Is it time to update your point of sale (POS) system? Are you aware of the additional features newer cloud-based POS software offers?
This guide will help you get up to speed with the latest features available with POS solutions and give you insights into what you should be looking for before you make an investment.
What is a cloud-based POS system?
As you probably already know, a POS system is an essential tool for taking customer payments. However, it is so much more than that.
In modern retail, a POS system is the hub of the business. It links up your sales, customer management and inventory. It replaces separate manual methods like cash registers and bookkeeping software and puts everything in one place for efficiency and convenience.
A point of sale solution needs to store a lot of information. A cloud-based system uses a remote server to store this data. Through internet infrastructure, data can be synced and backed up automatically.
Further to this, cloud-based software offers some more distinct advantages.
Why choose a cloud-based POS system?
Here are 5 key reasons why a cloud-based system beats the more traditional units.
1. Real-time data
Cloud-based solutions operate in real-time. This means you can have an up-to-the-minute picture of what’s happening in your business on anything from stock levels to sales figures, anytime you need it.
Use paperless reports features to take stock of exactly where your business is at right now. Make quick, effective decisions based on the most accurate data possible at the moment.
2. Absolute flexibility
Because they use an external server, you only need an internet connection to tap into your cloud-based POS systems. Access the POS system from wherever you happen to be; there’s no need to be in store. Again, this enables you to act on up-to-date information at any time and to stay as agile as possible.
Enjoy automatic syncing and backups, knowing that your data is always protected and up-to-date. Benefit from the convenience of centralized storage, processing, memory and bandwidth. Updates are rolled out automatically with cloud-based POS systems, meaning you always have the most up-to-date version working hard for you.
4. An integrated solution
Streamline your business with integrated multiple sales channels and other software. This is one of the biggest advantages: cloud-based software offers one holistic solution. A system should be straightforward to scale up so that it can grow with your business.
Cloud-based POS software can be integrated with a variety of applications. Vend POS can be combined with Xero, Shopify, Square, Apple plus various other accounting and ecommerce applications.
5. Easy to use
Years of experience have culminated in POS manufacturers being able to create the most intuitive, easy-to-use technology. Vend Apple iPad POS software also uses either Mac or PC for a fully integrated system. The iPad app means you can benefit from a fast, simple-to-use app on-the-go and anywhere on the shop floor.
What to look for in a cloud-based POS system
Firstly, you need to find a cloud-based POS solution that can offer you all the benefits listed above. To summarise, the features to look out for are:
- The ability to link up your shop floor and storeroom so that your products, sales and inventory are all in one place;
- Accessibility from a variety of devices and can be logged into from anywhere;
- Powerful, paperless reporting features for great insights;
- Automatic updates and syncing; and
- Ability to be integrated with the apps you need, such as accounting and ecommerce apps.
Even more useful, customer-focused features available in cloud-based POS systems
A good cloud-based POS solution should enable you to manage your retail operation with convenience and flexibility. However, a best-in-class POS system will also offer features that benefit your customers, too. Smooth and speedy service can be enhanced by a range of options that help your employees serve your customers well.
1. A customer-facing display
For better transparency and improved customer experience, opt for customer facing display units. This is especially useful for customer data capture; your store visitors can see exactly what is being processed.
2. Customizable options
Customize your receipts with various choices such as language, product care information and more. Create receipts to suit your customer preferences and printed or emailed with your branding.
3. Quick keys
Speed up sales and reduce queues for quick key shortcuts for popular products. These enable your staff to process transactions much faster.
4. ‘Park’ sales
There’s no need to insist that customers start over if they forget an item and only realise at the checkout. Park their sale so that they can come back and pick up where they left off, while your employees can serve other customers in the meantime.
5. Easy transactions
Provide excellent customer experiences with a range of options for hassle-free transactions. A good cloud-based POS system should be able to manage gift cards and store credit. Returns and exchanges should be straightforward. You should be able to offer split payment methods through your POS software too.
How to find the right cloud-based POS system for your business
There are several options out there when it comes to cloud-based POS solutions. Here’s how to find one that’s the right fit for your business.
Firstly, approach suppliers that have a reputation for committing long-term to helping you get the best out of your POS system.
Look for a company that won’t disappear after they’ve made the sale. Instead, find one that has a visible after-sales satisfaction promise. This way,you know any teething problems can be ironed out. Better still, look for a company that’s also willing to train your whole team on your new system.
Make sure you see a full demo of any POS software and that you and your colleagues can test it rigorously. Does it feel intuitive and is it easy to use? Does it do everything you need it to? Does it offer all the great features discussed above?
If the answer is yes to all these questions, you should be confident you are investing in a state-of-the-art, best-in-class cloud-based POS solution.