Point-of-sale (POS) systems have been a central part of business for decades. Designed for merchants such as retailers and restaurants, these systems allow employees to take orders and facilitate sales with customers. POS systems of the past came in the form of stationary terminals that communicated with servers in back of house. The technology has moved past these more antiquated systems in recent years, capitalizing on cloud architecture to streamline all POS operations.
Today, cloud-based POS has become the go-to for merchants, more than 60 percent of whom said that they would like to upgrade their POS systems to the cloud in the Hospitality Technology 2018 POS Software Trends Report. These businesses are considering a move to the cloud for good reason: Cloud POS offers an array of benefits that they would not otherwise be able to access in a more traditional system.
Read on for a look at some of the main advantages of migrating your POS system to the cloud:
1. It simplifies business.
Cloud-based POS systems consolidate disparate business systems into a platform that not only simplifies your IT needs, but also helps you save time. Instead of logging into separate apps for customer relationship management, gift cards, sales, and more, you will have access to all of these functionalities from one centralized location. With a more consistent, accessible business portal at their fingertips, your employees will be free to focus more of their attention on the customer.
2. You can take it anywhere.
Like any cloud system, cloud-based POS is accessible from any device that can connect to the Internet. As such, your employees will no longer be tied to stationary registers when making and processing transactions. Using a tablet or smartphone, they are free to move around inside your store throughout customer interactions. They can easily look up product information and accept payments at a moment’s notice.
Having a mobile POS system will also make it easier to oversee your business, whether you are spending the day in the store or on the go. You can track sales and gain access to other real-time information from anywhere, allowing you to keep an eye on your business at all times.
3. It offers impressive data security.
Cloud-based POS systems mitigate numerous security risks, from data loss to data theft. Housing your POS data in a cloud environment eliminates the need for on-premises storage that could easily fall victim to hacking or accidents that would leave you without your files. Your POS provider will take responsibility for data storage, migrating copies of your information into numerous off-site data centers. As you alter your data, the most current versions of each file will sync to the cloud. Should you encounter on-premises data loss of any kind, your provider can restore your information within seconds.
4. It’s more affordable than traditional POS.
When deploying a traditional POS system, you need to purchase all of the hardware and software needed to facilitate payment operations. Between the equipment itself, licensing fees, and contracts, this can cost your business a pretty penny. Your POS expenditures can rise even further based on the number of registers you need and the extent of your inventory.
Migrating your POS system to the cloud eliminates the majority of these costs. Instead, you will receive a monthly bill with the charges for accessing the cloud software. Some providers also provide their own POS hardware, which you can incorporate into your cloud subscription.
5. It simplifies inventory.
Without the right POS system in place, inventory management can become complicated and inefficient. With traditional POS, many businesses struggle to properly record their inventory, sort items, and track their sales. This can lead to lost profits and hours of wasted labor.
Cloud-based POS allows you to monitor your inventory more consistently. This system tracks your stock in real time, updating as sales happen without the need for human input. With less time spent rectifying inventory mistakes, your team can focus more on serving your clients and growing your business.
6. Updates come with less hassle.
Updating an on-premises system can be a challenge. Every time you want to upgrade your POS platform, you need to pay for the latest software and wait for the update to take effect. This can place a tremendous burden on a business that requires its POS platform for its most basic daily functions.
Migrating your POS system to the cloud puts manual updates far behind you and replaces them with a more seamless, automatic upgrading process. Any time there is a software update, your provider will deploy it for you. As such, you forego the need to update each device in your POS system individually, thereby eliminating the resulting downtime that you will experience in the process.
7. Scaling is easy.
Since you won’t need to install and maintain your own on-premises hardware when using cloud-based POS services, you will be able to scale your services, as needed. Any time you need to add new users to your system or additional storage space, you can easily provision new resources from your provider. The cloud also makes scaling your POS services down much easier, which can help you to recover quickly from periods of peak demand.