Using POS has become beneficial for many industries like retail, e-commerce, banking, manufacturing, healthcare, etc. Some businesses tend to use traditional or on-site POS apps while others advance to cloud-based POS systems.
In this article, we would like to take a close look at the core difference between traditional and cloud POS systems to define which one is more profitable to integrate into your business processes.
What is traditional POS?
Traditional POS systems have numerous titles like on-premise, legacy, on-sites, desktop, etc. So basically it is an on-site POS solution that consists of a POS terminal, the screen with regards, and the local server where all this data from the terminal is transferred and stored.
The server can be connected with a single terminal as well as two-three and more. However, this database is available only when you are in the place. It means that if your business has multiple locations, you will have to provide each location with terminals and servers that will cost you a huge amount of money.
These days, traditional POS fades into the background compared to cloud POS solutions for various reasons like:
- You can access the systems and database only if you are in the location you need, so remote access and data management are not available;
- Setting lots of terminals in different locations is very costly;
- Traditional POS systems are rarely upgraded and fixed, so if any error occurred to your system, the software provider cannot fix it remotely on the cloud, you will have to invite a specialist to fix the problem whose services are not free.
What is cloud POS?
Cloud computing is gaining momentum in all types of business software, as it provides numerous benefits and advanced security measures that we will discuss further.
To say a few words about it, a cloud-based POS system or web POS software is the software where all data from POS terminals are transferred and stored to the cloud – online servers that can be easily accessible and managed remotely under the condition of a good internet connection.
Thus, a cloud POS system makes online payment available faster than traditional POS, enhancing the customer experience and collecting all business data.
Cloud-based POS vs traditional POS – main difference
The main differentiator between traditional and cloud POS systems lies in their delivery method to the users.
Cloud POS system is set and maintained by the software provider or your in-house team, eliminating the need to install it in each location and providing a simple way to fix system errors if such occur.
To name a few more benefits of cloud POS systems over traditional POS, we would like to mention the following:
- Enhanced data security – traditional POS entails data collection within one local server that may seem to be more secure than the cloud but in the case of a data breach the entire amount of information will be lost forever; cloud POS keeps the data saved in the cloud environment, so if one of your cloud POS terminals will be attacked, the data will still be kept in the server;
- Costs – cloud POS pricing model is similar to a SaaS solution – you can choose different options and prices, when installing traditional POS you pay for the license or monthly fees a huge sum of money that needs a renewal each year, for instance, and has no software updates during this year that may become critical for your business;
- Installation and accessibility – cloud POS solution is accessible from any mobile device with a good internet connection, while traditional POS can be accessed only in the place where the computer and server are located.
5 reasons to choose cloud POS software
Taking into account the main differentiators between traditional and cloud POS, we can boldly say that cloud POS is more reasonable for businesses that enable growth and development. Here we collected the top reasons that should convince you to develop cloud POS for your company.
Client-oriented business approach
Cloud POS, often referred to as web POS software provides the capability of assessing experienced customers. It offers personalized quizzes or surveys where each customer can express the option related to your services and products.
Hence, your staff can easily measure and manage each complaint as well as report on general concerns your costumes have to work them out asap. Cloud POS teaches businesses to be client-centric and to care about their experience above all.
Moreover, a cloud POS system is able to integrate loyalty programs, providing customers with personalized special offers and advertising. This approach works well for customer experience as well as for your sales.
According to the previously mentioned options of cloud POS software, it collects literally all data for your company – customer information, sales information, reports, inventory data, etc.
Depending on the branch of information, it can change several times a week or even a day. To be aware of all these updates, a cloud POS system provides real-time data in the updated versions.
For instance, if one of your locations has closed a new deal several minutes ago, you will find the deal information in the cloud right away. There is no need to go to that one location to check this information in the local server or terminal. All data is automatically stored and secure in the cloud.
Remote access to POS system
Cloud POS keeps you always aware and online. You can access your POS system and its data from any device, location, time of the day, and so on.
So basically, it allows you to run your business remotely but still qualitatively. You will stay up-to-date according to the arisen issues in the internal processes or cloud POS system, you can track your employees, and monitor sales, and customer feedback.
All in all, cloud POS makes your business fit in your pocket.
Better data security
Data security is the top priority that business owners are concerned about in literally all business niches. Nobody likes their private information to be in threat with breach or theft.
Despite traditional POS entails storing data within a local server, meaning in each of your locations, and nowhere else, it may seem to be the most secure way to keep business data. However, if once upon a time your local store will be attacked or cracked, all this information will disappear.
When the vital data is stored in the cloud, it will be kept in there until this cloud will disappear – probably never. So even if your POS terminal fails or is under threat of data breach, all previous data from it is already transferred and saved in the cloud. Besides, cloud POS allows the creation of different access levels to data, two-step authentication, data encryption, and other security preventive measures.
Integrate multiple channels
Due to the vast amount of space, a cloud-based POS system can be integrated with various third-party solutions and channels needed to provide seamless services and sales tracking.
For instance, you can integrate it with e-commerce platforms and order management solutions to sell your products and track customer information and sales at the same time.
Also, you can integrate with your customer relationship management (CRM) system, to automatically add and monitor new deals (sales channels), collect and store detailed customer information, evaluate your income, compare sales to the plans, and so on.
Well, such integrations streamline and automate your processes a lot, ensuring you won’t miss even a tiny piece of business information.
Pitfalls of cloud-based POS system
Despite the benefits over traditional POS, cloud POS software also has its drawbacks, which mostly happen to popular off-the-shelf solutions.
Custom POS development is an alternative to ready-made solutions that will be tailored to your business needs and requirements. And we will discuss the benefits of custom cloud POS for business further in this article.
Being connected to the internet has two sides for your business – positive as well as negative. The positive one is that you can access the system and database remotely from different mobile devices.
The negative one is cloud POS doesn’t work offline. There is always a threat of losing your internet connection, which is equal to failing your services and spoiling the customer experience. A solution could be using the internet from two or three different providers or having 3G/4G mobile routers to back your cloud POS in case the internet connection fails.
No customizations for ready-made POS
As the off-the-shelf cloud POS software follows the SaaS-based model, the customization of the solution to your processes is limited. There will not be the ability to create a custom report, you can just use the ready templates.
Customization is not only about the appealing look of the system due to your brand book. It also relates to adjusting to your inner workflows and business needs. For instance, it may not have the payment method or gateway you need, it doesn’t collect enough customer information you require, and so on.
Limited customer support for ready-made cloud POS
This pitfall occurs when you select the ready-made cloud POS software instead of implementing a custom solution. The SaaS POS solution has numerous active users with numerous system errors and questions to the support team.
Thus, the support becomes very slow and poor as the number of requests from other users is huge. If you develop a custom solution, then you will always have an inner or outstaff engineer to resolve all the issues in the short term.
Our POS development services
For years of being on the market for software development, we have accumulated extensive expertise and what is a more vital experience in custom cloud POS solution development.
So, foremost, we would like to share with you our cloud POS development case study.
Case study: Zemp Center
Zemp Center is a POS SaaS system for the retail business of our client. Basically, this is a mobile POS application for customers where they can make their purchases, pay and order delivery just in the app.
We weren’t tasked to build the solution from scratch, as our client company already had the inner development team that created the backend part of the project previously.
So we had two primary goals – learn the ready part of the system and continue building, and integrate with the in-house team to understand all project details, aims, and requirements.
As a result of our closely kit cooperation, we integrated the Zemp Center with the following options:
- Managing/searching for product inventory through barcode scanners
- Custom order management and payment processor
- Real-time payment information
- Information about the companies that use this mPOS SaaS app
- Inventory management to prevent low stock and track sales of particular products
- Report generation – collecting and analyzing data from various company branches like sales, customers, employee management, and others
After many years of working and improving our services and expanding our expertise, we have succeeded to become proficient in cloudPOS development. By choosing us as your POS development partner, we guarantee you’ll get:
Quick team scale
We are masters in scaling software solutions and development teams that work on this solution development. After having done it many times, we know how to scale the team and project sustainably and in the short term.
Our cloud POS development expertise continues to expand, including official regulations and security compliance and we will gladly share the case studies of the POS solutions we have built.
Transparency and client awareness of the project’s progress are our top priorities. We provide clear and realistic project estimation on each development stage and define the best cooperation model for cases.