The global pandemic has given rise to increased non-cash transactions. Customers are focused on avoiding any health risks. Likewise, in hotels, more customers are opting for contactless payment options like tap-and-go credit or debit cards, or mobile wallets like Google Pay or UPI transactions while social distancing. Here, on this portal, we keep on providing useful information about the hospitality industry. This one is for making life easier for hospitality establishments and to help them in reducing costs for gaining competitive advantages.
Before Covid-19, the analysts had estimated businesses and consumers to hit 841 billion global non-cash transactions by 2023. For the hospitality management sector today, virtual payments are becoming increasingly popular. More hotel managers are shifting towards the upgraded point-of-sale (POS) system over traditional cash registers for accepting payments.
In 2020, the global POS system market size reached USD 9.26 billion. Based on the Point Of Sale Software Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report 2021 – 2028, it is estimated to reach USD 19.56 billion by 2028. The modern POS system is flexible, offering several features. Needless to say, the POS system acts as a critical point for transactions that benefit the customers as well as increase business efficiency.
Choosing the right kind of POS system for hotels can be confusing. For a review of the best POS systems in the market, head on to WiseSmallBusiness – Point of Sale (POS) System Reviews. As the title suggests, this article will offer an insight into the world of POS systems, helping hotels to choose the right fit.
It commences with the basics of a POS system – its types, features, and benefits. Following this, there are different aspects to consider when choosing a POS system. In addition, there are different functional features that a POS system has to offer. Keep all these factors in when choosing the right POS system.
What is a Point-of-Sale or POS system?
It is a computerized network consisting of hardware and software components allowing hotels to carry out secured contactless transactions. PoS is one of the most important information systems used in the hotel industry. At the basic level, a POS system records sales receive payments, and issues receipts.
With technological advancements, the POS system has been evolving. Today, it can consolidate and optimize different aspects of hospitality companies including customer and inventory management, multiple-channel sales, and marketing and analysis.
Components of POS systems
- Hardware: There are different hardware parts of a POS system namely, receipt printer, scanner, cash drawer and card terminal. The card terminal, for example, is necessary for accepting, debit, credit or mobile wallet payments.
- Software: It allows the user to choose database items to charge. Through the POS platform, hotel managers can manage inventory, view records of customer transactions, and get sales data analytics and reports.
- Transfer payments: The POS system allows hotels to easily transfer payments from the bank accounts of guests to the hotel’s linked accounts.
Types of POS systems
In general, two types of POS systems are available based on the deployment approach. They are – Traditional POS systems and Cloud POS systems.
|Based on-||Traditional POS system||Cloud POS system|
|Explanation||It is an on-premise POS system, requiring more effort and upfront investments for upgrade and maintenance.||It allows any device to access and store on the online server. It offers higher security and easier inventory management.|
|Location of information storage||In the local server||In cloud system|
|Location of information access||From the computer system||From any device|
|Payment type||High one-time payment plan||Low monthly, quarterly, or yearly payments with no-charge updates.|
The Point Of Sale Software Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report by Deployment, 2021-2028, observed the traditional type owns 70% of the total market as of 2020. Cloud POS systems, on the other hand, are high in demand because of their greater accessibility and flexibility.
Moving on, POS systems can be differentiated based on their functionality and mobility. They are-
- Mobile POS system: It’s standalone mobile apps are extensions of the countertop systems. An affordable option, offering limited features like receipt printing and credit card reading, suitable for food trucks.
- Desktop POS system: Broad management areas are covered including staff and inventory management – suitable for hospitality companies.
- Self-service POS system: Offers customers to make and pay for their orders, increasing the speed of the checkout process. It is a contactless option, decreasing manpower and waiting time, suiting fast-food chain businesses.
Features of POS Systems
POS systems are much more than simple transaction systems. Here’s a gist of the wide range of POS system features.
- POS hardware
The hardware may be equipment or a terminal making up the point-of-scale. It may range from a large desktop screen to a small dongle attached to the mobile.
It can be a great addition to the room service team for guests to pay directly for any door-delivery service. Common functions of POS hardware include barcode scanning and credit card reading.
- POS software
Every POS provider offers a platform to run sales and operations in hotels. Opting for a cloud-based POS system is best to receive updates without any time lag or added efforts. Other software features may include security, integration, data inventory, flexibility, and automation.
A comparative idea of the best POS systems for hospitality companies.
The vital hospitality POS features are contactless payment, self-ordering, and staff management. It allows businesses to accommodate higher sales volumes despite limited staff. Listed below are some of the smartest POS systems that are worth giving a try in 2021.
|POS system||Best known for||Features that stand out|
|Square||Affordability; monthly pricing plans available.||Industry and restaurant industry-specific features|
|RevelSystems||Capable functionality for enterprises||Customizable features with intuitive iPad interface|
|Lightspeed||Hotel or restaurant management||Hotel management integration with the flat-rate payment processing option|
|Toast||Restaurant-graded POS system||Android POS hardware offering complete restaurant management and tableside ordering devices.|
|TouchBistro||Managing reservations||Online reservation suite with multiple payment processing choices.|
Benefits of choosing POS systems
- Accepting all payment options:
Statista predicted 29.1 million to use mobile POS payments in 2019, which was equivalent to USD 87 million transactions for the year. By 2023, the amount is expected to be near USD 246 billion. With the global pandemic in full swing, contactless payment modes have upshifted.
Hotels are offering guests all modes of digital payments: gift cards, EMV chips, and other digital wallet options. The POS with complete credit card processing integration allows hotels to accept any payment modes. This benefits customers to pay conveniently through any payment method.
- Improved inventory management:
A POS inventory management for the on-site restaurant allows the hospitality management team to check supplies, monitor sales, and re-order when alerted by the system.
A POS system automatically keeps track of sales, generates inventory reports. This results in lowered costs of carrying or ordering inventories, providing more business profits.
- Benefiting from improved guest loyalty program:
Research suggests repeated customers bring more business profits than new customers.
According to HubSpot, ‘’customer loyalty is a customer’s willingness to buy from or work with a company again and again. It’s a motivating factor that compels people to commit to a brand, and it comes from offering customers something extra aside from the product/service they purchased. This provides added value which leaves people feeling happy and satisfied with their customer experience.’’
The POS system centralizes multiple data sources, recording sales and gross profits with pre-built CRM. Email marketing and CRM offer a complete picture of customer insights and preferences. It is suitable for a customer loyalty program, allowing hotels to keep track of customer transactions history. This helps to easily spot loyal customers and provide incentives in return for brand advocacy.
- Tracking and analyzing sales:
Replaced by the modern POS systems, hotels are now able to track financial growth in real-time. Many of the systems have features that offer daily sales reports, employee productivity, and customer behaviors.
The same terminal allows credit card processing and tracks employee attendance. Similarly, the companies can track monthly, quarterly, or yearly sales using the same hub.
Things to consider when choosing a POS system for hospitality companies.
Before jumping on to certain POS systems, it is essential to understand hospitality needs. Doing some internal research beforehand offers clarity of the features necessary for a particular hotel.
The point of sale has the power to make or break a customer’s brand experience. The hospitality companies must think about the customer experience and goals of sales while making branding decisions. With that in mind, keep the following factors in check when choosing a POS system.
Here are some of the considerable requirement areas for choosing a POS system.
- Hardware: POS equipment is quite a big investment. If there is an existing setup, then the hotel may work on getting solutions that work with the setup. Make sure to check devices like barcode scanners, printers, card drawers and terminals.
- Software: If the company is comfortable with the existing accounting software, look for solutions that integrate well with the software.
- SaaS Vs. Licenses: Several vendors offer cloud-based SaaS subscription plans that are similar to software solutions. It is comparatively an affordable option with routine updates and customer support features and updated versions. A software license, on the other hand, requires a huge upfront license fee, annual update fee and monthly fee for customer support and maintenance.
- Shortcomings of existing systems: Look out for shortcomings of the POS system in hand. Consult the associates and cashiers to take down notes of the missing features. It offers a narrowed-down view of the solutions that would suit the required needs.
- Workplan: Besides the present plan, keeping the future roadmap helps to choose solutions that grow and evolve with the business.
- Budget: The billing structure for restaurant POS systems varies from the retail POS system and from one provider to another. The applicable fee may depend on the following factors:
- Features and functions.
- Several users and locations.
- Size of customer database.
- The volume of transactions.
- Size of catalogs.
Some solutions may charge a subscription fee. Whereas POS service providers may sweep away a percentage of the business sales. At times, some solutions may take both routes. The budget must therefore be kept in mind when choosing a POS solution.
Key functions and features of POS systems for hospitality companies.
- Process of checkout:
At the heart of the point of sales lies the checkout process. Choosing a POS system that does justice to the experience is important.
- Check how fast the process of product checkup is.
- The search functionality of the software is of prime importance. It decides whether barcode scanning of items or product entry occurs easily when ringing up sales.
- Having fast and intuitive software will efficiently ring up sales. Allow the cashiers to test it beforehand to check if it’s user-friendly.
- The POS system must have features offering a good customer-facing experience.
- Having a POS system set up in the desktop eases the transaction process for hotels.
- Customer Management:
An able POS system allows hospitality companies to grow and manage customers simultaneously. According to the Hospitality Technology Report, 2020, understanding customer preferences led to 60% POS system upgrades.
- It must be able to capture most customer details at checkout. It allows hotels to retain customer transaction history and build better relationships with them.
- The point of sale solution influences customized customer experience, allowing hotels to carry out an email marketing strategy on existing customers.
- It should be able to offer 24/7 customer assistance, through call, mail or live chat, if possible.
- Payment management:
The customers must be able to pay through different payment modes and sales outlets. Be its debit/credit cards, cheques, digital wallet payment, or contactless payment. The chosen POS system must be able to accept, verify and process all the transactions with ease.
The advanced POS systems provide multiple features on payment transactions. For example, managing bills paid through different modes, while subtracting or adding necessary payments.
- Employee management:
Advanced POS systems allow terminals to monitor employee productivity and capabilities. It keeps an eye on employee check-in and check-outs.
A POS system that integrates well with the current software and app in hand is vital. For unbroken information flow and sharing, the POS must connect to the accounting software, payment processor, CRM, and e-commerce website.
- Reports and analysis:
Every POS system must be able to manage basic reporting functionality like monitoring employee performance, inventory levels, and multi-channel sales. There must be an increase in revenue stream visibility. It provides a greater picture of revenue based on the income of guests and walk-ins, sent directly to the company’s PMS.
Keeping the customer and business information secure and confidential is of utmost importance. Before choosing a POS system, learn whether it is compliant with the latest rules and regulations, offering routine updates.
The latest POS systems have the capability of generating success and streamlining the business processes. Coming this far, all the readers must have an idea of POS solutions suitable for hospitality companies.
The article offered an idea of the POS system, its variants, features, and benefits. Later on in the article, there has been an in-depth discussion about the factors to consider while choosing a hotel POS system. Finally, there has been a summary of the function and features of hotel POS systems. That concludes the guide to choose POS for hospitality companies.