Alliance Supermarket and Point-of-Sale (POS) Systems


The business world today is customer centered and information systems that enable businesses to acquire, develop, and make use of customers’ information have become valuable tools in developing and sustaining a competitive advantage. The effectiveness of the customer information systems depends on its efficient use in regards to how the information is collected and integrated with other business practices and processes (Harrison, Newholm & Shaw, 2005). In this paper, the point-of-sale (POS) system is examined as one of those customer information systems that are commonly used in retail businesses. Alliance Supermarket is one of those retail points that make use of the system and this paper establishes how Alliance and make of it more to improve customer satisfaction and reduce costs. In addition, the paper will also assess the ethical and privacy considerations associated with the collection and use of customers’ information. The study ends with a conclusion that sums up the findings.

How Point-of-Sale System can be used to improve Customer Satisfaction and Reduce Costs

Alliance Supermarket just like other supermarkets focuses on ensuring that what it determines the consumers’ wants are is right because when it mistakes it, consumers will choose to go to its competitors. Nevertheless, the supermarket also has the ability to influence consumers’ demands based on its position in the marketplace in regards to what the consumers purchase and how they make their purchases. When the supermarket makes use of the POS system, it processes customer checkouts faster regardless of the quantity of goods bought and more accurately. In that, each item has a barcode that is scanned and this eliminates the need to enter the products into the system manually. The system is integrated with a price data, software is used to compute the total purchases made, and a receipt is quickly issued. The system stores the data that informs, how much sales has been made, what products have been sold, payment method used, and customers’ information if credit cards are used (SANS, 2014). In this regard, Alliance supermarket can be able to establish which products are bought more and which ones are less bought. Based on the knowledge that the firm gets from other sources that cover people’s lifestyles, customer surveys, social economic data of various areas, and others, Alliance can construct consumers’ wants based on the products bought more. Thus, Alliance can have a different demand forecast for each of its stores located in various places and share it with its suppliers for special promotions and sales (Boyce, 2002).

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The point-of-sale system that has the necessary features and capabilities helps retailers cut down costs in many ways. One is that at the checkout points, the number of employees can be significantly reduced because, transactions are automatically done and in a more accurate manner. Thus, there is no need to do checks and balances. At the inventory level, the number of employees can also be reduced because, the system develops a real-time report on the products sold, and updates the inventory levels accordingly. In that, the need to make physical counts daily or periodically is also eliminated. The savings made from the manual processes are allocated to activities that create more revenues for the company that also improve customer service (Carolina Barcode Inc., 2017).

A new approach that Alliance Supermarket develops by making use of the purchase information is that it can expand its business to new markets especially those that have similar characteristics like those ones it has already ventured. By doing this, the supermarket can project how fast the business can grow, the suppliers it needs to maintain, and the kind of marketing it needs to do for quick growth. Such information will also be important in determining how much it needs to start up the new stores.

Ethical and Privacy Considerations when collecting and using Customer Information

The set up and the operations of a point-of-sale system involves many stakeholders which are- the merchants, the buyers, payment authorizers and processors, card issuance companies, hardware and software vendors, acquirers, and others. All these stakeholders need to uphold the privacy needs of the consumers. The data that is moved from one point to another within the system is vulnerable to attack when a criminal can access the system. Thus, each stakeholder need to be aware of possible attacks and ensure that chances of their occurrence are minimized as much as possible by using advanced security techniques of protecting data (SANS, 2014; Boyce, 2002).

Another important consideration is enabling stakeholders especially the consumers to make informed choices. That is, each one needs to know how the data they provide is going to be used, managed, and any associated costs. More so, each one needs to know how the use of the data or their participation in the system benefits them (Boyce, 2002).

Accuracy is another important factor especially for the stakeholders that process payments, record transactions, and update balances. The effort is critical because it enables other stakeholders to make future decisions (Boyce, 2002).


Point-of-sale system is a very useful consumer information system for retailers and suppliers as well. The initial stages of developing, installing and running it are those that can be highly demanding but it returns are huge for the businesses. The system helps businesspersons to remain updated on what consumers want more and those that are focused to grow their businesses, the make proper use of the consumer information. Otherwise, the point-of-sale system enables retailers improve customer service by increasing the speed and accuracy of the checkout system and reduces labor costs on accounting practices that need a lot of manual checks and balances.


Boyce, G. (2002). Beyond privacy: The ethics of customer information systems. Retrieved<>.

Carolina Barcode Inc. (2017). Run my store. Retrieved<>.

Harrison, R., Newholm, T. & Shaw, D. (2005). The ethical consumer: Informing ethical consumers. London: SAGE.

SANS (2014). Point of sale (POS) systems and security. Retrieved<>.

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