It wasn’t long ago that cash registers ruled the roost in Canada’s retailers. The shift to self-checkout technology gets all the media attention, but the real advancement is the shift from traditional cash tills to the point of sale software (POS). The POS industry is projected to be worth over $110 billion in 2025.

Half of the Canadian jobs are expected to be replaced by automation in the 2020s. Understanding POS software helps workers stay nimble and compete. There are different types of POS systems, but they all have one thing in common – efficiency.

What Is Point of Sale Software?

Not that long ago, retailers in Canada and around the world used manual cash registers for purchases. Besides manually adding totals, writing receipts, and tracking cash, this manual method is slow and leads to mistakes and fraud. POS systems were introduced as a more efficient way to turn the traditional cash register into a connected business tool.

One name comes to everyone’s mind when it comes to efficiency in fast-food – McDonald’s. It revolutionized fast food by removing all the friction of conventional restaurants. Customers can get hot, fresh hamburgers, milkshakes, and fries as fast today as they could when the company was founded in 1955.

As the company rapidly expanded in the 1970s, it became one of the first major retailers to use a POS platform. Today, its 200,000 registers and 300,000 POS devices (including self-service and manned) are all connected through a suite of Amazon Web Services (AWS) tools.

Point of sale software provides three key benefits:

1. Reporting and Inventory Management

Because they’re computer-enabled and network-connected, POS systems enable robust reporting features to show archived transaction information. Front-end cash registers can also connect to back-end warehouse inventory in real-time. This streamlines processes across the store, reducing customer wait times and increasing quality.

2. Marketing and CRM

The only thing more important to track than the inventory is customers. Obviously, this doesn’t mean spying on them (looking at you, Zuck), but sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name. POS systems help manage customer loyalty rewards, offer coupons and discounts, and so much more. Only 15% of Canada’s spending is loyalty based these days, so this is clearly a problem.

3. Connectivity and Scalability

McDonald’s proves the scalability of POS by existing at this point. Businesses that use them are more efficient and have better audit trails. The U.S. Small Business Administration points out employee management is easier across the board with a point of sale software.

Not all POS platforms are equal. In fact, there are a LOT of options on the market. Choosing the right POS is a Herculean task.

Finding the Right POS

Nobody wants to get stuck with a POS system that’s a POS. It’s not that many are directly bad (some are), but many are created to serve specific niches. There are different types of POS platforms to cater to different business needs. This includes hardware and software.

Small businesses in Canada are finding success using tablet computers as stationary POS systems and smartphones and tablets as mobile POS devices too. Card processors and digital business payment solutions like PayPal and Square make this easy with apps to turn any computer-enabled device into a cash management node.

Before spending $800-$10,000 on a POS, mapping out business practices, registers, employees, and other vital resources can be helpful. A mom-and-pop shop in one town will have different needs than a national or international conglomerate. Whatever POS is used, supplies are going to be needed down the road.

Supplying All Types of POS

First Phase Data has experts in point of sale software who have worked with retailers using every type of POS in Canada. These advanced systems still have needs for replenishable supplies like receipt paper and thermal paper. It’s also necessary to occasionally replace or repair cash drawers and barcode scanners. There’s nothing these experts haven’t seen.

We have the unmatched industry expertise to resolve the most challenging logistics and supply chain problems facing modern retailers. Canada has trusted us for decades to provide solutions for a wide range of POS systems. No matter what vintage equipment you’re using, there’s a good chance we can deliver the supplies.

Today’s retailers are more mobile and use e-commerce over traditional brick and mortar. We have cost-effective solutions that meet strict regulatory requirements while reducing environmental impact.

Check out First Phase Data’s complete inventory of supplies for all types of POS. Retailers in Canada can create an account for easy ordering.

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