Do you own a small business or are you planning to start a small/medium sized business? Then an iPad or your smartphone can become a powerful tool to handle all your business transactions. You can turn your smart gadget like smartphone, iPad or a laptop into a POS system just by choosing right equipment.
The Era of POS Systems
Today every business has equipped itself with a central billing terminal known as the checkout terminal. Here all the transactions can be done from scanning the products to receiving payment in the form of cash or by swiping card. And finally, a customer is provided with the bill receipt of his transaction. This system is known as Point of Sales system which has made data capturing easy and fast.
A traditional POS system includes cash register, a display terminal, barcode scanner, etc. all of these devices work in unison to produce fast results. But there are some disadvantages of this system too. During billing there’s a chance that the product information is not available in the system which results the customers to wait in queue for a long time. A study also found that more than 50% of customers hate waiting in line during the billing process. And the most affecting factor is that due to long queues some customers lose interest and leave without buying anything.
This does not mean that a POS system is affecting your business. But it is quite the opposite. Technological innovations are leading to newer, compact, and faster POS systems that increase the productivity in your business. Now, small and medium sized businesses have got wider options to set up a point of sales systems with versatile functionality that provides mobility and quicker response.
Mobile/iPad Based POS System
The intensive modernization of POS systems since 2000 has come as a boon for the small and medium sized businesses. The fact that they can convert their smartphone into a fully functional point of sales systems has made numerous businesses to shift to mobile system.
These devices can be connected to the stores Wi-Fi system, employees can move around and help the customers anywhere in the store, and even billing is possible anywhere. With so many features packed in a single device mobile POS system has become an obvious choice for the people.
How to convert your iPad into a POS System?
Turning your iPad into a POS system is not a difficult task. You will at least need a credit card reader and a POS app installed in your iPad to process payments. It will also help you to manage sales. This is how this add-on will help you:
Credit Card Reader
Nowadays a small credit card reader is available which can be connected to your iPad through the headphone jack. These small, compact, and beautifully designed credit card readers developed by companies like Square are most reliable. Credit card readers don’t come with additional cost but some companies might apply some minimal charges. Square offers their services at $49 for additional add-ons.
POS Mobile App
When it comes to a mobile app most of the credit card reader companies provide their own apps. These apps are designed to support the hardware very well and allows you to perfectly manage your POS system. The app is freely available on Apple App store or Google Play Store. Some vendors also set up the system for you from installing the system to apps.
Your iPad as Cash Register
For every business cash register is a must. So, be it a traditional manually operated cash register or an electronic cash register this device helps you manage the cash of your business. Electronic cash registers came into market in mid 1900s. The ECRs offered advanced options like pairing with barcode scanners to scan UPC codes, pairing with the credit card machines, etc. Electronic cash registers were a big thing at that time as they made lot of things easier to access and helped in keeping track of management.
But, these cash registers had some flaws. The first one was that most of the small business did not own a computer, therefore, there was no point for them to install an electronic cash register. Second, small and medium business could not afford these cash registers as they required a lot of manual reporting and tracking on behalf of retailer.
Thanks to Steve Jobs, with the invention of iPad, computing has become easier and faster. More software applications supporting various systems and providing numerous features started developing. These applications were aimed to make more out of an iPad’s functionality. This development also led to the launch of mobile POS systems which were faster, cheaper, and reliable than a traditional point of sales system. Due to the startups like Shopkeep, small and medium sized businesses now have cash register right in their iPad.
Converting your Laptop into a POS System
If you are just starting out in your business and are running low on budget then you have an economical option to get started with the POS system i.e. converting your laptop or computer into a POS system. This will save your money from investing in a new system. There are also some free POS programs available while some of them charge a nominal fee. But how will you convert your laptop into a POS system? Here is how:
1) First of all you need to download a compatible POS software for your computer. There’s a very good software called Cash Register available for free online. This program is easy to use and works on any PC. If you have a Mac platform then download Lightspeed Retail Point of Sale.
2) You will need to invest in peripherals that support the software and make your system complete. Purchase cash drawers, card readers, barcode scanners, receipt printers, etc. Purchase from trusted suppliers for good quality products.
3) Install the downloaded software in your system and connect all the peripherals to your computer. These hardware devices will pair with the software.
4) Open the POS software and follow the instructions step by step to enter your company’s details into the system.
5) Feed in the product details like UPC codes.
6) Check if the system is working perfectly and once it does you are good to go.
Benefits of Mobile/iPad POS Systems
The mobile POS systems, also known as mPOS systems, have become a major attraction of small businesses. You can provide services and sales at the same place as the financial transactions. There are several benefits of shifting to a mobile POS system. Check out some of them below:
No More Longer Queues
Customers usually hate standing in long lines for their turn to come at the checkout counter. Most of the customers might leave your store without purchasing anything just because of the longer lines. But with the introduction of mobile POS systems your customers won’t have to wait in any queues. You can just accept the payment wherever the customer is and make things easier for them. This helps you provide rich customer experience and build good relation with them.
Higher Sales Rate
An mPOS system can considerably increase your sales. As it gives the freedom to your customers to freely move across the store, they can checkout several customers at one time and thus avoid crowding in the store. Additionally, an employee can assist and suggest a customer different product using the upselling and cross-selling strategies. This increases the total sales of your business.
One of the major benefits of the mPOS systems is that it is highly secure. All the transactions are encrypted and the card data is not stored on the device. With no information on the device it reduces the risk of security breach.
Reduced Error Rates
Lesser the error rates, smoother the business workflow. The mobile POS system reduces error rates to a large extent and increases the productivity of your business. Especially if you own a restaurant business then there’s a chance that a waiter might forger the table order. But this system will help keep all the orders on track.
A POS system on your mobile or iPad or laptop helps your business to advance with the pace the technology is developing. This system helps you give better customer experience and build a healthy relationship with your customers. Best suited for small and medium sized businesses the mobile POS system allows you to pay attention to every customer and that is exactly what a customer needs in order to come back to your store. Get the best mobile POS system for your business today.