You’ve been thinking about moving to a cloud-based POS system for a while now. You’ve heard a lot of good things about them, but you’re still unsure. If these things are so great, why hasn’t everyone switched over? That’s a fair question to ask.
Sometimes, businesses don’t upgrade due to monetary reasons. Other times, it’s because they don’t understand the technology and won’t dedicate the man hours to learning a new system.
But, sometimes, it’s because there really isn’t a benefit to switching. Here are 8 factors you should consider before you take the plunge.
1. You Have A Mobile Business
So, one of the coolest things about a cloud-based POS system is that you have a mobile business. With a traditional system, you can only do business in your store. But, your customers aren’t always in your store. Sometimes, they’re at fairs, farmer’s markets, or trade shows.
Sometimes, they’re on the street corner walking by, and all you need to do is go out there with a small stand and a sign and hand out samples.
iPad Electronic Point Of Sale software systems, like those offered by Shopify, transform your business into a pseudo web-based business.
It takes the best of the web and the best of traditional retail, and combines them. One of the downfalls of a fully online business is that customers never actually get to touch the product.
With a mobile business, this isn’t an issue. Customers can pick your product up, handle it, and decide if it’s something they want right then and there – which is another benefit. They don’t have to wait for shipping.
2. Your Costs Are Lower
You costs are lower with a cloud-based system than with a hardwired POS one. Software licenses are often expensive, and annual maintenance fees for upgrades add to that cost. There are also other charges for technical support and training on the system.
Compare this to a cloud-based system. It will typically have minimal to no upfront fees, low monthly fees, and the fees it does have will either be fixed or charged as a percentage of sales so you don’t pay for more than you actually use.
3. You Get Upgrades Automatically
Upgrades to cloud-based systems are automatic. Upgrades to hardwired systems aren’t. You pay for that, and sometimes those costs are significant.
4. Your Whole Company is Integrated
Your whole company is integrated, not just the point-of-sale terminal. These systems often incorporate a CRM system so you can market to your current customers and prospects too. Inventory, product catalogs, and sales are all updated and synced across all store locations in real-time.
This is incredibly powerful.
5. Your Risks are Minimized
Your risk of data loss is almost nil, because everything is stored in the cloud, and backups are usually redundant. While it’s technically possible for a virus to attack the system, a cloud-based POS provides a layer of protection that hardwired systems usually don’t.
Even when there is anti-virus software installed on a hardwired system, you’re effectively on your own in the day-to-day operations. If your system crashes, you’re out of business.
6. There’s a Risk When Importing Data from an Older System
With all of the benefits, you’d think that it’s a no-brainer to make the switch. But, cloud-based EPOS systems to come with risks. For example, if you import your old data, will it be compatible with the new software format?
Some systems use incompatible file types, so if you’re moving from a Microsoft-based system to an iPad-based one, you might have to manually re-enter all of your customer and business information, or you may simply lose all the data in the transfer.
You Now Rely on Your Internet Connection
You rely on your Internet connection with a cloud-based system. So, if your connection goes down, you can’t conduct business at all. With a hardwired system, you don’t rely on a constant Internet connection.
There’s Always a Cost to Switch
There’s always a cost to switch to a new system. As good as these systems are, they won’t pay for you to get out of your old contract. If you terminate your old POS contract before it matures, expect to pay a penalty. But, this could be said of any service contract.
Some business owners leap before they look, however, and this could prove expensive. Do your research, and make sure that you’re not going to get whacked with a termination fee, before you sign up for any new service.