blake wisz tE6th1h6Bfk unsplash

Different Types of POS Systems

Austin Chegini
17 Jun 2024

Are you in the retail, restaurant, or hotel industries?? If so, you absolutely need a point-of-sale system! It’s the MVP of your tech toolkit and keeps your daily operations smooth, from payments to inventory management.

Choosing between the different types of POS systems can be daunting, but fear not! This guide has you covered and will help you:

  • Understand what point of sale systems are all about.
  • Explore the different types of POS systems available.
  • Learn how to compare and choose the best one for your business.
  • Check out why Epos Now's all-in-one solution is your best bet!

Let’s get started!

What is a POS system?

A point of sale system, or POS system, is the central hub for all transactions in small businesses like retail shops, restaurants, and hotels. It's a combination of POS software and POS hardware that goes beyond basic cash register functions. Here’s a snapshot of what a POS system does:

  • Transaction processing: It’s not just about tallying up sales. No, it handles the entire payment process from start to finish when customers make purchases.
  • Inventory management: Keeps track of what you have in stock, what’s selling, and when you need to restock.
  • Payment processing: Takes care of credit card transactions, cash payments, and sometimes even digital wallets.
  • Business insights: Collects data on sales trends, customer preferences, and more to help you make informed decisions.
  • Operational efficiency: Streamlines tasks like generating receipts, managing employee shifts, and handling returns or exchanges.

All-in-all, POS systems are essentially the backbone of smooth operations for businesses of all sizes.

Types of POS systems

Now that you've a better idea of what POS systems are, let's examine the different types of POS systems available.

Legacy POS systems

A legacy POS system, also called on-premises, countertop POS systems or traditional POS systems, operates differently from newer systems. The main distinction is that it stores data locally, meaning all transactions and information are saved on specific devices within your closed network. Here are some key points about legacy POS systems:

  • Data storage: All data is saved on the device or network, limiting access to only those connected devices.
  • Hardware: Typically uses proprietary hardware from the POS provider, requiring on-site installation and maintenance.
  • Training: Requires extensive training for users due to its complexity, leading to longer onboarding times.
  • Functionality: Can scan barcodes, process payments, calculate totals with taxes and discounts, and generate business reports.
  • Internet independence: Works without an internet connection, ensuring operational continuity.
  • Security: Offers robust data security since information stays within the closed system.

Multichannel POS systems

For businesses operating across multiple channels, such as physical stores, online platforms, and mobile apps, a multichannel POS system is essential. Here are the features:

  • Omnichannel order processing: Seamlessly process orders from different channels, including in-store purchases, online orders, and mobile app transactions. This ensures a consistent and smooth customer experience regardless of the purchase channel.
  • Centralised customer profiles: Maintain centralised customer profiles that capture data from all channels. This includes purchase history, preferences, loyalty program details, and communication preferences, enabling personalised interactions and targeted marketing campaigns.
  • Cross-channel returns and exchanges: Facilitate hassle-free returns and exchanges across all channels, allowing customers to return online purchases in-store and vice versa, enhancing convenience and customer satisfaction.

Tablet POS systems

A tablet-based POS system, also known as a touchscreen or iPad POS system, is part of the modern wave of POS technology. Unlike legacy systems, these POS setups run on familiar tablet hardware, making training and onboarding a breeze. Key points about tablet POS systems include:

  • Hardware: Utilises tablets like iPads and Androids for a user-friendly experience.
  • Training: Easier to train staff due to familiar technology.
  • Convenience: Compact size makes it convenient for various business settings.
  • Cloud-based: Often operates on cloud networks. There are a number of benefits of cloud POS including allowing remote management and updates.
  • Self setup: Usually comes with self-setup options, reducing the need for on-site installation.
  • Maintenance: Self-maintenance features contribute to easy upkeep.
  • Functionality: Offers a range of functions from scanning barcodes to processing payments.
  • Inventory management: Includes features like low-stock alerts and inventory counting.
  • Data collection: Collects customer data and provides insights for marketing and sales strategies.
  • Integration: Easily integrates with other tech tools and platforms, including social media for marketing purposes.

In summary, tablet-based POS systems combine user-friendly hardware with advanced features, making them a popular choice for modern businesses seeking convenience and efficiency in their point-of-sale operations.

Mobile POS systems

A mobile POS system is a portable and modern solution where the point-of-sale software operates on mobile devices such as tablets or smartphones. Here's what you need to know about mobile POS systems:

  • Portability: Mobile systems utilise sleek and portable hardware for on-the-go transactions.
  • Customer service: Enables sales associates to assist customers anywhere in the store, checking inventory and making personalised recommendations.
  • Line busting: A mobile POS system helps reduce queues and speed up checkout processes, ideal for busy periods and pop-up events.
  • Card readers: Often includes built-in card readers for convenient payment processing.
  • Functionality: Offers features like calculating totals, processing payments, and managing inventory.
  • User-friendly: A mobile POS system provides familiar and easy-to-use hardware, making training and onboarding efficient.
  • Barcode scanner: Some models come with built-in scanners, simplifying inventory management tasks.
  • Inventory management: Includes inventory tracking and various fulfilment options such as shipping or in-store pickup.
  • Integration: Easily integrates with other tools in your tech setup for streamlined operations.
  • Analytics: Provides reporting and analytics capabilities to inform business decisions.

Mobile POS systems offer flexibility, convenience, and enhanced customer service, making them valuable assets for businesses looking to streamline their checkout processes and improve overall efficiency.

Cloud-based POS systems

A cloud-based POS system, like the Epos Now Complete Solution, stores data in the cloud, allowing access and changes from anywhere. Key points about cloud-based POS systems include:

  • Cloud storage: Data is stored remotely, enabling access and modifications from any location.
  • Flexibility: Allows for remote management and updates to business operations.
  • Security considerations: Vulnerable to cyber threats compared to legacy systems, necessitating robust security measures.
  • Internet dependence: Relies on an internet connection for data processing, which can lead to downtime during network outages. Some cloud-based POS systems like Epos Now do have an offline mode available, which can be quite handy given its otherwise internet-dependent nature. While it relies on an internet connection for data processing, having an offline mode helps mitigate potential downtime during network outages or disruptions.
  • Hardware: Utilises sleek and portable devices for day-to-day operations.
  • Functionality: Performs tasks such as calculating totals, processing payments, and managing inventory.
  • Integration: Easily integrates with existing tech tools, enhancing overall operational efficiency.
  • Reporting and analytics: A cloud-based POS system provides detailed insights into sales, inventory, and customer behaviour for informed decision-making.

In summary, while cloud-based POS systems offer convenience and accessibility, businesses must consider security measures and internet reliability to maximise their benefits.

Sign up to our newsletter

By submitting your details you agree to our terms and conditions & privacy policy.

How to compare POS systems

When comparing POS systems, start by understanding your business's unique requirements. Here's a step-by-step guide:

  • Assess your needs: Consider your budget, required features, checkout flexibility, number of locations, network connectivity, data collection goals, and integration with existing tools.
  • Budget: Determine how much you can invest in a POS system without compromising on essential features.
  • Functionalities: List down the specific tasks you need the system to perform, such as transaction processing, inventory management, or customer data collection.
  • Checkout flexibility: Decide if you need a fixed checkout point or the ability to check out customers from various locations within your premises.
  • Location count: Consider the number of business locations you have, as some POS systems are designed for single locations while others support multiple branches.
  • Network connectivity: Evaluate your internet infrastructure—whether you rely on wifi or ethernet connections—and choose a system that aligns with your setup.
  • Data collection: Identify the type of data you want to collect about your business, such as sales trends, customer preferences, or inventory insights.
  • Integration: Check if the POS system seamlessly integrates with your existing technology stack, including accounting software, customer relationship management (CRM) tools, or e-commerce platforms.

After answering these questions and assessing your needs, compare different POS options based on their features, pricing, scalability, support services, and user reviews. Choose a system and vendor that best aligns with your business requirements for a seamless and efficient POS experience.

Everything in one package

Our POS system enables you to adapt, gain new customers, increase profit and remain future proof.​ Get everything you need to trade in one system, including POS terminal, built-in printer, and card machine.

Get your offer 

Everything you need to know about Epos Now’s POS system

Whether you're new to the world of POS solutions or looking to upgrade your current system, this section will cover everything you need to know about Epos Now's robust POS offerings. 

Retail POS system

Looking to optimise inventory and enhance customer engagement in your retail store? Explore how Epos Now's POS system streamlines inventory management, fosters customer loyalty, and simplifies checkout processes.

  • Inventory optimization: Epos Now's retail POS system helps businesses optimise inventory levels by providing real-time insights into stock levels, sales trends, and product performance. This reduces stockouts, minimises overstocking, and improves overall inventory management.
  • Customer engagement: The CRM features enable businesses to build and maintain strong customer relationships. Epos Now allows businesses to capture customer data, track purchase histories, send personalised promotions, and loyalty rewards, fostering repeat business and customer loyalty.
  • Efficient checkout: With intuitive interfaces and streamlined checkout processes, Epos Now simplifies transactions, reduces waiting times, and enhances the overall shopping experience for customers.

Here are some of the retail POS systems we offer, each tailored with bespoke benefits for specific industries:

Hospitality POS system

If you own a hotel, cafe or restaurant, Epos Now's Hospitality POS system can revolutionise guest experiences with efficient order management, streamlined kitchen workflows, and tools to boost staff efficiency and guest satisfaction.

  • Enhanced guest experience: Epos Now's hospitality POS system enhances guest experiences by facilitating quick and accurate order-taking, personalised service, and efficient table management. This leads to higher customer satisfaction and positive reviews.
  • Kitchen management: The integration with kitchen display systems optimises kitchen workflows, reduces order errors, and improves order preparation times, ensuring smooth operations in busy hospitality environments.
  • Staff efficiency: Epos Now's staff scheduling and performance tracking tools help businesses optimise staffing levels, monitor employee performance, and streamline labour management, leading to improved operational efficiency and cost control.

Check out some of the hospitality POS systems we offer, each tailored with bespoke benefits for specific industries:

POS software

Discover the flexibility and scalability of Epos Now's cloud-based POS software. With customizable features and seamless third-party integrations, businesses can tailor their POS systems to meet specific needs and enhance operational efficiency.

  • Cloud-based accessibility: Epos Now's cloud-based POS software allows businesses to access real-time data, reports, and analytics from anywhere, enabling remote management, decision-making, and scalability.
  • Customizable features: The software is highly customizable, allowing businesses to tailor POS workflows, menu layouts, reporting formats, and integrations to meet specific business needs and industry requirements.
  • Third-party integrations: Epos Now's software seamlessly integrates with a wide range of third-party applications, including accounting software, ecommerce platforms, marketing tools, and more, enabling businesses to leverage additional functionalities and automation.

Payment processing

With Epos Now's payment processing solutions, you can ensure secure transactions and multiple payment options for your business. Experience quick settlements, diverse payment methods, and enhanced cash flow management.

  • Secure transactions: Epos Now ensures secure payment processing with PCI-compliant solutions, encryption technologies, and fraud prevention measures, safeguarding customer payment data and reducing risks.
  • Multiple payment options: Businesses can accept a variety of payment methods, including credit/debit cards, mobile wallets, QR codes, and contactless payments, catering to diverse customer preferences and enhancing convenience.
  • Quick settlements: Epos Now expedites payment settlements, reducing waiting times for funds and improving cash flow management for businesses.

Overall, Epos Now's POS solutions offer a wide range of benefits, including improved operational efficiency, enhanced customer experiences, data-driven decision-making, and secure payment processing, making it a comprehensive and reliable choice for businesses across industries.

Final Thoughts

Understanding the various types of POS systems is crucial for businesses in the retail, restaurant, or hotel sectors. A POS system serves as the backbone of daily operations, from managing transactions to inventory and customer interactions.

By exploring the various types of modern POS systems available, including legacy systems, multichannel POS systems, tablet-based systems, mobile POS systems, and cloud-based systems, businesses can identify the best fit for their specific needs. Each type offers unique benefits and functionalities, ranging from inventory optimization and customer engagement to streamlined checkout processes and secure payment processing.

When comparing types of POS systems, it's essential to assess factors such as budget, required features, checkout flexibility, network connectivity, data collection goals, and integration capabilities. This ensures that businesses choose a POS system and vendor that aligns with their operational requirements and growth objectives.

For businesses considering Epos Now as their POS solution provider, the benefits are evident across retail, hospitality, POS software, and payment processing. Whether optimising inventory, enhancing customer experiences, or ensuring secure transactions, Epos Now offers a comprehensive suite of solutions tailored to meet diverse business needs.

Ultimately, investing in the right POS system is a strategic decision that can significantly impact business efficiency, customer satisfaction, and overall success in today's competitive market landscape.

By submitting your details you agree to our terms and conditions & privacy policy.