Is a cloud POS system (also known as web POS software) the right point-of-sale (POS) system for your business? Here’s the low-down on what these words actually mean and the benefits compared with a traditional server-based POS.
What is a cloud POS?
A cloud POS is a web-based point-of-sale system that lets you process payments through the Internet — without clunky and expensive servers, or pricy software that makes you buy a new version to upgrade. Cloud-based point-of-sale systems process all payment transactions and updates online, rather than on your local computer.
With Square’s cloud POS software, your transaction and sales history are securely stored in the cloud, too. Rather than being tied to a countertop setup like a traditional POS running on a desktop computer, cloud POS systems can run on any device — including tablets and smartphones.
This is ideal for mobile businesses (like food trucks and home repair services). It’s also good for brick-and-mortar businesses looking to create a cleaner, more modern register and speed up lines by taking payments from multiple points.
In addition to making sales anywhere from any device, you can also access your point of sale from wherever you are and manage your business remotely. Sign up free here.
What does “cloud POS” mean?
When used in the context of computer software, the word “cloud” is just a fancy way of saying “Internet.” Cloud POS software is synonymous with “web-based Internet software.” When a product is hosted in the cloud, it just means the software and data are stored and accessed on the Internet and not on your device.
Who Should invest in a cloud POS?
All businesses can benefit from a cloud POS for various reasons, depending on the industry. Here are a few examples.
Cloud POS for Retail
Inventory management is a typical challenge for retail businesses and employees can waste a lot of time trying to fix inventory inaccuracies by manually recounting merchandise at the store. A cloud-based POS system for retail can help businesses significantly reduce human error and improve retail inventory management through automation. Sales and inventory information is synced and stored electronically as soon as a payment is made, which allows for better inventory control. See other exclusive benefits of a retail POS.
Cloud POS for Restaurants
Restaurants with multiple locations should also consider cloud POS. A cloud-based POS system for restaurants streamline and centralise your data across all of your locations. At any time, business owners can access sales data and other valuable information from any store as well as perform standardized system updates for every location. Here are some additional benefits of a restaurant POS.
Cloud-based POS systems vs. traditional POS systems
It’s no coincidence that so many small and medium-size businesses are choosing a web POS. A cloud-based point of sale software has distinct advantages over a traditional server-based POS.
By taking credit and debit card payments with a web-based POS system, your business eliminates the need for bulky, expensive server systems and a costly upfront POS software license. There are generally no annual maintenance or support fees.
And because software updates are as easy as updating your app, you can rest easy knowing you’re taking payments with the most current, secure version of your web-based POS software. Having solid security measures in place is crucial to keeping your business and your customers’ sensitive credit card information safe.
Square offers a secure, easy-to-use, and affordable web POS. Here are the top 8 reasons Square’s cloud POS system helps you run your business more efficiently and effectively. Sign up for a free Square account here.
- No hidden fees. When you take payments with Square, there are no fixed-term commitments. Additionally, Square Point of Sale (our free web POS solution) has no monthly SaaS or cloud POS fees.
- Accept payments on any device. Take credit and debit card payments with a smartphone or tablet using a card reader. Key in payment info on a computer using Virtual Terminal. Or let clients pay when it’s convenient for them with Square Invoices.
- Easy app integrations. Run your whole business through your web POS. Integrate with the e-commerce solution you already have. You can use leading third-party accounting and tax software that connects seamlessly to Square.
- Check sales analytics from anywhere. You can even check sales analytics from multiple locations straight from your smartphone. However you choose to accept payments, you have all the sales data in one place, accessible from wherever your day takes you.
- Easier inventory management. Manage your inventory free from anywhere and make sure you always have the right amount of stock on hand.
- Cloud POS systems are more secure. PCI compliance and payment security is our problem, not yours. Your data is secured in a robust data centre using tokenisation, and it’s never stored on your device or locked in your personal server room (that could be easily hacked or peeked into by an employee).
- No costly software upgrades or IT maintenance. Maintaining your own data server on your property is costly and time consuming, and it takes up precious space. With web-based POS software you don’t have to worry about any of this.
- Easy to get started. No need to wait for a lengthy business service review process — sign up online for a free account or open a new location in minutes.
No mobile device?
No problem. Turn any computer into a cloud POS system with features like Virtual Terminal and online invoicing.
Now you know the benefits of a web-based POS system for taking payments and making it easier to run your business. Get started with Square today.