What is Cashier Software?

Carol Francois

Cashier software is also known as point of sale, or POS, software. This type of software is built into almost every modern cash register in use today. Cashier software is a growing product in the software market, as the programs have expanded from simple calculation functionality to database driven data collection systems.

Cashier software can typically allow prices to be input with a barcode scanner.
Cashier software can typically allow prices to be input with a barcode scanner.

This product has evolved over time, and there are now three functions included in most cashier software: calculation, inventory tracking, and sales analysis. Cashier software is now used for both traditional and online sales transactions. An integrated system for both types of stores provides enhanced tracking and the ability to evaluate customer behavior and preference.

Some modern cash registers link to cashier software which can be used to track, analyze and report on sales.
Some modern cash registers link to cashier software which can be used to track, analyze and report on sales.

The calculation aspect of this type of software is well known. There are two input methods for the unit price of each commodity: data entry or automatic update via bar code scanning. Data entry occurs when the cashier types in the price for each item; this process has decreased substantially since the mid 1980s.

Cashier software is sometimes referred to as point of sale (POS) software.
Cashier software is sometimes referred to as point of sale (POS) software.

Bar code scanning is widely used, as it reduces the error rate significantly and allows the stores to track more information. When a product is added to store inventory, the bar code is entered into the primary cashier software, along with the unit price, category, supplier, and item description. When the product is purchased, it is scanned and the price and description are automatically printed on the receipt. The receipt provides the item description for the customer, along with the savings, if the item is on sale.

Online shopping carts may be considered a form of cashier software.
Online shopping carts may be considered a form of cashier software.

Internet or web based sales are a customer initiated process. The customer selects the products that he or she wants to purchase and adds them to the online shopping cart. Once payment is processed, the inventory levels decrease to reflect the sale. In addition to the basic information, online sales all require the customer address and payment method. This information is used for data analysis and review.

Some cashier software also uses barcode scanners to manage supply and demand by tracking inventory.
Some cashier software also uses barcode scanners to manage supply and demand by tracking inventory.

Inventory records are updated based on the number of units sold, providing accurate tracking and the ability to closely integrate reorder points and manage stock levels accurately. When a new shipment is received, the loading dock scans the product bar code and indicates the quantity received. Regular inventory checking confirms the stock on hand and provides a control to evaluate the quantity of shrinkage the business is experiencing.

Cashier software may vary between retail stores.
Cashier software may vary between retail stores.

Based on the data collected by the software, the store can now complete sales and activity analysis. Sales analysis can be used to determine customer response to new product offerings and sale prices, as well as the sale of competing and complementary products. Store staffing levels can also be modified to match peak times and minimize overhead costs.

A point of sale terminal at a restaurant may be used to enter orders and send them to the kitchen as well as process bills.
A point of sale terminal at a restaurant may be used to enter orders and send them to the kitchen as well as process bills.

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