As your understanding of the retail environment expands and technology plays an increasing role, staying well-informed about the technology (old and new) used at checkout is key. Today, five terms related to POS that will help you appreciate more about the inner workings of your store are featured.
Point of service or POS the area where a customer completes a transaction, such as a checkout counter. It is also known as a point of purchase (POP). POS also refers to the computerized network used by the checkout terminals.
POS terminals leverage Inventory Software Programs that allow stores to track usage, monitor changes in unit dollar costs, alert the need to reorder items, and analyze inventory levels on an item-by-item basis. In some instances, stores can control inventory right at the cash register. POS software records each sale when it happens, so inventory records are always up-to-date. Reporting capabilities available in POS programs include sales, costs, and profits by individual inventory items, by salesperson, or by category for the day, month and year to date. Benefits of a POS system include the ability to analyze sales data to determine how well an item is selling and to maintain a sales history to adjust buying decisions. This data can be incredibly valuable to retail dietitians in tracking the return-on-investment of their programs.
Barcode the small image of lines and spaces that is printed on packages, to identify a particular product. The code uses a sequence of vertical bars and spaces to represent numbers and other symbols. Since 1973, the Uniform Product Code (UPC), regulated by the Uniform Code Council, an industry organization, has provided a standard bar code used by most retail stores. The UPC is different from the PLU code, Price Look Up Code which tracks inventory and is used to identify bulk produce and related items such as nuts and herbs. IFPS is the global organization that assigns PLU codes to produce items.
End-to-End Encryption is a POS security feature that protects customer’s sensitive credit card information both at the point of sale and at the processing end. Data is encrypted at the POS system so that it can be transmitted safely through public networks to the point where it is processed.
X/Z Reports provide real-time information about POS activities for the current sales period. These reports can be used when closing out the drawer at the end of the day. The report ensures everything adds up and enables the store to maintain accuracy. A Z report will reset your cash drawer to 0, whereas an X report allows the users to see a running balance.