What are Web Based Point of Sale Software Systems?

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Published on: January 18, 2012

Business owners today are usually familiar with the concept of Point of Sale, or POS software. They may even have applied this software or the handheld point of sale versions of it to their retail stores.

However, web based point of sale software is a slightly different animal than a standard POS system. There are some distinct advantages and disadvantages to it also.

First to explain exactly what an online point of sale software system really is let’s look at the most common model of a web-based point of sale system. These are called Application Service Provider programs or ASPs. These systems are designed, run, and hosted by a remote entity or company.

The advantages to an ASP, or web based point of sale software system are many. For example, they are usually cheaper to set up than in house programs. They also do not take up space for servers and computer storage units. You don’t have to spend time worrying about backing up or restoring your system either. Likewise, retail clothing stores and shoes stores, as well as any other store that has multiple locations will be allowed to instantly share inventory information.

Those are the upsides of ASPs. Some of the downsides though might be worthy of consideration.

Just like it is a blessing to have someone else worrying about the up keep and care of the system, it can also be a curse. In the rare event that the system goes down, you may have to wait in queue along with other companies who POS system is hosted by the same provider. And sometimes, depending on the amount of bandwidth you purchase, the speed of ASPs can be annoyingly slow.

However, most business owners find that the savings and advantages of APS systems make them well worth any minor hassles incurred later on.


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