by Jason Richelson, CEO & Founder, ShopKeep POS
Deciding to use a cloud-based tablet POS system instead of an old fashioned cash register or windows based PC is becoming less of a trendy choice and more of a necessity for retailers looking to make smarter business decisions.
Because iPad point of sale systems have significantly lower costs, are safer due to cloud storage and enhance the customer experience, merchants that come on board using a tablet-based POS over traditional cash registers will have significant retailing advantages.
iPad POS systems provide powerful features like real time sales reporting that goes way beyond anything a traditional cash register can offer. iPad POS also allows merchants to control everything from inventory management to the collection of customer information for marketing purposes, all in one place and in a small, sleek package.
Small business owners are busy people, and don’t have time to read through the hundreds of reasons why I, as a former retailer myself, believe that iPad POS systems are the best option, so I’ve included the top six. These were the points that really drove it home for me when I became so frustrated with my expensive POS system that I was forced to create my own cloud-based system:
1. The Safety and Security of the Cloud: Anyone who spends a year running a business can write a book about unexpected disasters. Merchants know that problems will arise, but it is impossible to predict whether it will be a threat from hackers or Mother Nature. With an iPad point of sale system, all information is stored in the cloud, relieving the stress of storing valuable information on computers susceptible to any number of incidents including flooding, being dropped or stolen. There is also no need to fret about the cost of upgrading hardware or running out of space as you store more customer and inventory information on your system. Cloud-based data is encrypted and secure.
2. It’s Just So Easy: “Wait a sec, which button do I press to open the register? And what if there’s no sale?” Anyone who has trained employees on how to use a cash register has heard these questions dozens of times. iPad POS systems are as easy to use as, well... as an iPad. Training takes seconds, and ringing up customers is just as quick. With nearly unlimited customization, you can design your POS so that each interaction can be just a few taps of a screen.
3. Freedom: There will be no more of those nights waking up in a cold sweat wondering how many pastries you sold that day or whether you’ll have enough bread for the Saturday rush. You can monitor your business from anywhere with an iPad POS as long as you have a computer or a smartphone. Check to see how the day’s sales are going or monitor and reorder inventory from the gym or, even better, the beach.
4. Customer Information: Through loyalty rewards programs and emailed receipts, you can easily capture customer email addresses at the point of sale by having them enter their information on the iPad. This information can be used to further develop loyalty programs and to keep customers in the loop on what is new in the shop.
5. Options: Most iPad point of sale systems are about providing merchants the opportunity to build their businesses with no limits and choices ranging from which mobile payment systems to integrate to where they put buttons on their cash registers to which credit card payment processor they use. ShopKeep POS is always happy to recommend a reliable and inexpensive processor, or you can shop around and pick the processor that has the best rates and meets your needs.
6. Platform for the Future: An iPad POS system is not just about the freedom of having access to real-time data from anywhere, it is a platform that will continue to be developed and built on. Meaning the solutions will only get better and more powerful, continually integrating new features that will help merchants make smarter business decisions that grow their businesses.
Jason Richelson is founder and CEO of ShopKeep POS, a complete iPad POS solution for high-volume small businesses.