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"I’m very happy with the system and would recommend it to anyone"

Mr Singh, Uppal Stores

"I was very happy, received a call within a few hours and they were really helpful"

Stephen Edwards

"The sales team made it really easy to understand and everyone has been really helpful"

Tom Thurtle

What's so good about Cloud-based POS?

Cloud-based point-of-sale (POS) systems free you from the restraints of bulky hardware and local installations. They can do this because they don't rely on the device you use to operate. Whereas traditional systems hold all your information in an actual computer, cloud-based systems operate from one central location (in a real-time communication network, aka the internet) where information is always available and up to date.

The types services that a traditional static POS system would offer, such as transactions, reporting tools and loyalty programmes are all available, and these are either integrated into the system or accessed through apps that can be downloaded.

Many cloud-based POS systems operate on mobile devices like tablet and smart phone touch devices which add a good level of flexibility to operations, but you can still use a general desk top touch screen as well.  Some providers offer the system devices for free as part of their package, or you can purchase your device separately.

There a number of benefits over traditional POS systems, such as the freedom of data and a big reduction in costs, but first of all let's go over the key features so you know what you can get.

The main features of a cloud-based POS are:

Transactions

Cloud-based POS systems can process transactions anywhere within a store. Basic functions should include both a detailed and quick entry sales screen option; an easy access reference area to pull up customers' details on the spot; multiple payment options so that all forms of cash, credit, and debit payments can be accepted plus gift cards and split payment options; and employees can also print hard copies of receipts or send them to their customers' mobile phones.

Product inventory and reports

You can keep track of products and services with an inventory feature that gives you an overview of your sales. Sales data will sync to the cloud for up to date tracking and an extensive database of past sales records will also be available for viewing and exporting at anytime. Item details, importing data, product leader boards, transfers between locations, orders and deliveries can all be managed through this feature.

Customers and rewards

A customer relationship management (CRM) system is provided to help you get to know your best customers, to reward them and also to get them to promote your business. You will have the ability to offer promotional discounts; set up a loyalty and rewards programme; send email and text message campaigns; and link customer feedback to social media channels.

Staff training and communication

Most cloud-based systems are design with a user-friendly nature to require minimal interaction or training as well as enhanced communication levels. Employees can generally use a unique login that works for clocking in and out, making sales, and communicating with the team through a built in messaging and appointment system.

What are the benefits of a cloud-based POS system?

We consider there to be three big benefits to Cloud-based POS systems:

Unrestricted data
Traditional POS systems operate on specific computers in your store and all your data is locked onto the particular machine making it difficult and expensive to share the information. Cloud-based POS systems however allow you to operate from any computer that has an internet connection, because in this case the information is held centrally in the cloud, making information instantly available to all computers working within the system. Plus, data is automatically backed up for you so you'll never lose it.

More cost effective
A lot of high costs are involved with traditional POS systems such as set up fees, usage fees per machine, and the cost of upgrades and maintenance. The cost can be anywhere from £2,000 to £30,000. Thankfully, cloud-based POS systems are more cost effective than this as they normally charge on a monthly basis per location at rate of £30 to £50, with minimal or no added fees per device. SMBs can be up and running with a cloud-based system including a hardware bundle for less than £1,000.

Up to date software
As Cloud-based POS systems work over the internet they are always up to date. System improvements and new features are automatically available for use, at no additional cost, as soon as the provider makes them live on the Cloud. So, unlike traditional POS systems you have no software installation or upgrade charges to worry about.

Are there any downsides to Cloud-based POS?

Yes, as with all technology there are a few cons to be aware of:

They won't work so well on a weak internet signal or outage.
Cloud-based POS systems operate best on a strong internet connection and without this, nothing much can happen. Providers are of course aware of this and in the event that your system goes offline, you will still be able to ring up sales on your device and then sync the data at a later point when the internet signal has returned. In addition, if your internet connection is not very reliable, you can try a dual-band router which provides for a second (backup) internet option which automatically switches on if your primary signal is lost, ensuring that sales aren't interrupted.

Not all providers are all-inclusive
Although Cloud-based systems are more cost effective, beware of companies that charge for software licensing on top and price some services like CRM as extra. Features can be used as differentiators between rival products, and so its important that you fully research what your particular cloud-based POS system offers before you invest in it.

What comes in a hardware bundle?

Here's a summary of what you can expect in a terms of hardware for a Cloud-based POS system:

  • Tablet, smart phone or desk top touch screen devices
  • Cash drawer
  • Magnetic card reader
  • Thermal receipt printer
  • Printer & cash drawer cables
  • Mobile bluetooth scanner
  • Device stand

Features summary:

  • Sales screen
  • Customer reference area
  • Multiple payment options
  • Hard or virtual receipt printing
  • Product inventory
  • Importing data tool
  • Leader boards
  • Product location transfers
  • Order and delivery tool
  • Reporting tool
  • Promotional discounts tool
  • Loyalty and rewards programme
  • Email and text message function
  • Customer feedback function
  • Staff login
  • In house messaging
  • Appointment calendar

Pros and cons summary:

  • Freedom to access data from any device
  • Need a strong internet signal to operate fully
  • Features aren't always all-inclusive
  • Need a strong internet signal to operate fully
  • Features aren't always all-inclusive

Who's it for?

Cloud-based POS systems are ideal for businesses with multiple locations that need to share and access data on all devices, in any area of the business and at any time.

Think a Cloud-based POS system is right for your business? Get in touch for a quote today.

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Please note that the budget required for the purchase and installation of a Full EPoS system starts from £1300 for hardware and software.
The prices can be considerably higher depending on your requirements.

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