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Is Cloud-Based POS Software Worth It? Yes — And Here's Why [+ Top 4 Providers]

Are cloud-based point of sale systems really worth the investment?

If you’re considering making the switch, you’ll want this question answered. Legacy POS systems are still popular, especially among small businesses. But, like any industry, retail technology is evolving. Change is inevitable.

If you’re worried about making the switch, this article will help. We’ll share the top benefits of going cloud-based, plus the top providers of cloud-based POS software.

What Is Cloud-Based POS Software?

Before we get into the nitty gritty of why cloud-based POS software is worth it, let’s define it.

Cloud-based POS software is a web-based platform that manages core retail operations like transactions, reporting, inventory, and more. Instead of installing software onto a computer in your store, a cloud-based POS system lives online.

Cloud POS differs from on-premises POS software in several ways:

  • It’s centrally hosted on remote servers instead of localized computers.
  • The subscription-based pricing structure often makes it more affordable.
  • You can use tablets and smartphones as cloud POS registers.
  • Data and insights are available in real time.

Related Read: Cloud vs. Server POS System: 14 Pros and Cons To Consider

Without cloud-based POS software, you’ll struggle to keep up with other retail businesses. Cloud POS adoption is rising, and the market is growing as more retailers discover the benefits. 

Sticking with traditional POS software might lead to a lack of visibility into real-time sales data, an increased vulnerability to data breaches, and connectivity issues slowing operations down.

Cloud POS software is different, but is it better? The short answer is yes. Here’s why.

Why Cloud-Based POS Software Is Worth It

Cloud-based POS software brings simplicity to your checkout processes, helps manage inventory, and future-proofs your retail store. Here are some of the best features:

Real-Time Reporting and Analytics

Imagine having real-time access to sales data and inventory. Rather than waiting for manual reports or counting and updating inventory by hand, cloud technology keeps accurate, up-to-the-minute metrics right at your fingertips.

You can break down your sales performance by category, brand, payment type, staff member, hour, day, and more. And you can do it with a few clicks.

Related Read: What Is POS Reporting? (& How It Can Boost Your Small Business)

As soon as you sell a product, your inventory updates. Identify your top-selling products and slow movers, and manage stockouts. What do all these capabilities add up to? You can have a birdseye or granular view of your inventory and make better business decisions.

Centralized Retail Inventory Management

If you have more than one store, a cloud-based POS system is critical. You’re juggling inventory across locations, as well as pricing and promotions. You can use cloud-based software to oversee your stores from one dashboard.

Related Read: How We Use a POS Inventory Scanner To Save Time and Boost Profits

You’ll see real-time stock levels sync across your stores so you know where your inventory is. Prevent overstocking in one store and stockouts in another. Transfer items between locations to meet local demand.

Your employees can see the same metrics to help answer questions from customers. They can tell customers to order online or try another of your stores. Best of all? You can oversee all of this from anywhere with an internet connection.

Minimized Hardware and Maintenance Costs

Traditional POS systems require a big upfront investment in on-site servers, networking equipment, computers, and cables. You might need multiple terminals if you have a bigger store. You’ll also need a technician to install software upgrades and troubleshoot issues.

A cloud-based solution takes some of those pains away. Since the platform is in the cloud, you only need a mobile device, web-based tablet, or a computer at each register. That’s not to say you won’t need other hardware, like sleek stands, receipt printers, barcode scanners, and more. But you’ll save on hardware since expensive servers are no longer necessary. 

Upgrades happen remotely, and you can run them anytime, minimizing store disruptions. Minimized downtime is also a win, since most issues can be fixed remotely. The best cloud-based POS software providers offer 24/7 support.

Related Read: Should You Use a Free Cloud POS for Your Retail Store?

Seamless Omnichannel Selling and Fulfillment

Creating a unified commerce experience across channels is no longer a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have. Customers expect an omnichannel experience. They want to browse your online store and pick up their items. Or try on outfits in your boutique and order online for delivery.

How do you connect fragmented systems managing separate inventory, sales, and fulfillment between physical and digital channels? 

With cloud-based POS software! You can centralize your various channels into one hub. When inventory, order data, and fulfillment sync in real time across the cloud network, omnichannel retail becomes effortless.

Related Read: 4 Retail Benefits of an Omnichannel Point of Sale

When something sells online, shelves update instantly to prevent stockouts in your store. You can offer buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS), or ship items from the nearest location. Customers want convenience and speed. Cloud POS flexibility makes it easier.

Overcoming Misconceptions About Cloud-Based POS Software

You’re going to have some reservations about adopting cloud-based POS software — it’s natural — so let’s debunk some common misconceptions.

  • System reliability: What if the internet cuts out and you can’t process transactions? In reality, top POS systems have high uptimes, plus an offline mode as a built-in fallback. Temporary internet lapses shouldn’t halt your business.
  • Data breaches: When was the last time you heard about one? Scary stuff. Cloud-based POS users can rest easy knowing their systems follow strict security protocols. The majority of cloud POS providers comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), encrypting and protecting your customers' payment information.
  • Ongoing costs: Yes, most cloud-based POS providers work on a subscription basis. But when you consider the upfront costs of servers, ongoing maintenance, and lack of scalability, cloud-based software wins out and is worth the cost due to the multiple benefits.

Cloud systems are reliable — the industry standard is 99.99% — and might even be more reliable and easier to troubleshoot than traditional systems. Data and transactions are well-protected with end-to-end encryption.

Top 4 Cloud-Based POS Software Providers for Retail

Comcash: We're a trusted leader in cloud-based POS solutions, and our system has a user-friendly interface and advanced features. It includes a modern Android handheld terminal with a 2D scanner and supports various payment methods. Also, our touchscreen menu simplifies item selection, and flexible mounting options cater to diverse business needs. Other features include omnichannel selling.

POS Nation: A comprehensive POS solution for growing businesses, POS Nation offers robust hardware, software, support, and transparent pricing with flexible payment options. Their cloud-based POS software comes with features tailored to specific industries. With 24/7 support and warranty-backed hardware, POS Nation aims to address common issues faced by businesses, like unreliable support, long-term contracts, generic software, and overpriced solutions.

Shopify POS: Providing an omnichannel solution for retail businesses, Shopify offers seamless integration between in-person and online sales. With features like fast checkouts, smooth payments, and multi-store support, Shopify POS simplifies operations and helps you put the customer first.

Lightspeed: Offering a retail POS system and payment solution, Lightspeed empowers businesses to streamline operations and accelerate growth. With personalized workflows, 24/7 expert support, and unified commerce capabilities, Lightspeed helps businesses gain visibility into sales, inventory, and team performance. Its multi-location management feature integrates inventory and sales data across all channels, while Lightspeed Payments ensures smooth checkout experiences.

Cloud-Based POS Software: Making the Transition

You know about the various benefits of adopting cloud-based POS software, including lower costs, better reporting, streamlined inventory management, and omnichannel selling. Making the leap is the next logical step.

Over a quarter of retail businesses have adopted cloud POS software, and that number will only increase. To keep up and provide the best experience for your employees and customers, invest in a cloud-based POS system once you feel comfortable that you’ve found a great provider.

With over 3,000 retailers using Comcash for their cloud-based POS needs, we’re in a position to help retailers:

  • Manage inventory with ease
  • Process transactions and accept multiple payment methods
  • Delight loyal customers with built-in loyalty programs

…and so much more.

See why we’re the right fit for your business by scheduling a demo with our retail experts today.

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