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How To Use a POS System: 3 Retail Basics

If you run a retail store, you know more than anyone: Time is money. Every second counts.

Luckily, modern retail technology puts you ahead of the game, starting with your point of sale (POS) system.

A retail POS helps you manage inventory, employees, and customers, and saves you tons of time by automating tasks that you’ve wasted resources on doing manually.

And while the point of sale options on the market might seem overwhelming, we’ve got you covered with the basics.

So whether you’re starting a new business, or simply need a refresher on how to use a POS system, keep reading.

Retail Point of Sale 101

First things first — when it comes to a modern point of sale system, you need the right hardware

A traditional point of sale system includes a simple cash register setup, allowing you to simply store and count cash, and print a receipt. But POS systems have come a long way, providing more power, more security, and more opportunities to boost your bottom line.

Retail POS Hardware

A basic retail point of sale system includes:

  • a touch PC 
  • a receipt printer 
  • a cash drawer
  • a barcode scanner 

But a comprehensive solution can also include:

  • a barcode and label printer
  • a pinpad
  • a customer display
  • a handheld inventory device
  • a tablet
  • a scale

Retail POS Software

Now that you’ve got the right hardware, you need the best retail POS software for your store. Look for a system that offers solid inventory, employee, and customer relationship management features that are designed for your industry. Everyone’s business is different, so decide which features are most important to you and create a checklist.

1. Set Up Your POS System

Setting up your POS system doesn’t need to be complicated. Look for a plug-and-play solution that can be up and running in only a few simple steps — plug in, power on, and start updating your inventory.

With a solid POS system, you’re able to directly import an unlimited number of SKUs from your wholesaler to set up your store’s database — which can also be added remotely from a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet. Create product groups, add item descriptions, and price your inventory, keeping everything organized through a style matrix feature.

Remember to find a POS that accepts all forms of payment — including EMV and NFC — so you never have to turn away a paying customer. Then set up user accounts and employee permissions, and you’re ready to start using your system.

2. Put Your POS Into Action

Next up on our retail checklist for how to use a POS system? Make a sale.

Using your point of sale system, scan an item’s barcode, or manually add the product through customized hotkeys — from here, you can change the quantity, remove the item, and even add discounts. If a purchase is made, easily print or email the customer a receipt.

Solid point of sale systems also generate reports from prebuilt templates, so you have a constant eye on what’s selling and what’s not — and you don’t have to worry about overstock or dead stock.

3. Keep Your Point of Sale Up to Date

Retail technology is constantly improving, so make sure your business stays ahead of the game by keeping tabs on hardware and software updates, and always back up your sales data — which is an easy, automated task with a cloud-based POS.

All systems should be secure, for the safety of your customers and your business, so it’s important to make sure your business is PCI compliant. Train employees on how to perform safe transactions and how to use your system properly.

And if you do need a hand? Your POS provider should offer 24/7 technical support should you have any questions or concerns.

Learn How To Use a POS System With Comcash

If you’ve never used a modern retail point of sale system, or if you’re looking to upgrade your current one, setting up a POS can seem complicated.

It doesn’t have to be.

For help learning how to use a POS system for your retail store, and to discover the best provider on the market, contact a Comcash specialist to schedule a demo today. Or use our build and price tool to create your custom quote.

Ready to Get Started?