Update to a Cloud-Based POS: The Complete Guide

So, What’s a POS?

Well I am glad you asked.

To best understand the advantages of upgrading to a cloud-based POS system, you should first understand the definition of POS. POS is an acronym for Point-of-Sale. When asked to describe a POS system, the first image to come to mind for a lot of people is a cash register. Point-of-sale means just that; it is the point at which you finalize the purchase. Looking through a larger lens, a POS includes everything in the barcode scanner to the credit card processing terminal. It is, in fact, a computerized network. All the hardware and applications communicate via one central server.

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OK, that sounds great but why do I need you?

Once you understand the fundamentals of what a POS is, it’s easy to extrapolate the requirement of having one. The objective of your business is to create earnings. To do so, you require a point of sale. For retail businesses and restaurants, it is nothing less than an important part of your company.

Cloud-Based vs. standard POS 

You know what it is.
You know why you want it.
Now the battle begins

How do you decide which sort of POS to use? When there are hundreds of different POS systems available to retailers, all of them fall under one of two classes: cloud-based or conventional. The distinguishing factor centers on how the hardware and software are networked. For the sake of example, consider a traditional POS like the days when homesteads had to dig and keep their own wells on the property so as to get access to water.

conventional POS is networked to a central computer (read: a waiter ), most frequently on the premises. All the scanners, cash registers, credit card processing, and receipt printers communicate through the central computer much like spokes to a hub.

cloud-based POS is networked into the cloud. The cloud is a system of servers maintained by a third party offsite. It relies on the world wide web as opposed to a group of cables for communication. Moving back into the water case, a cloud-based POS is similar to contemporary homes in developed nations that rely on a utility company to find, treat, and transfer running water to their home.

Great! So, what are the key advantages of working with a cloud-based POS?

At first glance you may wonder what all the fuss is about. Both kinds of POS utilize a central computer. There are, however, vast differences between the two. For starters, once the server is on the business premises, the business is liable for any upgrades, repairs, maintenance, and safety. Without a capable IT department, your business may face costly downtime in the event of an electrical surge or security violation. From the cloud, a third party shoulders those duties.

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Among the top 10 risks retailers reported confronting, the next six are at least partly addressed with a cloud-based POS:

1. Damage to Reputation / Brand
2. Business Interruption
3. Failure to Innovate / Meet Customer Needs
4. ) Distribution or Supply Chain Failure
5. ) Technology Failure / System Failure
6. Crime / Theft / Fraud / Employee Dishonesty

In addition to the IT support advantage, cloud-based POS systems also provide greater flexibility, more thorough information management, better safety, and an incorporated omni-channel presence.

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Increased Flexibility 

A cloud-based POS uses the web rather than hard wiring as it’s more flexible. By way of instance, the iPad POS system synchronizes your data across multiple stores. The iPad has the freedom advantage compared to conventional POS systems. With this, customers they could check out any place in the shop where a worker has an iPad. This cuts wait time in lines and boosts profits in the future as you are able to serve more clients. Additionally, it provides consistent information across multiple locations. Furthermore, if your business is mobile, like a pet grooming service or a food truck, a cloud-based system can travel with you. Such freedom significantly broadens the possibilities for your organization. Why be tethered when you’re able to roam free?

Information Management 

A cloud-based POS seamlessly streamlines multi-site communication. Small businesses with more than 1 location can have up to twice as much information to handle. When that data sits on a central computer at every place, somebody must collate it and examine it as a whole. On the cloud, all the information is merged instantly and accessible from anywhere there is an Internet connection. Inventory, sales, and other analytics are all located in one place: the cloud.

By monitoring and analyzing the information, you are in a position to ascertain what should happen to create your shop perform better. Superior information management contributes to more successful business decisions. Cloud-based POS systems synchronizes information about your clients across multiple locations. You may use this data to construct customer relationships that go beyond buys. According to Retail Information Systems,”A fantastic Point of Sale system offers valuable data on how customers store, so retailers that have been using these systems to collecting customer information should take another step and challenge their system for loyalty applications, cross channel capabiliJes, and replenishment applications based on the intelligence they hold about their customers’ tastes and history.”  Telephone clients by name. Suggest other goods or services which may be beneficial. Customize your loyalty program. Customers are more inclined to see where they feel understood. Get to know them and use the POS for a tool.

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Safety

In light of all of the news coverage about hacking and credit card fraud, you might be thinking about the safety of a cloud-based POS. The cloud (and iPad POS systems in parJcular) really provide better protection for all your clients’ and your company’ sensitive information. According to some Huffington Post article,”Well-designed cloud systems offer a much greater degree of protection through encryption and multiple copies. Put simply your information is better off in the cloud.” For a comprehensive discussion on how the iPad POS system functions to prevent data loss, download Bindo’s white paper, iPad POS Security: The New Wave of Hacking and Credit Card Fraud.

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Also within the realm of safety, you should already know about the mandate in america for banks to give EMV cards. The U.S. has been slow to adapt this technology and paid the price concerning credit card fraud. “Annual costs of card fraud in the U.S. alone are estimated at $8.6 billion each year. Experts think that figure will rise to $10 billion or greater by 2015, particularly if the U.S. doesn’t make considerable progress with processor card adoption.”

Around the world, it is estimated that“70 percent of [credit card] terminals deployed outside the U.S. are now working with the EMV standard.” These chip and PIN cards offer an extra layer of safety for the cardholder. From October 2015, all retailers in the USA need to be prepared to accept these kinds of cards. It is not just beneficial for the clients. “In October, 2015 that the EMV imperative, also called the Obligation Switch, will put the burden upon retailers to get the appropriate payment processing systems in place to take the EMV chip, or else be responsible for any fraudulent charges made in their shops,” reports Retail Information Systems. By upgrading to a cloud-based POS system, you can be ready before the deadline. Most likely you’ll require a POS upgrade for those cards anyway, so you may also go all in on mobile POS.

Omni-channel Presence 

Global Web Index is forecasting that 2015 is going to be the year that smartphones will match PCs and notebooks as it pertains to Internet users that have the devices. In 2014, 91 percent of Internet users possessed a PC/laptop while 80% possessed a smartphone.

Despite device ownership, a 2014 comScore report finds that mobile device use has surpassed desktop/laptop use to become”the leading digital platform, with complete activity on tablets and smartphones accounting for an astounding 60 percent of electronic media time spent in the U.S.”

As mobile usage increases, so too does the propensity of customers to use their devices to store. Not only do they hunt for certain things, they also compare prices, find stores, and check product availability. Lest you think they do all this from the comfort of their own homes, think again.  Nielsen reports the following statistic: “66 percent of smartphone shoppers check prices while in retail showrooms.”

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How does this information relate to a cloud-based POS? It is reminiscent of the immediacy and urgency with which customers store. It points to the value of having an internet presence. It relates to optimizing your customers‘ shopping experience by integrating your online and in-store experiences. You will need the cloud to make that integration easy. The term for getting accessibility in a number of marketplaces (mobile, online, and brick and mortar) is omni-channel. Advertisers want to be found wherever customers are searching, and clients with the world at their hands are expecting immediacy.

According to a commissioned study by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Accenture, 71 percent of consumers expect to see in-store inventory online. Seventy-three percent said they are likely or very likely to see a local shop if the retailer offers in-store product availability information online compared with 36 percent of consumers who would stop by a shop if no stock information was available online. By managing your stock and analytics using a cloud-based POS, you can incorporate your mobile, online, and in-store platforms effortlessly. With an omni-channel presence meets customer demand for accessibility and immediacy while concurrently providing a positive experience with your organization.

In conclusion, cloud-based POS systems outperform conventional POS systems in flexibility, data management, security, and omni-channel synchronization. The cloud provides more for you and demands less from you, which makes the update a logical choice.

Bindo’s Cloud-based POS System 

Bindo provides an iPad POS system to deal with all of your cloud-based POS needs. Since it is run on the top-selling tablet, it is mobile, mobile, and flexible. The program is cloud-based, streamlining information management. Along with the safety of the cloud, Apple’s iOS has always proven to be more secure than other operating systems. In terms of an omni-channel existence, Bindo has Bindo Market. When you use the iPad POS from Bindo, you receive free, instant access to the marketplace. This lets you start your entire inventory online with a single click.

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