POS, short for Point Of Sale, is the place where the exchange of cash and goods takes place, like a checkout counter at your grocery store. Since online stores are all the rage, cloud-based POS systems are popularized because they are cheaper and safer than normal POS systems. Apart from that, cloud-based POS has several advantages including syncing your data across devices and portability.
What is Cloud-Based POS?
A cloud-based POS system processes transactions and saves all the sales information online as opposed to storing it on a computer or a tablet. This data can be accessed through any web browser. It’s also cost-efficient as your existing smartphones or tablets can be used as a POS interface. Since the network is wireless, you don’t have to deal with numerous, confusing wires. This also eliminates the need for bulky PCs, servers or even hard disks to store the data. The data stored in physical devices can be hacked or destroyed if the device is broken. This risk is entirely avoided in cloud-based POS as the data is uploaded over a secure channel and hardware is not required for storing the data.
The major advantage of a cloud-based point of sale system is its portability. As long as you have a good internet connection and a tablet, you can track your sales from anywhere, anytime as the information is updated in real time. Some POS also offer limited offline services to minimize any disruptions in sales. Shopify’s cloud-based POS allows you to keep track of multiple stores, online and offline in the dashboard.
Traditional Vs Cloud-Based POS
Setting it up
Setting up a traditional POS requires a trained person to set up the equipment, customize the software to your needs and then install it. But, for a cloud-based POS, all you need to do is sign up and download the app. Some POS vendors may do a background check on the retailer and the nature of their business.
A normal point of sale system usually requires a long-term contract. You should also buy the necessary hardware like PCs and servers. Since the POS software requires a specialized hardware setup, it can be done only by a professional. Constant support from the POS provider and periodic maintenance of both the hardware and the software is required. Doing all this, though necessary, is not cheap. All these costs are eliminated in a cloud-based POS. The software is a monthly subscription plan and you can cancel it if you change your mind. Many POS vendors also offer a trial version of the software. The updates can be done across devices and don’t require any special support.
Traditional POS systems can be used only in physical stores. But, a cloud-based POS can be used to manage multiple online and physical stores simultaneously. You can track your inventory, sales rate and all other information from a single device. Hence, it’s cheaper to expand using cloud-based POS as you don’t have to buy new devices for each store. You can also track all your sales information for any store on the go as long as you have an internet connection. This is not possible in a normal POS system.
In a traditional POS, data is stored on a physical server like a computer or a hard disk. If the device is damaged in any way, the data can be corrupted or lost. The operating system should also be kept up-to-date to ensure smooth functioning of the computers. In addition to that, the data is also at the risk of being hacked. In a cloud-based POS, the information stored is very secure. The POS provider periodically updates the security software to ensure that your data remains secure. Even if you lose your device, you can still access your data by logging in from another device.
As e-commerce websites are flourishing, a cloud-based point of sale system has become a necessity rather than an option. Running a business, online or offline, is time-consuming and as a retailer you know that there’s a lot at stake. This is why, you need to make use of the best resources that are available in the market. Shopify is one of the most trusted and reliable cloud-based POS systems out there. It’s easy to use, secure, and cheap. You can also manage multiple stores from a single account. If you’re planning to open a store, online or offline, Shopify’s cloud-based point of sale system is your best option.