Comparing cloud-based and traditional POS systems.
Like all new technologically advanced gadgets, cloud-based point of sale (POS) systems are the (newer) kids on the block. Compared to traditional POS systems, cloud-based systems are scalable and customizable, giving business owners more control over customer satisfaction and ultimately, the growth of their businesses.
For example, instead of going to the office or store to get your sales reports from your physical POS, cloud-based POS systems allow you to access comprehensive reports from any smart device, including your laptop, phone, or tablet. That means you can get updated employee, inventory, sales, and customer data wherever you are at any time of day!
With real-time data produced by your cloud-based POS, you get instant insights into your business, allowing you to address issues or problems before they snowball. By streamlining your business with a cloud-based POS, you can divert your time that you previously dedicated to your traditional POS to growing your business.
Further, by adding more access points for sales, you’re enhancing your customers’ experience. Consumers are more likely to talk about negative customer service experiences than positive ones, according to American Express. By making your internal systems more seamless and accessible, you can spend more time focusing on your customer, creating a positive experience that will keep them coming back for more.
Now, let’s look at some key differences between cloud-based point of sale systems and traditional point of sale systems.
Your hardware options.
The Internet of Things (IoT) has revolutionized how we live and work. The IoT is simply the connection of devices to the internet. With more devices connecting to the internet, such as laptops, smartwatches, and wearables, we now find ourselves conducting business in a continually “connected” world. According to Business Insider, more than 24 billion devices will be connected to the internet by 2020 (just a few months from now).
The types of business that will benefit the most from IoT, include retail, restaurants, hospitality, healthcare, and utilities, just to name a few. Cloud-based POS systems fit nicely into this IoT ecosystem. For example, cloud-based POS systems store customer and inventory information in the cloud, instead of on a physical server.
Additionally, because cloud-based POS systems are, well, cloud-based, these more modern POS systems can support mobile device integration, allowing business owners to operate more flexibly than traditional countertop-based POS systems. Consequently, there are less hardware and upfront costs for business owners to worry about, since all transactions, reports, and communications happen in the cloud.
Another benefit of cloud-based POS systems is the accessibility of data. Unlike legacy systems, newer POS systems allow business owners to access pertinent information from any IoT device, at any time. That means you no longer have to run to the office or the store to gather inventory or sales reports from your countertop POS system. Instead, you can simply check on employees’ clock-in and clock-out times, inventory numbers, and sales figures from any smart device, making running a business more flexible while allowing you to more easily grow and scale. With an internet connection and an IoT device, you can run your business from any location at any time of the day.
How about a one-stop-shop for managing your business? Another benefit of cloud-based POS systems is integration. Through integration, business owners can manage their operations solely online. For example, you can oversee not only your sales and inventory through these IoT-based systems, but your customer, employee, and financial reports as well.
Instead of running these activities through several different third-party vendors, you can oversee these activities from one system, streamlining your business operations. Because cloud-based POS systems are adaptable, you can save critical time running your business, devoting yourself to higher-level activities that will help you grow and expand.
Because web-based POS systems don’t involve as much hardware, they are often more affordable than their legacy cousins. Without all the top-of-the-counter requirements, cloud-based POS systems are easier to install and have fewer upfront costs.
The POS system provider typically manages any system updates, which may happen frequently but at no additional cost. Often, these upgrades occur in the middle of the night or on the weekend, similar to updates on your smartphone, so as to interfere less with your day-to-day business. However, even though any software update can seem like a burden, web-based updates interfere less than legacy POS systems, where updates must occur manually once per year, often missing out on the most up-to-the-minute technological advances, as well as the latest updates and bug fixes.
Offering secure POS systems is paramount. One way to ensure maximum security is to confirm that your POS system is PCI-compliant, whether it’s a legacy system or web-based. In 2004, the major credit card companies, including Mastercard, Visa, and American Express, created the Payment Card Industry Security Council, which in turn established the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS). These security standards include rules on fraud prevention, chargebacks, and identity theft — helping merchants keep their customers’ payment information secure.
Any business offering credit or debit card payments, including for online purchasing, must be PCI-compliant. These standards not only apply to the transmission of payment information but also to its storage. PCI compliance mandates ongoing compliance, as the protection of payment information is not a one-time event. By offering PCI-compliant payment processing, not only do you reduce the risk of payment fraud, you also improve your credibility as a business by ensuring the security of customer payments.
With easy set-up, less frequent downtimes, lower costs, and higher accessibility, it’s clear why web-based POS systems are becoming the darlings of the industry. In fact, according to eMarkerter.com, by the end of 2019, 29% of retailers will have upgraded their POS systems while another 26% have already done so in the past couple of years.
If you have a legacy POS system you’re hesitant to part with, remember that for traditional systems, your hardware costs are separate from your service costs, often increasing both your price and frustration.
Finally, with real-time feedback, you can gain more accurate insights into your business, allowing you to make changes or updates as needed as opposed to after-the-fact. By being able to flow with your business, with accurate, up-to-date data, you can ensure that your business is secure and efficient, leading to profitability and growth.
Know what to look for when hiring a vendor.
Offering a secure, updated point of sale system is critical to the success of your business. By teaming up with an experienced, reputable cloud POS system partner, you can be confident that you’re offering your customers secure online payments while giving you real-time data, helping you to grow your business.
At North American Bancard, we can help guide you through the setting up of a new POS system. Our equipment is PCI-compliant. We offer low processing fees and don’t require long-term contracts. We help make it easy to provide your customers with the in-store or online frictionless transactions that they’ve come to expect. Further, we integrate our systems with your accounting software allowing you to save both time and money while gaining valuable insight into your business.
We’ll help you customize a POS solution to your specific business. To set up a consultation, contact us here or give us a call at 877.840.1952.