Businesses around the world are making the switch from traditional POS (point of sales) systems to cloud-based POS systems. While the benefits often outweigh the complications of upgrading, some business owners are wondering if it makes sense in their current situation. Would it really take your business to the next level, or would it just confuse and complicate the workday for you and your employees? Features If you're deciding whether you should switch to a new POS system, or even purchase your first one, the main thing to consider is what features you need. Consider whether there is a gap between what you need and what you currently have, and if there is, make a list of each new feature you need to function better. Some common features of cloud-based POS systems include sales data, inventory notifications, and seamless customer order management. Cloud-based POS systems differ from older POS systems in that they allow owners and employees to access information from anywhere. So a manager on vacation can log on through his phone and access data, keeping him in-the-know and in control. Similarly, a manager may want to implement a rewards program, coupons, gift cards, or other things to improve customer experience and market the business. This will only be doable with a cloud-based POS system, which allows users to keep track of various programs in one place. Built-in customer demographics can help businesses expand, learning what works and what doesn't. Costs Older POS models typically charge an initial purchasing fee, as well as annual fees for upgrades and changes. This means more of a long-term commitment, regardless of whether you are happy with the software or not. On the other hand, under SaaS models (software as a service), cloud allows businesses to pay a monthly fee and cancel anytime. Once a POS system begins experiencing problems, you'll want to consider upgrading to cloud since repairing an old system can be costly. This is comparable to putting large sums of money into a car that is weathered and unreliable. Sometimes, it's wiser and more cost-efficient to upgrade to a better vehicle. The same goes for POS systems. Hurwitz and Associates performed a study on the costs of cloud-based systems compared to older, traditional systems. Their findings suggest that cloud could save business owners up to 55% of their TCO (total cost of ownership). Other Benefits Aside from those mentioned above, another benefit of cloud-based POS systems is that they are far less likely to freeze up or get viruses. Cloud systems typically perform their own security updates automatically, so that users don't have to be super knowledgeable or on-top-of security issues. The Set-up Process Finally, if you are worried about the complications and hassle of switching to an entirely different POS system, contact your provider with specific questions. For a general overview of how to set up a new POS system, check out this step-by-step video. For businesses with multiple locations, the process will be a bit more involved. Be patient, as it takes time to get acquainted with software you are not familiar with. Also be sure to hold training sessions so that employees become more comfortable using the new software.