Written by Dan Barraclough Reviewed by Ruairi Shirlow Updated on October 17, 2022 On this page What is the Difference Between a Cash Register and a POS? POS Advantages Improved Efficiency Stock Management Accurate Reports Employee Tracking Price Consistency Customer Experience Next Steps Expand As point of sale (POS) systems are all the rage, and traditional cash registers have seemingly been left behind in the dust, you might be wondering what all the fuss is about – especially if your business hasn't made the switch yet.POS systems provide a number of features designed to increase efficiency, such as stock management, employee management, and reporting features.An example of this is Square POS system, which scores a 4.8/5 by our independent research team. Square provides free POS software, affordable hardware and, to top it all off, it’s easy to use. What is the Difference Between a Cash Register and a POS?A cash register's main purpose is to process sales. At the end of each trading day, it can also tell you what has been sold and how much you have taken. This data is then manually transferred into accounts or stock lists.A POS (Point of Sale) system is much more advanced. These are set up with software that can link to other networks and have the ability to store endless data about stock and clients, instantly and electronically.Another advantage that a POS system has over a cash register is that it allows for the attachment of a scanner. For example, the piece of equipment that is often found and used at self-service checkouts. POS AdvantagesThere are many reasons for a business to use a POS rather than a traditional cash register. The key advantages of a POS are detailed below. Improved EfficiencyA POS system can improve the user’s confidence in a number of ways. For instance, they don't need to spend as much time memorizing product prices, or manually input vast amounts of data as they would on a traditional cash register.In addition to this, while traditional cash register systems can cause quite a few issues and headaches when the user makes a mistake, POS system errors are easily rectified with a couple of clicks.The error rate for both machines is also extremely different. In fact, according to statistics, individuals who have to manually input each transaction on a traditional cash register can make a mistake with every 300 characters typed, POS system errors are only one substitution error for every 15,000 to 36 trillion barcode characters scanned.Not only will this help boost staff confidence, it will also save the company money if previous mistakes led to employees undercharging customers.Furthermore, inputting an item’s data using the traditional cash register system can take an estimated six seconds, scanning an item using a POS system’s barcode reader takes a far shorter time – only 0.3 seconds. Stock ManagementTraditional approaches to stock management require merchants to physically review their current level of stock on a regular basis. Naturally, this can be a laborious and time consuming process, especially for large businesses.Modern point of sale systems enable all stock to be scanned upon delivery and entered into a digital database. Merchants can therefore review their overall stock levels at a glance and make accurate purchasing decisions accordingly. Accurate ReportsMost modern POS systems also offer merchants access to a variety of customizable reports. These reports can include critical information, such as daily takings and outgoings, providing merchants with an understanding of the overall success of their business.They can also provide information relating to the stock management process mentioned above.Advanced reporting capabilities can identify common sales trends, such as seasonal variations in product demand. This allows merchants to organize their stock levels in advance, ensuring they have enough stock to meet customer demand and maximize their potential takings.Additionally, these historical reports enable merchants to identify areas of unnecessary overspend and take appropriate action.Additionally, these historical reports enable merchants to identify areas of unnecessary overspend and take appropriate action. Employee TrackingThe ability to track employee activity can be another reason to utilize a POS system. Through the use of unique identification codes (sometimes referred to as clerk codes), individual employees can be linked to specific transactions, regardless of how many members of staff use the same machine.By tracking staff behavior, merchants can identify individuals with particularly strong or weak sales figures, fostering a spirit of healthy competition in a business, and allowing appropriate action to be taken with regard to weaker employees.Moreover, the knowledge that their transactions are being tracked discourages instances of employee theft.Moreover, the knowledge that their transactions are being tracked discourages instances of employee theft. Price ConsistencyMerchants that operate large-scale businesses across multiple locations may find it problematic to maintain price consistency across all outlets.However, by introducing a POS system, merchants will have access to a digital product database. Through this database, merchants can amend product prices, special one-off deals, and so forth. These amendments can be automatically applied across all business locations.Maintaining consistency is beneficial for several reasons, especially when it comes to customer service.Consistent pricing helps to ensure customers receive the same level of service, regardless of which business location they use. As a result, customers are more likely to utilize a company's services again. ▶ Read more: How Much Does a Point Of Sale System Cost? Customer ExperienceHow do your customers benefit from you investing in a POS system? Well, they get faster service, integrated loyalty programs, and multiple ways to pay. POS systems are efficient and easier to use, so your customers won't have to be held up by any technical difficulties.Many POS systems come with an integrated loyalty system, demonstrating that you care about your customer's experience and value them as a customer. POS systems typically offer multiple ways to make payments, such as Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Google Pay. The more payment options available, the more accessible your business is to customers – especially in today’s digital age. Next StepsA POS system offers businesses numerous advantages, including improved efficiency, better customer experience, and consistent pricing. It also provides handy tools such as stock management and employee tracking, allowing you to monitor various parts of the business with ease.The best POS system for your business is the one which ticks all your boxes in terms of price, features, and usability. With so many options on the market, there's something for everyone and, now that you know just how important they are, it's time to get searching.You can use our free comparison tool to be matched up with trusted providers. Just give us a few details and you'll be contacted by suppliers with obligation-free quotes. Written by: Dan Barraclough Dan’s a Senior Writer at Expert Market, specialising in digital marketing, web design, and photocopiers, amongst other topics. Reviewed by: Ruairi Shirlow Business Services Researcher Ruairi uses his 3+ years of research experience to uncover insights which can help Expert Market provide the best business solutions for their users. He has done this by meeting with business owners to find out what is important to them and what challenges they face on a daily basis. Ruairi specialises in tools that can be used to grow your business and has done research for a wide range of categories on Expert Market, such as EPOS, Website Builders, and Merchant Accounts.