How to Choose the Right Hardware for Your Point of Sale System

You can leverage technology in your business, whether a one-person band or at the helm of a multi-location chain. Point Sale systems level the playing field between David and Goliath by making technology more accessible — it was previously only an option for larger companies.

POS System

Many options areavailable to you, but you must first identify what you need from your Point of Sale system. A Point of Sale system isn’t just somewhere to keep your money. It would help if you were clear on what you want your Point of Sale system to do and find hardware solutions that fit your needs.

A Point Sale system can’t change your business, but it can certainly add to it. The data that a Point of Sale system collects will give you increased business visibility, unlocking actionable insights. It’s important that you’re clear on what you want from your POS system and that you communicate those needs to the vendors when you’re buying — that way, you can be sure that you’re getting the right hardware for your business.

A POS system can enable you to find what you’re selling the most when you’re selling it, and to who you’re selling it — data that can be used to make fact-driven decisions to boost your business. The hardware you choose will impact what your Point of Sale system can and how you use it.

iPad-based Point of Sale systems

The system that you choose needs to be easy for employees to use. iPad-based Point of Sale systems are the go-to solution – Apple is so successful because its software is designed to be easily graspable and reliable.

One major benefit of an iPad-based Point of Sale system is that your staff will need virtually no training: they’re already conversant with the iPad interface. This is a marked contrast to old proprietary systems, for which your team will likely need training even if they’ve used a similar procedure before.

They’re also far easier to service. If your touchscreen breaks down, you will have to pay for a repairer to come out and service it — or even replace the whole system. By contrast, if the iPad you’re using as a Point of Sale stops working, you can download your Point of Sale app to another iPad and use that instead.

You can find iPads for sale in pretty much any town center or get one delivered to your door with just a few clicks. If cash flow is an issue, many second-hand models are available for significantly less than they cost new.

iPads are easily portable — or, if security is a concern, you can opt for a secure iPad stand that screws into your countertop, making it as close to theft-proof as possible.

Receipt printers

Your business’s premises dictate the type of Point of Sale hardware you go for — and receipt printers, which connect to your iPad in various ways, are no exception. Receipt printers tend to connect to your iPad using Wi-Fi, LAN, Bluetooth, or USB; each type of connection has its advantages and drawbacks.

Wi-Fi printers are flexible, and you can connect several to a single iPad, but they’re harder to set up and rely on you having a stable Wi-Fi network. USB printers, by contrast, connect directly to your iPad using a Lightning cable, so you’ll never lose connectivity. This drawback is that you can only connect one printer to your iPad.

You also need to consider the number of transactions the hardware will likely have to cope with. A Bluetooth printer is a great option for many businesses. Still, if you experience a high volume of transactions, a LAN receipt printer could better serve your business for fast, long-distance, reliable communication.

Card readers

Taking advantage of the latest payment technology is a key reason to upgrade from a cash register to a Sale system. Payment processors supply their card terminals — normally on a lease — so the specific airport you get will depend on your chosen payment processor. But all card terminals do the same thing, more or less: they allow you to take card payments.

After that, form tends to follow function — some are a PIN pad and a screen powered by a rechargeable battery. Other card terminals have larger screens on which you can display your branding, and others have built-in receipt printers for customer card receipts.

Every modern card terminal comes with NFC capabilities, meaning they can accept payment using contactless cards and phone-based payment systems like Apple Pay and Google Pay.

Another thing to remember is whether your card terminal is integrated with your Point of Sale system. If it is, you can send payment details directly from your iPad to your card reader — if not, you’ll have to type in each transaction manually. Integrated payments are a real help if you’re in a fast-paced environment with lots of manyto process.

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