What is Point of Sale (What is POS)?

Web-based POS

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The first decade of the 21st century saw advancements in web-based POS software.  Web-based POS software can be accessed through the Internet from any computer with a connection and a browser.  You do not need to install it since it is hosted on secure servers that provide real-time backup.  One of the advantages of browser based point of sale is that it is operating system independent.  You can use it on an Apple Mac at one part of the store, and a Windows PC at another.  If you want to access your retail data from home at night, it can be done through your home computer or laptop.  Other advantages usually include automatic backups done by the company who hosts the system, and software updates automatically provided the same way. 

 

Mobile POS

The last few years have brought significant progress in mobile technology, such as smart phones, tablets, and other handheld devices that tabletbasically act as mobile computers.  Mobile technology, along with web-based software, has allowed for an evolution of Mobile POS, and is having a huge impact on the POS industry, even to the point of changing our understanding of what the “Point of Sale” is.

Craig Aberle, President of The Point of Sale News, comments,

“The definition of POS is certainly evolving – new tools are being developed that actually change the ‘point’ of sale.   Apple’s POS system allows a clerk to ring you out wherever you are in the store.  That’s a great feature.  No need to wait in line at the checkout counter.   In restaurants, the point of sale is moving to the table you are served at. With service companies everywhere, (like car rental agencies) the point of sale is right where you drop off the vehicle, and they inspect it and print a receipt from a portable device.  The places that transactions are processed cell phonewill continue to evolve as long as it is easier for the customer, drives revenue, and manageable.  The little credit card readers that get plugged into an Apple or Android phone are taking point of sale way out of the mall, and out of the store.   It’s now in the parking lot, in the field at a country fair, or right on the sidewalk. Merchants are no longer tethered to something that has to remain plugged into a wall.”  He concludes, “Today, I would define the ‘point of sale’ as anywhere that any transaction takes place.”

   If you came here asking “What is Point of Sale?” or “What is POS?” then hopefully this article has given you a proper introduction.  Please explore our website to find out more.  Be sure to check out the Learn section, as well our POS Software & Hardware sections.  Stay on top of news and case studies regarding POS for various industries.  We also provide an international list of POS resellers.

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Sources:

 How to Computerize Your Small Business. New York: John Wiley & Sons Publishers, Inc.  Aberle. (1995).

Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Point_of_sale

eBay: Point of Sale (POS) System Buying Guide  http://pages.ebay.com/buy/guides/point-of-sale-pos-system-buying-guide/

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