Traditional host-based point of sale systems and e-commerce software aren’t like oil and water. Both platforms have far more in common than most business owners assume.
Each platform provides retail and service-based businesses with advantages, sometimes just as many disadvantages. But, one of the most notable aspects about both platforms is that they can integrate with one another.
Point Of Sale Systems, E-Commerce and Integration
Integration brings two entities together. In this case, it brings host-based and cloud-based point of sale systems together under one e-commerce platform.
Technology, specifically wireless network technology, has enabled host-based and cloud-based point of sale systems to communicate with other devices. But, now the importance of either system communicating directly with the web is growing among businesses searching for a solution to combine their entire POS network (consisting of retail and online operations) together.
But, in order to express that importance, let’s take a look at an example:
A company has its own e-commerce system and a point of sale system.
Both systems are separate, however they do interact with each other to address matters like customer orders.
Despite each system (and both have sub-systems) operating as intended, the customer-retailer transaction process is complicated:
- Orders are modified in a separate program.
- Payments, including payment modification, get directly handled through third party processors like PayPal.
- Any processed transactions get viewed in a separate accounting or bookkeeping program, such as Quickbooks.
There’s a problem with the aforementioned example. The problem lies in how data is transmitted between all parties: the customer, the retailer, the point of sale system and the e-commerce system. This more or less dilutes the customer data, spreading it across several platforms in order to do tasks as simple as processing an order.
Keeping point of sale systems and e-commerce systems separated spreads customer data across several platforms at once. It creates inconveniences and security issues in a company that doesn’t use web store integration. It also makes retailers spend most of their time managing and reorganizing customer data, in addition to their own data, particularly that of inventory.
Integrated e-commerce POS systems save businesses time and money. Most e-commerce platforms, such as WooCommerce, BigCommerce and Magento, have some form of POS integration for business owners with brick-and-mortar businesses. This helps them meld both of their systems together to create one system under their roof.
Let’s look at another example:
Retailers who already have host-based or cloud-based POS software can select e-commerce software based on what they already work with.
Connecting their e-commerce software with their POS software will expand their network into an online-retail system.
Customers will have access to their products in their store, but will also have online access if they want to make an order. From there, customers can make buying decisions by searching online (and buying in person) or searching in person (and buying online later).
Customer incentives like promotions will also be synchronized across both platforms, making it easier for customers to take advantage of sales.
Integrating e-commerce and POS software makes running retail or service-based businesses much easier for business owners. That is a great argument that supports using such a solution today.