Before we get into OliverPOS, let's look at normal POS solutions
Before we talk about WooCommerce & OliverPOS, let's make sure we're all on the same page when it comes to POS solutions. I'm talking about Point of Sale systems. If you've ever walked into a retail shop, you've checked out at a cash register. That cash register is tied to a database, somewhere on-premise, that has all your inventory. This way, as orders are placed, your database is tracking changes to your inventory and more.
On-premise POS systems have been around forever. They're a big investment because you have to get hardware in place, and then load it up with data, and program it and all the normal things you have to do when you bring computers into your business.
But that was the world before eCommerce. When you suddenly have both online and on-premise sales going on, things get more complicated.
The biggest challenge with traditional POS
Speaking of complicated, the biggest challenge with traditional point of sale systems was that every time you wanted to make a change to inventory, to pricing, or to discounts and bundles, you had to go to work. It wasn't something that was going to be easy or fast.
Things got way more complicated when you wanted to create those bundles or discounts or promos for online orders. And to try doing it while selling at the normal prices in your retail shop – virtually impossible. On-premise, or legacy, POS systems weren't designed to live in the world where retail and online sales were going at the same time.
Don't get me wrong, compared to no POS, a legacy POS was great.
- A central database could tell you, each night, how things went.
- Checking out was faster when the database of products was available at the checkout stand.
- The math was done by computers, not people.
The issues with the current cloud POS solutions
The introduction of cloud POS systems suggested a brand new day. But what we saw, pretty quickly, was that they still had a default notion to them. They presumed that your retail store existed first, and that your online store was a secondary initiative. And that might be true for some merchants. But there are a lot of merchants that started directly online. For them, the physical side of things came second.
This creates a pretty big issue with cloud POS systems. Cloud POS solutions save you time and let you make changes without taking your whole store offline. But you often have to create workarounds to deal with your online store.
For example, one cloud POS won't let an online customer checkout if a “register” isn't open. Online stores don't have registers. But since this cloud POS was designed for retail first, you have to add an online register that says open 24 hours a day. Did I mention they charge you for each register?
And since these systems presume that your online store is a secondary dynamic, they often sync your inventory and catalog from their own system to your online cart solution. This means WooCommerce is getting updated from a cloud POS, rather than the other way around.
Thankfully, OliverPOS comes to the rescue. And this past week they launched their new branding, their marketplace and more!
WooCommerce & OliverPOS
OliverPOS is an online store first platform. And particularly focused on WooCommerce – the largest platform for eCommerce on the planet. So instead of creating a secondary source of your product catalog, they integrate directly with your WooCommerce store. And they cache it locally so that it's lightning fast on all their POS equipment.
Additionally, and most importantly, they've designed the interface of the POS register so that you can customize it any way you want. Put your bundles, your products, and even your categories in their “tile” interface so that it's easy for anyone to quickly process an order.
- Custom Tile Interface
- No data entry / dual entry of your product catalog
- The register interfaces with customers (who may have previously only ordered online) via the WooCommerce connection
- Integrate your favorite payment gateways quickly
There's so much to love about this connection between OliverPOS and WooCommerce.
But I saved the best for last.
OliverPOS supports a way to hook into their platform via API (like you would expect from anything that works with WordPress and WooCommerce). Not just before or after the transaction. During the transaction. They've not only created the API, but they've created an App Marketplace so that developers can create custom apps that can be deployed and integrated to the POS.
So imagine if you could automatically apply a coupon to the register because you recognized the customer was a loyal and VIP customer of both online and off-line purchases. Or imagine you could create upsell offers based on their purchase history so that your salesperson at the register doesn't offer something they just recently purchased online.
The potential is endless.
We just announced a partnership between OliverPOS and Nexcess, where I work, because we believe every store that is selling in retail and in-person environments needs to check out OliverPOS.
And if you need a great place to host your WooCommerce store, I highly recommend Nexcess, where we designed a Managed WooCommerce platform just for you. Having trouble knowing how to size what you need, no issue – we can help.