Recently Point of sale (POS) system has transformed itself into web-based POS, or SaaS based POS. POS system is mission critical IT system. It is responsible to capture the sales transaction and record down all the details pertaining to the transaction for back office management and audit purpose. Web-based POS or mobile POS is highly versatile and capable to run on different OS platform because it runs on a web browser.
Web-based point of sale is easy to adopt because it does not require any software installation and significantly reduce the complexity at deployment stage. Furthermore, the introduction of HTML 5 technology that allow web-based applications to store data locally within browser build in database improve the business continuity as the application will continue to function even though the connection to the server has lost.
Let us find out some advantages of web-based retail POS systems.
1. Access anywhere
Conventional POS systems are mostly client-server based architecture. The front-end system is design for cashier operations and data captured from the front-end will save into the back end database. The data exists within the connected network and cannot be access from the outside in most of the case for security reason. Web-based POS is running on web application server which connect directly to Internet and accessible by client systems with web browser. The transaction data is save into the database which can only access by the application server. Since it is web-based, user can access the system from anywhere.
This allow shop staff to revert with availability of inventory without leaving the customer to wait, and it is convenience when doing stock take as the staffs can use tablet or phone to perform the task.
2. Real time stock management
Inventory management is one of the major challenges for a store manager. They need to monitor large product database and keep track of the inventory to prevent shortage or surplus of inventory level.
Conventional POS system do not allow for parallel access as it require the system to install the POS software before it can be use. Web-based POS will not have this restriction and store manager can access to the inventory module to track the inventory level while the cashier is processing transaction.
Online POS can also track the inventory of multiple outlets in real-time. This make it easy to move stock among outlets to balance the stock level for consumption.
3. Data safety and security
Web-based POS systems store all the information in the server which located in the highly secure data center and backup to a disaster recovery data center located in another location. All the transaction data will be backup several time a day.
In the event of any disaster that has affected the operation on the main site, the backup site will automatically takeover and resume the connectivity. The backup recovery mechanism work as a safety nets to ensure business continuity for the subscribers.
Web-based POS system is also adopting advance security feature like Internet banking to keep the data save.
In contrary, conventional POS system running on client-server technology rely on local backup. For example, tape backup is common in this case. Unless the POS solution locate in a private network and have a similar setup as online POS, such as high level security and disaster recovery mechanism, otherwise it is prone to data lose in the event of a security breach or disaster. The time require to restore the system back in operation is also take longer and likely to impact the business operation.
4. No installation
Web-based POS run on a web browser and does not require any software installation. Same web browser is also capable to run on different operating system which enable cross-platform compatibility for this solution.
Retailer can deploy the web-based POS system in a shorter time as there are lesser compatibility issues that may arise during software installation. In the event of hardware failure, retailer can make use of any available system resume the cashier operations without the need to reinstall the POS software.
5. Free features upgrade
Web-based POS subscription is renew by monthly, and the subscriber has the freedom to terminate when they no longer needed the service. Subscriber will enjoy new features introduced by the solution provider without paying extra on top of the subscription fee.
In contrary, conventional POS solution likely to have more software issue vice versa and the features upgrade tend to be more expensive for conventional POS.
6. Continue to work when offline
Web-based POS is leverage on the new generation browser capability to run offline even if the Internet connectivity has lost. The application will automatically synchronize with the server once the network services restore and it is seamless to the end-user.
As it is capable to work both online and offline, it has no different compare to conventional POS.
7. Better customer experiences
Web-based POS has a larger group of the subscriber and constantly feedback when they found the software error.
8. Low initial investment and fast ROI
Conventional POS are expensive because it requires to install the software in the client computers and this software come with a licenses fee. These licenses fee is an extra cost burden for the user.
On the other hand, web-based POS is subscription services and retailer just need to purchase the service instead of software licenses and other non core functions software. Hence retailer have lower initial investment for POS solutions and able to recover their investment in a shorter time.