Written by: Samantha Noble, Marketing Manager
Point of sale, Point of purchase, POS, cash register, checkout, till, cash wrap – the names are endless. All these are surely synonyms, but do they really mean the same thing? I would argue that each of these names have a slightly different connotation. To me, a point of sale or point of purchase represents something more than a cash register. You may disagree, but read what I have to say first.
Why Point of Sale?
When customers call in to inquire about a point of sale system, we generally hear requests for one of two names, a POS or a register. While they obviously represent the same thing, the term “point of sale” was coined for a reason. Ultimately, the main goal of the POS is to ring up a transaction; however, a number of other implied goals follow with the territory of the term.
First, the point of sale is a place for store personnel to talk to their customers. A store employee, if doing their job properly, has the opportunity to gain a lot from a customer conversing at the time of transaction. They can ask if the customer found everything they needed, make sure they had a positive experience, while politely asking for their business again, and wish them well. Often, customers make it through the entire store without interacting with one store clerk (I would imagine that most retail operators would find this little fact disturbing). The point of sale is a GUARANTEED point of contact for every customer. Building loyalty and positive repertoire is a necessity for retailers who want repeat business. Does a cash register or till imply all of this to you?
The point of sale is also a great place to upsell your consumers. Think about all the items surrounding the point of sale; gum, mints, soda, lighters, lip balm, magazines etc. Often, I could just wait to do all my shopping as I leave the store. What more does a girl need than gum, fashion magazines, and some chocolate? Of course I am kidding, but I am sure Target’s profit statistics are staggering from that space alone.
Ultimately, to me, a “point” of sale is a location, loyalty hub, transaction, reference point, and place to get those final sales. Do you get all these implied goals out of “cash register?”
I will admit, I may be a little too passionate about this term, or maybe I am just trying to keep it classy? After all, we are pretty classy folk here at Retail Tech. Either way, I would love to hear your opinion on this topic- what do you call the computer, monitor, cash drawer, receipt printer, customer display and barcode scanner bundle that we sell? Reply below—if I receive feedback, I will feature your response in my next blog post! You must know, I am not afraid to hear a better justification for the reason you call it what you do. Agree or disagree with me, I want to hear from you!