Not so many years ago, most brick-and-mortar businesses used the traditional point-of-sale (POS) system to store data locally, including prices of goods and transaction records. Small business owners usually use an onsite PC or server while larger retail chains use a private company network server as storage for these types of data.
With the advancement in technology, businesses have switched from traditional POS to modern business online tools, such as cloud-based POS systems. Before we explore why this type of point of sale system has grown increasingly popular in Toronto, Canada, let us learn what it is about and how it stands out from locally hosted POS systems.
Know the Difference: Cloud-Based POS vs Traditional POS
Also known as legacy POS, a traditional POS operates on closed networks and stores the data on local servers. This type of system works like storing your personal data in a computer at home and is impossible to access from anywhere else.
On the other hand, the cloud-based system, also known as mobile POS, is a web-based tool that operates on a cloud service, storing data online. Simply put, it stores data in Google Drive or Dropbox, which can be easily shared and accessed from anywhere with an Internet connection.
To understand the difference between these two types of POS systems, here’s comparison:
- Data Accessibility
Traditional: You need to be physically present in the facility to access and make changes to the data.
Cloud: You can easily access and monitor data in real-time anytime and anywhere with the Internet using a mobile device, laptop, or desktop. Cloud-based POS features remote accessibility to enable you to make changes online, so you do not need to be in there in person to do these tasks.
- Data Loss Risk
Traditional: When the system crashes or encounters a bug, you could lose all the data running on a closed internal network and stored on a local server.
Cloud: The likelihood of losing your data is low since they are stored online on remote servers. It automatically backs up the data in the cloud, making it easy to restore them even if a system crash occurs.
Traditional: Investing in a traditional POS system usually comes with a high upfront cost. You also need to pay for maintenance fees as the system requires a manual on-site update. The reinstallation cost can be expensive in case the system crashes.
Cloud: Unlike its counterpart, the installation cost of a cloud-based POS system is affordable since it is not as complex as the traditional POS. The service providers will also update the software automatically as the cost is included in the monthly or yearly subscription fees. However, the number of stores, staff, and devices using the cloud POS can affect the pricing. You can download free cloud-based POS apps to your device with optional add-ons at a low cost. All you need to pay is the cost of the hardware, such as cash drawers, printers, devices, and scanners, as well as the add-ons.
- Update Requirement
Traditional: The server used by traditional POS systems requires to be manually updated on-site, resulting in fewer updates.
Cloud: The service provider will automatically update the cloud-based system remotely in real-time to ensure that you use the current version of the software, eliminating the need for on-site visits to update the system.
- Internet Dependency
Traditional: Even without the Internet, the traditional POS system can operate smoothly and efficiently without affecting the service.
Cloud: Poor or loss of internet can affect the functionality or performance of cloud-based POS. However, some cloud POS systems are designed with offline capabilities, enabling the operation to run as usual even without the Internet. It also allows you to sync the data when the system is connected to the Internet again.
Traditional: Traditional POS usually comes with heavy and bulky hardware parts. Most traditional POS screen size is 15 inches.
Cloud: Cloud-based POS uses portable devices, such as smartphones and tablets, making it more convenient to carry them around anywhere. However, these devices use a battery and need to be charged to continue service.
- Integrated Systems
Traditional: Integration of new modules, features, and updates can be challenging in traditional POS, making it harder to customize the system.
Cloud: With a cloud-based POS system, small businesses can easily integrate higher functionality modules, such as online ordering, loyalty programs, inventory management, accounting, and CRM, and link them to third-party software to successfully personalize your cloud-based retail or grocery store POS software that suits the needs of your business.
How Using a Cloud-Based POS Benefits Your Business
Using the best cloud-based POS system for small-to-medium-sized retail stores or restaurant businesses helps ensure a positive customer experience while staying relevant to the constantly changing advancement of technology. Here are some of the top reasons why you should consider switching from a legacy POS system to a cloud-based POS system:
Restaurant chains may need to pay thousands of dollars a year for server maintenance. With a cloud-based POS system, a physical server is no longer a requirement, eliminating the need to pay for other equipment fees and potential repair costs when the system crashes. Your day-to-day operation goes wireless and the risk of losing data or replacing old servers is no longer a possibility.
- Access Anytime, Anywhere
Using a cloud-based POS eliminates the need to be physically present in your store to monitor your sales transactions or make any changes to the data. You simply need your mobile device to access data and monitor your day-to-day business operation remotely. A cloud-based POS allows you to check on your daily sales, inventory, and staff with the tap of your finger, so you do not need to constantly remind your store manager to send you report updates. Simply use your mobile device to check them anytime, anywhere, making it easier and more efficient to manage your time.
- In-Depth Knowledge
One of the great benefits that come with using a cloud-based POS system is the in-depth knowledge it provides to users behind the scene. This helps small business owners to make better decisions in managing their business, check inventory, send invoices, and develop and export custom reports by having direct access to merchant account settings from your device wherever, whenever. It also allows SMBs to update their company’s information, order supplies, and set up email alerts quickly and easily.
- Smooth and Continuous Integration
The world of business is constantly changing that is why it is important for businesses to switch to cloud-based POS systems for easy integration and scalability. Unlike the traditional ones, this type of POS system on cloud is designed to be highly flexible, making it the ideal choice for small businesses that offer customer loyalty rewards programs and the most current payment methods. Growing small businesses usually involves a scalable payment solution that can help the business adapt quickly and easily to the advancements in payment technology and new payment methods.
- Quick and Easy Upgrades
Using cloud-based POS frees you from paying expensive fees for complicated equipment upgrades. This type of POS has professional service providers that will make sure that servers are backed up, configured, and supported properly. Instant software upgrade helps small businesses to provide customers with the latest services in payment acceptance. Also, with plenty of room in the cloud, it helps secure more space as it eliminates hardware upgrades.
- 24/7 Support
Small businesses that use a cloud-based POS system do not require a background, degree, or certification to efficiently run the system. There are expert support providers that are ready to resolve any IT problems that you may encounter along the way, which helps save you more time and money for repairs and upgrades. It gives you peace of mind knowing that all your data is backed up in the cloud in case of an unexpected system.
- Increased and Improved Security
With regards to security, the cloud-based POS helps protect your business from potential data loss and/or data theft. Expert service providers provide professional POS support for continuous operation and help ensure that the systems are fully functional at all times. They also utilize powerful servers designed to store your data, ensuring that all your company info will remain secure despite system crashes and errors. Additionally, service providers ensure that all data stored on third-party servers is heavily encrypted. If ever someone has hacked your system, your data will remain indecipherable and cannot be stolen. Unlike legacy POS systems, cloud-based solutions eliminate the need to keep sensitive company information on the hard drive of your computer. Additionally, you can lose important data forever in traditional POS in case of a crash or accidental data deletion.
By now, you have seen how cloud-based POS systems can play a vital role in offering the best possible payment experience to customers. It is not only an affordable solution, but cloud-based POS also benefits many small businesses with easy integration and implementation, quick access to your daily operations, valuable business insights that will help you make more informed decisions, and round the clock help and support from expert providers. Without the burden of system upgrades and crashes and data security risks, you can allocate more time to other important aspects of running your business.
If you are running a small retail store or a restaurant in Toronto, Brampton, Hamilton, Burlington, or Mississauga, POSRG Canada offers the best options for cloud-based POS systems. Call us today at (905) 332-8809 to let us know about your POS needs. You can also get in touch with us and send us your message through our contact form. We are looking forward to serving you.