“It is better to have your head in the clouds, and know where you are… than to breathe the clearer atmosphere below them, and think that you are in paradise.”
–Henry David Thoreau
For many small business owners, Thoreau was on to something. It turns out that having your head-and point-of-sale (POS) system-is better for your bottom line if it’s in “the cloud”.
There are two primary reasons why a cloud POS is gaining more popularity with small business owners.
First, there’s the convenience factor. Even if you’re a workaholic, hopefully you’ll take a week or two off from work every year and have a competent manager holding down the fort while you’re away. But while you’re enjoying some R&R, wouldn’t it be great if you could access real time business data? You could know at any given time from the comfort of your hotel how sales are doing. Want to change the price on a particular item? You can do that instantly with a cloud-based POS system. As long as you have an Internet connection, you can access your cloud-based POS. (If you’re camping in the wilderness, trusting your manager will have to suffice.)
If your data is stored on-site, you don’t have the ability to easily access data remotely. Even if you are indeed a workaholic who never goes on vacation, sometimes emergency situations may arise when you wish you could access business data while you’re at home.
The second major advantage of cloud-based POS is cost. Because mobile devices can also double as a payment terminal or barcode reader, there’s no longer the need to buy expensive on-premise bulky hardware. Even if you choose not to use mobile or tablet hardware for your POS, PC POS systems that are cloud-based cost, at a minimum, hundreds of dollars less than on-premise systems.
Is it worth upgrading to cloud-based POS?
Suppose you’re taking over a restaurant that has a legacy POS? Is it worth paying out of pocket to upgrade to the latest, cutting edge system such as MobileBytes, which will let you, for instance, change the menu while you’re sipping on a Mai-Tai while enjoying a Caribbean vacation?
While restaurant margins are notoriously slim to begin with, having a cloud-based POS can in the long run make your business run much more efficiently. The analytics that a cloud-based POS can offer may alone be worth the expense. Although an on-site POS can certainly offer a goldmine of data for your business, again, you have to be at your place of business to access the data. Without doubt, if your business has an existing legacy POS such as an electronic cash register, it most likely won’t be technologically advanced enough to keep track of inventory, provide sales reports and track employee hours, to name a few things a best-in-class POS can offer.
Other advantages of Cloud POS
If your place of business is small, cloud POS makes it possible to do without large, bulky hardware. For instance, a cloud POS makes it possible to offer customers an email receipt rather than a paper one. Although your store or restaurant may still require some obligatory hardware such as a cash drawer, with a cloud-based POS, the Internet-connected software negates the necessity of unsightly wires.
And if you’re running a restaurant, cloud POS can help make communication between the kitchen and the waitstaff seamless. (Among many advantages, no longer does the cook have to read the messy chicken-scratch handwriting of the waiter.)
In addition, another advantage of cloud POS over on-premise is, with the former, software updates are done in real time; there’s no need for an employee or third-party tech consultant to come to your premises and make an update.
Last but not least, customer data is better protected in the cloud. Every time a customer uses a credit card, that transaction data is encrypted. If all your data is on-site, in the event that your store or restaurant has a theft, your customer’s data could be compromised.
Interested in a cloud POS demonstration? Contact us today.