What is POS?
The “Point of Sale” is where a retail transaction occurs. It can also be referred to as “Point of Service” or POP, “Point of Purchase”. Point of Sale systems enable a payment transaction, with software and hardware to manage the process.
What are the benefits of POS systems?
POS systems provide an innovative, fluid and easy transactional system for both customer and store. Advanced POS systems will even attract customers who like to use familiar, high-tech, iPad devices, prefer to touch-screen order, or just know that good POS delivers more accurate stock or menu item availability.
For employees POS systems should be easy to learn and use, and offer functionality, such as stock control and barcode scanning, or needing to remember detailed pricing or stock information which can save hours of work.
For managers and owners payment processing is safe and secure, customer details are safe, and important sales and marketing data is generated quickly to manage trends and fluctuation’s. Reconciliations take minutes rather than hours and weekly, monthly and yearly accounting is shortened to a simple report generating process ready to hand to a financial accountant. POS systems can also manage staff rotas, payroll and tips or commission schemes.
All in all, good POS systems improve customer service, effectively control any aspect of stock or money, give better management information and allow managers and owners efficient management of their staff and organisation.
Hardware elements for POS include cash registers, payment terminals, barcode scanners and even scales, plus of course the computerised device which manages the process.
A cash register can be combined with a screen, a PC with a register, or an iPad or tablet device. Depending on the functionality of device and hardware, transactions are moving more and more towards a single device which can handle every aspect of the POS.
POS software delivers the functionality required to process payments, manage pricing, generate receipts, manage discounts and loyalty schemes, conduct stock control, and daily and periodical accounting.
Good POS software will generate real time reports to help manage any aspect of a retail or hospitality business. POS software will deliver comprehensive reports for sales, marketing and accounting purposes.
Best POS providers in Canada
We’ve chosen our picks of the most popular and highest rated POS providers in Canada to start you on your journey in choosing a POS partner.
TouchBistro iPad POS
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TouchBistro's POS solution is as adaptable as it is simple, allowing restaurants to run a single iPad as a point of sale; or dozens, to allow ordering from each table and booth at your restaurant.
TouchBistro offers literally hundreds of customization options backed by robust reporting features that present both real-time and historical data that you can leverage to get a bit of extra breathing room when margins are tight. You can hide menu items based on time of day (so your breakfast customers aren't ordering from the dinner menu) or based on inventory (so they're not ordering the porterhouse special you ran out of at 6:30).
TouchBistro offers a free trial period, after which it has four pricing tiers, billed by the number of licenses issued (one license covers one tablet). All plans are billed annually.
Lightspeed Retail is their cloud based retail provision which can be incorporated with Lightspeed eCommerce for those with physical and online retail businesses. Lightspeed eCommerce is also standalone for online only traders.
Lightspeed Restaurant is as it’s titled, a cloud based hospitality POS system. Lightspeed offer both cloud and server or network based POS software. Lightspeed offer hardware, software and combined solutions in bundles. They are also well known providers of iPad POS systems.
Pricing for Lightspeed starts from around $69 per month for a single register system.
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Revel provide leading cloud-based and iPad POS software. Their products are used mainly in restaurants and retail outlets where fast and volume transactions take place. They tailor many additional features to these industries but adapt to most.
Their software features a single dashboard to manage operations and transactions and is supported by integrated inventory, customer and social media management.
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Quetzal tailor to their niche with specific functionality and simple pricing. They offer packages starting from $75 per month for standard support options.
With Quetzal there are no contracts, or setup fees and they provide free demonstrations or a trial period. Their software is very niche and they recommend any retailer with more than 10 locations to consider a different POS.
Quetzal software is intended for the iPad but is compatible with Chrome, Safari or Firefox. Quetzal will either retail the hardware you need or recommend suppliers.
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They have an extensive Point of Sale solution with integrated inventory management, customer management, and retail accounting. The accounting option integrates purchase ledger, purchase orders and payroll processing.
Epos Now POS software is cloud-based and compatible on Windows machines and iPad or Apple devices. Epos Now are popular across most industries.
They also offer an option to migrate your customer data, products, and stock information to your new Epos Now system as part of the implementation process.
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