When customers are ready to pay for the items they picked from a store, they walk up to the counter (for brick-and-mortar establishments) or online checkout (for e-commerce shops). At this stage, they are at the point of sale (PoS), where PoS systems come in. To process their payments, companies employ PoS systems, a set of hardware and software used to transact sales.
What Is an Enterprise PoS System?
An enterprise PoS system refers to the tools that make it possible for large companies to process payments and keep track of sales and purchases. To be more specific, enterprises are businesses that make more than US$1 billion in total sales per year. In e-commerce, for instance, these translate to stores that earn about US$5–100 million a year.
How Does an Enterprise PoS System Work?
The intricate details of each PoS system differ, depending on the type of business—whether you have a physical or virtual setup. It would also depend on the mode of deployment, whether on-site or in the cloud.
Still, there are commonalities in the way enterprise PoS systems work. At the least, a PoS application and an Internet-connected device are all that’s necessary. To provide some perspective, the chart below details how an enterprise PoS system generally works.
- The customer selects the products or services they want to purchase. Once they are ready, they go to the cashier or sales associate to have these scanned. For online stores, this is equivalent to customers checking out the items in their carts.
- The PoS system calculates the price of each item, including the sales tax, if applicable.
- The PoS system marks the items as sold to update the store’s inventory.
- The customer pays the total amount using any of the available payment methods.
- The PoS system prints out a physical or digital copy of the receipt, signifying that the sales transaction is done. You made a sale, and your customer gets to bring home the items bought (or have them shipped).
What Does an Enterprise PoS System Do?
With enterprise PoS systems, you need to think beyond the cash registers at your local grocery stores. Since the devices are involved in one of the most important stages of the buying journey, these are privy to crucial data.
As such, enterprise PoS systems do more than process customer payments. Some of their major functions are listed below.
Generate Reports Automatically
Enterprise PoS systems can be configured to send daily, weekly, and monthly sales reports automatically. These reports can include a wide range of information, such as labor cost percentages, average sales per transaction, employee performance, and many more. PoS system reports answer several questions, including:
- What products are most popular?
- Are your promotional bundles and pricing schemes effective?
- Which employees are performing best?
- How much revenue did a particular branch earn over a certain period of time?
- What products are almost out of stock?
Provide Personalized Shopping Experiences
A 2020 survey by Retail Consulting Partner revealed that around 35% of online retailers use data from PoS systems to craft loyalty programs with personalized rewards. The same data also helps 23% of companies create personalized promotions and product suggestions.
Manage Different Locations Simultaneously
Enterprise PoS systems enable companies to offer the same products, discounts, and promotions across multiple locations. A new product offering or service can be added by updating the PoS system only once, and the changes will reflect on each branch.
Provide Insights on How Different Regions Are Performing
Enterprise PoS systems help management compare how different locations are doing in terms of sales, staff performance, and other key metrics. Furthermore, they provide insights into which products and services are popular in a particular market.
For example, an enterprise PoS system can give a clear picture of how a specific culture affects the sales of a certain product or service. Depending on the knowledge gained, companies can decide to either promote the product or stop offering it altogether.
A majority of enterprise PoS systems have artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, thereby allowing them to go beyond the simple task of processing payments. Large companies can significantly benefit from such solutions, as these help them make sense of big data coming in through sales transactions.