Cash Register 2.0: Is It Time To Put Your Traditional Cash Register To Sleep?

All retailers are different. Some sell kids clothing. Some sell beach balls. Some sell hamburgers. What they all have in common is a cash register to facilitate payment for the goods purchased.
When I think of cash registers, I think of the basic box, which stores money, and is really a big calculator. However, what’s really needed is a point of sale (POS) system to enable you to manage inventory, use bar codes, input customer contact information and even manage employees.
I spoke with Cashier Live about their hosted (in the cloud) cash register.
Microsoft’s and Intuit’s POS solutions are pretty good – from what I’ve seen. What makes Cashier Live better?
Microsoft and Intuit’s POS solutions are pretty good, but there is a lot of room for improvement. One problem is that they are packed full of features, many of which go unused. They’re so complex that a whole industry is built around installing and supporting them. Cashier Live is better because it is easy to set up, easy to learn, and easy to maintain.


For POS, which is different than back office applications, is a web based POS better? It seems like a more “on site” system could be best?
I think that web-based POS is definitely better than an “on site”, shrink-wrapped package for a few reasons.
One reason is the flexibility that a web-based solution offers. We’ve had users that needed to add a few registers to handle a seasonal rush or an event, and it’s easy to scale up and then scale back down with a web-based POS.
Another reason is that it offloads some of the technical issues that a storeowner has to deal with. We backup data and automatically push out upgrades, which are a few of things that used to manually be done at the store. Our data backups are important because a hard drive failure can be catastrophic at the POS, but that concern is eliminated with a web-based POS. Finally, web-based POS reduces a store’s PCI compliance and security burden. With an on site system the merchant is responsible for keeping the POS secure from a breach. Some security measures are still required, but some of the burden is shifted to the software provider with a web-based system.
Beyond being a POS “in the cloud” are there any other differences with Cashier Live.
One difference that our customers see every day when they work with us is that we care about their needs, and work hard to make sure they’re successful with Cashier Live. I used to sell Microsoft RMS and one of our jokes whenever we found a need for a new feature was “I’ll let Bill Gates know, I’m sure he’ll get right on it!” With Cashier Live, we’re working on new features every day and most of them were requests from our users. We love working with our customers, and they love that we put their feedback into action.
What does it cost?
We have a few different pricing plans, each one taking the needs of a retailer into consideration. For small stores, we have a basic version that is free to use. For larger stores or stores that need a few of our advanced features, we have a plan that is $49 per month. And then for retailers with multiple stores or special support needs, we have a plan that’s $125 a month per store. We’ve had customer’s get up and running complete with hardware and software for an upfront cost of less than $500.
For those who are not using a POS, what are they using for their point of sale management solution?
I’m still surprised by the huge number of stores that still use an electronic cash register. There are a lot of independent retailers out there using a combination of an electronic cash register, an accounting software package, and a spreadsheet for inventory. The problem with a cobbled together system like this is that it all takes a lot of time to enter everything manually. Cashier Live is perfect for someone with a system setup like that because it ties all of these needs together, finally at an affordable price.

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Ramon Ray, Editor & Technology Evangelist, Smallbiztechnology.com . Editor and Founder, Smart Hustle Magazine Full bio at http://www.ramonray.com . Check him out on Google Plus, Twitter or Facebook