Even with the increase in software resources available in our digital age, small businesses still aren’t reaping all the benefits technology has to offer. One of those technologies is the cloud-based POS, which can significantly improve business processes, save time, and increase revenue.
But before we discuss all the benefits cloud POS systems can offer your business, let’s get down to the basics first.
What the Heck is a Cloud POS?
Unlike a traditional POS, which is typically limited to an “on-premise” or a countertop system like a desktop computer, cloud POS systems are web-based, allowing you to process payments through the Internet.
There are no bulky servers or pricy software systems that require licenses or upgrades. Instead, with cloud-based systems like Rain POS, all transactions and updates occur online—with your sales and transaction history securely stored in the cloud—giving you the convenience of running the system on any device.
In addition to processing sales on any device, you can also access your point of sale from wherever you are and manage your business remotely, as long as you have Internet access.
Why Should Your Business Invest in a Cloud-Based POS?
Businesses large and small, from specialty boutiques to music stores, can benefit from a cloud POS for various reasons. For example, inventory management is a common challenge for retail businesses and can result in a lot of wasted time spent recounting and trying to locate inaccuracies.
Cloud-based POS systems significantly reduce human error and improve inventory management through automation. Furthermore, sales and inventory data are synced and stored as payments are made, allowing for real-time inventory control.
As a key differentiator, cloud-based POS systems like Rain help you increase foot traffic to your store because when your website and POS is cloud-based, customers who search Google to find businesses with the products they want to buy can see that your store has them in stock, in real time. When your inventory is accurately represented online, it increases customer trust and encourages consumers to pay a visit to your store to make a purchase.
Check out the chart below for a comparison of the benefits of Rain’s cloud POS system compared with traditional server-based POS platforms:
|Features||Traditional POS||Rain's Cloud POS|
|Payments / Term Commitments?|
Upfront license fee + monthly maintenance
|Nope--you pay monthly and you can cancel anytime.|
|Software?||Installed on Premise||Hosted Online|
|Hardware?||Stationary Terminals||Mobile or Stationary. Available anywhere you have Wifi or Internet connection, including on mobile.|
|Data Storage?||Internal Server||Securely stored on remote cloud servers that are backed up automatically.|
|Updates?||Nope. Because software is static, you'll have to buy new versions to keep it updated.||Yep! Rain's cloud POS is updated automatically on a weekly basis, so you're always running the latest version.|
|Accessible Anywhere?||Nope...only from your stationary terminal!||Yep! Process transactions and access sales data and reports anywhere from your desktop or mobile devices.|
|Omnichannel Solution?||Nope...Boo!||Yep! Rain seamlessly integrates with your website so everything's always synced!|
|All-in-One Solution?||Nope...You'll need additional systems for rentals, merchant accounts, etc.||Yep! POS & Website, Marketing Automation, Reporting, classes and managing other systems if offered.|
|Not typically. May require purchasing extra applications or software.||Yep! Automated marketing tools, like email campaigns, are integrated right into your point of sale!|
|Additional Services||Typically don't integrate with other applications not offered by or integrated with system vendor.||Rentals, repair tracking, Reporting, and class modules are part of Rain's integrated point of sale and website system.|
8 Benefits of a Cloud-Based Point of Sale
Rain POS is easy-to-use, affordable, and secure. Here are some of the top reasons our customers love the Rain website and POS system when it comes to running their businesses more efficiently and profitably:
1. It Makes Life Easier
Rain POS combines a website and POS into one seamless system that saves you loads of time. Add products in one place and your POS and website update simultaneously. Plus, you can manage your inventory, serialized sales, customer accounts, repair tracking, vendors, purchase orders, rewards, and gift cards all in one system.
2. Uses Only One Database
Because Rain POS software works from a single database in the cloud, your inventory will always be in sync. Not only will you save time by only entering data in one place, but all your information will simultaneously update your online point of sale and website.
3. It’s Integrated
When your website inventory is powered by your Point of Sale, your products are always represented accurately—and in real time—on your website once it’s entered into your POS. There’s no double-entering! That means customers can Google your business to see what you have in stock before driving to your store to make a purchase.
4. Automatic Updates
Maintaining your own data server is expensive and time-consuming. With Rain’s POS, updates are automatic and everything is taken care of for you.
5. It’s more secure
Because your data is stored in the cloud and not on your device or in your onsite server room (that could be easily hacked or spied on by an employee), theft, accidents, and other damaging situations are no longer a concern. Plus, because your data is stored on multiple off-site servers, it’s secured all day, every day.
Another thing to be aware of is that major credit card providers (Visa, Mastercard, and Amex) will typically take on the costs incurred by lost or stolen credit cards for merchants that use the latest POS technology.
6. Downtime’s Not a Problem with a Mobile Hotspot
With traditional POS systems, crashes or corruptions result in downtime until the POS vendor’s IT team gets the problem fixed. In many situations involving data corruption, the whole POS system has to be reinstalled, which is both costly and time-consuming.
When you have a cloud-based POS, you can still access your information and perform transactions using your mobile’s hotspot, allowing you to carry on with business as usual.
7. Mobile Friendly
With access to Wi-Fi or a mobile hotspot, your employees can check or update inventory, make sales, process rentals or work orders from anywhere inside or outside of your store.
Whether you need to view inventory or end of day sales at a glance, you have access to your data from wherever you are, at any time. That means you can manage your business from any location with Internet access.
In a digital world where software is constantly changing, cloud-based software is the name of the game. Cloud technology provides small businesses (and large ones, too) with the mobility, simplicity, efficiency, and security that traditional POS’s just can’t offer.
So what are you waiting for? Better inventory management, increased foot traffic, and so much more, is just a click away!
Also published on Medium.