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How to Use a POS System

Austin Chegini
5 Jul 2024

A point of sale (POS) system processes transactions, accepts payments, and manages several other core functions of a business. While these devices are similar to cash registers, they often are responsible for everything from bookkeeping to inventory management. On top of this, a cloud-based POS connects to the internet, giving you flexibility and access to endless resources.

Let’s go over the essentials of using a POS system.

Basic operations

Using a POS is much like operating a basic cash register. Essentially, you only have to follow these steps:

  1. Ring up items: Scan products during checkout or select them from the system to calculate the amount due. 
  2. Collect payment: The customer can pay with cash, credit card, digital wallets, or gift card. If paying in cash, the cash drawer will open so you can make change. 
  3. Print or email receipt: Since POS systems connect to the internet, you can send a digital receipt to reduce contact and paper waste.

All business will likely use these core functions of a POS:

  • Card reader: Process credit and debit card payments with PCI-compliant devices that ensure safe data transfer.
  • Cash drawer: Store cash and coins in a lockable drawer.
  • Barcode scanner: Scan products for faster checkout.
  • Scale: Weigh items like produce and meat to determine the sale price. 
  • Reporting: Track sales, revenue, profit, and more with detailed reports. Build custom reports and dashboards to track what matters most to you, including sales, customers, staff, and inventory.

How to use a Retail POS

It is very difficult to operate a retail store without a point of sale system. Products will be unaccounted for, receipts and records will be a mess, and the checkout process will be slow. 

A retail POS is perfect for handling the following tasks.

Inventory management

With a POS, taking stock is a very simple process. Using the POS terminal or handheld device, you can input product data, SKU codes, images, and more. You can also sort by size, material, color, giving you precise stock details.

When a product sells, the system will automatically update your stock levels. When it’s time for the next stock take, you can easily count the remaining stock to see if it matches the expected inventory. 

Personnel Oversight

Establish user roles and assign sign-in codes to limit access to your system. All staff actions will be tracked, so you can see when employees clock in, process transactions, adjust stock levels, and more. You can also get staff swipe cards to make accessing the system easier. 

Employee performance

Evaluating staff is incredibly simple with a POS. From your back office, you can compare each employee’s sales performance, accounting for the number of transactions, average sale value, and overall profitability. 

Product trends

Inventory filters and sales dashboards give you real-time feedback about consumer shopping habits. With these tools, you can see what products sell best and which are lingering on shelves. 

Selling online

Connect your POS with an e-commerce platform to begin selling online. If you have an Epos Now system, you can manage your online and physical inventory from your terminal. When an item sells in either location, all inventory records automatically update for added convenience and accuracy.

Marketing and loyalty

During each transaction or website visit, be sure to capture customer data. Then, add this contact information to your marketing and loyalty integrations. With these programs, you can generate automated email campaigns to stay top of mind and reward shoppers with special incentives. 


By linking your system with software like QuickBooks and Xero, you can easily prepare for tax season or annual review. All POS data will synchronize with these programs, letting you see your sales tax obligation, profit and loss, and more within minutes. 

How to use a Hospitality POS

Restaurants, bars, cafes, and other hospitality businesses have unique demands and need customizable POS systems that can keep up. The right hospitality POS will let you create a tailored experience that improves order accuracy, speed, and customer experience.

With a hospitality POS, you get the following benefits.

Real-time menu management

Build and update your menu with just a few taps. Each time you add an item, you can link it with your inventory to automatically update stock levels. When supplies run low, menu items will be marked out of stock to help prevent confusion and delays. 

Tableside Ordering

With Epos Now Pro + servers can take orders at the table and send them directly to your kitchen. These devices improve speed and accuracy, while also reducing congestion at the kitchen or main POS. 

Online ordering

A POS can streamline delivery and in-store pickup. With tools like Epos Now Order & Pay, you can build an online ordering website that shows your menu, takes payments, and lets users schedule a pickup/delivery time. 

Detailed stock control

Get complete oversight of your kitchen with smart inventory management. Track inventory down to the smallest ingredient, including remaining pours in a bottle and servings of ice cream in a tub. 

Custom table plan

Build your restaurant’s floorplan on your terminal. Just tap on a table to see details like orders, bills, and special requests.

Kitchen display screen or ticket printer

Improve meal preparation with a Kitchen Display Screen. Each order will automatically appear on the display, helping back of house staff track progress and work efficiently. If you have limited space, you can print order tickets to help with preparation. 

How to use Epos Now point of sale systems

We’ve custom-built our POS systems to provide the easiest user experience. All our devices feature touchscreen displays and intuitive menus, making onboarding and training incredibly simple. 

After purchasing your POS hardware or software, we’ll provide you with a setup guide so you can get back to business as quickly as possible. If you need any extra help, our implementation managers are also ready to help import products or find you the right third-party integrations to maximize your potential.

Get in touch today to learn more about Epos Now.