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Revel Systems logo
 
Revel is a cloud-based business platform that integrates operations and customer channels with point-of-sale (POS) functionality in a single dashboard. It is suitable for stores and restaurants of all sizes and provides users with... Read More
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Revel is a cloud-based business platform that integrates operations and customer channels with point-of-sale (POS) functionality in a single dashboard. It is suitable for stores and restaurants of all sizes and provides users with... Read More
 
Lightspeed Retail logo
 
Lightspeed Retail is a cloud-based point of sale (POS) solution that is suitable for retailers in industries such as apparel, footwear, bike, jewelry, pet, sporting goods and home decor. The solution enables retailers to manage inventory... Read More
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Lightspeed Retail is a cloud-based point of sale (POS) solution that is suitable for retailers in industries such as apparel, footwear, bike, jewelry, pet, sporting goods and home decor. The solution enables retailers to manage inventory... Read More
 
Epos Now logo
 
Epos Now is a retail management system for small to mid-sized businesses. In addition to its Point of Sale module, the solution also offers integrated Inventory Management, Customer Management, and Retail Accounting, including general... Read More
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Epos Now is a retail management system for small to mid-sized businesses. In addition to its Point of Sale module, the solution also offers integrated Inventory Management, Customer Management, and Retail Accounting, including general... Read More
 
TouchBistro Restaurant POS logo
 
TouchBistro is an iPad-based point of sale (POS) solution for restaurants of all types. Specifically designed to meet the unique needs of the restaurant industry, TouchBistro comes complete with food service specific features and advanced... Read More
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TouchBistro is an iPad-based point of sale (POS) solution for restaurants of all types. Specifically designed to meet the unique needs of the restaurant industry, TouchBistro comes complete with food service specific features and advanced... Read More
 
Toast POS logo
 
Built exclusively to provide a POS system for the restaurant and food service industry, Toast POS is a robust solution for all types of food service businesses, including bars, quick service, and full-service restaurants. For restaurants... Read More
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Built exclusively to provide a POS system for the restaurant and food service industry, Toast POS is a robust solution for all types of food service businesses, including bars, quick service, and full-service restaurants. For restaurants... Read More

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Springboard Retail logo
 
Springboard Retail is a web-based retail solution designed for multi-channel and multi-store retailers. Springboard’s point of sale system is fully accessible through any modern web browser on any device. The solution is designed... Read More
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Springboard Retail is a web-based retail solution designed for multi-channel and multi-store retailers. Springboard’s point of sale system is fully accessible through any modern web browser on any device. The solution is designed... Read More
 
Breadcrumb POS logo
 
Breadcrumb POS by UpServe is a cloud-based point of sale (POS) solution that caters to restaurants and bars, helping them manage their interaction with the customers. Key features include shift notes, tip adjust, spilt checks, logbook... Read More
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Breadcrumb POS by UpServe is a cloud-based point of sale (POS) solution that caters to restaurants and bars, helping them manage their interaction with the customers. Key features include shift notes, tip adjust, spilt checks, logbook... Read More
 
COMCASH Retail ERP logo
 
COMCASH ERP is a complete retail management system ideally suited for multi-channel and multi-location retailers. The software is cloud-based, allowing access to the administrative functions from anywhere on any device. The Point... Read More
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COMCASH ERP is a complete retail management system ideally suited for multi-channel and multi-location retailers. The software is cloud-based, allowing access to the administrative functions from anywhere on any device. The Point... Read More
 
Lavu iPad POS logo
 
Lavu is a Point of Sale solution designed for use by restaurants, bars, and nightclubs - from full-service, quick-service, and franchise restaurants, to food trucks, coffee shops, and lounges. Users can choose between bar, restaurant,... Read More
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Lavu is a Point of Sale solution designed for use by restaurants, bars, and nightclubs - from full-service, quick-service, and franchise restaurants, to food trucks, coffee shops, and lounges. Users can choose between bar, restaurant,... Read More
 
Stratus Retail logo
 
Stratus Retail by Celerant Technology provides tools for point of sale (POS), inventory and order management, enterprise resource management (ERP), e-commerce, business intelligence, marketplace integrations (Amazon, eBay, Walmart,... Read More
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Stratus Retail by Celerant Technology provides tools for point of sale (POS), inventory and order management, enterprise resource management (ERP), e-commerce, business intelligence, marketplace integrations (Amazon, eBay, Walmart,... Read More

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ORDYX Standard logo
 
ORDYX Standard from ORDYX POS is a cloud-based solution designed for bars and restaurants. The program allows users to stay connected to their business from anywhere around the world and includes the flexibility to use their own existing... Read More
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ORDYX Standard from ORDYX POS is a cloud-based solution designed for bars and restaurants. The program allows users to stay connected to their business from anywhere around the world and includes the flexibility to use their own existing... Read More
 
Booker logo
 
The Booker cloud-based platform was designed for service and class-based businesses who want to continue the lines of engagement with clients. It manages the processes for finding new clients, booking appointments, selling services,... Read More
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The Booker cloud-based platform was designed for service and class-based businesses who want to continue the lines of engagement with clients. It manages the processes for finding new clients, booking appointments, selling services,... Read More
 
Phorest Salon logo
 
Phorest is a salon management software solution designed for small and midsize businesses that features appointment bookings, point-of-sale, inventory management and reporting. The software offers cloud-based deployment and a salon-branded... Read More
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Phorest is a salon management software solution designed for small and midsize businesses that features appointment bookings, point-of-sale, inventory management and reporting. The software offers cloud-based deployment and a salon-branded... Read More
 
Rapid Bev POS logo
 
Rapid Bev POS is a point-of-sale solution that can be deployed on premise or accessed through the cloud. It's designed to meet the needs of liquor stores, wineries and breweries, with features to track product attributes, ratings and... Read More
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Rapid Bev POS is a point-of-sale solution that can be deployed on premise or accessed through the cloud. It's designed to meet the needs of liquor stores, wineries and breweries, with features to track product attributes, ratings and... Read More
 
Smartwerks_USA logo
 
Smartwerks_USA is a point of sale and accounting software application. It is best suited to small and midsize specialty retailers like mattress stores, gift shops, patio stores, and jewelry stores. Key features include point of sale... Read More
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Smartwerks_USA is a point of sale and accounting software application. It is best suited to small and midsize specialty retailers like mattress stores, gift shops, patio stores, and jewelry stores. Key features include point of sale... Read More

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SimpleConsign logo
 
SimpleConsign by Traxia offers a web-based single or multi-store solution for consignment stores, resellers, small retailers, antique malls, and art galleries. No download is required, and set up, data conversion and backups are included.... Read More
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SimpleConsign by Traxia offers a web-based single or multi-store solution for consignment stores, resellers, small retailers, antique malls, and art galleries. No download is required, and set up, data conversion and backups are included.... Read More
 
Cybex Enterprise Retail Suite logo
 
Founded in 1986, the retail software suite from Cybex includes point of sale, inventory management, distribution and replenishment, warehouse management, CRM, and e-commerce. The Cybex Enterprise Retail Suite focuses on information... Read More
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Founded in 1986, the retail software suite from Cybex includes point of sale, inventory management, distribution and replenishment, warehouse management, CRM, and e-commerce. The Cybex Enterprise Retail Suite focuses on information... Read More
 
Instore logo
 
Instore is an iPad-based point of sale (POS) solution supporting small to midsize retailers. It offers features such as sales reporting, gift cards and employee time tracking. In addition, Instore’s real-time business performance... Read More
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Instore is an iPad-based point of sale (POS) solution supporting small to midsize retailers. It offers features such as sales reporting, gift cards and employee time tracking. In addition, Instore’s real-time business performance... Read More
 
Lightspeed Restaurant logo
 
Lightspeed Restaurant is a cloud-based point of sale (POS) solution for restaurants suitable for full- or quick-service restaurants, bars, nightclubs, hotel restaurants, cafes and more. Key features include floor management, customer... Read More
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Lightspeed Restaurant is a cloud-based point of sale (POS) solution for restaurants suitable for full- or quick-service restaurants, bars, nightclubs, hotel restaurants, cafes and more. Key features include floor management, customer... Read More
 
Agiliron logo
 
Agiliron cloud-based point-of-sale (POS) solution is designed to serve both in-store and mobile businesses as well as online sales channels. The system offers a host of features that work in tandem with the point-of-sale solution,... Read More
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Agiliron cloud-based point-of-sale (POS) solution is designed to serve both in-store and mobile businesses as well as online sales channels. The system offers a host of features that work in tandem with the point-of-sale solution,... Read More

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Buyer's Guide

by Justin Guinn,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: December 3, 2017


Web-based point of sale (POS) software is the Software as a Service (SaaS) solution to a retailer’s needs, and it’s a rapidly growing market, especially as more and more businesses turn to the Web to support their sales and/or marketing strategies.

There are a number of advantages and disadvantages to selecting this deployment model, particularly in the retail software market, so we’ve written this buyer’s guide to help you understand the benefits, potential pitfalls and popular vendors associated cloud point of sale software.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Is Web-Based POS Software?
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Benefits and Potential Issues
Market Trends to Understand
The Web-Based Vendor Landscape

What Is Web-Based POS Software?

Traditionally POS systems have all been on-premise, designed to help retailers increase the speed and efficiency of their checkout process and to alleviate much of the administrative burden associated with retail management.

In recent years, however, a number of online solutions have cropped up to perform this same function. These come with many of the advantages typically associated with cloud-based software: lower up-front costs and technical/hardware burdens. Web-based POS software is designed to meet the needs of the retailer, but with minimal hardware installation as compared to a traditional POS.

Screenshot of Lightspeed user interface

Screenshot of Lightspeed user interface

What Type of Buyer Are You?

Before digging into software, you will want to know what type of buyer you are. For Web-based POS systems, there’s basically two types of buyer:

Simple systems. Smaller businesses typically want a straightforward POS for customer checkout and inventory management. Many of these systems also have built-in CRM and accounting capabilities to manage everything a small business would need.

Enterprise systems. Larger companies may be looking for a more robust solution that has extra levels of functionality beyond those typically associated with a POS. These may include pricing controls and/or variations, merchandise planning and warehouse or transportation management. Not every enterprise solution will have all of these features, so consider carefully which features you want  and use those criteria to narrow down your search.

Cellular retailers. Businesses that specialize in cell phone and similar telecommunications have a ton of extra features specific to that industry: phone activation, tracking service plans (including family plans with multiple customers on one system), commission and vendor rebate calculations, feature comparisons and so on. These companies will want one of the many systems dedicated to this market.

Like for the cellular industry, specialty retailers may wish to consider the benefits of getting a solution that’s dedicated specifically to their market. These will be best-of-breed solutions with specific functionality that your store needs but may not be available in a generic POS system.

Benefits and Potential Issues

Web-based software solutions are growing in popularity, and for good reason. They come with lower up-front costs and fewer of the maintenance challenges, and these days almost all of the same functionality, making them the perfect choice for smaller businesses in particular.

In the retail market, SaaS has other very significant benefits, namely those discussed under “Market Trends” below: built-in customer portals to transform your brick and mortar shop into an ecommerce store as well; integration with social media to expand your sales and marketing strategy and mobile applications to let the user take the store anywhere it needs to go.

There are two main drawbacks to online POS software. First, are the hardware limitations or add-ons. Most retailers aren’t operating with a standard computer setup, rather you’re using a scanner, a touch-screen and receipt and credit card machines, and all of these require special hardware that then has to integrate with the software. The more of this hardware you want to purchase, the more carefully you should consider whether an on-premise system will make more sense.

Second, Web-based software relies 100% on a strong Internet connection on the store’s end in order to function properly. If the Internet goes down, so does the ability to conduct business in your brick and mortar environment. So a Web-based system is not a great solution if your Internet is spotty or unreliable.

The Web-Based POS Vendor Landscape

This type of buyer … Should look at these systems
Simple systems MMS, SmartWerks, Real Time
Enterprise systems RICS, RunIt Realtime, NetSuite, Jesta Vision Suite, Cegid, Epicor, Microsoft Dynamics
Cellular retailers RetailIQ, Multiflex RMS, Wireless Standard, MMS Wireless

There are also specialty systems available for other specialty retail markets, such as Granbury for restaurants and SWIM for jewelry. Keep in mind that many of the POS and enterprise vendors listed above have multiple different products tailored to specific industries, so as you’re performing your search, be sure to ask what markets they specialize in.

Market Trends to Understand

Though the fundamentals largely remain the same, many facets of Web-based POS systems constantly evolve to meet the changing demands of retail businesses. As you evaluate retail systems, keep these trends in mind. How your vendor fits within these trends could have a big impact on their viability.

  • Mobile. Since many retailers conduct sales at tradeshows and other remote locations, remote checkout applications that let users access sales/inventory data from the tradeshow floor are growing in popularity. This trend has exploded with the development of the iPad and other tablet devices, although there always have been and will be numerous deployment models for this.
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  • Online sales. The tight margins of traditional “brick and mortar” businesses are leading to more and more online sales channels, allowing retailers to develop a Web portal to sell their products online, which can ultimately be much more cost effective. These integrated ecommerce modules run the full range of functionality, integrating the shopping cart with the sales and inventory data. Web-based POS software is particularly well poised to take advantage of this trend.
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  • Social media. As Facebook and Twitter impact the way consumers and businesses interact online, Groupon and LivingSocial are enabling retailers to leverage that and turn it into concrete sales. Connecting your solution to social media is an outstanding way to grow your brand and increase sales, and online systems are designed to support this function.

Free Download:
Retail Software Pricing Guide

Free Download:
Ten Steps Guide to Selecting Retail Software

 

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