Pool and spa retailers are always looking for ways to compete with Internet sellers and mass merchandisers. Part of this ability to compete lies in the ability to get the highest value out of your systems for the lowest cost, something that is usually achieved with technology. One of those systems that you can optimize is your point-of-sale system, and one of the latest developments in POS systems is cloud-based software. Many retailers find it affordable, compatible with current systems, easily accessible, and convenient.
Cutting costs in operation is a key to profitability in the pool store business, and using a cloud-based POS system can save money over a legacy system without a loss of performance. The costs involved in the operation of a wired, closed POS system could be as much as $50,000. On the other hand, any cost that would be incurred in integrating and operating a cloud-based POS system is significantly less — typically around $1,000. While the cost-effectiveness of a move toward cloud-based systems is evident, what about the cost of cost of switching itself?
Most cloud-based POS software is compatible with any POS system, meaning that very little would have to be overhauled when it comes to your current setup. Additionally, programs and items you are used to utilizing, such as loyalty programs, gift cards, payments and rewards, can all be seamlessly integrated into cloud platforms and any new cloud-based software you plan on using. These programs can also help you draw business away from mass merchandisers, and cloud-based systems give you the ability to implement and expand them.
Integration is not exclusive to sales and promotions, however. Cloud-based POS systems have opened the door to other aspects of business operations, including customer-resource functions, transactions, inventory, and employee timesheets. The opportunity to leverage an expansive base of business intelligence has presented itself, and the cost for doing so is relatively inexpensive.
Data access capabilities, made possible with the latest technology, give you a convenience that you cannot achieve solely with a traditional POS system. Consider that, with cloud-based software, you can have access to live sales data from an assortment of associated smart phone apps. Additionally, you get live, web-based reporting on all pertinent information, enabling you to run your store’s POS from virtually anywhere.
While cloud-based software gives you the convenience of integrated systems, easily accessible data and a low cost-to-switch, the ease of future system upgrades is another point to consider. Your cloud-based system will automatically keep you up to date with the latest software, technology and security requirements. These aspects are always evolving, so automatic and instant upgrades are crucial for your convenience as well as the operation of your POS system. You will no longer be stuck with out-of-date software that may not be supported, or that could expose any vulnerabilities and efficiencies in your system.
Implementing cloud-based POS software isn’t nearly as daunting — financially, logistically or operationally — as you may have thought. In return, you get convenient data access, instant upgrades, operational efficiency and a cost-saving tool that will help your pool and spa store stay competitive with low-cost Internet competitors and well-financed mass merchants.