Everywhere you look these days, you’ll see a cloud-based POS system. This article describes the benefits of moving to a POS system.
Over the past few years, cloud computing has been all the rage. According to Forrester research, annual worldwide public IT cloud services spending has grown from $47.4 billion in 2013 to $107.2 billion in 2017. Software companies in all sectors are increasingly pushing toward cloud-based, software-as-a-service business models.
You’re asking yourself if it’s worth it. The debate almost makes it seem like traditional cash registers and a cloud-based POS are your only two options. There are still options that aren’t cloud-based, and some of the services that are even have localized features.
Differences between local and cloud-based POS systems
The benefits of the cloud are data redundancy, automation, real-time reporting, remote access, and scalability. Your needs and business specifics determine how much any individual factor matters to you.
Data backup and redundancy is the biggest benefit of a cloud-based POS solution. There’s nothing worse than losing valuable data or having utilities cut off on-site with no way of returning to work or recovering it. Operations shut down, and it can damage your business. According to a 2013 White House report, weather-related power outages alone costs the economy $18-33 billion each year.
With a cloud-based POS platform, reporting, critical systems, and data storage happens offsite, broadening the available array of devices that can access them. Many have mobile solutions as well, so you can still perform transactions on the battery power of smartphones and tablets if the power does go out.
This is important for all businesses. Data loss and system downtime affect productivity, sales, and customer satisfaction across many different business types.
Saves Time and Money
The purpose of a POS system is to save your business time and money, but retail stores and restaurants that simply buy one without taking any further measures are not fulfilling their system’s full potential. Improving productivity and increasing ROI is an ongoing process, not something that you can achieve all at once.
POS systems make the checkout process faster and easier for employees because it enables the latter to access promotions or popular items on the menu screen easily. Remove old and unused pay screen options to stay organized and reduce confusion.
Thanks to menu organization, businesses save time and money on both labor costs and training as well as eliminate costly checkout mistakes.
If you aren’t putting mobility first, you’re already losing. Mobile capabilities give sales associates the chance to engage customers on a personal level because they dispose of important product and customer information that can be accessed from anywhere in the location. A business gets the tools to provide an outstanding in-store experience thanks to mobility, keeping its customers coming back for more.
Safety and Compliance
With the huge number of data breaches within the retail industry, compromising on information security is not an option. Good POS software adheres to the latest industry standards and regulations (i.e. PCI DSS and EMV). A business puts its reputation on the line, so you need to ensure the absolute integrity of important internal data and customer information.
Even though a lot of POS software is designed for specific industries, no two companies are exactly alike. It can happen that a company is left with a system , whose essential features are missing. To protect your company from this, consider a brainstorming session with your staff or even some friends. Make sure your system has all the features you’ll need, including ones you might need as your business grows in the system. Common trouble areas include:
Menu options for restaurants and bars
- Delivery service features
- Additional location integration
- Gift cards
- Online store integration
Fast and reliable
Good business is all about speed and quality – more specifically, an optimal ratio between the two. A slow or unresponsive Point of Sale system that delays the service and causes lines of grumpy customers is one thing you want to avoid at rush time. Ask for following questions:
Is the interface intuitive, and can it be customized to each staff member’s role?
Can it easily accept different types of payments, split bills, bills moved from the bar to the table, etc.? (for restaurants and bars)
What’s the average time per transaction?
What features does it have that help speed up the service?
What happens if the internet connection goes down? Will I have to take orders on paper sheets or will I still be able to take orders and process sales?
Access to the most relevant information is key to making better business decisions. Your POS should provide real-time visibility of stats and information about your entire supply chain regardless of the channel. One example is where traditional companies fulfill online orders from locations that are nearest the customer.
Full inventory visibility across the enterprise makes this possible. Retailers obtain the flexibility to fulfill orders from their entire network of outlets and distribution centers, thereby increasing stock turnover, reducing markdowns, and enabling a vast product selection for customers.
The key phrase is “built with the customer in mind.” Modern POS systems make it easy for businesses to give customers exactly what they’re looking for. They can support basics like product information and available inventory levels, but also more advanced engagement initiatives.
More advanced aspects include loyalty programs, client profiles, and personalized offers. Your clients really appreciate convenience. Making sure shoppers are in and out of your location as fast as possible increases the frequency of visits to your store. Each business has its own unique needs, so they require a tool that can be easily adapted and customized to cater to them.
This is something to remember when it comes to selecting a software solution. One needs to understand if a POS system is easy to customize. Thankfully, the answer is positive. A scalable system is great for a growing and expanding business like yours.
- Check out TEC for comparing POS systems. The website features useful comparison reports, for example, click here.
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