The past few years have seen the use of self-service POS systems skyrocket significantly across the global retail industry. Whether this is propelled by the rise of the cashless economy or post-Covid economic recovery measures, retailers are ready to deploy self-service checkouts to consistently meet their customer’s needs. Consumers are also quickly embracing the concept of order and payment processing without assistance.
This guide highlights all that you need to know about self-service POS checkout systems.
What is a Self-Service POS System?
A self-service Point of Sale system is software built with self-order functionalities. With self-service POS software, users can select products, place orders, and process payments by barcode scanning or tapping a touchscreen. Essentially, a self-service POS system is a replacement for cashiers and point-of-sale assistants.
While customers are given full control to manage their purchases, most POS systems have multi-tier accessibility that allows managers and employees to sign in using authorized credentials. This is considered essential to assist buyers when faced with unexpected concerns, such as product returns and unprogrammed offers.
What Kind of Business Can Use a Self-Service POS System?
Multiple industries are quickly embracing the value of self-service POS systems as either partial or full-fledge checkout options. Examples of business types adopting these systems include the following;
A self-service POS software in a restaurant comes in handy in ensuring quick and seamless placement and processing of food orders. Customers do not have to call waiters up or consult restaurant cashiers to view food menus, check culinary specials, place and modify orders, and process bill payments.
Point-of-sale systems are more common in the retail industry than in any other sector. The invention of the self-service POS comes as an extended feature of most retail stores’ checkout systems.
Businesses involved in the sale of tickets consider self-service POS to be a primary asset for their operations. Such businesses include sporting arenas, film theatres, and transport and logistics firms.
Pros and Cons of Self-Service POS Systems
Allowing customers to self-order their preferred products, modify such orders, and process payments do not come with its fair share of pros and cons. Here is a highlight.
- Reduced Waiting Time – A self-service POS system minimizes the amount of time spent by a single customer at any given time.
- Order Accuracy – Since orders are placed and modified as per the customer’s preferences, there are very limited chances of errors or omissions.
- Customer Satisfaction – Reduced waiting times, order accuracy, and contactless purchases as facilitated by self-service point-of-sale systems tend to enhance customer satisfaction.
- Contactless Payment Processing – Modern self-service POS equipment comes with built-in card readers that allow users to make cashless payments.
- Technical Failure – POS hardware and software are often prone to technical downtimes, which can cause high-cost disruptions if not addressed instantly.
- Technological Illiteracy – Customers with zero knowledge of the use and functionality of point-of-sale systems can find it frustrating to make purchases.
- Cyber Threats – Like any other piece of technology, this self-service software is vulnerable to cyberattacks.
Types of Self-Service POS Systems
According to Paymentsprocessingsolution.com, POS terminals are built differently, with the design of each kind influencing the operations it can handle.
Here are the various types of self-service POS terminals.
- Self-Contained POS – These are huge terminals built with a giant touchscreen for order placement and payment processing. They are common in restaurants, fast-food services, and retail stores.
- Ticketing POS – Ticketing POS terminals are similar to self-contained systems. However, ticketing POS machines come with inbuilt ticket printing systems. Since most of these machines are industrial and installed outdoors, ticketing POS terminals are often rugged.
- Tablet POS – A tablet self-service POS terminal is built on a tablet, such as an iPad. For convenience, tablet POS terminals are installed on a small stand. They are common in small-scale retail businesses.
- Tabletop POS – Unlike all the other types of self-service POS, tabletop terminals are mobile and portable. This explains why most of them come with wireless capabilities and dual screen-view orientation (landscape and portrait). Tabletop POS is probably the least expensive self-service terminal commonly used by small businesses.
The Process of Setting Up a Self-Service POS System
A self-service point-of-sale system is arguably every retailer’s most critical retail management tool. And that means you must set it up right for ultimate success.
Here is a step-by-step guide to setting up a self-service POS terminal.
Step 1: Run the Software
Once you have identified your POS service provider and installed the equipment, all you need to do is launch the browser, configure your account, and log in.
Step 2: Set Up Your Inventory
Upload your products, services, menus, tickets, or any piece of inventory that will be running on the POS system.
Step 3: Configure Permissions
Where employees and managers will need access to the system, you will need to create permission levels and generate multi-level user accounts.
Step 4: Integrate Your Payment Processor
To accept payments, your POS terminal must be linked to your payment processor. The dynamics may vary with your merchant account, and you might need to consult your provider to determine any existing prerequisites.
Step 5: Integrate Other Business Apps
Interlinking your POS with other business applications, such as e-commerce apps, ERP, and CRM may help streamline your operations.
As the trend dictates, a POS system is essential for any business looking for lowered customer waiting for times and convenience of order placement. Ensuring that your self-service POS terminal functions in the best interests of your customers are what you need to generate high ROI.