Point of sale software for your glass shop: here are the different types

March 21, 2023
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Starting a new business can come with many challenges as you work to set up suppliers and negotiate prices, but there are plenty of decisions to make in your new store itself. One of the essential bases for how you will structure your business interactions with customers depends on the type of point-of-sale system and software you choose. The POS system comprises both the hardware and software needed for completing customer payment processes. Still, in the ever-increasing digital world, the software portion of the system has quickly advanced to become even more specialized.

There are tons of different software that you can pick to craft a custom set-up that works for your business, but they depend on your system. The most common types of POS systems are:

  1. Mobile POS Systems
  2. Tablet POS Systems
  3. On-Site Terminal POS Systems
  4. Self-Service POS Systems
  5. Multi-channel POS Systems

Understanding these POS systems is vital before choosing the one that you will run your business on, as the POS software you use will depend on what system is the best fit for your business model. 

Mobile POS Systems

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A mobile point-of-sale system is often the primary system used by pop-up vendors who work locations like fairs and markets or those who provide at-home services like lawn care. The mobile POS system allows vendors to take payments through their smartphone, often integrated into the hardware through cloud-based software that disregards the need for much other hardware besides the principal mobile phone. 

The necessities of this system can be reduced to a smartphone, an internet connection or cell service, and a card reader, making the starting costs of this system minor compared to many others. The cloud-based software also tends to charge only a low monthly subscription fee and a payment processing fee, sometimes offering a free card reader along with the subscription. As such, it is an attractive prospect for those whose travel requirements make other POS systems impractical. 

Tablet POS Systems

A tablet system is similar to a mobile system in that it is a popular option for businesses looking for a POS system with lower starting costs. Typically using an iPad or Android tablet, these systems are more expansive and are usually set up to connect to more of the typical POS hardware, including barcode readers, tablet stands, and cash drawers. Like mobile systems, they often use cloud software. Still, their complexity can range from the basic credit card transactions supported by mobile systems to managing complex inventory and tracking employee time. 

The software that interfaces with the tablet POS system can require a low monthly subscription fee with the choice of a credit card processor. In contrast, others charge principally for card processing while including some bonuses. Their increased computing power allows them to hold more complex systems, and they are popular for quick-service restaurants like cafes or food trucks as well as small retailers that won’t handle a massive amount of inventory daily. 

On-Site Terminal POS Systems

<a href=”https://www.vecteezy.com/free-photos”>Free Stock photos by Vecteezy</a>

The On-Site Terminal POS Systems are the ones most recognizable as POS systems on the counters of most retail or grocery stores. This system is designed to include all of the hardware that might be necessary – compatible with barcode scanners, cash drawers, and receipt printers. They are meant to stay permanently within the store rather than have the possibility of movement like the mobile or tablet systems. 

Because on-site systems are all-in-one, they come with more possibilities for customization, making it possible to run only the store’s POS software rather than allow internet access. They can also integrate with other devices in the store, such as the tableside portable wifi devices used by servers in restaurants, making it one of the leading retail POS systems for larger businesses. 

Self-Service POS Systems

The Self-Service POS Systems also referred to as self-service kiosks, are a relatively new introduction to shopping but are most commonly found in convenience stores and grocery stores. They are designed as stand-alone entities that largely eliminate the need for cashiers, allowing customers to purchase and check out independently – scanning, ordering, and making payments without requiring assistance. 

These kiosks are wifi enabled and usually come with a permanent stand, interactive display, touchscreen, and card reader. However, their cost is well above basic cloud software used for a mobile or tablet system, as these kiosks are sold as the whole package of both hardware and software. Because of this, they are usually a better fit for larger stores where the money saved by necessitating fewer cashiers can offset the price. As such, they may not be the best fit for businesses that do not constantly have multiple cashiers operating simultaneously or stores that do not have the physical space to house multiple permanent installations such as these. 

Multi-channel POS Systems

A Multi-channel POS System is used by businesses that sell their products in more than one location or make additional sales online. This POS system comes with software designed to help you integrate sales along multiple storefronts and online stores. They also help keep track of employee and inventory data across various channels and locations, making it easier to track total sales and keep stock up to date. 

Why get a specialized POS system?

All of these systems are compatible with different software intended to be used by the businesses most likely to use a specific system. The business model determines the system and the possible software you can add. For business owners who have yet to find what they are looking for, there are open-source, web-based POS systems. However, the programming knowledge needed to shape the program is at the level of software engineers, whose rates can be incredibly high. The main reason a business might decide to get a specialized POS system is if they have one-of-a-kind needs that only an open-source system can be tailored to fit. If you are not looking for something too specific, it is best to examine POS systems that already exist for your business, even if you think it’s far too niche. 
If you’ve decided that you are interested in a POS system for your glass business, Elmo Anywhere is one of the leading software programs in the industry. If you’re interested, check out the pricing for the baseline software package and any add-ons.