An electronic point of sale (POS) system is a combination of computer software and hardware that processes sales transactions at checkout points in retail stores. These advanced devices replaced the old manual cash registers by providing a much faster and accurate way of working. Today, a modern electronic POS system functions much like a complete till with a cash drawer, display screen and other peripherals required for keying in and processing sales details. The very first systems comprised of a normal PC with the usual keyboard and mouse plus receipt printers and a bar code scanner. But, with the advent of tablet computers, touch displays have become quite common with EPOS systems.
Choosing between a PC workstation and tablet POS can be a challenge. This is mostly the case when the buyer is not sure about which of the two POS forms would work best for his or her business. If you happen to be in this kind of dilemma, then here is what you need to know when trying to decide whether to go for a PC or iPad POS system.
When to go for an iPad POS System
Having an iPad for a cash register has many benefits. The most obvious is of course the fact that this is an innovative and cool touch device. It can make any sale terminal look trendy if pleasing aesthetics are a major priority of your retail store.
Besides from looking classy, tablet POS systems are ideal if you want more working space and flexibility. With these devices, gone are the days when multiple of wires had to come from the back of a computer system. The iPad does not require a keyboard and mouse, nor does it have the main PC system unit. When combined with Bluetooth enabled barcode scanners and other wireless devices, cashiers are left with plenty of working space. The lack of cables makes these systems fast and easy to set up. Since tablets are also portable, this means that retail stores can move sales terminals or add more with ease during peak hours and attend to more clients.
The best part is that an iPad offers intuitive menus. Installing point of sale software on it allows customers to be served at the touch of a screen. It is common to find touch screen POS systems in restaurant, bar, and hotel settings. Keep in mind the hardware costs of investing in an iPad cost more than a PC workstation.
When would a PC POS system be Appropriate?
EPOS systems that run on a conventional PC with a keyboard and mouse and other peripherals provide a low-cost alternative to touch screen or iPad systems. If you are on a tight budget, then this would be a better choice. The downside with PC based POS terminals is that they do not provide as much ease of use and flexibility as tablet systems.
The best POS system for your business will depend on cosmetic considerations, how you identify the products & services you sell, how much key-entry data is required, the speed at which you intend to process transactions, and of course, your budget.
About the Author
Annabel Cameron is a business person based in Edinburgh Scotland. She runs a convenience store and has been in the retail industry for 10 years. Visit this site to learn more about the POS system that Annabel uses to run her business.