The Future of Point of Sale
Point of sale systems (POS) are a vital and revolutionary part of the retail business. Only a couple of decades ago, tracking inventory, sales, and employees was a daunting task. Often time for retailers, entire divisions for companies were created to handle what the most basic of POS systems can do today. Point of sale system also provide an invaluable service to business owners, creating an easy way to manage daunting task.
Point of sale systems allow businesses powerful insights into their operation. Most POS systems have some sort of built in customer tracking and loyalty program. For example stores like Best Buy are tracking every sale a customer makes, what they buy, how often they purchase, and how much they have spent. With this information, they target customers through various marketing campaigns. One of Best Buys most successful campaigns is their "Rewards Program". This program provides customers with gift certificates for various amounts based on how much they have spent. The base program provides a customer with a five dollar gift certificate for every $250 spent. When a customer receives the $5 gift certificate, they often visit a store when otherwise they may have not, and usually end up spending much more than the gift certificate amount.
Inventory tracking is another area were point of sale systems can really shine. Any retails business owner can tell you the headaches involved of tracking and keeping inventory up to date and the proper amount of stock in stores. Most POS systems provide complete inventory control, with low stock tracking, quick re ordering and more great features.
Surprisingly, the adoption of POS systems in the United States, where most of the worlds main tech companies reside, has been far less than in european countries. Many retails business in the U.S. still utilize the standard cash register system. This may be mainly due to the barriers of entry that come with point of sale systems. For example, a small store with just 2 cash registers can expect to pay $3,000 to $4,000 for a complete solution. For many smaller stores, this is just not a financially wise decision.
We are now witnessing a second wave of revolution for the point of sale and retail industry with cloud based POS systems, which are accessed via the internet. Although the internet is nothing new, reliable and quick internet access is. Just a couple of years ago, a reliable and quick wireless internet connection which could handle the data transfers (3G and 4G) required for these applications simply did not exist. Verizon also recently completed the nationwide installation of their fiberoptic internet service (FiOS) which provides a much more reliable internet connection for consumers and business's alike. This has paved the way for cloud based point of sale systems to flourish.
There are many benefits to cloud based point of sale systems as compared to traditional systems. Benefits that a cloud based point of sale system provides include; real time analytics, securely hosted solutions, and a lower cost of entry.
Since cloud point of sale systems are hosted on the internet, merchants can see in real time just how well their stores are preforming. A manager in Texas can see the performance of his stores in Florida in real time from his computer or smart phone. Stock information is available so you know instantly when an item is getting low.
Generally cloud based POS systems are hosted in multiple secure and redundant data centers. This provides a safe and secure environment to host your data. In the past, a merchant who's point of sale computer crashed would often lose all of their customer, sale, and inventory information. However cloud POS systems are hosted in the cloud which the data is generally replicated in multiple locations. If a failure should occur on the cloud system, the end users generally doesn't even notice, as a working machine seamlessly takes over the task of the failed server. This means no downtime or data loss from a failed cash register system.
Probably one of the most appealing aspects of a cloud based point of sale system is the affordability it provides. With a cloud POS, you can setup a cash register on any internet device such as a computer, tablet, or even a smart phone. All you really need is an internet connection. This makes scaling your business extremely easy. When you need to add another cash register, simply setup another computer, connect a USB scanner and credit card reader, and you ready to go with no additional expense. With traditional POS systems, adding a new register involved thousands of dollars in hardware and software as well as the long daunting task of setting up the register with all of your products, employee's and settings.
The transition to cloud based POS systems is taking off both internationally and domestically. Many traditional POS provides are quickly trying to transition to the cloud based point of sale market. If your looking to take your business to the next level, you should take a few minutes to explore how a cloud based point of sale system can help your business. If you would like more information on cloud point of sale systems, we urge you to consider Evendra, a cloud POS system designed for the retail environment.