What is POS software? The history behind the development of POS software

It is said that POS was one of the most significant inventions that impact the whole retail business. Nowadays, POS are widely used in retail model stores such as supermarkets, grocery stores, restaurants, and convenient stores due to numerous benefits of it. Currently, there are two kinds of POS applied in retail business, which are POS machine and POS software.
In this paper, we will just focus on POS software and go over some essentials aspects as definition, brief history, and the benefits of it to the retail business.

pos software

Let’s get started, shall we?

What is POS software?

POS software or in other words, Point Of Sale software is a system that includes all the necessary tools that help to proceed retail transaction.


The history of POS:from simple cash register to modern POS

As the evolution from barter transaction to cash transaction took place in US, the first POS system emrged as business owners need to record transaction and keep their money safe.

In 1879, James J.Ritty, a successful saloon owner in Dayton, Ohio created a machine called “Incorruptible Cashier” whose feature like a modern cash register as counting and storing the money coming into Ritty business. It also tracked individual transactions as well as total sales. Being angry and irritated as his employees and customers continually ripped off his money, Ritty was motivated to invent this machine.

old pos

Ritty was patented for this invention. Later, the “Incorruptible Cashier” invention was sold to salesman Jacob H. Eckert, the founder of National Manufacturing Company (NMC). Then his company was bought by a retail coal store owner named John H. Patterson in Ohio. Patterson had improved some of its features as custom drawers with bell and paper receipts.

Fast forward to 1973, an actual POS system was introduced by IBM company, an American multinational information technology company whose headquarter is placed in New York. IBM POS system managed up to 128 cash registers of IBM. This has become a significant development in technology field as well as retail business field.

ibm pos

Not long after that, the most famous American fastfood chain, McDonald’s released the first ever POS system and cash registers, which were managed by a microprocessor. McDonald’s POS system was a great help to cashier since it helped proceed order faster and easier. Also, customer could view what they order through POS display.

Since then, technology took off. In 1986, a touchscreen-interface-POS-system was created by Gene Mosher. 6 years later, Martin Goodwin and Bob Henry invented a POS software which ran on Windows OS. This was considered as the big progress of POS in modern age.


The benefits of using POS software in retail business

1. Speed up transaction

As some steps of workflow are decreased and simplified when using a POS software intsead of a POS machine, the speed of each transaction will increase. Taking this as an example, if POS software is applied in a restaurant, it will help employee to reduce the phase of running to the kitchen to transmit the order of customer as the POS software can automatically send the order to the kitchen screen as the employee inputs the customer order. POS software can also print bill remotely.

2. Inventory track

All detailed information of inventory is updated in real-time. Business owner can make comparison between physical inventory and inventory report so that no internal frauds of employee can occur. Moreover, business owner can identify which product is favored or not favored by customer to make in-time adjustment of new order.


3. Employee management

POS software allows business owner to monitor the whole working shift of employee: time-in, time-out, and the time of conducting of a transaction. Based on these data, business owner can make fair decision to reward or admonish individual employee.


4. Sales report and analysis
Most modern POS software offer business owner sales report and analysis which helps business owners to monitor their financial situation even when they are far away from their store.


Fucture is unpredictable so we cannot say how POS will evolve later but we can assure you that no matter in any time, POS will always be the powerful assistant of retail business owner.