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The Top 10 Point of Sale FAQs Answered

Aine Hendron
25 May 2022

Are you thinking about investing in a point of sale system for your business? If so, you probably have a lot of questions. This blog post answers some of the most frequently asked questions about point of sale systems.

Point of sale FAQs

  1. What is point of sale (POS)?
  2. What features are important in a point of sale system?
  3. What is a point of sale display (hardware)?
  4. What does POS hardware look for in retail and hospitality businesses?
  5. What is point of sale payment?
  6. Point of purchase vs point of sale - what's the difference?
  7. What is point of sale marketing?
  8. What is mobile point of sale?
  9. Can I use an iPad as a point of sale system?
  10. What is the best point of sale system?

1. What is a point of sale system?

What does POS stand for?

POS stands for point of sale (sometimes referred to as EPOS, for electronic point of sale).

Point of sale definition

POS systems are electronic tills that combine the essential functions of a cash register with sales software. Usually, they rely on cloud-based software. All transactional data is recorded securely and accurately, and can be accessed remotely.

POS systems are modernised tills that help manage and improve business operations, from data collection, accountancy, product and inventory management, and sales processing.

2. What features are important in a point of sale system?

Some of these will depend on the type of industry you're in and the size of your business. But that’s not to say there aren’t universal features you should watch for. Here are some features you should look out for in a point of sale system.

Sales monitoring and reporting

Your point of sale system should generate clear sales reports to capture insights and trends about your business. Detailed product reports and other analytics tools will give you the business intelligence to make decisions that will benefit your bottom line.

Inventory tracking and stock management

Retail stores and restaurants need seamless inventory control to gain visibility and improve ordering efficiency. Point of sale tools like low stock notifications and auto-order suggestions help you stay on track and pivot quickly and efficiently when keeping up your stock.

Open API

Make sure your point of sale will have the infrastructure to support the integrations and automation tools you need to run your business. Open API means your POS can connect with any other open-end tool.

Customer database integrations

With every sale, your POS should track customer information and add it to your database. Marketing integrations like loyalty programs can help you easily communicate promos, deals, and other events that can attract your market to your business.

Other things to consider:

The ability to quickly trigger store promotions and sales, track employees through user accounts, and ease of integration from your current point of sale system or database.

3. What is point of sale hardware?


You can expect a similar set-up in most point of sale bundles. This often includes a terminal,  metal cash drawer, receipt printer, and card machine.

Depending on the nature of your business, you may need additional hardware.

4. What is a point of sale system for restaurants? 

If you own a restaurant, pub, bar, or cafe, you might want to incorporate some of the following hardware into your POS set-up:

  • A kitchen display system (KDS) - this is a screen that pulls orders directly from your till and displays them in the kitchen. You can customise your KDS set-up depending on how your kitchen or bar is laid out.
  • Docket printer - similarly to a KDS, an integrated docket printer will automatically print tickets containing details for each order as they are entered into the till.

What is retail point of sale?

Some common items to consider when installing your POS system include:

  • Scales - some scales integrate directly with your POS, allowing you to sell items by weight accurately.
  • Barcode scanners - these work as a multi-functional tool. Firstly for scanning items at the till and taking stock and inventory with ease.

Gain all the advantages of an EPOS system with detailed, flexible, downloadable reports, and so much more:

  • Manage and update products quickly with easy to use software
  • Expand your business into multiple channels and integrate with a variety of online platforms
  • Manage multiple locations and salespoints with multi-site management
  • Keep queues short with streamlined, modifiable sales processes
  • Choose a setup that suits you with software and hardware options

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5. What is point of sale payment?

A point of sale transaction is when a customer makes a payment in exchange for goods or services. Technically, it also refers to where the payment takes place and what payment method the customer uses. For example, if a customer paid using cash or via the card machine.

6. What's the difference between point of purchase (POP) and point of sale (POS)?

You might have encountered the terms POP and POS used interchangeably, but they refer to two different things. Point of purchase is the location where a customer makes a decision to buy an item, whereas point of sale is where the actual transaction takes place. 

In a brick and mortar store, the point of purchase would be near or at the entrance, where displays or promotional items greet customers. The point of sale is usually located at the register.

7. What is point of sale marketing?

As you learn more about how to use a point of sale system, you’ll understand that they really can be used as an all-in-one business management tool. 

All good POS systems will have customer data storage abilities. When used well, this can lead to an enormous amount of data being collected which can be used for marketing purposes. 

For example, many businesses are migrating to email receipts which means that email collection is becoming more common in transaction processes. Over time, a business following this process will accumulate large numbers of emails ready to receive marketing materials. This is a valuable resource for spreading the news of new products, promotions, and services available and maintaining contact with those customers.

Managing promotions is a much easier process with POS at your disposal. Promotions are stored and can be switched on and off, automatically applying to relevant products which can be easily added and removed.

8. What is a mobile POS system?


What is mPOS? A mobile POS is a point of sale system that can run on a small device like a smartphone or tablet that can act as a register on the go. An mPOS utilises your venue’s network to communicate with your other POS peripherals, such as printers or kitchen display screens.

The sheer mobility and versatility of a mobile POS system can change how your staff interacts with customers. For starters, staff can take the orders directly at the table, keeping them more engaged with customers, meaning fewer mistakes and more upselling opportunities. 

9. Can I use an iPad as a point of sale system?

Yes! The right point of sale company will guide you on what apps and integrations you’ll need to run an organised and profitable business. They'll also easily equip you with the POS software you’ll need to process payments and manage your sales from an iPad.

10. What is the best point of sale system?

The POS system, hardware, and software that's right for you and your business will depend on what kind of business you run and what you need.

However, the best point of sale systems and software gives you the freedom and support to scale and curate your business as you see fit. The best POS systems are hardware agnostic, platform-agnostic, and payment gateway agnostic. This means that they are compatible with different hardware, software and payments providers, so you can pick what works best for your business. 

Your POS should allow you to choose the features you want and need to support your business without getting locked into expensive contracts or large upfront costs that don't serve your bottom line. 

Epos Now: industry-leading point of sale providers

Epos Now offers state-of-the-art POS systems for businesses in retail and hospitality. We let you choose the tools and insights to help your business achieve its goals. Designed to work as a complete business management system, you can control all vital aspects of your company from one cloud-based system.

  • Review auto-generated profitability reports based on individual product performance, trending items, and best and worst sellers.
  • Access a multi-award-winning inventory management system that syncs online and in-person sales for the most up-to-date stock levels.
  • Simplify employee management with staff sales reporting, automated scheduling and online payroll. 
  • Over 100 integrations available, including open-source API.
  • Integrate with a wide range of hardware, including KDS, mPOS solutions, mobile, and fixed card readers.

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