Point-of-Sale (POS) refers to the place where a retail transaction is completed. It is the point at which a customer makes a payment to the merchant in exchange for goods or services.
In the context of hardware and software, a POS is the physical location where this transaction occurs, which could be a checkout counter in a physical store or the location where an online transaction is completed.
A POS system typically includes a combination of hardware and software that allows a business to process transactions, manage inventory, and track customer data. This may include the following:
- a cash register
- a computer or tablet
- a barcode scanner
- a card reader
- a receipt printer
The software may include features for sales reporting, employee management, and customer relationship management. In the online context, the POS system may include the shopping cart, payment gateway, and order management system.
The POS system often includes features like inventory management, sales reporting, and customer relationship management. Modern POS systems have evolved from merely transactional devices to complete business management systems, and can be integrated with other software and services, such as accounting software or e-commerce platforms.
These systems can also be accessed remotely, which is particularly useful for business owners and managers who need to monitor their business operations from different locations.