Did you find this page while looking for a cash register online? A cash register provides a simple option for sales management, but you can also choose a point-of-sale (POS) system. In fact, you might have a POS system in mind without realizing it. Many people confuse the two devices when they each have different strengths. This guide will explain the differences between a cash register and POS system and explore which will benefit your business.
About Traditional Cash RegistersThe traditional cash register has over 100 years of use in American stores. We now use electronic models, but they achieve the same goals as the original version — storing money and calculating sales. Electronic cash registers can get their power from a battery or electrical outlet. Their simple functions and ease of use make them a popular choice for small businesses. However, cash registers make up a single part of the point of sale in your store.
What Does an All-in-One POS System Include?A point-of-sale (POS) system manages all aspects of your customer checkout experience and tracks important business metrics such as daily sales statistics and inventory. It includes the hardware and software you need to run your checkout counter. POS systems can include a cash register as part of their hardware, but they have more functions than a cash register alone. They can also have hardware such as:
- Customer display screens
- Barcode scanners
- Built-in scales
- Receipt printers
- Credit card processing machine
- Processes transactions
- Records sales
- Manages inventory levels
- Track customer and vendor relationships
- Log employee shifts
Cost of Cash Registers vs. POS SystemsWhile cash registers have a lower upfront cost than POS systems, there are substantial other costs to your business when you use a basic cash register as opposed to a modern POS system. A POS system will make your business more efficient and will make you more money long term. Since a POS system makes the checkout experience faster, your cashiers can checkout more customers per hour, and you will have more time to focus on managing your business. The POS also makes it easier for you to analyze your business’ performance and make smart business decisions. When deciding between a POS system and cash register, consider the long-term net profit in addition to the upfront price. If you decide to get a point-of-sale system, you could also have the choice to pay in installments. Some POS companies offer this option to help smaller businesses start with their product. They may also have a base package that you can buy and add accessories to as you earn more money.
Keeping Records With a Cash Register vs. a POSWhen you get a standalone cash register, you need to find a way to keep track of your sales. Cash registers cannot keep a sales record for you, so you have to create your own system. You can try keeping receipts from every sale and doing your bookkeeping by hand. If you understand how to use computer spreadsheets or bookkeeping software, you can enter your sales into one of these programs. However, all these options take time and put you at risk of making mistakes. An all-in-one POS has a built-in system that keeps track of your sales. When you choose a high-quality system, you can also benefit from statistics and analytics that show your sales performance. In addition to tracking profits, you can use a POS system to manage many of the important records involved in running a business.
Marketing Tools From a Cash Register vs. POS Marketing ResourcesAll-in-one POS systems come with helpful marketing features that you can’t find in a cash register. Most standalone cash registers come without marketing tools that help your business grow. You must create marketing techniques from the start without the extra support that comes with built-in resources. A comprehensive POS can include loyalty programs, gift card acceptance and customer relationship management. Some POS systems also enable you to advertise on a customer-facing screen.
Growth Opportunities Available With Cash Registers and POS SystemsA cash register serves as an important part of growing your business, but upgrading to a POS gives you more capabilities. When you choose an all-in-one POS system, you get the ability to:
- Build relationships with your customers
- Manage your employees and keep track of shifts
- Start a loyalty program to encourage people to buy
- Create in-store discounts that help you get items off the shelves
- Record your purchases from vendors
- Analyze your business’ performance to improve your growth