With cloud-based pos (point of sale) software, you can run your sales conveniently through an iPad, have access to live sales and inventory data, instant upgrades, and the ability to seamlessly integrate loyalty programs, gift cards, and rewards programs.
One of the critical differences between traditional point of sale equipment and cloud-based services is the cost. According to Entrepreneur, traditional point of sale software and hardware can cost business owners approximately $20,000. A cloud-based program, such as those found at www.netsuite.com, costs considerably less, and business owners simply need to load the software onto an existing iPad or smart phone.
Conveniently Sell Anywhere
The convenience of the cloud-based systems are another reason business owners are flocking to the new model. Having an iPad as a POS allows entrepreneurs to seal the deal regardless of where they are, making outside sales more effective. Even in a storefront, these sleek devices look more modern and take up less space than their bulky counterparts.
A Bevy of Features
However, trading in bulky for sleek doesn’t mean losing features, and most cloud-based POS systems have more features than their traditional counterparts including the following:
- Ability to accept multiple types of tender in a single transaction
- Easy to process special orders and discounts
- Simple to enter new inventory, transfer old inventory, and order new inventory from the POS software itself
- Customer data capture and purchase history, making targeted marketing simple
- Track returns and refunds
- Process transactions even when the internet is down and the cloud is unavailable
According to Forbes, when Gourmet Services at the Alabama State University stadium switched to a cloud-based POS, it only took 30 minutes to train their staff members on the new program. Once trained, they were able to ring up 5,721 transactions in just a few hours, a new sales record for the organization. The software allowed them to process sales more quickly, thus moving customers through faster, and giving team members the opportunity to serve more people in a short amount of time.
Cloud-based POS programs also saves ASU time on inventory. In the past, team members had to manually count and track their leftover inventory to determine what they had sold and how much they needed to order. Now, the new software takes care of those steps for them.
Built in Marketing Tools
The Small Business Administration cites the integration of sales and marketing tools as another reason business owners are turning from the traditional POS model to a cloud-based one. According to the SBA, cloud-based POS systems give you instant access to sales and inventory data. These programs link to loyalty programs and coupon codes.
You can even set some cloud-based software to generate correspondence automatically. If you run a clinic, this makes it easy to automatically send appointment reminders to clients. If you own a shop, set the software to send a coupon for ink a few weeks after a customer has bought a printer, or send them a reminder to buy batteries a month after they’ve bought a battery-powered device.
The potential downside to this type of software is integration. Before purchasing any cloud-based POS programs, look closely at their integration suite, and determine if it will truly help your company to make the switch. Because the internet can go down, ensure that you are buying a system that has offline capabilities.