Pros and Cons of Cloud-Based POS Systems in Retail
It’s no secret that across the retail industry your point of sale (POS) system is the workhorse of your technology solutions. Not only does it help you and your operations complete sales, it can also help you better track inventory and manage your employees’ time, just to state a few benefits.
The question then becomes what system do you choose? How do you know where to start and what system will give you what you need while helping you provide a superior level of customer service?
With many types of retail POS software and systems on the market it can be difficult to know where you should begin. Cloud-based POS systems are more popular now than ever before and rely on the internet to power your retail operations.
Before you’re ready to jump in head-first into a cyber-powered retail POS system, be sure to review these pros and cons when making your next point of sale investment:
Pro: Easy Updates
Did you remember to update to the latest version of your POS software?
That question can make many retailers stop in their tracks and rack their brain wondering if the update was complete. With a cloud-based POS system, retail owners and managers no longer have to ask themselves this question, as the systems are designed to implement their own updates. However, retailers will still want to check their system to ensure the updates actually install so their systems are indeed up to date.
Con: Paying a Subscription Fee
From music streamlining to coffee of the month clubs, almost every service in the world today comes with a subscription fee. Some retailers don’t mind having to pay this fee for their POS system, but others find the fees to be overwhelming and taxing to their business models.
Most cloud-based POS system subscription fees start around $100/ month and rapidly increase from there. These can become costly compared to a flat, upfront price for software. Add-ons, such as gift card integrations, also increase the price operations pay for these cloud-based systems.
Pro: No Software Installation Process
As previously mentioned, cloud-based retail point of sale systems focus on a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, which means the software is provided via the subscription service company. There is no need to download or install anything on the retailer’s end, as it is supposed to automatically update as the provider develops new updates.
This however, is not always the case. That is why retail owners and managers need to be extra diligent and be sure the software is updating and installing correctly to ensure the software solution provides all the benefits that it claims to provide.
Con: Limited Support Options
Software solutions offered under the cloud-based SaaS model oftentimes come with limited support options for the customer. Frequently, support services require retailers to make phone calls to call centers and chat with service representatives across the world.
Although this model may work for some, more times than not, retail store owners and mangers would rather deal with a service provider face-to-face in order to troubleshoot any issue that may occur with their technology solutions. Shouldn’t your POS provider be able to be reached for support when you need it most?
Pro: Access Data from Anywhere
The internet is a valuable tool across many industries, and this is especially true for retail organizations. No matter where you are, a cloud-based POS system can grant you access to all your valuable data from anywhere in the world via an internet login.
However, leaving your valuable data on the internet leaves it threatened by potential hacks and cyber security attacks. Not to mention, leaving your data on the internet means that if you ever decide to change POS providers you may lose your valuable sales, reporting, and customer data. This is because with a cloud-based system, retailers do not own their business data like they would with a traditional system.
Con: Connectivity Issues
Depending on retail operations and locations internet connectivity may be an issue, especially for rural locations and operations that don’t have access to high-speed internet service. This is a major issue for a cloud-based POS, especially since these retail systems require the internet to properly function.
If your retail organization is able to access the internet, speed may still be a factor in your retail system. A fast connection is required for cloud-based systems and without this connectivity your operations will have more success with a traditional POS system.
Traditional vs Cloud-Based
Investing in a point of sale system is an important investment for those in the retail space. Ensuring you’re choosing the right system for your business needs can be a challenge and makes all the difference when it comes to the success of your retail operation.