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How Can cloud POS work?

Cloud-based POS systems process and store sales data online as opposed to locally on your pc or on-premise server.

The frontend POS interface is made for use on internet-enabled devices including tablet computers, smartphones and touchscreen monitors, while the backend can be accessed via any web browser.

Cloud-based POS systems are sometimes referred to as POS applications (apps) rather than software, since they are often used on mobile devices. They're also called EPOS (electronic point of sale) to reflect how the software runs on electronic equipment.

What is cloud-based POS?

Cloud POS can be truly portable (if using mobile devices) while the business manager can assess and use sales data from anywhere as they are being updated in real time in the cloud. Additionally, it means lower equipment costs, since an present iPad or cellular phone can be used as the POS interface.

Since the data are stored on the POS provider's internet servers, a magento POS system can usually only operate when there's an internet connection, although providers may provide some offline functionality to minimise potential disruption to your customer service.

Let's look at the way the cloud-based POS system compares to a locally hosted POS system.

Setup usually immediate

Cloud-based POS usually requires signing up online or over the phone (the provider may perform a background check), then downloading the POS application that is ready to use straight away. Many POS providers offer a free trial you can use for testing, before you are expected to subscribe to a plan.

In contrast, legacy Shopify POS systems (i.e. on-site/locally hosted) typically cost a setup fee and need a trained engineer to set up equipment, customise the software to your needs and install it on the local computer network. On-site POS systems can not be used before both the hardware and software setup have been done.

Cloud-based bigcommerce POS apps are usually subscription-based, sometimes without a long-term contract, the cost of which covers licensing, customer care, data hosting and software updates. You usually pay per touchscreen device using the program. Plans are flexible so you can switch to more or fewer devices or cancel any moment. If many touchscreens are used -- as in the case of large retailers with a number of stores -- the costs can add up to be as costly as onsite systems.

Locally hosted systems usually needs a long-term contract. Costs can be high because locally hosted applications demands a more specialised hardware setup, dedicated support from the POS provider and periodical maintenance of both software and hardware. This may, however, suit and be more cost-effective for larger businesses with specific needs.

Cloud-based EPOS is usually created for certain sectors such as retail or restaurants. The EPOS apps normally come with select features most relevant to those areas, and if you pay more, you can usually find additional capabilities. Furthermore, many of the POS apps can integrate with different partner platforms such as Xero and WooCommerce, making much room for expansion and flexibility.

Providers of locally hosted software can customise the POS features to your unique business needs, for example that the POS interface can show just what's needed in that corporation. On the other hand, it often does not combine with web-based software platforms, so integrating in-store earnings with, say, ecommerce might not be possible. Any customisation should be done at installation, as it costs to adapt and adjust the system later.

Cloud POS requires an ongoing online connection to work, so it's vital the touchscreen till has a decent WiFi or cellular network connection. Some applications has the capability to work offline, then sync the new data to the cloud when back online. Certain POS applications only operate on iPads, but many provide Android compatibility. Software updates are done automatically by the supplier -- just make sure you're using the newest version of the app.

On-site POS systems operate without an internet connection. Instead, they call for a physical server (for instance, a computer hard drive) set up on your business premises. Periodical software updates will need to be performed either manually by yourself or professionally by an IT engineer on your assumptions.

Cloud POS apps commonly work on tablets and smartphones so you can accept payments from anywhere, as long as you own a 3G, 4G or WiFi connection. Chip, contactless or swipe cards should obviously be processed through a card reader, but there are many compact and wireless card machines that may be used with cloud-based POS systems. Management functions can be accessed via a web browser anywhere.

On-site systems can't be used outside the company premises where the program is installed. Wireless card terminals attached to the onsite POS is only going to work within the connectivity assortment of the system. Management functions can only be accessed on the premises where the system is set up.

All cloud-based POS data are stored in the cloud, which is highly secure. Typically, none of your information are stored on your devices, unless your POS app can function offline temporarily, in which case your device saves changes until the next time you are online. If you lose all your hardware, you still have immediate access to the revenue data and system when logging in on a new computer or mobile device. The POS provider automatically performs any security upgrades needed in the program.

Locally hosted POS systems store data in your own physical server, normally a computer hard disk. This means that if something happens to your computer, your data is in danger. It is therefore required you keep your operating system current with the latest security updates and take decent care of your gear.

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