In June of 2011, we created this blog post about the state of the technology for Point of Sale (POS) systems. We decided to update and re-post it because Cybernet has just released a new POS system for retail, government, and hospitality: the iPOS-G45 all-in-one PC. In designing this new all-in-one PC, Cybernet analyzed the existing PC hardware that power POS systems, and decided improvements were in order. Among the findings: POS software was advancing, but the PC hardware was slow and outdated. Peripheral equipment still needed both parallel and serial connections. Touch screen technology needed to be robust. The result was Cybernet’s iPOS-G45, powered by Intel’s G45 Express chipset, up to 8GB of DDR3 memory, multiple new and legacy ports, and a touch screen that can withstand up to 10 million touches. Read more at the iPOS-G45 product page.
And now, here’s the previous blog post:
Point of Sale (POS) systems have come a long way since they were first introduced in the retail industry during the 1970s. Initially set up as electronic cash registers, these customized systems were designed to improve efficiency in retail stores, as well as integrating with inventory control programs. Today, POS systems are used in many other industries besides retail; they are used in hospitality, factories and warehouses, health care, and banking.
These days, POS systems are available in different hardware/software configurations. Some systems are bundled together, with the software configured to only work on specially designed hardware (usually a small terminal-like device as in a retail store). Other systems use POS software that can be used on an average PC, as long as the PC has other serial or parallel ports to connect devices that provide input like scanned items or customer payment data, or output such as a printed receipt. Touch screens are additional features that are becoming more common; many users prefer them because it’s easier to learn the POS software and faster to enter data.
Another POS configuration that has become increasingly is the self-service kiosk in retail environments, powered by touch screen PCs. Customers can easily process and pay for their items without the need for a cashier. Another new trend is the use of mobile devices whereby customers can interface with a retail store’s POS system to process their transactions by scanning or in-store wireless transmission. Both of these technology developments are consistent with the overall trend of “customer-centric retailing”, giving customers several technology options for checkout and payment.
Advances in POS hardware and software also benefit the retailer or business. Modern POS systems collect customer data that can be used for targeted promotion, cross-selling, and loyalty programs. Newer systems and options like self-service kiosks and mobile systems reduce labor costs, and improve customer satisfaction due to speedy checkout time. Improvements in POS software also enable the company to run multiple business applications with one POS system, saving money and time.