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A History Of Point Of Sale

At first glance, people may be unfamiliar with the term point of sale, even though they encounter it everyday and for others multiple times a day. Most consumers know the point of sale as the cash register.

We spend probably ten percent of our lives waiting in line for the point of sale, which over a course of history, technology has shortened the wait. Next time you are standing in line at your local store, imagine what the point of sale was like one hundred years ago before we had the technology to electronically record product sales.

Point Of Sale In The Early 1900’s

Though it may be difficult to imagine, mom and pop stores in the early 1900s used

to do their point of sale by hand. This process was complicated because the point of sale is responsible for recording profit and inventory. Store owners were forced to count inventory by hand and add sales using basic math, which made it simple to make mathematical errors showing inaccurate results.

Point Of Sale In The 1970’s: Entering The Electronic Age

In 1973, the first electronic cash register was created offering low function and communication. These registers were run by proprietary software making point of sale operations simpler than writing them by hand. In the mid 1970’s the first microprocessor register was introduced into McDonalds.

These registers were the first to use numeric values to describe orders and show the product to the customer. It used a function that allowed the order to be sent to the grill to be worked on while the cashier took more orders.

Point of Sale In The 1980’s: Building Relationships With Computers

The 1980’s allowed little development for point of sale with only one update that combined point of sales with computer programming. Graphical point of sale software was created, being the first software to be used on a normal computer, point of sale software made the most developments in the 1990’s.

Point of Sale In The 1990’s: Modern Software

In the 1990’s the first point of sale software was created to run on a Microsoft Windows platform. Once this initial platform was laid down, program creators were able to build on to the software offering different programs that offer flexible and high-function systems that offer a variety of data storage, networking, and graphical interface.

Point Of Sale In The New Millennium: Cloud Services

Cloud services have bought point of sale systems to the peak of development. Cloud storage allows information registered at point of sale to be stored through Internet databases and accessed through any Internet connection making gathering information simple and convenient. Cloud services have enhanced inventory and sale information by making them accessible in the local server.

Cloud services have lowered point of sale costs and increases user data that can be stored. Cloud services are beneficial for almost any business because they are designed to be compatible with most point of sale software used by different businesses.


Robert Ray has over 12 years experience in the business industry and is familiar with the many aspects of accounting practices used by businesses including point of sale.


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By Violeta-Loredana Pascal

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