For retailers, cloud point of sale systems (POS) are revolutionizing the way they do business. By combining the power of the cloud with POS, retailers can enjoy benefits like real-time inventory tracking and ordering, simple upgrades through the cloud and lower costs than traditional POS solutions. Here are some of the top reasons why a cloud POS is superior.
The best cloud-based POS systems offer sales data in real-time and not just to managers. Sales staff can manage or access a POS system from anywhere on the sales floor through handheld devices like smartphones and tablets. Retail owners can also oversee their entire operations from nearly anywhere in the world, ensuring they can keep a close eye on sales and customer behavior.
Since all company data on inventory, stocking, shipping and ordering is stored in one centralized cloud network, everyone on the team has access to the same information (depending on security settings, of course!). This helps the business response faster to trends and allows inventory control across all channels, including eCommerce.
Thus, retailers can quickly respond to falling or rising inventory demand at lightning speeds and adjust their pricing strategies for products across the entire cloud POS system, regardless of where they happen to be. Given the fact that an estimated $124 billion is lost annually due to out-of-stock inventory and another $129 billion due to overstocking, there is no doubt that a cloud POS allows retailers to take a vital step to protect their capital.
Cloud-based POS systems operate under the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, which means quick updates are available across an entire POS platform. Considering that new versions can be released multiple times per year, these instant updates become essential.
This is especially true given the fact that retailers are responsible for having the most up-to-date POS security–such as complete EMV credit card compatibility–to avoid liability issues with credit card companies. According to a 2014 consumer survey, a little over 40 percent of U.S. consumers reported credit or debit card fraud in the last five years, underlining why security through a cloud-based POS is so essential.
Unlike traditional systems, cloud-based POS is easy to scale up across multiple stores as retailers grow. Since the actual POS software is managed remotely and centrally, new store data is easily integrated into a cloud platform and compatible with nearly all devices. This frees up the POS from many of the restrictions traditionally associated with operating systems and platforms.
Unlike traditional POS systems–where adding new equipment, licensing software and implementation can be expensive–cloud-based POS systems under the SaaS model are much cheaper.
The cloud also helps save money by avoiding the common cause of downtime with older systmes. Whereas traditional POS system malfunctions usually require a technician to come on-site, cloud-based solutions allow a remote technician to quickly fix the issue or deliver a patch to the system. Downtime on traditional retail POS systems can often stretch over days, which is why a cloud-based system is superior for retailers who want to avoid lost sales and inefficient retail operations.
Ultimately, for forward thinking retailers that are moving towards a more virtualized environment, they will need a cloud-based POS solution that offers technical expertise in a cost-effective package.