When first starting out, most business owners lavish much time and money on branding; they produce logos, build unique stores, and try to foster a special atmosphere.

They know the perfect experience will turn a first time visitor into a repeat customer, but too often the brand work stops there. And that is like forgetting the cherry atop a sundae. The fantastic news is that Cloud POS software can help will all of these aspects! A couple of businesses that appear to have figured out how to keep this love heading include: Dominique Ansel Bakery, where people from all over the world come ravenously into New York and wait on endless lines for a bite of the ever-famous Soho bakery’s cronut. And Alex and Ani, whose bracelets have girls of all ages connecting with family and friends through their meaningful (not to mention eco-friendly) jewelry. How does a business take its merchandise from simply popular to an epidemic? They understood that customer experience is not just about pretty screens, it is about always delivering that experience.

Here are a couple of ways that POS software can help you produce a consistently on-brand, high quality customer experience.

One of the biggest factors a customer considers when getting an avid”Starbuck’s ONLY coffee drinker” or”Apple ONLY tech-head”, is the consistency of this experience. It’s not that they just had one great experience — it is they can rely on that experience. Customers might love your personal touch, but they appreciate the reliable efficiency of big businesses. The good news is that modern POS software allows you to provide both! Intelligent inventory triggers can help make certain that you always have the stock required to deliver on your customers’ expectations. When was the last time Starbucks declined a sale because they ‘ran out’ of vanilla syrup? With inventory bulk pricing, you will have the ability to engage in more sophisticated pricing strategies that reflect a trusted brand. No one wants to come in and see that prices are different each and every week. With this feature you are able to experiment with pricing in a measured and effective manner.

Stand out from the crowd

There’s nothing more likely to get people talking than unique, out-there products like the Cronut™. The only problem is that these products tend to have high costs, especially since they are typically made and sold in small batches. That’s where POS software reporting is worth its weight in gold. You’ll always know exactly how much is selling, and whether that headline product is really worth further investment. Sure it might be getting the headlines but is it getting dollar signs?

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Information and Communication If leveraged correctly, this info can lead to both a more personalized customer experience and a smart up-sell at the counter. POS software will also let you do away with paper and send email receipts, with an embedded logo, social media links, and private messages and/or promotions. Brands are nothing if they are not consistently communicated, so this is a terrific weapon in your marketing arsenal. What’s more, as soon as you’ve hit them with a branded reception, you may then follow up with thoughtful emails which make them feel special, save them money, or provide them useful hints and tips in the kind of content marketing. I will be the first to admit I’m not a fan of spam, but marketing emails are a hugely powerful tool if used properly. Email Marketing can also be a big time suck if you’re not set up properly, and that’s the reason why you’ll want to find POS software that integrates with MailChimp or another significant email marketing provider.

Quickly Bust Through Those Lines

If I stop by my favorite lunch spot during the workday, I want to know that they can be effective while still making me laugh or smile when I’m there. An intuitive point of sale that can seamlessly sync across multiple registers is a huge advantage in busting through lines and maintaining that positive, consistent, on-brand experience. The only thing that’s more likely to turn me off from a business than a long line, is a sulky cashier who is annoyed at having to work through a very long line. Your employees are the single most important outward representation of your brand, so you want POS software that lets them spend more time having fun with customers, and less time staring at a screen.

POS software can help you track inventory, collect customer information, send email receipts, and build your marketing database. It can free up your cashiers so they can spend more time with clients, and it’ll allow you to push the correct products at the ideal time to ensure your customers are having the best possible experience. A excellent brand may seem intrinsic, but it’s really caused by lots of decisions, and a good point of sale will help you make them more intelligently.

Anyone that has ever spent time working at a restaurant knows the panic and wide-eyed nervousness that accompanies the phrase’the POS software is down!’

As someone that grew up in a restaurant family and worked my way through college in various dining settings, merely writing that phrase sends chills down my spine. I still remember the way crashes used to send the kitchen and the front of the home into a frenzy — and how they never appear to happen at 2:30 pm on a sleepy Tuesday. Nope, these crashes left their ugly appearance at 7:00 pm on a busy Friday night, with a complete line of hungry diners spilling out on the sidewalk. All of whom seemed to sense the attendant anxiety. As you can imagine, my hints and the restaurant’s takings weren’t great on those nights.

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The Problem(s) with older POS Software

Most restaurants have spent the last couple of decades fighting with old-fashioned, server/client, Windows-based computer systems. The requirement for a computer server to store data locally and cables to connect this server to the front of the house registers made these systems expensive to purchase and install. And the sheer number of moving components made them likely to break, particularly in fast food preparation and service environments full of liquid and flying elbows. The kicker? If you wanted help with repairing — or even just using the system — you were expected to pay $150 to get a phone call with your service provider. So, you’d end up in a farcical situation in which a restaurateur would be trying to fix a complicated piece of technology, trying to save $150, all the while costing himself far more in lost earnings.

Maybe that’s why server/client Windows-based POS systems are now viewed as a dying breed.

Enter the Cloud

While the idea of cloud computing isn’t a new one, its stronghold in the technology world’s collective conscious is, with Apple, Google, Salesforce, Dropbox, and others all making the concept increasingly well-understood and popular.

In essence, cloud-computing requires the hardware and software that you used to have to buy, install, and keep your self and makes it available as a service, like a utility which you access online and cover as required. Thus the expression Software-as-a-Service. It makes your regional host a thing of the past, as all of your data is now stored in a secure data center somewhere in, let’s say, Idaho. You can access great business apps like POS Software, loyalty, employee scheduling, sales management and more online without ever having to actually purchase the software.

Still have questions about cloud computing? Here’s a great intro movie by Salesforce: Data Storage
With cloud-based POS applications, your information (all your sales, customer emails, tax information, and much more ) is kept in a secure, off-site data centre. That means you don’t need to worry about your information being lost because your systems crashed, your electricity went out, or simply because you dropped marinara sauce on your server. What’s more is this kind of storage is infinitely and quickly scalable, so storing more data is as simple as clicking a button to get more storage.

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Data Access

Small and growing company owners often spend absurd amounts of time in their stores. Being able to keep an eye on your shop from your phone or laptop while on a train, stuck in traffic, or while having a glass of wine on the sofa provides the owner the freedom to do other things in life while still maintaining control of their organization. The best POS Software even comes with information reporting apps for your smartphone, so you can keep your finger on the beating pulse of your business.

Easy Installation

Nowadays it is possible to download an app, sign up online, and input all your inventory and prices. Again, scaling with the cloud is straightforward too. Want another register? Just buy an extra tablet and download the appropriate app.

Cost Effective

Cloud computing has also disrupted the conventional business model of POS providers. Old fashioned, heritage POS companies relied heavily on selling hardware and software for high one-time costs and then averting a long-term relationship by charging for any extra support or involvement. Cloud providers, by comparison, charge a much lower monthly fee and make hardware much more easily and cheaply available.

Free Support

As a knock on effect of the business model shift, cloud-based POS providers often offer much better customer support. At ShopKeep, for example, we know we need to earn your business every single day, so we make certain to provide industry-leading, award-winning customer care. Integration with other Apps
One of the most overlooked advantages of the cloud is the way it makes it easier for small business owners to integrate their POS Software with other software providers, such as accounting software (e.g., QuickBooks or Xero), loyalty applications, or email marketing program.