Small and large businesses alike are forever having to adapt to changing economic climates and growing trends. That’s all a part of the fun of it, right? When you step into the business sector there are innumerable opportunities to make your business more streamlined, more profitable, and more manageable for you, your staff, and your customers.
South African businesses are steadily regaining their balance after the effects of COVID-19, and we have set our sights on making sure you are equipped with water-tight knowledge on how to take your business to the next level.
It’s common knowledge for anybody who has been into a store that businesses need a cash register. A business without a cash register is like a hair salon with no scissors or a soccer player with bad hair – it just doesn’t make much sense. If you are in the market of selling products or services to customers, you need some form of technology to monitor, store and facilitate that transaction.
The question is, what is available and what should you be using?
What is a Cash Register?
We can start from the beginning (a very good place to start). What initially began as a 19th-century invention to keep a tally of transactions quickly evolved into a storage unit for cash as well as a basic calculator to add total sales together. We’re all familiar with the traditional till system and plenty of businesses still use them in-store to this day.
Like most revolutionary inventions, the cash register was designed to fix a simple human problem. The problem for inventor and saloon owner James Ritty happened to be employees with itchy fingers and so he created a solution to be used in his establishment.
You see, transactions would now have to be calculated between customers and cashiers and a bell would sound when the cash drawer was opened. So, no more stealthy employees for Ritty and no more handwritten sales logs for the rest of us.
The Drawbacks of a Cash Register for Modern Day Employers?
Whilst we admire the ingenuity it took to create the first roll-out of cash registers, we can’t pretend that they aren’t a less effective mode of monitoring retail or service sales. Compared to what you could be using, that is.
If you choose to start with a traditional cash register or till system, you run the risk of investing in outdated technology that could be on the fritz before you know it. You also run the risk of managing a business that is far less optimised than it could and should be.
And now you’re probably wondering why we told you all businesses need a cash register in the first place. To clarify: you absolutely do need a tool that manages the cash that comes into your business. What you don’t need is to settle for ancient technology that compromises the efficiency of your business.
Cash registers cannot keep a history of any of your customers, sales, or promotions. This information needs to be stored somewhere for you to have a clear understanding of exactly where your business is at. There is no option to sync different registers to keep all your data and employees up to date and each would need to be serviced and updated manually.
As long as cash exists, you will need a cash drawer. This is one of the appeals of a cash register for many businesses that are just starting. There is the temptation to start cheap with a cash register that has the basics: a cash drawer and a credit card machine. It may seem more cost-effective in the here and now, but businesses today need far more in their arsenal to thrive.
Of course, you need to question the safety of an isolated cash drawer. Your customer information and cold hard cash are vulnerable to theft and unauthorized access.
Time Efficiency and Customer Relationships
Business owners who want to spend more time face to face with their customers are going to battle to do so with a basic till system. It’s not ideal to have an immobile cash register, especially in a restaurant or café environment where time is money and movement is constant.
Cash registers mean cues and cues mean frustrated patrons who only wanted to dip in and out for a coffee. Your customers are living in the modern world, and they expect the same from where they spend their time and money.
That’s why we propose a more fitting option. Instead of a cash register, you invest in a point of sales (POS) system.
What is a POS System?
POS stands for point of sales and is a popular method for businesses that value improving their processes. You could also call it a point of purchase (POP) system. A POS system is the electronic hardware and software where your customers pay for your wares using cash or a credit or debit card.
In essence, a POS system could be considered a cash register because of its core function to store and calculate cash. There are plenty of incredible features beyond that, which is why the two are similar but in different leagues. Each POS system is different, and you can find plenty of offers out there, but they do tend to revolve around the same convenient benefits. A digital POS system will be responsible for the organisation of your business from receipt printers, kitchen order printers, credit card and barcode scanners to a secure cash drawer and comprehensive data handling.
How a POS System will Boost Your Business
Keep Track of Your Business
A successful business is a business that has close eyes on everything that goes on behind the scenes. It’s important it is to have a grasp of how your business operates from day to day. A POS system is going to make that far easier for you.
With an integrated POS system, you can manage all the relevant information surrounding sales, inventory and promotions. Real-time reporting is a massive benefit of POS systems and one that every member of the retail, restaurant or enterprise sector should take advantage of.
Get to Know Your Customers
Having access to data history means you can keep thorough tabs on your customers. You will be able to pick up patterns in their buying behaviour and purchase preferences. You can even dig down to the time of day you usually have a huge demand for almond milk or which wines you need to re-order for lady’s night.
Knowing your patrons means knowing how to make profitable decisions for your business.
Tablet-based POS systems
One of the problems we identified earlier regarding using cash registers was their immobility. POS systems allow you and your employees the freedom to work whilst you move. Your customers can pay in the aisle, at their table or the front desk. Whichever location the moment calls for.
Having your POS system utilised across different tablet devices also means your employees can keep on top of orders, stock, specials, and promotions without the awkward “let me check” conversation. Efficiency happens when you have all the information you need right at your fingertips.
Improve the customer journey
That’s what it’s all about at the end of the day, is it not? Making sure that our customers have the most seamless interaction possible. POS systems are designed with the customer journey in mind and make the purchase process faster than ever.
POS systems create a level of surety for your consumer with its ability to scan barcodes. The customer knows that they are paying the standard price as reflected on the system. You will also be able to provide your client with a physical or digital receipt via your POS system.
Running a business is complicated. Point of sale doesn’t have to be.
Reliable POS Software from iKhokha
iK POS is a game-changing solution to amplifying your purchase journey. Our Poster software is a cloud-based point of sales system that aims to systematically improve the flow of money coming in and out of your company. iK POS offers you the opportunity to:
Manage Your Business Remotely
We know that you can’t be in two places at once (if you’ve figured that out, give us a call). Our cloud-based systems mean that you can access what’s going on with your business anytime, anywhere.
Get Real-time Reports
Get accurate analytics of your business as they happen. iK POS provides you with data that is easy to analyse and access from one convenient source.
All it takes is a tap, a swipe or a quick pin punch for your customer to pay for their purchase. Use our iKhokha card machines with the iK POS system for lightning-fast transactions. Our card machines also offer profit-driven benefits like iK Vend which you can read more about here.
Keep tabs on your inventory with Poster software. Our systems intelligently track your stock making it easy for you to restock and communicate with suppliers.
Investing in the right technology for your business is an imperative step that can only hold you in good stead for the future. With South Africa’s lowest transaction rates and next-level support, the iK Tribe is ready to get you where you need to go. Keep an eye on our social media for more on how to grow and manage your business.