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Cloud-Based POS: Essential Features for Retail Businesses

At its most basic function, a POS system acts as a present-day cash register. But in reality, it can and should do so much more. A modern, powerful POS should perform with standard features as well as customizable functions for more niche retail operations.

But what are the essential POS features that every business needs?Your POS should integrate with modern software applications including inventory management, customer loyalty programs, employee scheduling, and more. It should feature built-in data analytics about sales performance, with ABC analysis and KPI reporting. Finally, a cloud-based POS must equip your business with easy scalability, remote accessibility, and omnichannel retail experiences.Read on to learn more specifics about essential POS features:

Hardware Components

While POS functions can vary from industry to industry and company to company, most of the hardware components remain the same. Below are the most common pieces of hardware that make up the complete point of sale system:

  1. Display Monitor/Mobile Tablets/Smartphone – These devices are used by employees to access the software, complete the checkout process, register loyalty participation, and more. Some swivel towards customers to authorize signatures and add gratuity. Almost all modern ones feature touch screens.
  2. Credit Card Machine – This hardware facilitates the reading of all credit or debit cards to complete payment processing. Some point of sale solutions have them built into the POS devices, but these often come with higher, non-negotiable processing fees. Be sure to assess whether your POS company is keeping up to date with new types of payment technology like contactless payments.
  3. Barcode Scanners – Scanners utilize barcode scanners with product SKUs making things move much faster and with more accuracy. Depending on the type of goods that you sell, there are many different types of scanners, from supermarket-style in-counter lasers to portable rugged types seen at hardware stores. Either way, some sort of scanner should be added to your POS hardware setup.
  4. Cash Drawer – An aspect of even the oldest POS setups, cash drawers are another important item to add. After all, some customers simply prefer to use cash, especially for lower-priced, day-to-day items. Keep a secure cash drawer that is connected to your POS software and opens each time a cash transaction is selected.
  5. Receipt Printer – A good point of sale software will allow your clientele to choose whether they want their receipts printed, emailed, or both. Thus, having a printer connected to your POS is vital to provide physical receipts for customers that prefer those for record-keeping or reimbursement purposes.

Cloud-Based System

Gone are the days of “legacy POS systems” that require bulky hardware storage in the IT room of your business’s basement. A cloud-based POS means that all of your company’s operations, sensitive information, and applications will be stored on secure, off-site servers. This provides countless advantages to make your work life easier.

SaaS POS: Simplified Technology

Cloud-based point of sale software typically operates as a subscription service (SaaS). There’s no need to pay for your POS company to send out expensive IT experts to tweak or fix your hardware. Such modern technology means that your applications are updated, patched, debugged, and secured automatically.

Enhanced Security

All of your client’s data, including credit cards and sign-in account information, will be stored in secure, encrypted off-site servers.  Cloud-based POS technology ensures that the latest and most advanced firewalls and security measures will be at your disposal to reduce stress and maintenance.

POS Cloud Scalability

Using the cloud guarantees that your POS is designed for quick and effortless expansion. You can easily begin conducting business at new locations by simply adding a turn-key POS terminal and signing into the software. No need for separate hardware servers or lengthy installations. It makes growing your business remarkably easy.

Incredible Accessibility

Because all of your information is stored on the cloud, it can be accessed in real-time from anywhere, as long as you have access to the internet and a sign-in profile to your POS application. Owners and managers can monitor their businesses from the comfort of their own homes, while commuting, or even during international travel. 

Cloud POS System Inventory Management

Stock Counts And Notifications

Make sure that you never run out of the stock you need to fulfill your orders with automated inventory control and notifications. Allow your POS software to do as much work as possible to streamline your efficiency. Pre-set numbers to whatever count levels you desire and have your POS system notify you anytime your stock gets low. 

Auto Reordering

If you desire, you can even set these stock counts to reorder the items you need automatically. For less stress, while eliminating stockouts, you can set reorder levels on individual products based on their popularity and sales history so that your POS initiates restocking fulfillment for you.

Built-In ABC Analysis

Using spreadsheets to manually analyze your inventory is unnecessary and inefficient. You can run inventory management analysis right off of your POS. Modern, powerful point of sale software has built-in applications that can help you learn more about your stock. ABC analysis helps you analyze customer demand, identify products to prioritize, and eliminate blind spots in your inventory. 

Omnichannel Perpetual Inventory

Another feature of the cloud-based POS system is that it constantly centralizes inventory counts and stock information across all of your different locations and eCommerce channels. Having an omnichannel solution with perpetual inventory counting means that every time a sale is made, an item is received from a supplier, or a purchase is returned, the stock counts will be corrected in your inventory count and reflected across your system. 

Detailed Product Reports / KPIs

Robust cloud-based POS software like Combase USA has built-in business insight analytics.  Publish reports right off of your POS display monitor for key performance indicators (KPIs) that offer you priceless insight into the health of your business. This provides easy access to retail performance analyses such as year-over-year sales, average customer spend, employee sales, conversion rates, and much more.

Cloud-Based POS Solutions For Employee Management

Allow your staff to sign in to their shift directly on your POS display. Taper each employee’s profile for tailored levels of access. This way business owners can give themselves more clearance to access data, make returns, and change settings. 

Monitor Performance

Built-in employee analysis provides you with sales data about specific staff members. See who’s performing well and who is falling behind so that you know when to adjust schedules, better train your workers, incentivize properly, and take steps to run an overall smoother, more effective business operation.

Integrate With Scheduling

A contemporary POS system should integrate with applications and software that make your life easier. Combase USA integrates seamlessly with scheduling and labor management software TimeForge. This allows your employees to access their schedules, trade shifts, make requests, and confirm their hours directly through the app. Since it will be integrated with your POS, the information can be accessed from anywhere and will be automatically reflected in your system. 

Payroll Made Easy

No need to sit down with a spreadsheet and a calculator to figure out your payroll. Get a fully integrated, centralized employee management system that includes software to carry out your payroll functions for you. Employee schedules, clock-ins, days off, and any other payroll-related employee information will be processed through your POS software.

Cloud-Based POS Software With Customer Management

As we all know, acquiring new customers is one of the most challenging aspects of running a retail business. Thus, making the most of your current clientele is crucial. That’s why a customer relationship management (CRM) program integration is indispensable when it comes to choosing a POS system. 

Combase USA integrates with various CRM solutions to keep track and make the most of your customer purchase information. Utilize your sales history to tailor your cross-selling and upselling for individual clientele. Reach out to customers with seasonal discounts, promotions, and holiday deals with an impressive level of personalization. 

Easily Run Promotions Across Products

Running targeted company-wide or individual promotions should be an easy task with your POS system. Make sure your sales, discounts, and bundles are customizable for different locations, products, and clientele. Utilize your sales history and customer data to more accurately and effectively reach your customers through email, SMS, and social media.

Point of Purchase Features

The most essential and basic function of the point of sale is executing purchases as a register. Your POS should be able to utilize all of the available modern-day technology benefits by performing these functions:

Mobility of Tablets

Give your checkout process the ability to process transactions with mobility.  This is especially useful in operations with warehouses, like furniture and hardware stores with bulky items. Allow your employees to access customer purchase history through mobile devices while they are working on your sales floor. Such mobility also facilitates more convenient mobile checkouts and mobile inventory scanning. 

Process Returns Seamlessly

Keep your customer journey smooth and your sales flowing by creating a streamlined return process. The latest software should be able to quickly process returns while allowing guests to choose cash back, credit card refund, or store credit, depending on your chosen policies.

Split Payments And New Age Payment Tech

The future of payments offers flexibility. Your business must follow suit. Your system should allow for easy split payment capabilities. In addition, the ability to process and accept contactless NFC payments, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and any other emerging options is a must. Stay ahead of the trends by implementing a modern, cloud-based point of sale system that is designed to integrate with updated credit card machines and payment processors.

Enterprise Scale Management 

Combase USA POS is built to serve enterprise clientele with multiple locations and franchises. That’s why we offer consolidated, centralized business management features in our software. There you can set automated royalty payments, run promotions for as many or as few locations as you desire, and utilize an inventory management system that is designed to work for businesses with many storefronts and points of sale.

Some Final Things To Consider for Your POS

Be Aware Of Credit Card Processing Fees

Processing fees can be very high and non-negotiable for some POS companies. These fees chip away at your margins, especially as your business and sales continue to grow. 

Thus, before you choose a POS company, make sure that they allow you to shop around for the best credit card processing rates. Our point of sale system is credit card processor agnostic, meaning that we will work with you to find the lowest processing fees available. 

Hands-On Customer Service Department 

Finally, your POS provider should offer you customer support whenever you need it, with a real human available to pick up the phone and troubleshoot any questions you may have. Considering how important a highly functional point of sale system is, make sure the customer service department is reliable by giving them a call and seeing how they respond. Better yet, reach out to us today to learn more about demos and free trials at Combase USA!