of the business management. Retailers then have more time to do other tasks!
6- Supplier Orders
When inventory is automatically updated according to the sales, it is easier to know when it’s time to restock! The last step of the new point of sale process is to order from the suppliers.
A good point of sale software not only helps you track your sales, but also your supplier orders! This step differs in every software. In Alice POS, retailers can make a list of items from the inventory list and send this order to their suppliers. With some suppliers, it is even possible to link the catalogues to know prices and to synchronize the orders and their status directly in Alice POS.
As you can see, the point of sale process depends on the type of POS you use, either the traditional one with a simple cash register or a newest one with a point of sale software. POS software is more complex, which makes it more powerful. Retailers can do more in less time, thanks to the automation of parts of the process.
Would you like to try a great point of sale software? Alice POS is a cloud-based solution that helps retailers be more efficient. Ask for your free demo!