Retail and hospitality businesses could never reach their full potential without having a reliable POS system. However, not every point-of-sale solution is universal. If you’re in the market for one, you should probably steer toward the one that has all the perks your business needs in combination with low costs and other advantages. For many retailers and restaurateurs, web-based POS systems are the best alternative. Let’s see the reasons behind this fact.
Web-Based POS Systems: The Basics
A web-based POS system (also referred to as a cloud-based POS system) uses nothing but an internet connection for payment processing. Typically, web-based POS solutions do not require specific and expensive software or а local server. There are no software updates to pay for, too. All transactions and system updates happen online. This is considered a huge advantage in more ways than one.
Using a web-based POS system means that the transaction data and history of your operations will be stored in the cloud, thus it eliminates the need for a desktop storage device (such as a computer’s HDD) to store it. As a result, most web-based POS solutions are compatible with all types of devices, allowing for the ultimate mobile POS experience. Having this in mind, you can expect the best results for your store, street food location, handyman operation, or whatever small or medium business you’re running. Speeding up the checkout process and creating a smoother customer experience is a must and the web-based POS system will help you achieve this.
Why Should You Consider Adopting a Web-Based POS Solution?
Your business will surely benefit from the implementation of a web-based POS system. Such a solution would help you easily set up multiple checkout points at any location you please, regardless of the devices you use. Not only that, but you will be able to access the point-of-sale you’ve set up from another location. As mentioned above, all you need is an internet connection.
The intuitive interface of most web-based POS systems is beneficial for both employees and clients, not to mention the importance of its data capturing and management capabilities. Overall, choosing such a solution would result in better performance and higher profit. Plus, the investment is next to nothing when compared to pricier POS alternatives.
Which Businesses Can Benefit from a Web-Based POS System’s Advantages?
Owners of small or medium-sized businesses often discover that web-based POS systems are a fitting solution for them. Of course, it all depends on the specifics of your operation and its scale.
Retail businesses, for example, can easily adopt a web-based POS system. If you’re running such a business, this point-of-sale solution will help your employees avoid mistakes and help them be as efficient as possible. Meanwhile, the system will also manage your inventory with greater accuracy and save you valuable time. Most web-based POS systems can sync sales data with inventory management tools, helping you run your business with ease and keep your inventory up-to-date.
Not only retailers can benefit from implementing a web-based POS system, of course. If you are a restaurateur, then this might be the best point-of-sale solution for you. It could help you have access and complete control over multiple locations’ checkout systems while gathering valuable data that is often crucial for establishing the ultimate relationship with your client.
Differences Between Traditional POS Systems and Web-Based POS Solutions
Once you start comparing the perks of web-based POS systems with the features of a traditional point-of-sale system, you will likely find out that the latter needs to catch up in terms of usability and efficiency.
While a classic POS setup will cover your business’ basic needs, a cloud-based POS system will offer more at a fraction of the investment. The lack of a local server is complemented by no support, updates, and maintenance fees. Talking about updates, you would be happy to learn that the app you use to run the system is easy to update. This does not compromise the security and data encryption tools you will rely on for the protection of the data stored in the cloud.
The best POS systems out there are easy to recognize. It must combine reporting and inventory tools like no other, alongside ease of use and all the marketing bells and whistles you would need to keep your clientele engaged and happy. All of these perks are typical for most web-based POS systems.
Let’s dwell on the differences between classic POS setups and web-based solutions:
- Server-based POS systems are setups that usually include specific software and several pieces of hardware, not to mention the possible licensing fee you would need to pay. This means one thing: high costs. All of these components cost money, and the additional maintenance would also be costly. When compared to using a web-based POS solution, the classic type of POS is way too pricey.
- Web-based POS systems share all the features of traditional point-of-sale solutions and combine them with an easier integration with your business, greater flexibility and freedom to use, and the ability to sync in more than a few ways. Web-based POS setups are also much easier to update and utilize, as they generally have simple, but useful tool sets.
How to Find the Ideal Web-Based POS System for Your Operation?
The best web-based POS system is the one that covers all your specific needs and requirements while offering an even greater array of features. This means that the right solution for your business is individual for you. Still, there are basic features that the ideal web-based POS system needs to have:
- Device compatibility: The best web-based POS system out there should be compatible with the largest variety of devices and operational systems (iOS, Android, Windows, etc.).
- Ease of access: You should be able to access the POS system from anywhere and at any time. This is one of the greatest advantages of implementing such a system.
- Inventory management means: This is a key feature of every successful point-of-sale solution. It is a crucial element that will help you optimize your business and allow you to focus on different aspects of your operation.
- Payment types: A proper web-based POS system should be able to process different types of payment, including cash, credit and debit cards, gift cards, and more.
What Are the Key Benefits of Using a Web-Based POS System?
Except for the essential features of a successful web-based POS system listed above, we need to sum up underline the rest of the advantages such a setup has:
- No additional fees: By using a web-based POS system, you avoid the costs for software implementation and maintenance
- Access to analytical tools and data from everywhere: Such a system would allow you to check your sales data from everywhere you please. You only need your smartphone and internet connection to do it.
- Data protection: Web-based POS systems offer high security levels. Data is never stored on your device or a local server, but on a data center hard drive, meaning that it’s less likely to be hacked or lost.
- Hardware compatibility: All you need to access your web-based POS app is an internet connection and a web browser, meaning that you could use all types of devices, including desktop PCs and tablets.
- Mobility: With a web-based POS system, your business becomes flexible and mobile. You could literally go to your client and process a payment instead of making them come to you and wait in a line, for example. The higher mobility allows for convenient sales processes and improves the relationships you build with your clients. It also minimizes potential losses caused by failed sales.
- Ease of maintenance and updates: It might not sound like a huge advantage at first, but having a POS system that requires little to no IT maintenance whatsoever and it’s easy to use by literally everyone is very important for every business. Plus, frequent updates that are free of charge is the ideal case for you.
- Scaling: Using a web-based POS app on a single device is as easy as running multiple devices at once. You can easily expand the number of checkout devices you need and shrink it back, meaning that your business will be as flexible as never before.
- No software installation required: Except for reduced costs due to the no-software-required circumstance, you avoid installation of heavy-to-run programs. Having a web browser is more than enough.
- Data backup: Web-based POS systems store a backup of all transactions and other data in the cloud. This is a guaranteed way of avoiding data loss, therefore, it is an important advantage to have. Even if your POS device is damaged or missing, the payment processing history and data will not be lost forever.
Web-Based POS System Integrations
While many businesses are moving their operations online, some prefer to keep their brick-and-mortar locations and still have an online presence. This requires a fitting POS solution that would allow ease of connectivity between online and offline operations. Web-based POS systems are a fitting solution in such cases. Having such a point-of-sale app would provide you with the opportunity to run your business more efficiently than ever by ensuring faster transaction times and flawless integrations.
A proper web-based POS system will automate a lot of processes, getting them off your hands. For example, managing email lists and campaigns would become much easier and less time-consuming. Of course, flawless integrations depend on the chosen POS solution and the platform your business uses.
Web-Based POS Systems: Which One to Choose?
Following the trends and preferences of business owners all over the world, the market for web-based POS solutions is steadily growing. You have a plethora of point-of-sale system vendors to choose from, but some stand out from the crowd. We’ll take a quick look at some of the best ones.
Lightspeed Retail is a modern POS solution allowing you to take advantage of numerous crucial features, such as contactless payments, multichannel data collection and processing, and e-Commerce integrations. This web-based POS system provides for a seamless customer experience combined with an impressive management toolset.
Lightspeed Retail combines all the functionalities you could ask for, including inventory tracking, sales data processing, staff management, and more. If you are a retailer or a restauranteur, you will likely find this to be the POS app to choose.
- Mobile compatibility with iPad only;
- Desktop compatibility with all types of operating systems;
- Featured SaaS integrations;
- Live support is available 24/7.
Toast is a well-known POS provider aiming to deliver the ultimate point-of-sale solution for restaurant owners everywhere. As a food service-oriented POS system, Toast is just as easy to use as it is versatile. Menu updates, staff payroll, and order fulfillment are just part of the operations supported by this system. Additional features include loyalty program management and constant reporting mechanisms.
By choosing an all-in-one POS system such as Toast, you won’t need an alternative solution anymore to back things up. Your foodservice business will surely benefit from this particular system, as it is specifically designed for this industry, meaning that even the most specific requirements are likely to be met.
- Mobile compatibility with Android only;
- Desktop compatibility with Windows and Linux;
- SaaS integrations are available;
- 24/7 live support guaranteed.
TouchBistro is another restaurant-oriented web-based POS solution designed to meet all possible demands of restaurateurs everywhere. The system is agile and easy to use and integrate. It offers everything your foodservice operation would need to run smoothly and provide your clients with the best experiences possible. Plus, it will likely increase sales and save you valuable payment processing time.
TouchBistro is a universal solution: it is suitable for small fast-food locations and big restaurant chains. The benefits are equal for both types of operations: increased efficiency, lower costs, and improved experience for clients and employees.
- Mobile compatibility with iPad only;
- Desktop compatibility with Mac only;
- SaaS integrations available;
- 24/7 live support as standard.
Web-based POS systems are gaining momentum for nothing but valid reasons. Having similar basic features to traditional point-of-sale solutions, web-based POS systems offer even more at a lower cost. The ease of integration and access is a primary advantage: all you need is a web browser. When you add better data security and the mobility of this type of system, you soon begin to realize why opting for a web-based POS system is a step in the right direction.
Author: Written by Martin Nikolaev. Martin has 5+ years of experience in reviewing various tech gadgets, FinTech solutions, crypto markets and products, and all IoT-related products. This article was published on Wednesday, 4 May 2022.
What is the main advantage of utilizing a web-based POS system?
Web-based POS solutions are easier to use, manage, and maintain, not to mention the significantly lower initial investment.
What are the differences between traditional and web-based POS systems?
Web-based POS solutions have the same features as the classic POS setups, but they are easier to upgrade and provide far better mobility and integration capabilities.
What hardware does a web-based POS system require?
You only need an internet connection, a web browser, and a web-based app to use a web-based POS system. No local servers are required.
How safe are web-based POS systems?
Since web-based POS systems never store information on a local server, all data is safely archived onto a remote server, meaning that it’s more protected against breaches.