A guide to Point of Sale System
Every time a customer makes a purchase at your shop or restaurant, they’re doing a sale transaction. A point of sale system, or POS, is where this transaction is recorded. The term POS is also used for the terminals provided by banks to process card payments. A POS system is the central component of a retail or restaurant business; it’s the hub where everything – like sales, inventory and customer management merge.
Every POS system comprises of software and hardware components. POS hardware components are the physical components required to get POS up and running. Common POS hardware include All-in-One Touchscreen System, Receipt Printer, Cash Drawer, Barcode Scanner, etc., POS software is the application run on the POS system that provide visual interface to record a sale transaction. Failing to have a POS system run the risk of slowing down sales operations and missing critical data that could help business grow faster.
Point of Sale Software: Traditional POS vs Cloud POS
There are many brands when choosing a Point of Sale (POS) software. Deciding between a traditional and cloud POS software will minimise the brands to choose from. Here is the difference between traditional and cloud POS so that you can decide what is the better option for your business.
𝗧𝗿𝗮𝗱𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗣𝗢𝗦 (𝗔𝗹𝘀𝗼 𝗸𝗻𝗼𝘄𝗻 𝗮𝘀 𝗢𝗳𝗳𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝗼𝗿 𝗟𝗲𝗴𝗮𝗰𝘆 𝗣𝗢𝗦):
1. POS Software is installed locally on a Laptop, PC or POS system
2. Data is stored locally on the system, and you own it always.
3. No one can look into your business data from outside.
4. Data backups are done manually or scheduled to be automatic. Since data is stored locally, there is a risk of losing data if system crashes.
5. Remote access is possible using applications like AnyDesk or TeamViewer.
6. Software maintenance is done manually. It might cost when done by the software vendor.
7. Typically has a higher upfront cost as you have to buy both software and hardware.
8. Installation and setup is done by the vendor.
9. Onsite training and support will be available, but depends on vendor availability and office hours.
10. One-time software license fee. There will be licensing fee for every device you wish to operate. Few companies charge an annual software renewal fee.
11. Any number of POS peripherals like barcode printer, weighing scale, multiple printers, etc., can be connected to the system and will always perform well.
12. Software is always available and perform well compared to Cloud.
𝗖𝗹𝗼𝘂𝗱 𝗣𝗢𝗦 (𝗔𝗹𝘀𝗼 𝗸𝗻𝗼𝘄𝗻 𝗮𝘀 𝗢𝗻𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝗼𝗿 𝗦𝗮𝗮𝗦 𝗣𝗢𝗦):
1. POS Software is accessed online, like using Gmail or Google Drive.
2. Data is stored in the cloud. You cannot access it without internet and a valid subscription.
3. Your business data might be used for analytical purposes.
4. Backups are safe in the cloud instances.
5. Software can be accessed on any device with internet.
6. Software updates are in real time, so you will be always using the latest version.
7. Typically has a lower upfront cost as it can be used on any device.
8. User has to setup the software.
9. Onsite training and support is not available. Documentation and tutorial videos will be available for training. Chat support and community support will be available around the clock.
10. There will be subscription fee paid monthly or annually. Failing to pay it will immediately stop access to the software.
11. Cloud Softwares are limited to browser capabilities. You will see difficulty to use multiple POS peripherals like barcode printers, weighing scale, multiple printers, etc., with a cloud software.
12. Cloud Softwares are accessed through web browsers and depends on internet connection. There might have performance issues during rush hours or even you have to close your counters when there is no internet connection.