Points of sale (POS) systems are electronic systems that provide businesses with the capability to retain and analyze a wide variety of inventory and transaction data on a continuous basis. POS systems have been touted as valuable tools for a wide variety of business purposes, including refining target marketing strategies; tracking supplier purchases; determining customer purchasing patterns; analyzing sales (on a daily, monthly, or annual basis) of each inventory item, department, or supplier; and creating reports for use in making purchases, reorders, etc. Basic point of sale systems currently in use includes standalone electronic cash registers, also known as ECRs; ECR-based network systems; and controller-based systems. All function essentially as sales and cash management tools, but each has features that are unique.
These electronic registers operate independently of one another, and are thus the most limited of the three POS system types.
Network or ECR-based point-of-sale systems feature multiple terminals arranged into a primary/secondary configuration.
Controller-Based POS System
The top POS systems are controller-based systems in which each terminal is connected to a computer the “controller” of the system which receives and stores all sales, merchandise, and credit data.