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Six Considerations for Choosing a Cloud-Based Point-of-Sale Solution

Six Considerations for Choosing a Cloud-Based Point-of-Sale Solution

Today’s POS systems do more than just accept payments. These solutions serve as the hub for all aspects of a...

Today’s POS systems do more than just accept payments. These solutions serve as the hub for all aspects of a business’s operations, including invoicing, inventory, accounting and reporting. With so many cloud-based POS solutions on the market, choosing the right one for your business can be challenging.

Here are six considerations to look for in a cloud-based solution that can help streamline your operations and grow your business.

1. Features and functionality 
When looking for a cloud-based POS solution, it’s important to look for features and functionality that meet your specific needs. While every business’s needs are different, it should have features that enable you to meet changing customer expectations and new business challenges. Here are a few key features to keep in mind:

24/7 access
Your data should be available anytime, anywhere and in real-time. In the event you lose your internet connection, your cloud-based POS solution should work offline too, allowing you to stay up and running and avoid losing sales.

Reporting, insights, and operations
Data is one of the most valuable resources for your business. Your solution should have the ability to provide deep analytics and insights that help you understand your business, drive sales and reduce costs. Your solution should also provide operational features like employee management, inventory assistance, customer relationship management, discounts, automatic gratuity and loyalty offers.

Today’s technology makes it easy for businesses to integrate with third-party solutions like QuickBooks® and other eCommerce solutions.

Payment acceptance
Your POS solution should accept all payment types including Credit, Debit and contactless options like ApplePay®.

2 – Cost 
Unlike legacy POS solutions where you pay costly fees for additional hardware to accept payments, a cloud-based POS solution requires a monthly subscription fee for access to the software. It’s important to look at the different plans offered by POS vendors and ensure the plan includes the features and functionality your business needs and be sure to check if there are any hidden fees involved. These fees can include:

  • Activation fees
  • Download fees
  • Early termination fees
  • Refunds 

Additionally, make sure you understand the credit and debit card processing fees associated with your POS solution provider as different vendors have varying prices and benefits.

3 – Simplicity and scalability
Not only should your cloud-based POS solution be user-friendly and simple to navigate, but it should also be built to scale and grow with your business.

As technology improves across the industry, your cloud-based POS system should offer automatic updates that push new features, app bug fixes and errors, resulting in minimal downtime. Over time, your cloud-based POS will become more robust with little to no additional cost, improving your bottom line.

4 – Security 
Protecting cardholder data is top of mind for every business. Today’s cloud-based POS solutions automatically back up and sync all transactional data, minimizing the risk of fraud and reducing the chance of a data breach event. A few key card validation and security features to look for are EMV, tokenization, and end-to-end encryption. 

Additional advanced security technology like tokenization is also beneficial to protect payment data and simplify PCI DSS compliance validation.

5 – Flexibility 
There’s no doubt that the pandemic accelerated the shift towards digital payments, forcing businesses to adopt new payment acceptance methods. To adhere to social distancing guidelines, businesses and their customers shifted to onsite and digital contactless payment solutions to minimize in-person interactions. Not only do onsite and touch-free solutions speed up the checkout process, but they also provide an exceptional user experience, which is essential for acquiring new customers and retaining existing ones.

Today’s modern cloud-based POS solutions offer a range of payment options and shopping alternatives including mobile and online, in-store & curbside, digital invoicing and contactless. 

6 – Customer service 
While selecting the right POS solution for your business is critical, the customer support your payments partner provides is equally important. Customer service is key to your success and ensuring little to no disruption to your business operations.

Your payments partner should be easily accessible and offer 24/7, in-house support via email, phone, live chat and interactive customer portal. 

Next steps 
Whether you’re looking for a POS solution for the first time or migrating from legacy to cloud-based, make a list of the features and functionalities you need and have a list of questions ready when talking to providers.

Here are a few common questions to address:

  1. Which advance integrations are available and can the POS integrate with existing software?
  2. Which payment methods can the POS hardware accept?
  3. How much does the software cost?
  4. Are there any hidden fees?

To learn more about cloud-based POS solutions and how they can help you effectively manage your business to meet customer and market demands, click here.

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