Retailers realizing potential of cloud-based POS

Point-of-sale technology has developed rapidly in recent years, and businesses today are realizing even further benefits than those simply related to transactions alone. Along with allowing for retailers to use modern transaction methods, new mobile and cloud-based POS products available today offer software and other tools capable of doing much more.

For example, Paymentsource reports that one new POS service available includes features such as 24/7 access to business administration tools along with comprehensive device and overall network management. The technology also offers services that can assist with employee engagement and growth management, training implementation and outsourcing of a network's POS management.

Cloud-based POS systems can also be synced with other technology used by a business to monitor sales and improve customer experience. For instance, Pymnts reports that a new interactive freezer-aisle window screen product display invention called Cooler Screens can be used in conjunction with cloud POS to compile data to determine if customers' use of the devices resulted in purchases.

Advantages of cloud-based POS usage

The advantages that a cloud POS offers over its predecessors can also be viewed as solutions to existing problems facing retailers and other businesses. For example, Mobile Transaction's Emily Sorenson explained in a May 2019 article that the cloud technology operates by storing businesses' sales data online (instead of locally) – which is in of itself a solution to several potential issues, such as security and downtime. Here are some benefits that cloud POS adoption brings with it for businesses, and how they can be used as solutions:

Affordability
Cloud-based POS systems offer a great deal of flexibility and scalability when it comes to their costs because they are typically based on a monthly or per-device basis, among others. This is very beneficial for enterprises seeking to reduce their existing POS budget, for example. Unlike stationary POS, the use of their most recent successors doesn't require that a specialist be paid to come in and set up equipment or hardware. Instead, the technology can be set up on a network's existing IoT devices, further reducing associated costs.

Security
Retailers seeking to bolster or replace their existing cybersecurity measures with regard to customer transaction data may want to look into cloud POS. The ability to securely store data in the cloud, rather than just in hardware, comes in handy if a cyberattack renders devices inaccessible, as sensitive information can still be accessed on another uncompromised one. As a solution to achieve a relatively low IT downtime rate, enterprises can employ a POS strategy that uses both offline storage and a cloud-based one in the event one or the other fails.

Speed and accessibility
When it comes to processing payments today, customers and retailers alike prefer transaction methods that are most convenient, intuitive and secure for all parties involved. According to Linga POS, mobile cloud POS provides employees with the ability to securely and remotely access their networks and certain sales-related business data from almost any location. The information (such as customer information, buying trends and inventory numbers) however, will be available in one centralized location. Not only does cloud POS improve employee's accessibility and speed – it can also be used for its most essential purpose to expedite slow-moving queue lines at retail locations.

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Mobile, cloud-based point-of-sale technology has been most rapidly adopted in the food service industry.

Cloud POS statistics across recent years

The creation of new mobile POS technology capabilities comes amid what Statistica reports is a more than 35% increase in U.S. transactions using the technology in 2019 compared to 2018; 2019 U.S. mobile POS transactions amounted to $87 billion, while Canadian transactions of the same type amounted to over $2.5 billion.

At face value, mobile POS technology has offered a handful of advantages over past products used by retailers – notably the ability to conduct transactions from non-stationary locations using a smartphone, tablet or other IoT device. According to statistics based on 400 businesses surveyed for a 2018 Reforming Retail report, the adoption of cloud-based POS among businesses in the U.S. has been just as rapid as the the stationary-to-mobile switch. For example, 2016 stats showed that more than 60% of the businesses surveyed had first purchased their web-based POS tools within the last six months.

Finance Online's Jenny Chang reported that in 2018, more than 60% of all new POS system purchases were cloud-based and that roughly the same percentage of sellers wanted to change their existing setups to the cloud. Between 2018 and 2023, the tool's global market share is expected to triple from $1.34 billion to $3.73 billion.

In particular, the restaurant and food service industry has been one of the most prominent adopters of cloud POS: Reforming Retail reported that in 2018, 95% of food truck enterprises use the technology followed by 35% of full service locations and 25% of cafes, "fast casual" spots and cafeterias.

"Cloud POS will dominate the future. This trend indicates a continuing shift from legacy (on-premise) systems to cloud-hosted solutions," Chang wrote.

The adoption of new POS technology is a one of several aspects of retailers' IT modernization efforts today, and as such, requires the most seamless integration as possible with existing systems already familiar to employees and managers alike. 

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