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Convenience stores (c-stores) face challenges that often hinder their economic success. Inventory mismanagement and the pressure to evolve with industry trends often burden C-store operators. Inventory mismanagement is usually caused by a lack of understanding of the supply and demand of their items. Additionally, the rise of digitally-driven shopping puts pressure on C-store operators to keep up with consumer demands and stay up to speed with changes within the industry.
Cloud-based POS systems present a solution to these challenges by enhancing inventory management and offering flexible payment features. There is also the advantage of having full scalability of operations and sales data that can be accessed for multiple store locations at any time. Software proprietors have an opportunity to capitalize on addressing industry challenges by providing a cloud-based POS solution for c-stores.
C-stores have the following options when it comes to POS systems: a traditional on-premise POS or a cloud-based POS system. The major difference between the two is in data processing and storage. “The cloud” is essentially a set of servers that can be accessed via the internet. It also entails the databases and software running on those servers. The cloud’s network of various computer servers are accessible around the globe and act as one collective hard drive.
A cloud-based POS is a type of POS software that allows the store’s information and data to be housed in an easily accessible online server. This remotely accessible information is available through a manual VPN and a local server.
An on-premise POS, the more traditional form, differs from the cloud-based system because the data is stored on a local database, such as a computer’s hard drive, rather than an online server. Therefore, it is only accessible at the store, which is limiting for C-store operators. This would pose a challenge because if their data is stored in one local database, they will have difficulty sharing it across various store locations as well as sharing the data with corporate headquarters.
While on-premise POS has been the traditional system for C-stores, there is an industry-wide need to make strides toward the future with a cloud-based system. Cloud-based POS comes with many benefits and is no longer merely a luxury for C-stores but is now highly critical for inventory management and transactions.
One of the most critical features that a cloud-based POS system has to offer is multi-store management capabilities. Cloud-based systems are completely scalable, which means that there can be hundreds of systems in place that maintain consistent data across all of the locations of a specific C-store chain. Rather than spending the time and money to change each store individually, several stores can depend on one central account.
C-stores will be able to better manage their inventory via a cloud-based POS. Cloud-based POS offers outstanding inventory management capabilities:
Multi-store Management: While on-premise POS systems are made for a single store set in one location, Cloud-based POS systems allow multiple C-stores to be managed. Cloud-based POS enables C-stores to manage their inventory from a central location. For example, if a C-store’s central shop changes products and prices, the other stores will have the same changes as the central shop.
Real-Time Stock: A cloud-based POS enables C-store owners to manage their stock in real-time and allows them to track the number of the store’s goods over time. While tracking goods is possible with an on-premise system, what sets this capability apart in a cloud-based system is that it can track a C-store’s inventory from any location at any time.
With the cloud-based version of POS, the C-store employees would scan or enter items that will be saved in the cloud. This will make quantifying what is in the store’s inventory much easier and give C-store owners a better idea of how much they should have and how much they actually own. These capabilities eliminate the need for long and drawn-out inventory checks.
Stock Replenishment: Stock replenishment, which is also inventory replenishment, involves moving products along the supply chain to meet demand promptly to maintain low inventory costs. Keeping the right stock at the right time is integral to the success of any C-store. Cloud-based POS software possesses inventory management systems that allow C-stores to replenish stock effectively.
Cloud-based POS software provides updates when items are low in stock, overstocked, or out of stock. Cloud-based solutions also enable C-store owners to easily import inventory databases for new locations or franchises and provide a report card for each item in the store’s product catalog. Also, cloud-based POS software facilitates automated order payments to avoid stock outages and allows C-store owners to track shipping.
Automated Order Processing: Automated order processing is a key benefit of cloud-based POS systems. Automated order processing allows orders to be processed faster by doing away with manual work and reducing human error. Automated order capabilities allow cloud-based systems to receive and verify customer purchases and directly enter them into the system. This data could be stored and accessed at any C-store location, and is useful for predicting product demand so that C-store operators can make optimal business decisions.
In today’s advanced technological climate, there is no longer a singular way for stores to conduct transactions. Customers now have a say in what they buy and how they buy it.
Payment flexibility is vital because payments play a big role in the overarching customer experience. C-stores could really benefit from flexible payment options because they get paid faster, greatly reduce the risk of poor debt, and are more equipped to adapt to changing customer needs quickly.
Cloud-based systems offer increased mobility and flexibility by providing real-time data, allowing transactions to be processed offline to avoid frequent reboots. Avoiding frequent reboots and providing flexible transactions is good for maintaining sales and high customer satisfaction. Additionally, a cloud-based POS system has in-depth data and reporting capabilities that provide information on daily sales patterns and inventory values across multiple locations.
Cloud-based POS systems specifically designed for C-stores support all payment technology, including EMV, NFC, and EBT payments. Cloud-based POS can also accept more modern forms of payment, such as chipped cards and near-field communication (NFC). This not only improves the speed and efficiency of transactions but also meets each customer’s needs, as payment methods are ever-evolving and require a POS that can adapt.
Ultimately, cloud-based POS is the best way for C-stores to streamline operations and progress in this era of frequent technological evolution. Addressing critical challenges faced by convenience stores with software solutions would most effectively be done with the help of expert developers experienced with PCI-compliant POS systems and custom cloud application development.
Chetu, Inc. does not affect the opinion of this article. Any mention of specific names for software, companies or individuals does not constitute an endorsement from either party unless otherwise specified. All case studies and blogs are written with the full cooperation, knowledge and participation of the individuals mentioned. This blog should not be construed as legal advice.
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