In an age where digital is the norm, the rate at which point of sale (POS) is developing is exponential. Gone are the days of bulky traditional cash registers. Both multinational firms and small “side-street” retailers are finding that compact solutions which are accessed and operated using mobile devices like smartphones and tablet PCs can be more beneficial to business.
In light of this recent development in retail, newer, sophisticated POS technologies have been designed to accommodate the growing needs of entrepreneurs.
POS In a Nutshell
POS software is essentially what businesses utilise for sale transactions. The software is installed in POS devices and used to input the customer’s purchases, total the item cost, and complete the transaction.
Traditionally it is integrated in a cash register, but as technology evolved, businesses began to use POS-installed computers. Nowadays, it is not unusual to find stores using tablets and iPads for sales transactions.
Such software also conveys essential details about one’s inventory, which helps a lot in keeping inventory levels in check. Traditional software with extensive features can range from a few hundred bucks to a thousand or more – some of them even customized according to a business’ particular needs.
Given the huge costs of traditional POS, it is no surprise to see small to medium-sized retailers resort to cloud-based POS.
Cloud-based systems: What They Are and Their Uses
Cloud-based POS is the newest innovation in POS systems, and one that is fast gaining ground. Cloud-based POS is designed to offer more options to consumers and business owners. Utilising the Web, such systems allow merchants to easily access consumer data including costs, sales and inventory from virtually any point in the world as long as there is Internet. It also suits a wide range of POS tools and devices including printers, mobile devices and cash drawers.
In addition, cloud-based software is much more economical than traditional software, and tweaking it according to one’s preference is easier too. The system also encourages better customer awareness and participation in the transaction. For one, a detailed and comprehensible list of purchases is provided on the receipt, whereas traditional POS often lists a bunch of bar-code based numbers and letters that are often too confusing for customers.
Further, there are cloud-based features such as those for restaurants, where customers can choose from the menu and place an order even before they arrive at the establishment. In traditional POS, consumers are pretty much excluded from the transaction per se. It is something that is coursed from employee to employee. The customer simply looks at the tab and pays the bill.
Given how convenient and easily accessible cloud-based systems are, it is easy to see how business owners are now transitioning from traditional to cloud-based. Such systems are great not only for established businesses and impressive boutiques. Any merchant, even brick and mortar ones, can make good use of such retail system. With this in place, e-commerce sellers need not bring tons of receipts and clunky calculators when selling their products in trade fairs and shows. Small shops can use the software through handy devices and bring the device home, if they prefer.
You may be scared to make that big jump to cloud-based POS, and that’s understandable. But also know that the earlier you migrate to such a system, the earlier you and your customers can take advantage of better purchasing options and bigger transacting power.
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What Are Cloud-Based Point of Sale Systems?