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What is a Point of Sale System?

A point of sale (POS) system is one designed to make it possible for businesses to automatically track inventory changes, monitor changes in the cost of items, track item trends and to record when a sale of an item occurs.

Point of sale systems allow merchants to keep close tabs on what items they have in stock and how customers choose to purchase them. A complete point of sale system can help with inventory placement on shelves, which is especially useful when dealing with seasonal and promotional items that can otherwise be missed by customers.

Point of sales systems allow for advanced pricing features, such as volume discounts based on certain volumes of items purchased.

During the sales process, most systems will allow the merchant to enter an item by using a bar-code scanner or by manually entering a UPC code. More advanced systems will make the process easier by allowing the merchant to look up the product in an inventory catalog.

The system is generally linked to merchant accounts and allows for credit card processing to be linked to purchases, which in turn streamlines the entire sales process. This allows money to be withdrawn swiftly from customers’ bank accounts and then deposited into merchant accounts. Using this in tandem with credit card processing ensures that fewer incidents of fraudulent purchases will occur.

This can further be combined with optional features like electronic cash drawers, bar-code scanner and credit card readers to make the sales process safer and easier for both the merchant and their customer.

Point of sale systems are able to compute things like taxes and other add-ons to price. Most systems are able to support multiple tax rates, which is especially helpful for businesses operating mail order businesses that need to add different rates for varying state taxes.

The largest benefit of point of sale systems to any business is the large degree of control they give. Rather than being forced to operate based on price stickers, every item can be given a fitting price based on the date, how many items are remaining in stock or even if that item is on sale for a promotion.

The ability to create detailed data reports concerning day-to-day operations, flexible invoices and accounting statements means that any problems can be tracked down and eliminated. This gives any business with a point of sales system the ability to maintain a new level of efficiency.

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