Conducting business on traditional POS systems is not always the number one option for retailers and customers alike. Certainly, there are days when you can’t access your store for days, or even weeks, for one reason or another.
The weather could be too harsh outside and the storm would fly you to another city; you may have gotten sick; you may have needed to shut your store down because of a pandemic; or you may have lost all the data on your POS machine because it broke. Etc. etc.
The unfortunate reasons are multiple, and it feels even worse when you want and can still conduct business at home, or anywhere else, but the heavy POS machine limits your motion.
The good news is that for the longest time, POS companies have found ways to revolutionize traditional payment processing, and created what came to be known as Cloud Point of Sale Systems (Cloud POS).
There is a POS system for every business type, and online-based business tools are no exception. There is a high chance that cloud-based POS systems are the ideal option for your business, that’s why we’ve done all the research for you!
If you want to learn more about this innovative, life-saving method and how it differs from the traditional POS system, then keep on reading!
What is a Cloud POS System, and How Does it Work?
Unlike other types of POS systems, cloud-based POS is not a device, but a web-based service that processes and stores your data online. It’s much like Dropbox or Google Drive, but it’s business-oriented.
Cloud-based POS systems operate on mobile POS devices, such as tablets and smartphones. Those devices are the hardware, while cloud-based POS apps are the ‘software’.
To be more precise, we should rather refer to them as applications because software operates on on-site POS systems- it’s important to make this difference!
Since those mobile devices are portable, you can always access your data anywhere you go, and not worry about losing it as you may with a traditional POS machine.
In short, could-based POS is the umbrella term for mobile POS systems. We mention “mobile POS systems” if we want to focus on the hardware, and “cloud-based POS systems” if we want to put more emphasis on the software (i.e. applications).
Do we recommend opting for cloud-based POS systems?
Cloud-based POS systems can really give your business a good push if it proves efficient and compatible with it.
Advantages of Cloud-Based POS Systems
Ease of Use:
Imagine your staff struggling with a machine version of Hulk. Not only is that machine too bulky for a 21st century user, but it’s also unnecessarily complex!
On the other hand, there is a very slim chance that cloud-POS systems could be such a pain in the neck because they are so adaptable.
This is truly a considerable advantage since adaptable user interface will spare both you and your staff the time and anxiety to acquire decent training on hardware use.
All that’s left to do is get familiar with the application, and voila!
Here is a little secret: traditional POS users need to hire professional engineers for the POS installation. Not only do they have to pay for setup, but they should also do it regularly in case something goes wrong with the machine- or simply because the machine requires active updating.
With cloud-based POS systems, you can do the setup yourself: all you have to do is sign up for the application, download it, and you can then use right away.
It helps to know that many cloud POS companies offer free trials for testing purposes, so, if you feel that a certain application won’t do you any good, choose another! By the way, the setup is customizable, too!
It goes without saying: portability is the selling point of cloud-based POS systems. Whether you opt for Android or IOS devices, your data will be securely stored on your online store.
No matter where you are, you can easily track inventory, update products, and add new products while you’re lying on your sofa. Everywhere you go is a market, and business isn’t limited to a few meters within a brick-and-mortar store.
The cloud can also serve your physical store because your employees will have closer interaction with customers if they move within the store carrying digital menus, updates, offers, and so forth.
Do you want a traditional POS system? Then get your wallet prepared for a minimal sacrifice of $6,500 plus software fees.
Do you want a portable POS system that costs less and offers more? Get prepared for $70-$100 software subscription plus frequent updates, dependable real-time processing, inventory tracking, instant access, and payment flexibility!
Would you pay $100/ month for top-notch services and guaranteed business growth, or would you rather spend a whopping $7000 on a giant calculator? It’s your call!
Let’s suppose, God forbid, that someone stole your device. Ha! They find nothing! The thief then attempts to access your cloud account. Ha! It’s encrypted! You shouldn’t worry if that happens to you. All you have to do is access your data from another device and make the backups you need. It’s also worth noting that even your employees do not enjoy the same rights to access information, so it’s all good!
Disadvantages of Cloud-Based POS Systems:
No device or service in the world is perfect. Cloud services are highly reliable, but we strongly consider the following weaknesses:
A tablet or a smartphone are not as robustly built as a traditional POS system. Their hardware is fairly delicate, so expect breakages, lags, theft, water damage, etc.
Unless you purchase an impeccable cloud service with reliable off-line options, having poor network might cause your business serious harm, so make sure to equip yourself with the best internet connection out there.
It is true that $100/month for a software transcription is nothing compared to a monstrous $7000 for a traditional POS system. However, you need to bear in mind that such fees can grow to be a serious burden to some businesses, especially if they expand locally.
We may have criticized cloud-based for a few downfalls, but we still recommend it as strongly as ever! If you keep an eye on your business’ updates and make sure to always have access to good internet connection, you should be good to go!