10 Reasons You Should Upgrade Your Traditional POS to a Cloud-Based POS

It's hard to believe that anyone is still using a traditional POS system with so many cloud-based POS systems available. Some retailers stand by their traditional systems not seeing the value in updating. In the following post we explain why you need to upgrade.

AirPOS
AirPOS
14 min read

With technology continuing to advance, why are many small businesses still using old traditional till systems? Many believe that there aren’t enough benefits to upgrade, or that it’s too expensive. However that’s simply not true.

POS Software & Hardware has never been more affordable, and it’s easier to setup and use than it ever was. Long gone are the days of extortionate fees for a POS specialist to come setup your system for you. You can now do it easily by yourself and at a fraction of the cost.

In the following guide we take a look at what a cloud-based point of sale (POS) system is, the differences between a traditional POS and cloud-based POS, 10 reasons why you should upgrade your system, and some common myths about cloud-based POS systems.

What is a cloud-based Point of Sale (POS) system?

Put simply, a cloud-based POS system is software that can be installed on multiple devices, including, but not limited to mobile devices such as tablets, mobile phones and laptops.

This software will act as your till, enabling you to speed customers through checkout, process transactions and manage inventory all on one device.

ePOS software is cloud-based which allows for easy updates, flexible integrations such as accounting software, increased security and enhanced reporting when viewing your sales data.

Vendors will be able to use the ePOS software in the same way as a traditional till however, the system is much more adaptable with advanced capabilities.

Cloud-based POS hardware will be able to run cloud-based POS software and can come in all shapes and sizes. For example AirPOS can run on Android or iOS devices, and windows touch screen computers.

Read the full article on What is ePOS an ePOS system here.

What is the difference between a traditional POS and ePOS?

Traditional point of sale systems are the old cash drawer tills (or an old computer based POS) you’ll remember from your childhood, or you might even have seen them in the odd store. They are fixed to one location, aren’t backed up by the cloud and have limited functionality.

You might be able to add new POS software to your old school hardware, but it’s likely not compatible and it probably doesn’t have the processing power to really make it work.

Fast forward to the 21st century and we now have the ePOS or cloud-based point of sale software. They are connected to the web, can integrate with a bunch of other software, and they make the sales process quicker, easier, and more cost effective.

There are no expensive license fees, maintenance or upgrade costs. Updates are simple and pushed by the cloud, most of the time you won’t even notice updates happening as they’ll run during the night when your store is closed.

You can manage your business on the go (as long as you have internet connection), you can even take your POS with you (if you’re using a tablet device this is very easy) to trade shows and events.

Cloud-based POS hardware (& software) just gives you more flexibility, information and functionality, at a fraction of the cost.

Traditional POS vs Cloud-Based POS a Comparison

The following table gives an overview of some of the key differences between a traditional POS and a cloud-based POS system.

Features Traditional POS AirPOS cloud POS
Accessible anywhere? Only accessible via the terminal Can be accessed via the cloud as long as you have internet connection.
Reporting Basic reporting Advanced and customisable reporting options generated from real time data, available anytime in the backoffice
Pricing Expensive upfront license fee & monthly maintenance Pay monthly, cancel anytime
Scalablity Must add new device, software license, monthly fees and setup charge Can add a new device and software license at anytime, and set it up yourself. All your existing data and products are already available.
Mobility Fixed to one location Mobile. Available anywhere with Wifi including mobile devices
Hardware Stationary and normally fixed to the software providers offerings Works with nearly all modern POS hardware options, and runs on iOS, Windows and Android
Feature Updates No. Normally you need to upgrade to get new updates Yes. We have a development roadmap based on customer feedback, so you'll always have a modern POS that grows with your business
Omnichannel No. It doesn't sync with your webstore. Yes, they it can be connected to sync with your online webstore, scale to have multi devices in multiple locations
Data Storage Internal server Secured via the cloud with automatic back ups
Integrations Not normally Integrate with other software providers, such as accounting & payment providers
Reliability Stored on an internal server, hard to find and fix errors All data is stored on the cloud, highly secure, and backed up

10 reasons why you should invest in a cloud-based system

If the preceding table wasn’t enough, here are 10 reasons why you should throughout your old till system and upgrade to a cloud-based POS system.

1. Advanced Reporting

Gain more visibility of your business with advanced reporting. Cloud-based POS (ePOS) software will track your data in real-time keeping it stored in one database that is accessible to you anytime, anywhere.

Before you may have had to browse through months of sales data when collecting reports but with ePOS, this information is available at the touch of a button.

This visibility across your reports will not only assist you in your accounting but also in highlighting if mistakes have been made. This gives you more control over your business even when you’re not in-store with the confidence that no miscalculations will have no been accounted for. Try doing that with your old push button till.

Advanced reporting can give you more business insights, and allow you to gain a competitive edge over your competitors.

2. Pricing

Traditional till systems will have a much larger upfront cost than an ePOS provider. You need to purchase all the appropriate hardware, the hosting software itself as well as the installation fees.

We all know that Point of sale hardware is a necessary expense for any business however traditional point of sale providers are known to charge extortionate fees with long term fixed contracts.

This means that you can be locked into a contract even if you’re unhappy with the company you’ve chosen.

Cloud based POS providers have been one of the biggest disruptors to the market in the past decade, with the emergence of SaaS (Software as a Service).

This has allowed for cloud-based providers being able to offer affordable pricing to businesses of all sizes.

It also offers greater flexibility, with many businesses offering monthly contracts that you can cancel anytime.

With AirPOS we take this to the next level offering monthly payments but with no fixed contract or hidden fees, that is how confident we are in our software and service.

Despite having no fixed contract we have a customer lifetime value of 5 years and a 97% referral rate

Therefore you are not tied to us through specific hardware or payment providers, you have complete freedom with your point of sale.

3. Reliability

It would be incorrect to say that traditional push-button tills are unreliable. They’ve been utilised by large companies for years and if used correctly can be very powerful and efficient.

Normally it doesn’t start out this way, initial costs are expensive and it requires much training to have staff trained to be sufficient with the equipment.

Another issue is the cost of maintenance, upgrading proprietary equipment can be expensive.

The biggest issue with traditional systems, however, is the lack of data backup if a connection is dropped or an issue with the system.

Due to all information being stored in the one server you could be at risk of losing all your sales and consumer data.

As mentioned traditional systems also do not give you the same level of visibility, therefore there is no opportunity for you to recognise if mistakes have been made which is a significant problem in businesses with a larger workforce.

Cloud based systems on the other hand offer a solution that is a reliable option for any business.

With mobile capabilities and cloud-based storage of data on an encrypted network, you are never at risk of data loss.

Time to train staff with cloud-based POS software is quick, with handy guides available online.

Lastly its inexpensive to upgrade or repair hardware as software works on a large number of industry standard devices.

4. Flexible Hardware

The reason why traditional till systems are commonly seen in larger businesses is due to space and capabilities. Traditional POS hardware tends to be larger in size with many different functions however they are static and come as a set.

If a smaller business you don't want to be stuck paying more for extra features that you don't need.

If you are operating from a smaller premises or on the go, traditional POS systems would be cumbersome.

These systems can be much more complicated and therefore will require a representative from the provider to actually install the equipment along with the software.

If you are searching for a flexible solution that is customisable, a cloud-based solution is what you need.

Worried about how to set up a comprehensive hardware package with a cloud-based system?

No problem, cloud-based gives you a great number of options when it comes to choosing your set up. You can integrate with different companies across, scanners, printers and even the tablet device you run your software on.

Unlike the traditional POS system, one size fits all approach, cloud-based systems are designed to scale with you allowing you to build a system to specifically meet your needs.

Don’t waste your valuable profits on a kit that is far too complex for your business and doesn’t make sense for your requirements.   For more information on POS hardware make sure to check out the following article.

5. New Features

One of the biggest downfalls of traditional point of sale systems is that they are outdated.

They have poor integration capabilities, are immovable and are far from innovative.

There are some providers who are adding to their software, particularly those who cater to specific industries such as hospitality or fast service however these are usually much more expensive.

Where traditional systems fall short, cloud based systems are there to meet consumer needs.

Cloud-based systems are ever-evolving with features designed to help users sell more and make the management of their business simple.

Similar to traditional systems there is a cloud-based solution for every industry, offering unique features to allow your business to do more.

Cloud-based software businesses are always improving, and will have a roadmap for updates each year. If you need a feature, you can request it, and if it’s something that has been asked enough of it’s likely it’s going to be added.

This year we added customer accounts and loyalty programs to our system to give our customers opportunities to build brand loyalty and to sell more to their existing customers.

Common myths and misconceptions surrounding cloud-based systems

"Im not technical and it's too complicated"

This is a very common concern for retailers who have never used a Cloud-based system. To those who have little experience with cloud-based technology, it may appear to be a complicated concept however it couldn’t be simpler particularly with the dedicated support from your provider.

Cloud-based systems are actually a lot simpler to understand than any traditional technology that you may be using. There are no complicated hardware or payment integrations, no tricky connection issues causing missed sales. ePOS software provides a simple all in one solution that is as easy as using your smartphone.

"It's too expensive"

As mentioned previously, it is a common myth that cloud-based services are the more expensive option for retailers. However, this is simply not true with the options for monthly subscriptions and without a fixed contract.

You will save huge amounts with a cloud based system finding a solution that makes sense financially but also has all the capabilities you need to maximise sales.

"Only big business' need a Cloud-Based system, im not ready"

This is very far from the truth. In most cases, it is these larger businesses who choose to stick with their traditional systems as they're used in so many locations and hold a huge amount of historical data. Cloud-based systems are ideal for smaller retailers who benefit from being more agile and disruptive in the market.

As previously mentioned, ePOS is the cheaper option for retailers so it only makes sense that this would be the choice for smaller businesses.  

It’s also true that Cloud-based systems are intended to be scalable allowing retailers to grow and downsize easily when they see fit.

Unlike with traditional systems, you can add on an extra device for special events and connect them to your account allowing for connected reports.

Being in the business for over a decade we have seen so many of our retailers grow from the ground up. They have been able to open multiple premises, at events and take their point of sale on the go at international trade conventions. If using a traditional system they would miss out on these sales and exposure.

Click here to read more of our retailer stories and how they’ve used AirPOS to transform their businesses. Also, check out their videos here

"My Data will be vulnerable to hackers"

This is a very contradictory view when it comes to ePOS systems. Although data is stored in the cloud which can be targeted by hackers, this is no different from these same people targeting your main server on a traditional system.

Also, it is worth noting that ePOS companies will have experienced development teams in place to eliminate any potential weaknesses that hackers could exploit. Your data will be protected by the latest data encryption techniques making it much more secure than any other system.

Also with cloud-based providers such as AirPOS, dedicated free support is available every day 9 am to midnight so in the unlikely case that there is a breach or you are concerned someone is trying to access your Data it will be dealt with immediately.

"The system we have works, why would we change"

The largest reason ePOS providers hear from businesses still using a traditional till system is the mentality “if it ain’t broke why fix it”. Traditional systems have been used in businesses for decades and owners have become comfortable using them however this laid-back attitude could be holding you back.

Traditional till systems are limited in their capabilities, which are crucial to help you to better understand your customers and maximise their loyalty.

How are businesses expected to stand up against their competitors who have integrated these systems?

They will better understand the market and be able to give back to customers rewarding their loyalty. And importantly ePOS systems are a way to future proof a business with integrations with your online webstore.

Want to get started with a Market Leading ePOS system?

Whether using a historical system in need of a refresh or just starting up, looking for the most effective solution, you you can try out AirPOS' comprehensive point of sale completely free for 14 days.

If you want to learn more about POS systems, hardware and software for your business, feel free to reach out to one of our team for a free consultation, we’d be happy to help.