Until recently, most brick-and-mortar businesses were inclined to save a majority of their POS (point of sale) data, such as transaction records and product price lists, on local platforms. These ranged mainly from on-premise servers or PCs, or larger private company network servers.
With the gradual shift of most businesses to online platforms in recent years, however, the global cloud POS industry has been gaining steady traction.
Cloud-based POS solutions refer to systems that can process and store data on digital platforms, as opposed to conventional on-premise point of sale solutions. Cloud POS is known by many monikers, including EPOS or electronic point of sale, which indicates that the software is run on electronic equipment.
It has been estimated that globally, the cloud POS industry size will hit $6 billion in annual value by 2026.
Restaurants and other food establishments shift to cloud-based POS solutions
In recent times, particularly in the current turbulent days brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, many food establishments such as restaurants, hotels, etc. are shifting their focus towards cloud-based POS systems, in order to simplify sales activities and customer engagement operations. These cloud solutions allow restaurateurs to digitally track and record their customer transactions with purchase histories and other relevant information need for increased profits and growth.
Many cloud POS industry players are engaged in the development of targeted point of sale solutions for restaurants, designed to accommodate specific applications, manage daily operations, and enhance profits.
To illustrate, in 2019, Restaurant Manager POS (Point of Sale) system developer Restaurant Manager LLC., launched its noel hybrid cloud-based POS solutions, called Duet. The fast and low-cost point of sale solution was designed to offer enhanced operational functionalities, and robust reporting and management tools to restaurants. The Android-based POS software was also advanced in terms of flexibility, as it could be run on the purpose-built commercial-grade POS terminals of the company, as well as Android tablets.
Various restaurants and food industry players are also becoming attuned to the merits of adopting a cloud-based POS system. Studies suggest that nearly 61% of US-based quick-service restaurants have integrated cloud POS solutions.
In 2020, ParTech, Inc. announced that its PAR EverServ® hardware and Brink POS® software was selected by Boston Market, for deployment across all 350 restaurants across the nation. The alliance was facilitated by a long-term reseller partner of PAR, RDS Hospitality, which is also delivering project management, helpdesk, and implementation services to Boston Market.
Mobile integration will boost demand for multi-purpose point of sale solutions
Apart from restaurants, many other SMEs and small retailers have started to show an inclination towards mobile integration and cloud-based point of sale solutions. This paradigm shift is attributed mainly to the high flexibility, security, and portability of these systems, as well as their ability to offer accelerated deliveries and customer services.
Many industry-leading POS software vendors are working on developing modern point of sale solutions, designed to enable SMEs to perform multiple functions or tasks via a single solution. A significant number of these efforts or developments are taking place in fast emerging economies like India.
For instance, in August 2020, Paytm launched a first-of-its-kind Android-based POS device in India to facilitate easier payments and contactless ordering for SMEs. Styled like a mobile phone, the POS device is bundled with the ‘Scan to Order’ service of Paytm, which is gaining rapid traction in several takeaway joints and restaurants and is expected to facilitate easier payments for small shopkeepers and logistics players.
Likewise, in June 2020, Axis Bank, Worldline, and Mastercard introduced the new Soft POS, as the first financial payments service with the ability to turn regular smartphones into POS terminals. The solution was geared towards addressing the needs of smaller businesses in the COVID-19 era, allowing for face-to-face payments using NFC and Bharat QR, in addition to remote link-based payments for home deliveries.