The market for Point of Sale solutions in Perth is still strong and growing if the enquiries we receive are anything to go by. We are consistently busy deploying Cloud POS solutions for Hospitality but less so Retail I must say though. The Retail segment does seem to be suffering a little at the moment but as they say people always need to eat - and so Hospitality buoyant.
We do however hear around town that the traditional POS providers are struggling to sell their antiquated server and Windows computer POS terminals that are ugly and bulky! That doesn't stop them spreading FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) about iPad based technologies like Abacus, Kounta and Vend.
Myth 1 - WiFi isn't reliable
So as we all know iPads connect to your Local Area Network (LAN) in your business using WiFi and therefore a reliable WiFi connection is crucial for receipts to reach your printer and orders to get to the kitchen on time for example. I've seen for myself unreliable WiFi networks and there's always a good reason for this. One of these is frequency congestion - the average 'home' grade router given away by most Internet Service Providers doesn't offer WiFi over the 5Ghz frequency, and the more common 2.4 Ghz frequency is sometimes so congested in commercial precincts that it is practically unusable.
A properly engineered WiFi network, giving adequate coverage and using equipment from a reputable Enterprise Vendor is essential for reliable WiFi. We favour the Cisco Meraki range, not only for its excellent WiFi coverage, but also its remote management capability - which saves our customers money on support call outs because we can easily do things like diagnose cable faults, Internet outage issues because of their ISP, and even tell when their printers aren't turned on!
If an owner can't afford this premium product then our backstop is TP-Link equipment which we have also found offer solid and reliable WiFi. However, TP-Link doesn't offer the remote management capability, nor some of the advanced features that Meraki offers such as Facebook integrated Guest WiFi, control of the bandwidth available to Guests, or being able to control the Internet sites your staff can visit whilst at work, in addition to many other unique enterprise features.
Myth 2 - iPads aren't durable
We hear this a lot from customers that have told us competitors have said it to them when trying to convince them to buy their antiquated PC based systems. The facts speak for themselves - of over 200 iPads we have deployed in the field in the past 3 years, we have had 1 that needed to be repaired because it had a hairline crack in it (I suspect blunt force trauma!). There has been none that have been drowned by spillages, none broken because of dropping (we use the Lifeproof covers on mobile waiter-pads), none with operating system problems (unlike computers there is no moving hard disk in an iPad), none whose power supply has died.
iPads are now an amazingly reliable device for use in commercial settings. With the advent of the iPad Pro 12.9 inch screen, there is even a decent size screen available which makes the argument for using them as a POS terminal even more compelling. They give a modern look to your business, take up less space, are easy to move from counter to counter and offer a consistent user experience whether that be on a fixed POS terminal, or a hand held device.
Cloudifi offers several different stands and mounting options for iPads, which can be viewed at our 'Demo Cafe' in our office. Everything from a very minimalist stand to something more chunky and robust to suit a high use environment eg. a supermarket or deli cash register.
Myth 3 - You need an Internet connection all the time
All the Point of Sale solutions we sell will work off-line and upload their data to the Cloud when the Internet connection is returned. With Abacus POS in particular, there is no discernible difference using the POS when the Internet is up or down. It will happily record your sales for days if not weeks without an Internet connection, then upload all the stored data once connectivity returns. A staff member using the POS terminal will not experience any degradation in performance without an Internet connection.
Something many people forget is that if you want to accept credit card or Eftpos for payment you still need an Internet connection, either via your LAN or via the 4G mobile data network (most Eftpos terminals ship with a mobile data SIM in them for backup). If having your Internet connection on all the time is critical for your business, then we can provision automatic failover from ADSL or NBN to 4G in the Cisco Meraki routers we sell and recommend. All you require is a Telstra USB mobile data modem and plan which plugs into the USB port on the back of the router. If the ADSL drops out, then 4G kicks in!
The benefit of these Cloud POS solutions and the way they are Internet delivered is also often overlooked by our competitors. Cloud POS solutions are the only ones you can see your sales data in real time from any device from anywhere you are connected to the Internet. You can make changes to your products remotely night or day, from work or home sitting on the couch and send your sales data to your Cloud Accounting solution automatically. You also get the peace of mind that your data is being backed up without having to worry about your computer at the office being stolen or the hard disk failing and losing everything.