The traditional electronic point-of-sale system (EPOS) is the option you’re almost certainly familiar with. This is the system with a cash register, credit card terminal, barcode scanner and so on. This is the system where you’re always running out of ink and paper for the receipt printer, there’s a mess of cables under your counter and an ugly PC on top.
The other option is a mobile POS system. Mobile and tablet based POS systems are gaining significant market share, with a variety of vendors opening up shop. A mobile POS system does everything a traditional POS does (and more) only the system is operated by a mobile device such as a tablet or a smartphone.
Which Option is the Best?
I understand. Changing from a traditional POS to a mobile system might seem like a big time commitment for no real benefit – and you already have enough on your plate with running your business. But you should seriously consider switching to a mobile POS system. After all, tablets were introduced just five years ago, and they’re already owned by over 63% of households in the U.K. Mobile POS systems offer many advantages for you as the shop owner, too.
Here are my top five reasons I prefer an iPad-based POS system instead of a traditional POS:
- Easy to Use
I hear from many shop owners who fear that a mobile POS system will be too complicated. The truth is, if you can use an iPad, you already know everything you need to know. An iPad POS system is designed to be intuitive, clear and easy to customize.
You’ll be able to process transactions from day one. So will your employees, including new hires – only they can have different levels of access as set by you. As the business owner, you’ll be able to access tons of real-time info about your business, inventory and customers.
Another common concern I hear from business owners relates to the support equipment such as printers, credit card scanners and cash drawers. They’re unsure about what equipment they’ll need and how to use it with the new system. Luckily, your iPad POS vendor will usually offer a wide variety of pre-configured equipment. You simply need to plug it in.
Your cash register doesn’t really care what type of shop you own. But an iPad POS system can be easily customized to fit your specific needs. For example, an iPad POS system for a restaurant can include kitchen order printing, bill splitting, inventory management and more. A system for a pub can include open tab management, custom receipt printing and other tools designed to make life easy for you, your customers and your bartenders. There are also custom systems for coffee shops, frozen yoghurt shops, kiosks and more. Modularity is a key
With a traditional POS system, you have to keep records on-site. A mobile POS offers you much more mobility and flexibility. You can access your sales, inventory management, customer analytics and a host of other information from anywhere via your smartphone or tablet. For many small business owners, this means you no longer have to spend your days and nights in a back office dealing with the daily sales records.
This mobility also allows you to view your business in real-time from basically anywhere you are, as long as you have an internet connection. You can adjust inventory on the fly. Plus, because the data is stored in the cloud, you never have to worry about lost records.
- Easy Maintenance
There’s another advantage of cloud storage. You’ll receive updates to your POS software through the system instantly online. These new features include things like the latest software and security updates. These upgrades are free, automatic and won’t affect your business operations.
If you’ve ever had a problem with a traditional POS system, you know what a benefit the mobile POS can be. Traditional systems typically require an on-site professional and a temporary halt to trading. Not to mention the constant security breaches of traditional epos systems.
- Reduced Total Cost of Ownership
Your traditional POS system probably cost quite a bit upfront. On-going maintenance is likely setting you back more than a few pounds on a regular basis. There are also often software license fees and even a yearly maintenance fee. To be honest, I feel like a lot of these fees are high because, until recently, there were no alternatives to traditional POS systems.
Mobile POS systems are usually much cheaper. Your costs are determined based on your needs. Hardware only needs to be purchased once and ongoing software requires a small monthly service fee.
Should You Make the Switch?
Customers increasingly expect to be able to use their smart devices to order, pay and engage with the businesses they frequent. In order to compete and stay relevant, your business needs to embrace mobile technology.
Fortunately, an iPad mobile POS is easy to implement, maintain and use. You’ll find it simplifies tasks and overall makes managing your business easier.