Types of Cash Registers
One of those critical decisions for a business owner is deciding what type of cash register to buy.
That's because with todays technology, a cash register is so much more than a drawer where the cash is kept.
With a mix of sturdy, cash register hardware and power cash register software, these machines can accept modern forms of payment, provide advice for ordering and inventory, and ultimately perform a variety of features that streamlines business operations... if you choose the right type of cash register.
Let’s check out the 4 types of cash registers below that you should know about before making a purchasing decision.
#1 POS (Point-of-Sale) Cash Registers
Another form of cashier register that has been around for quite some time is the point of sale or POS system. In its introduction, it became one of the most colossal changes in the world of retail.
POS systems provide businesses with a variety of modern features compared to ECRs and are far more customizable.
Plus, they allow for more flexibility thanks to the powerful software that they make use of.
One of the selling points of POS systems is that they provide businesses with assistance in many ways.
You can use the included point of sale system software to collect and analyze data every time they scan an item.
This software can take on and perform a wide variety of crucial business tasks, including product performance analysis, inventory management, employee management, sales reports, sales metrics, multi-store consolidation, accounting, promotions, and much more.
Modern POS cashier registers utilize computerized systems that provide business owners with all of the necessary and powerful tools to improve customer experience and optimize their storefronts. With a POS system, there are quicker turnaround times, sleek and modern terminals and checkout areas, and ease of use for employees.
If you are running a modern business where having operations tools could be useful, or if you are running multiple storefronts at once, a POS system should be your go-to.
#2 Cloud-Based Cash Register or POS System
Many new desktop point of sale systems and mPOS systems are integrated with cloud operations.
A cloud-based POS system is the most futuristic form of cash register for businesses and it comes with a variety of benefits for the modern business owner.
For starters, it is important to note that cloud-based point of sale systems are some of the most flexible around.
It is also important to note that what is most important lies in the software, rather than in the hardware.
Cloud-based point of sale systems are the best for total connectivity.
The beauty of cloud systems is that you can access them through any location with Internet access using a supporting device, such as a phone or laptop. The fact that you can be off-site while updating or reviewing your cash register is pretty helpful.
Cash register data for these machines is updated in real-time and is stored in a remote server. Whether you are on-site, at home, or halfway around the world on vacation, you can see your daily sales, track orders and promotions, manage inventory, and perform just about any accounting task.
Cloud-based systems offer security too. Thanks to the fact that your data is stored in the cloud, you don’t have to worry about anyone stealing it. All of your financial information, inventory, and product data, sits in servers rather than on-site, deterring theft.
Lastly, cloud-based systems are constantly updating to make sure that your business is running optimally. You can set your system to upgrade automatically so that every time there is a software update, whether large or small, your system will run it. This way, you’ll never be left behind.
#3 Electronic Cash Registers
While we could truly start with your manual cash drawer, electronic cash registers fall on the practical bottom line for most modern businesses. For many years, electronic cash registers were the only available machines for accepting electronic payments, such as credit cards.
As time went on, developers eventually added reporting and sales tracking features, as well as a few features for data management and sale inventory.
With that said, these features were incredibly simplified. For the most part, ECR systems have become obsolete for most businesses.
However, many small retailers who are strapped for money or don’t have any use for inventory tracking or business operations features may find that electronic cash registers are a great choice.
Your typical electronic cash register is designed with a cash drawer and a small pad or input screen up top. You probably recognize the older models, which use analog pads to ring up items, though newer ECR models use digital screens.
A fair amount of ECR systems come with keypad, mouse, or touch control. You may also pair barcode scanners and receipt printers with ECR systems. As for installation, some come with batteries and some come hard-wired into the closest outlet.
For those looking for a more affordable option with basic sales operations, easy-to-use features, and low installation costs, an electronic cash register is a wonderful option. However, there are far more powerful solutions available for those who want to take it another step up.
#4 Mobile Cash Registers / Tablets
Big retailers, such as large department stores, usually require a point of sale system in the form of desktop machines.
However, there are many business owners that find success with mobile cash registers of tablets, otherwise known as mPOS machines. These machines typically come with all of the recognizable features of a regular POS system, though they cost far less thanks to their smaller designs.
Tablets, unlike your traditional desktop POS systems, can be moved around the retail area.
This creates absolute convenience for both customers and employees. An employee, for example, could check multiple customers out at their tables rather than taking their card and running back to the integrated POS system. This could be incredibly useful during a lunch or dinner rush and could very well be an alternative to creating an entirely new checkout lane.
Of course, with every benefit comes a downside. Compared to a desktop point of sale system, mobile POS systems aren’t nearly as powerful. They don’t have the ability to complete transactions as quickly as traditional POS systems. They’re also not as practical for managers or owners who want to explore the back-end features. Lastly, they can be stolen with ease. While it isn’t something that you hear about often, the idea of easy theft should be something that you consider and work to prevent.
Tablets, just like desktop cash registers, come with all of the peripherals of your standard cash register. A mobile system should come with a credit card machine that accepts contactless forms of payments, such as EMV cards. They should also come with sturdy cash drawers, checkout and inventory scanners, and laser receipt printers.
Final Verdict - Which Type of Cash Register Should I Get?
With so many different types of cash registers out there, finding the right one for your business and your customers can seem like a daunting task. From the cash drawer to the credit card to the back-end operational features, you need a reliable system that can handle the day-to-day parts of your business so that you can focus on the things that truly matter.
Of course, every business has a niche, meaning every business has a different need.
You want to find a sales system that has all of the necessary features to benefit your store without going overboard or wasting money on unnecessary, high-end equipment and software.
Consider the size of your business. If you own a larger retail business, for example, you might have the need for all of your product codes to be built into your register. Smaller retail joints, on the other hand, don't need this added feature.
Consider the functions that you need. Do you want back-end operations, automatic inventory, sales metrics, promotions, and more? Would having these things make business easier or would they be unnecessary functions.
Consider the location or locations of your business. Do you have a single, small storefront that only requires a simple ECR setup, or do you have multiple storefronts that could be connected through a point of sale system's software? Maybe you are in a place where having the flexibility of a mobile system could be helpful.
Consider the different types of registers available so that you can make the best and most optimal cash register decision for your business.