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Traditional And Cloud Based POS Systems Compared

POS systems are an essential feature of businesses. It is the point where the customer pays for the goods or services. So, the system must offer a smooth experience to the customers. However, there are various POS systems on sale. Which one do you choose? Which POS system will offer you the right value for money? These are the questions that business managers must ask. Once you have implemented a system, it is difficult to backtrack.


In a given system, you can hardly find major differences between two companies. However, there may be major differences between two systems. Broadly speaking you have to choose between a traditional system or a cloud based system.


Data Accessibility In Various POS Systems


  • The issue of accessibility of data in different modes is a serious one. In the traditional set up, sales and customer data is contained in a server kept within the business premises. The disadvantage of such a local storage is that you can not access the data from any other point. You need access to the local server. So you have to come to the office to access the data and make any changes if necessary.


  • If you install a Cloud based POS system, you can access the data from any point. In such a system, such as that from Shopify, all the data is stored centrally in the cloud. You can access the data from the cloud anytime, anywhere. If you have multiple stores spread over different geographical areas, a cloud based POS system is almost a necessity. This will integrate all the customer and sales data in one place in the cloud. You can use this data for any purpose. In these days of data analytics, such an integrated approach is essential.

Integrated data visibility in cloud based POS systems is a boon for store managers

The Risk Of Data Loss Is Real In a Traditional POS System


  • Data loss is a nightmare for business managers. If you have a traditional POS system, all the data is stored in your local business server. If there is a problem with the server, all the data may be lost. Such single point storage is risky, even for small businesses.


  • In a cloud based POS system, the data is stored in the cloud as well as in the local servers. So, even if there is a problem with the local server, the data is safe in the cloud. Even if the system crashes in the local server, you can retrieve the data from the cloud.


Cost Of Operating A traditional POS System May Be More


  • Cost is an important factor in determining the right POS system, like every other business decision. If you go for a traditional POS system, you need to have every bit of the system inhouse. That makes the upfront cost high. You also need to pay a regular maintenance fee. This is because you need to update the various software needed to operate the POS system. This also includes the antivirus and antimalware system. So the cost is really high in a traditional POS system. However, the cost really shoots up in case of a system crash. If there is a system crash, you need to reinstall every single software. The data will be lost or you may have to scavenge for data. This will also entail an enormous investment of time and labour.


  • In a cloud based system, all the softwares that are in use, are in the SaaS format. It is a pay as you go type system of subscription payment. This reduces the cost to a great extent. But more than that, you need minimal in-house infrastructure. So you need not incur huge expenditure on an in house set up. The other advantage is the minimal cost of recovery in case of system crashes. Even if the in-house system crashes, there is always a backup in the cloud. You also need not reinstall various software. You just need to hook up to the cloud and access the data.

Updates Are Easy In A Cloud Based System


  • In a traditional POS system, you need to manually update the software and the server. This means there is a regular expenditure on infrastructure upgrades. Though this may only be once a year, yet it is a regular expenditure that needs to be noted.


  • In Cloud based systems, you need not spend on infrastructure upgrades. All the infrastructural upgrade issues are tackled by the cloud service provider. That means updates are not only automatic, but easy and cheap.



With a cloud based POS system such as that from Shopify, you may be better off than if you invest in a traditional system. The added ability to use credit cards anywhere and at any time makes the Shopify POS one of the most sought after POS systems. Ensure to do your research before you select the right POS system for your business.



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