EPOS and POS Systems
What are EPOS systems and how do they work?
EPOS or POS is an acronym for (electronic) point of sale. It’s commonly referred to as a till point where customers can pay for physical items, make orders or pay for a service. EPOS systems are very flexible and depending on business types they can be adapted to suit business requirements.
Most companies introduce EPOS systems to aid mainstream operations to help increase profit margins – they are even able to help with end of year accounts. The vast number of options available from iPad or could based systems to complete solutions means that there is a lot of choice but also a lot of confusion over which EPOS system the right one for your business.
When researching an EPOS System, it’s vital to consider your business as it stands now and where you plan for it to go – ensuring you find a system to work for you both in the short and long term. At Merchant Advice Service, clients across various industries often ask what to look for in a EPOS system. There are a number of considerations, so we have broken down the most important to make it as simple as possible.
Important considerations to take into account with point of sale systems
Information is power when it comes to creating or growing a company and having simple reporting and back office systems at your fingertips can save time, and therefore money for businesses. More recently, the development of EPOS systems has meant access to real-time statistics such as sales and employee performance, stock levels and retention has revolutionised the way companies operate.
Whether it’s cloud based or a physical system, you can access information from anywhere in the world – if needed.
Implementing a POS system that is safe and secure should be paramount. A secure system reduces risk of theft but, more crucially, confidential business or customer information.
For larger corporations, systems with staff pins or swipe cards enables businesses to restrict or monitor access to provide both accountability and peace of mind for business owners.
Making a purchase or transaction as smooth as possible is a big factor when it comes to business retention and positive customer reviews.Whether you are adding clients to a database or emailing receipts for their ease, an efficient process – quick and simple – is a must.
If the customer is providing you with data or money for goods or services, the value exchange needs to be measured in cost and time as they are both important.
Installing a functional and easy to use system means the likelihood of buy-in from staff increases. These systems can link each staff member with a sale to reward top performing staff members.
Acknowledging and rewarding staff with discounts and incentives encourages hard work all round. Some EPOS also have the ability for staff to clock in and out making payroll an easier task too.
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When it comes to choosing an EPOS system a major consideration is to ensure it’s industry specific. This will save you money and time in the long run. At Merchant Advice Service, we specialise in industry-led solutions, and these tend to fall under two categories;
From large chain retailer to independent boutiques such as jewellers, car trade, hairdressers and beauty salons – our experience is widespread and knowledge is vast.
Retail Systems can be tailored to suit individual business needs. Stock lists can be uploaded, barcode systems can monitor stock levels, orders can be generated and invoices printed. Customer information can be stored on some EPOS systems and loyalty points rewarded if requested.
From bars, restaurants and gyms to hotels, B&B’s and cafes. These systems work alongside booking systems in restaurants or deposits for personal training sessions at the gym. They can even be integrated with websites and apps when making online reservations at a hotel.
EPOS systems also prompt staff to up-sell products or services and can send orders through to kitchens automatically, reducing the scope for error or misplaced orders. EPOS systems also enable bills to be split between customers, and reward systems can be set up as part of loyalty schemes. Discounts for grouped items, i.e. meal deals, cocktail ingredients, or weekly special offers can be installed too. There is room to trial and error EPOS systems within the hospitality sector, which can then be modified to suit your business model.
Depending on the size and nature of your business you may wish to explore a variety of options in relation to your EPOS/POS hardware.
iPad and android solutions are popular for smaller businesses, or pop up shops. Many of these now have the same software as static and complete solutions. These can be used alongside barcode readers and cash draws as well as some chip and pin devices. However, if you wish to have something a little more substantial that will be used by numerous members of staff this may not be the most suitable option.
Complete solutions are much larger and will be the type you often come across in restaurants, shops and cafes. High quality systems use the same software but if you want one or more till points at your premises the complete EPOS solution is better suited. Built to last, the hardware can stand the busy day-to-day operations across industries. There is also an option to have client facing till screens, which appeals to businesses primarily in the retail and hospitality sector.
The Merchant Advice Service team are very experienced at dealing with requests for EPOS system installations and switch-overs. Speak to our friendly team today to discuss the options available to you Our completely impartial, free and honest quoting system will help you decide what’s right for your business now and in the future.
Speak to an expert about Point of Sale Systems
Every business is unique and we can help find the perfect solution for your business. If you already know what you’re looking for we’ll probably be able to get you the brand new system you want for cheaper than you can find anywhere else. Get in touch to find out more.