If you’re ready to open a grocery store, or you’re prepared to grow your existing business, you need to have the right tools in place — and that means having a strong point of sale (POS) setup.
There are many options on the market for POS systems, and you want to choose the right fit for your store. But when it comes to the grocery industry, it’s important to consider equipment that caters specifically to your unique products.
Here’s the definitive guide to the must-have point of sale hardware for your grocery business.
Recommended Point of Sale Hardware Setup
Every efficient retail store needs solid hardware for their point of sale system — especially the grocery industry, which carries varied inventory.
To be successful, we recommend the following:
- All-in-One Terminal
- Barcode Scanner
- Cash Drawer
- PIN Pad
- Receipt Printer
- Deli Scales
- Scanner Scales
- Customer Display
Let’s break them down.
The most basic POS system includes a barcode scanner, cash drawer, receipt printer — and of course, the all-in-one touchscreen computer.
The all-in-one, also called the terminal or touch PC, is the computer that runs the entire show. Make sure this terminal has the computing power you need to run your store properly. At minimum, look for an all-in-one that has a 1.8GHz processor, with at least 4GB of RAM.
To ring up items, you need a barcode scanner. For a basic setup, you can choose between two types: presentation-style and handheld.
Presentation-style scanners allow you to present the customers’ products directly in front of the scanner. This style is beneficial for grocery stores because of the often high-volume purchases made. Many customers prefer to stock up on goods for the week, or even month — and that’s quite a bit of work for your cashiers. Being able to simply run a product in front of the scanner speeds up the checkout line, saving your cashiers and your customers precious time.
Handheld scanners are your typical, most basic model, and can be either wired or wireless. These are perfect for reaching those bottom-of-the-cart items, like 12-packs of sodas. While you can rely solely on these scanners to properly run your store, having both handheld and presentation-style scanners will improve speed and efficiency at checkout — meaning you can serve more customers and increase profits.
And if your grocery store sells alcoholic beverages, remember to consider a 2D barcode scanner (specifically-designed scanner for age verification), too.
If you’re making sales, you’re making money — and you need a safe place to store those payments. While straight cash payments are becoming less and less common, it’s still important to have a cash drawer on hand.
Cash drawers are the original point of sale solution, and consist of a secure, locked metal box with slots for different bills and coins. They’re rugged pieces of hardware, and occasionally need replacement parts — and remember to make sure you have spare keys.
Pro tip: Placing cash drawers on the counter looks sloppy — and can draw attention to thieves. Consider hiding the cash drawer in a slot under your checkstand.
Modern grocery stores take modern forms of payment, which is why every efficient business needs a PIN pad.
PIN pads are pieces of hardware that process credit and debit card transactions. They may also accept gift cards, loyalty cards, and EBT payments. It’s important to consider a PIN pad that has a chip card reader, which is designed for EMV payments — these are more secure, and are becoming the new norm in secure POS transactions.
We recommend a signature capture PIN pad, like a lane 7000. And because stand beside payments are slow, you need a PIN pad on a stand where customers can insert cards easily.
Next up? It’s time to print a receipt.
Receipt printers print the record of your customers’ transactions, and you can choose from either impact or thermal printers.
Impact printers transfer ink to the paper, while thermal printers produce printed images by heating thermal paper. Thermal printers are a great option for grocery stores because they are quick and quiet — great for high-volume transactions.
Because the grocery industry carries unique inventory, grocers require hardware that caters to their products. This often requires scales for random weight items, like meat and cheese.
Deli scales look like your typical grocery scale, and include a platter for weighing the items, a keypad for manual input, and a barcode label printer.
Printing the barcode labels directly from the scale ensures that the item is priced correctly, and speeds up checkout once your customer gets to the front of the store.
Scanner scales are the scales used at the checkout register, and are placed in the counter. They can be used as a typical barcode scanner, but can also weigh items to be priced. Simply place the item on the scale, and the POS does the work for you — this is perfect for ringing up produce.
In-counter scanner scales are a must for high-volume retail businesses like grocery stores. Don’t waste time keying in individual items — weigh and scan items quickly to make the checkout experience more efficient for your buyers, and they’ll be much more likely to become loyal customers.
A customer display is a screen facing your customer that shows them the products being rung up. Because grocery shopping trips often result in a large number of items being purchased, this gives your buyers confidence that they’re being charged correctly. They may catch a mistake during scanning that your cashiers have missed, keeping your business accountable, so that you earn your customers’ trust.
For grocery stores with scanner scales, we recommend a display that shows the weight of your customers’ items — you won’t need to buy a clunky pole, so you can keep your checkstand counter looking sleek.
And here’s a bonus: you can use your customer display to show running sales and promotions.
An important add-on to consider? A mounting system, which optimizes the mounts, so your cashier display and customer display are effectively placed to ensure speed at checkout.
Ready to increase efficiency (and boost profits) in your small to medium-sized grocery store — without spending more money on labor? With the correct software, you can turn any point of sale station into a self-service checkout kiosk, which often includes a touch PC, PIN pad, and scanner scale. The software on these terminals is usually limited to basic functions like “Cancel Transaction,” “Product Lookup,” and “Pay,” so you don’t have to worry about a customer’s mistake affecting your entire system.
Setting up self-checkout kiosks is a great way to open up more lanes without paying more employees. It cuts costs for you, and relieves pressure on cashier-run lanes — and giving your customers more checkout options improves their overall experience. (But keep in mind, you should always have a designated cashier on deck to resolve any issues that come up.)
Get Started With the Best POS Hardware for Your Grocery
Running a grocery store takes hard work, but investing in the right equipment streamlines operations — and IT Retail offers top-of-the-line industry-specific tools so you can do just that.
And be sure to make the most of your point of sale hardware by using the best POS software in the business — designed by grocers, for grocers.