With less capital available to invest in a new retail store, small businesses must prioritize each expense, especially upon opening. In fact, many new SMBs don’t make it through year one. But there are steps to take that will contribute to a successful start.
We’ve covered many different strategies that can help small businesses succeed. And of course, a great point of sale system is one of the most integral parts of your retail infrastructure. But today let’s consider the merits of a cloud-based POS system for retail.
When your POS is on the cloud, all your data is stored in remote servers and can be accessed from any location with a wifi connection. Updates can be seen in real-time and transfer of information becomes a lot easier. Cloud-based point of sale systems offer more reliability, flexibility, and security.
What Are the Different Types of POS Systems?
There is one major distinction on how a POS stores data. The terminals capture information and send it to a server to be stored. This can be on-site or off-site. Below is a look at the two options.
1. On-Site Servers
It used to be that all POS systems were run on a server that was physically within the premises of the building. Each terminal would run on the POS software, but a single server, usually somewhere in the back of the store, would store all of the data that would be captured by the point of sale.
This means that all data can only be accessed from that single server. Though fewer retailers are using this system, there are many small businesses that continue to rely on this model.
2. Cloud-Based Point of Sale
Using a cloud POS system, the data is instead stored in remote servers. The terminals using the POS software stay the same, but there is no on-premise server storing all of the information.
This remote server is one chosen by your POS provider. It might be a server that they run themselves or one that they pay a third-party to use.
The hardware used with this system can be exactly the same as that used with one using on-site servers: desktop, laptop, or tablet.
What Types of Businesses Can Benefit From a Retail Cloud-Based POS?
Typically, cloud POS systems are cheaper, faster, and more trustworthy than on-site servers. It also enables a retailer to access the information from anywhere with internet access. On-site servers require that you be on the premises to retrieve any data. This can be a nuisance for business owners that prefer to work remotely or have multiple locations. With a cloud system, you can measure and update inventory, analyze sales data, run analytics, and a whole lot more. There are also some specific benefits for different types of small businesses:
Coffee Shops and Bakeries
Cafes and local bakeries benefit from the user-friendliness of a cloud POS. Baristas can easily modify complicated drink orders, ensuring that transactions are fast and correct. This keeps long lines moving quickly, minimizing lost customers.
Convenience Stores and Quick-Service Shops
C-stores and QSRs usually have a massive inventory. Thousands of products can be very difficult to manage and keep track of. A POS in the cloud lets managers or owners access this from anywhere and keep an eye on the best-sellers. In a retail arena that relies on only keeping productive items on your shelves, a cloud-POS helps make the decision easier.
Amusement Parks and Museums
Theme parks and museums often have multiple verticals in one location. This means that you need a POS solution that covers your ticketing, membership, gift shop, kiosks, and small restaurants. Not only must the software be diverse enough, but the server access must be through the cloud. These businesses cover a large area and managers must be able to access data from any location within the park or museum.
Liquor Stores and Wine Shops
Many liquor stores have multiple locations. And between locations, they might carry different products at different prices. Without a cloud POS solution, inventory and accuracy can be a nightmare. The data must all be kept in one remote server. This will save time, money, and a lot of headaches.
What Makes a Cloud POS System the Best POS Solution for Small Businesses?
Your point of sale system is a critical purchase. Every part of your business is run through the POS so you must have one that makes your life easier, not more complicated. A cloud-based system is meant to do this. And at a more affordable price. So why is a cloud-based system the best way to go?
Cloud POS systems let you ring up customers wherever you please. You can quickly add a tablet as another checkout lane or use your mobile POS (mPOS) to complete a transaction on the retail floor. All you need is a WiFi connection. This added mobility allows you to adapt to changes in traffic and keep the store running efficiently.
As we mentioned earlier, your data and information can be accessed from anywhere in the world as long as you have an internet connection. This means you can conduct business and make important decisions no matter where you are. You’re no longer limited to the constraints of being on store premises to make important decisions.
You have space-saving options with a cloud POS. Not only can you use tablets as a mPOS, but you also don’t need huge desktops at each counter if you don’t want them.
Additionally, you don’t need that on-site server. This can take up a lot of space. And in an industry where space is a premium, saving your office for more important things can make a huge difference.
Cloud-based systems come with additional security features. Using Amazon Web Services or something akin, you’re afforded the best data security in the world. An on-site server can easily be compromised by a disloyal employee or nosy customer. This is not the case with cloud-based data, which uses multiple steps of authentication and encryption.
Add Up-to-Date Software
Your cloud POS software should also come as a software-as-a-service (SaaS). This means that for a flat monthly rate, you are guaranteed the best software available. Any updates are automatically done in your system. Prior to this, software updates would quickly antiquate your POS, meaning you’d either run on dated software or have to spend thousands of dollars multiple times per year to keep up with the latest.
If your point of sale transactions are kept in the cloud, that means that no transactions will ever be lost because of a faulty server, internet connection, or hardware malfunction. Any issues like this just mean that the transaction can be run, and will be processed automatically as soon as the problem is resolved. It also means that no disasters, such as fire, theft, or hardware crash will leave you with missing data.
Cloud systems allow you more flexibility with your hardware so you can keep your terminals looking fresh and sleek. This means your POS area can fit the aesthetic of the rest of your store instead of standing out. Tablets even mean that you don’t even need a POS area at all if you so wish.
Is KORONA a Cloud-Based POS System for Retail?
All of the features mentioned above come with your monthly KORONA software subscription, starting at $49/month.
On top of that KORONA has a few unique cloud POS features:
Advanced Analytics and Reporting
KORONA has powerful back-office capabilities, giving you digestible and actionable business advice with just a few clicks. You can print reports using different key performance indicators (KPIs), run inventory analysis, and easily manage basic menu and layouts.
Critical Software Integrations
KORONA integrates with powerful loyalty programs, accounting software, and eCommerce platforms, giving you the tools you need to take your business to the next level.
No Contracts or Credit Card Processing Agreements
You get all of that without having to sign a burdensome contract. Your KORONA subscription is strictly month to month. You should never have to be stuck using a POS that isn’t working for your business.
Plus, KORONA is NOT a credit card processor (check out our blog explaining it all). You’ll never be locked into inflated fees. Instead, you have the freedom to choose any credit card processor you’d like.
24/7 Included Support
KORONA will walk you through every step of the installation process and training. It has an intuitive interface, making staff training easy, but the back office tools are powerful and extensive, and we’re here to walk you through each feature so you can take advantage of them. And once you’re set up, our local team is here 24/7/365 by phone, email, or chat. The best part is that it’s unlimited and all included in your monthly plan.
So give us a try! We have a free trial of the software available so you can see for yourself what makes KORONA the best all-in-one POS solution out there. Click below for more!