For decades, enterprises of all sizes have been relying on traditional stationary POS machines (EPOS). While they get the job done, these machines tend to have a higher upfront cost which poses a significant challenge for a small business. And with the growing expectation of a POS to manage sales reports and inventory as well, the exclusivity of EPOS to a local area network introduces the possibility of data loss; in addition to the complete lack of scalability as the business grows. More so, in terms of interior store design and brand consistency, the bulky, office-like design of a traditional POS is a challenge to integrate into different spaces. Enter cloud-based POS systems, which operate entirely online using a POS provider. So why should your business consider a cloud POS in favor of an EPOS? Here’s 5 reasons.
1) Cost Efficiency
Depending on where you are, a stationary EPOS might set you back anywhere between €1000 and €3000 for each register upfront. This is usually in addition to maintenance subscription fees, which tend to be in the range €25 to €45 monthly. A cloud-based POS might come with its own hardware, but it’s mostly simply a piece of software that can be installed on any of your existing hardware, so you’re just paying the monthly subscription fees for the entire store (€60-€200). Most cloud-based POS also come with a free trial, meaning your onboarding process is virtually risk-free. It is much more cost efficient for a business to use its existing hardware and only add on a receipt printer and a cash register, if desired.
2) Synchronicity and Scalability
This is really where the “cloud” part comes in. Running your POS on the cloud means that all your data is securely stored and managed online. This way, all your sales and inventory will automatically sync according to transactions made at any of your cloud-based registers. Whereas scalability means the ability to easily mount new POS systems as branches grow, as well as the ability to use the POS on any web-connected platform (omnichannel POS). iPad? Check! Android tablet? Check! Web browser on a computer? Check! Your phone? Check! This virtually gives your business the chance to pop up and exist anywhere, anytime.
3) Remote Access
Another perk of the cloud is the fact that you can sign into your POS provider merchant account from any machine and view your sales reports, performance charts, and inventory (if the service includes that). You no longer have to go in-store and see how your business is doing, especially if you manage several stores. This isn’t only great for troubleshooting, but it gives you the opportunity to make business strategy decisions in a way that is faster and more dynamic than ever. That’s because you are receiving real-time data in a format that gives you the most precise insight into how you’re doing.
4) Low Maintenance
With a cloud-based software POS, you are not really adding something to consider when it comes to traditional hardware maintenance. IT support is included in your monthly subscription. And, the developers regularly debug and update the software just as any program you already use. This allows you to focus on your craft or your business idea. It gives you one less thing to worry about when it comes to logistics.
5) Brand Flexibility
The lack of sleekness when it comes to the design of traditional POS is a turn-off to many. We’ve all seen those stores whose brands are conceptually consistent across the space except for the bulky black POS machine at the corner with the giant cash register, payment machines, and printers. You can choose to install a cloud-based software POS on the machine that most matches your vibe and your needs. This is in addition to the immense customizability of these popular devices to begin with. With the variety of payment add-ons available on the market (such as Square), you’re bound to design a POS system that works for your brand’s aesthetic. It makes it easy to be a minimalist brand with a cashless store and exclusively e-receipts; and it’s just as easy to host a more classical store with a large variety of compatible hardware.
So, whether you’re just starting a business or you’re already years into it, a cloud-based software POS is definitely worth your consideration.