This week marks the beginning of our four-part series on comparing the retail point of sale systems Cash Register Express (CRE) and Epos Now. Each week we will cover a specific topic that pertains to the retail point of sale system industry and rate both software solutions accordingly. This week’s topic of discussion is which type of point of sale solution is better, cloud-based or local-server point of sale solution? Our first topic of debate is cost structure.
When it comes to comparing cloud and local-server point of sale solutions, the first thing that will jump out at you is the pricing structure. When purchasing both solutions, you will have a one-time payment for the hardware and the software. The major difference between the two solutions is the monthly payments you’ll have to make when you go with the cloud-based point of sale solution. The reason there’s a monthly fee required with a cloud-based solution is that the cloud service provides you with accessibility to your data anywhere at any time. With a local-server solution, you can only access your data from the physical business location. This is because the data is stored on the server of your point of sale solution and not within the cloud.
Advantage: Local-server (CRE) and your wallet.
Our next comparison is software compatibility. Whether you’re planning on purchasing all brand new hardware or using pre-owned hardware, compatibility is a crucial factor to consider when choosing a point of sale solution. With a cloud-based solution, the sky is the limit with what hardware you can use. Whether you’re an Apple fanboy, Apple-hating Android user or classic PC lover, you have the flexibility to choose with a cloud-based solution. On the flip side, when choosing a local-server solution, your choices at hardware are slim. When it comes to a full local-server solution, you’d be hard-pressed to find one that works with anything other than a PC. Requiring the server power to manage and store data in a central location, PCs still provide the most efficient solution for local-server point of sale systems.
Advantage: Cloud-based point of sale system (Epos Now).
Now let’s dive deeper into the specific differences between CRE and Epos Now in regards to reporting. Like we discussed earlier in cost structure, Epos Now’s cloud functionality allows you to access your data anywhere at any time. From this cloud service, you are able to run reports at work, home or on vacation. Where CRE takes reporting to the next level is in the quality and quantity of their reports. Unlike Epos Now, CRE allows providers to add and create an infinite number of custom reports for their customers. By providing this flexibility for users, CRE provides reporting that will grow with your business.
Advantage: CRE for custom reporting.
Our last topic of debate is mobile access. By now you should have it figured out, with Epos Now and any cloud-based point of sale solution; you can access your data anywhere. This means that you no longer have to physically be at your store’s location to manage and run your daily operations. In contrast, with CRE and any local-server point of sale solution, you can only access your data from your store or server. Local-server solutions are perfect for single store operations. If you have multiple locations, then you are better off going with a cloud-based solution to connect and manage your stores together.
Advantage: Epos Now
If you’ve been keeping track at home, you may have noticed that we have a tie. CRE and Epos Now are perfect examples of their respected software types, for better or worse. You have to look at both software solutions as it pertains to your business’s needs. If you’re looking for a system that can provide information on the go with you than Epos Now is the system for you. Inversely, if you’re looking for a POS solution that’s going to provide you robust inventory tracking and reporting; than CRE is your answer. Ask yourself which type of solution, cloud or local-server, is going to provide you the means to efficiently operate your business the way you want to.
Stay tuned! Next time we will be taking a closer look at cashier differences between CRE and Epos Now as it pertains to inventory management and flexibility.