Are you looking for a robust POS system to manage your store? Are you thinking of a cloud-based POS and worrying if it is the perfect choice for your business and will it collaborate with other business systems that you are already using or intend to use? Stick to us throughout this article to understand why security and seamless integrations are crucial elements and noticeable benefits of Cloud POS and how these benefits can be of help to your business.
From the perspective of whether you are starting a new business or you are wishing to replace the existing POS system or POS provider of your business, the decision might be difficult for you and you might get confused due to the unlimited choices available to you. If we talk about the conventional POS system, then it has changed dramatically in the past years. Technological development is making this system more flexible, scalable, and better equipped or capable of supporting the business than ever before. And one of the most beneficial technological advancements in cloud-based technologies.
In case you are not aware of cloud technology even a bit, you might be apprehensive about it. Many people tend to believe that a solution that involves technology is usually complicated, and may be incompetent or hard to use, unlike a traditional in-store POS. But, the developers of cloud-based point of sale systems across the world have worked hard to make sure that their cloud-based POS solutions are user-friendly, offer mobility, flexibility, and scalability to your business, at cost-effective rates. Such solutions provide you with all the functions offered by a regular POS, and more!
Though there are many benefits of using a cloud-based POS system, this article will be focusing on security and integration.
By installing a cloud-based POS, your business can enjoy enhanced security and you can have peace of mind. There are many businesses that are not comfortable placing their crucial business data on the cloud as they will not be able to physically see it and will have to rely on someone else for its security. However, experts believe that professionally built cloud-based POS systems can certainly offer better safety than a locally-hosted system. Let us first try to know how cloud-based technology works to understand this belief more.
Definition of Cloud Server?
It is a virtual server that is supported by a physical server running at an off-site location. Every such physical server can actually support multiple virtual servers. The physical hardware that performs this function will operate from an enterprise-grade data center.
Why is a data center security crucial?
If the business is using a traditional, Windows-based POS, the data is stored on company servers within the premises. Though this process appears as a more convenient way of having the data on-site, the location comes with various potential security hazards in terms of manual access to the servers.
On the other hand, cloud-based solutions use purpose-built data centers that are developed to keep your data completely safe and secure. You can access this data any time of the day. To ensure the safety and security of the data high-end security measures are taken such as multi-level biometric sign-in, state of the art monitoring and regular security patrols, etc. If we look at the type and degree of security that your business premise is capable of offering to your servers (which can easily fall prey to fraudulent activities and manipulation), you will undoubtedly appreciate the degree of high-end security measures that are taken in the cloud-based POS system to protect business data.
Network security is another core concern for any business irrespective of its size and area of operations. Network security is about having a whole and sole control over who can access the network both manually or virtually. Cloud services providers take network security seriously as it is their responsibility to ensure that their solutions are safe. A bad reputation can hamper their business. To make sure that the clients get reliable network security, cloud solutions providers use the highest level of technology and practices.
To make sure that the POS users enjoy the best possible high-end network security, cloud vendors rely on talented, experienced, and creative staff and professionals that are capable of developing cutting-edge technology that can offer outstanding network security.
The cost of using a cloud-based solution
When you confront any business organization with the idea of installing a cloud-based POS system, one of the major concerns that it comes up with is the cost. Businesses tend to think that installing a cloud-based POS will be more expensive than using a conventional, Windows-based version. It is a fact that no robust security system can come at a cheap rate, even traditional POS systems are not cheap. These systems come with various expenses that the user has to incur such as, hardware, POS system installation, licensing, support and maintenance, proprietary hardware, etc. Once you install the equipment in place, you will have to spend on developing both physical and network security to ensure data safety.
However, as most of the physical cloud servers are used in sharing by businesses, the cloud solution provider can manage and afford to build the required infrastructure to offer a cost-effective and efficient security solution, especially if you are a small and mid-sized business.
The benefits of cloud-based POS integrations
Managing a business successfully is not less complicated than juggling many balls in the air. A business owner has to take care of different operations and manage different departments like sales and inventory control or CRM and developing loyalty programs. However, we are a part of an integrated global system where customers expect a consistent experience in every interaction irrespective of the sales channel they use. This is also called an omnichannel buying experience. Integrated POS systems open many doors of opportunities to the business at both the operational and management level. This allows you to be more efficient and flexible than before.
The curse of SILO systems
A siloed business system can never offer a consistent omnichannel experience to the customers. Silos are unavoidable when the business is using more than one management system that is working independently.
In today's world, every business has to make decisions best on the data. Be it making decisions about what to sell or deciding the target market or fixing the price of the product or preparing a marketing strategy everything has to be based on updated, factual and accurate data. However, if the data you rely on is siloed, it would be difficult for you to make correct decisions. Siloed data is hard to read and interpret.
Integrated systems resolve data problems
As far as the integrated POS functions are concerned, most of the cloud-based POS solutions in the market do not shy away from offering businesses effective opportunities to leverage big data and enjoy comprehensive and efficient tools of marketing through POS integration. A POS integration creates customer records in your business system (automatically) which saves you time and mitigates the risk of human error.
However, there are many modern integrations available in the market that let you perform advanced functions like tracking customer buying history, amount of money customer spent, the frequency of purchase, etc. You can also add custom filters or fields in order to get more clarity about your customers.
Using this information your marketing team can develop customized and targeted strategies and campaigns. This means your marketing team can develop a personalized or tailor-made offer or discount only for those customers who have made purchases above a certain amount or who have purchased certain items.
Integrated systems streamline eCommerce presence
The 21st century is a fast and dynamic world where retail cannot sleep. And with the invention of smartphones and the internet, online shopping activities are performed across the world. It is now possible for customers to place orders from anywhere at any time. While there are many ways in which POS systems and online shopping platforms can be integrated; inventory synchronization is one of the important ways or forms of integration. The business has to make sure that what it is selling online is actually available in stock. Selling or displaying ‘Out of stock products' can leave a bad impression on customers.
The integration of inventory management with your cloud-based POS can be leveraged to enjoy functionalities like getting real-time stock updates, which means you have more control over your orders. You can know when the inventory is low and accordingly you can set up alerts and re-order those stock items. Plus, you do not end up selling those items which you do not have in stock. You can connect your eCommerce platform with loyalty programs and let your customers buy gift cards. POS and eCommerce integration help you run your business more efficiently and offer your customers a positive retail experience.
Every retail business has one motto and that is to increase sales. By integrating your business accounting system with cloud-based POS you can have access to streamlined reports which are created smartly and automatically by the system to offer you a much better business performance overview. You can also share open invoices, inventory data, and purchase orders, or pay invoices, or make salary payments, etc. In the siloed system businesses find it hard to gain insights into accounting, and hence, POS system integration can be a solution here.