When considering your POS options, there is a new choice you have to make: whether to use a traditional or a web-based point of sale software system. Wait a minute, an Internet-based POS system? What is it and how can it help your business? A web-based POS system runs on your Internet browser and is hosted by the vendor. In contrast, a standard POS system runs the software on your server.
So why should you shift to an online point of sale software system? First, vital data is stored on your vendor’s computer, Is your data more secure than if it was archived on your server? Some will argue that your data is protected and you don’t need to spend money on creating backups of your records or software. The host is also responsible for conducting maintenance tasks such as upgrades, backups and re-configurations, freeing up you or your staff for other tasks.
Second, you save money on both hardware and software. You don’t need to install any programs on your computers since all the software is on the vendor’s server. Web-based POS software also has lower hardware requirements than standard systems. You can run it on any computer that has an Internet connection.
Web-based point of sale software is also cheaper since you only need to pay a monthly subscription fee for its use rather than having to buy or lease an entire package of hardware and software components. The subscription also includes technical support, updates and maintenance.
If you have multiple stores to monitor, an online system allows you to access the data from all the stores. In a standard POS system, the data would be stored on the server of the individual stores and would still have to be collated. Web-based POS means you can access your data from any computer that has an Internet connection, hence it can easily be displayed off-site for conferences and trade shows.
Online POS can also help improve customer service by providing data on their preferences. For example, a certain item could be popular at a particular branch as opposed to other branches. The program would provide a signal that more of that item should be kept on inventory at that store. Also, if a customer is looking for an item that is not available at your branch, you could either direct him to another branch that has the good in stock or order it for him if he is willing to wait.
Web-based POS is also more secure than traditional systems. If your computer is attacked by a virus or breached by a hacker, your data is still secure. You merely have to bring in a new unit and connect it to the Internet and you’re in business again. Remember that the data is not stored on your computer but on the vendor’s server.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should totally ignore security precautions. You should still follow basic safety measures such as turning on your computer’s firewall, limiting access to the system, using anti-virus programs and most of all, never storing sensitive information such as customer’s credit card numbers on your computer.
So, it seems that web-based point of sale software is ideal for your needs. Of course, you should go for it but not before exploring all of your options and then deciding which system will generate the most profits and cost savings for your business.