Point of sale

The Most Popular Cloud-Based POS Platforms For Small Businesses in 2024

Satheesh Kanchi
February 8, 2024
1 mins

Table of Content

Congratulations! You’ve opened your restaurant business. While this role gives you new responsibilities to flex your entrepreneurial muscle, it also comes with its own set of challenges. One such challenge is selecting a POS solution to keep strict tabs on your order processing and inventory, manage customer relationships, or track your restaurant’s spending. 

Gone are the days of old-fashioned cash registers. Restaurants (both big and small) are switching to cloud-based point-of-sale solutions owing to their numerous benefits. Not only do these POS solutions streamline inventory and menu management challenges and transaction processes, but they also provide valuable analytics that can help restaurants succeed.

However, the selection process becomes a monumental task with several different cloud-based POS solutions available. The ideal choice for your restaurant will depend on your requirements and budget. 

This article will explore the top 5 cloud-based POS systems and discuss their pros and cons to help you choose.

What is a Cloud-Based Point of Sale (POS) System?

In a cloud-based POS system, all data, including sales transactions, inventory records, customer information, and analytics, is stored securely in the cloud. This kind of connection processes transactions in real-time, which is crucial for everyday restaurant operations today. The system manages sales, payments, inventory, menus, pricing, and customer contacts using a combination of hardware and software. 

The cloud-based point-of-sale system has physical components like card readers, terminals, and receipt printers. It is through these that the software works seamlessly. The main advantage of having this software hosted in the cloud is its ability to be scaled easily as business needs change. In addition to this, it has automatic backups and real-time updates.

Traditional vs. Cloud-based POS

The debate between cloud-based and traditional POS systems is about how they are built and what they can do. Here is a table representing the apparent differences between the two.

Feature Cloud POS Systems Traditional POS Systems
Deployment Internet-based, accessible from anywhere On-site, requires own servers and equipment
Accessibility Provides flexibility with real-time updates, accessible remotely Might make businesses feel more in control but less convenient
Scalability Can grow with a business, suitable for multi-store operations Limited scalability, may require more resources for expansion
Automatic Updates Updates through OTA, reducing the need for maintenance time May require more time and effort for manual updates and maintenance
Cost Cost-effective due to adaptability and reduced maintenance Requires upfront investment in hardware and installation time
Control over Data Less control over data relies on the cloud infrastructure Provides a sense of control over data, as it's stored on-site
Popularity Increasingly popular due to adaptability, cost-effectiveness, and ease of use May be chosen by businesses wanting control and already having equipment 
Technology Trends Aligns with modern and flexible technology trends May not be as aligned with the latest technology trends

5 Best Cloud-Based POS Software for Small Businesses

Here is our list of the five best POS solutions for small businesses. Learn their features, pros, and cons, and make an informed decision. 

1. OneHubPOS

OneHubPOS - backed by Loomis Pay is your go-to, all-in-one POS solution perfect for businesses of all sizes. The solution is designed to fit your use case and industry. Whether it's simplifying sales or managing deliveries, ensuring error free order processing or smooth payments, this POS system is all about making operations smoother, and increasing your overall profitability. 

With its easy-to-navigate interface and comprehensive features, and affordable pricing, OneHubPOS stands out as a smart choice for businesses across the board.

Features

  • All-in-one solution with customizable options that cater to multiple businesses. Whether an enterprise or a quaint cafe, the platform seamlessly adapts to specific requirements.
  • Intuitive interface and built on modern Android architecture, that is easy-to-onboard, ensuring easy adoption and minimal training time for employees.
  • Enhance security measures with advanced cash management features, reducing the risk of theft or errors.
  • Manage multiple stores, take orders from anywhere, and maintain complete control through a centralized dashboard.
  • Ensure a smooth flow of orders, online orders, and self-serve kiosks to the kitchen, eliminating any chances of missing requests. 
  • Equip your FOH team with a user-friendly POS system for quick and hassle-free order processing.
  • Multiple payment options through cards, QR codes, links & NFC.
  • Get in-depth insights into each store's performance, empowering you to make informed decisions.

Pros

  • A complete Android solution designed to meet your needs.
  • Robust cash management feature to minimize the risk of theft and cash losses.
  • One workflow to take orders from anywhere, inventory management to payment, and delivery to dine-in.
  • Clear pricing structures with no hidden fees, ensuring that every business receives the necessary features and budget-friendly. With a starting price just at $50.
  • Seamlessly integrates with your existing system, ensuring a smooth process.
  • Upgrade to e-loyalty programs and gift cards to enhance customer retention and satisfaction.

Cons

  • Currently it does not support iOS devices.

2. Square

Square caters to businesses of all sizes, offering many tools beyond traditional transaction processing. This cloud-based POS system seamlessly integrates with various business tools, providing a unified platform for managing operations. 

Features 

  • Users can manage customers, transactions, inventory, invoicing, and payments, easily. 
  • Offers additional tools for managing customer loyalty, marketing, employees, and payroll.

Pros 

  • Has transparent pricing, and compatibility with a wide range of hardware.
  • Offers robust payment processing, efficient inventory tracking, and customer relationship management tools.

Cons

  • Offline functionality is limited. 
  • Processing fees are comparatively higher because card companies and banks levy multiple fees and have strict compliance standards. 
  • Simplified features do not cater to the complexities of larger businesses.

3. Lightspeed

Lightspeed is a cloud-based POS solution for the hospitality and retail industries. The platform is particularly well-suited for businesses of varying sizes. It also offers flexible and customizable reports on your sales, inventory, and customers. 

Features

  • Provides inventory management, sales, and analytics under one platform. 
  • Supports e-commerce integration to track inventory sold online or processing online payments.
  • Offers employee scheduling and allows for multiple user profiles

Pros 

  • Lightspeed’s customer support contributes to a positive user experience.
  • Known for its robust inventory management features such as min/max and seasonal inventory control. 

Cons

  • Challenges post-sale with customer support.
  • Higher pricing may challenge smaller businesses on a budget. 
  • Some users also find the learning curve steep, impacting initial implementation.

4. Shopify POS

Shopify POS offers a streamlined solution for retail merchants to manage both their online and physical sales. It ensures a smooth transition for businesses looking to expand their sales channels. Additionally, Shopify POS provides regular updates and security checks to maintain the security of transactions. 

Features 

  • Offers seamless integration with Shopify’s online store platform. 
  • Users can create purchase orders, receive alerts for low stock levels, and track inventory across all locations. 
  • Offers complete control over monitoring staff access and performance. 

Pros 

  • Excellent in multichannel sales, comprehensive inventory management, and customizable checkouts. 
  • Has a user-friendly design.

Cons

  • Limited offline capabilities might disadvantage companies in areas with erratic internet access. 
  • Expensive as compared to competitors. 
  • More applications could be needed for advanced functions, which might raise total prices.

5. Oracle

Also known as Oracle Hospitality, this POS software is known for its enterprise solutions. It is an ideal solution for businesses with complex requirements and requires robust functionality and flexibility. For startups and big enterprises seeking to optimize their operations, Oracle is a compelling option.

Features

  • Oracle's advanced analytics and reporting features help users make informed decisions. Large companies with intricate business procedures are a good fit for it.

Pros

  • Heavily customizable, allowing the ability to adapt to changes. 
  • Has excellent capabilities and covers all areas a hospitality business requires. 

Cons

  • Customer support isn’t great. Oracle does not directly support end-users. 
  • Does not integrate well with other software or interfaces. 
  • Complicated deployment and large upfront expenditures can put smaller enterprises off. Users with less technical experience may find the comprehensive features overwhelming. 

Key Features To Consider When Buying Cloud-Based POS Software

When selecting a cloud-based POS system, you should carefully evaluate several key factors. Ensure that the chosen system aligns with your unique needs and operational objectives. By considering these factors judiciously, businesses can make an informed decision. They can choose a system that meets their specific requirements and helps them achieve their goals. Some key features to consider when evaluating POS systems are:

1. Ease of Use

Restaurants need an efficient POS system. The system needs to be simple for it to be used. It needs to be easy enough for your team to use it without needing help. If the system is complicated, staff could spend hours trying to learn it, taking away work time and leading to low productivity levels. 

2. Affordability

Evaluate the overall cost of the POS system, including any subscription fees, transaction costs, and additional hardware expenses. Balance the features offered with your budget constraints. Consider the long-term return on investment.

3. Payment Processing

Robust payment processing capabilities streamline transactions, ensuring quick and secure payment handling for enhanced customer satisfaction.

4. Data security

Security is critical, especially when handling sensitive customer information and payment data. Make sure the POS system follows industry standards for data security. It should have features like encryption and regular security updates.

5. Inventory management

An effective inventory management system will help streamline your restaurant operations. It’ll constantly keep stock counts in check, minimize errors, and automate ordering processes. That way, you won’t run out of anything you need or have too much on hand.

6. Reporting

When choosing a POS system, looking out for one with robust analytics and reporting capabilities is crucial. Ideally, You will need software that provides data on inventory levels, selling patterns, and consumer activities. A system that offers advanced reporting tools can help you make strategic decisions.

7. Customer loyalty

Look for POS software that supports customer loyalty programs. Reward systems and personalized incentives improve customer retention. They also help build long-term relationships.

8. Customer support & training

Each restaurant has its preferred processes, challenges, preferences, requirements, and goals. When buying a POS system, ensure that the vendor assists you with onboarding, They should also provide customer support and technical assistance when necessary.

Wrapping Up

A cloud-based POS system is a big step forward in business transactions. Its seamless integration with hardware, real-time inventory management, and seamless operations make it a powerful tool for restaurants that want efficiency, flexibility, and better customer service. 

If you’re ready to take your restaurant to the next level, don't forget to check out OneHubPOS. Designed with user-friendliness, this POS system can help boost customer satisfaction and maximize sales. Experience POS at just $1.

AUTHOR
Satheesh Kanchi
CEO & Founder - OneHubPOS

Satheesh Kanchi is the Founder and CEO of OneHubPOS, He is the restaurateur behind several popular Indian restaurants in California and India. He started his career as a technology CEO, bringing that same level and learnings innovation and drive to the restaurant industry.

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