What Is EPOS?

Wednesday, February 10, 2016 - 19:00
 What Is EPOS?

What is EPOS

What exactly is an electronic point of sales system (EPOS)? On this blog one of the main topics is EPOS systems, which is why in this post we thought we’d take a step back and look at the basic principles and elements of an EPOS solution.

After reading this post you’ll understand what an EPOS system is all about and the kit required to get started. We’ll look at why you should consider adopting an EPOS system in the first place, what hardware you need, and the differences between the available software options.

Ready to learn about EPOS systems? Here we go:

Why EPOS? – Simplifying Sales and Collecting Data

Why go digital at your point of sale? The dual purpose of digitising the sales process is to better serve your customers and more reliably track your business data. When processing sales traditionally it’s easier to make mistakes and harder to maintain data consistency.

The benefit of offering better customer service is obvious; happy customers means repeat business. But the value to your business of collecting reliable and consistent data shouldn’t be underestimated.

When you know that your business data is credible – and you can easily access management reports – you are able to make important business decisions with confidence, and not rely on intuition alone.

With off-the-shelf consumables capable of running an entire EPOS solution, better service and solid data is accessible even to the smallest business. If you want happier customers, as well as data-backed business insights and decisions, you would be wise to consider adopting an EPOS system.

EPOS Hardware – What You Need

If using an EPOS system results in better customer service and more trustworthy business data, you probably want to know what hardware you need to get going and start enjoying these benefits.

Here are the essential components of an EPOS system:

  • To register sales you need either a dedicated PoS terminal or an iPad
  • To take payment by card you need a chip and pin device
  • To accept cash you need a cash drawer
  • To issue purchase receipts you need a receipt printed
  • Depending on your business, you might also need a barcode scanner

Selecting from these options might seem confusing but this range actually represents the flexibility of an EPOS system: you select only the most relevant components for your business. Whether you’re big or small, have mobile or fixed locations, offer products or services, there’s equipment to match your unique situation.

An EPOS terminal is no longer a specialist, prohibitively expensive piece of hardware. With a range of options that harmonises with your sales process, deploying EPOS hardware across your business is both adaptable and affordable.

EPOS Software – What to Look for

You now know the essential hardware components of an EPOS system. But without software to tie it all together, these tools won’t be able to quickly process payments and record your precious data.

There are many EPOS software options to choose from though, as you would expect, some are better than others. Here are some points you should consider when deciding which software option is best for your business:

  • What’s the implementation cost?
  • What’s the ongoing monthly cost?
  • Is there ongoing support for when problems arise?
  • How often is the software updated?

How easy is it to expand the EPOS system in your business?

What reporting functions are offered as standard and how intuitive are they to use?

Make sure that you understand exactly what you’re getting with your EPOS software solution. Don’t just look at what you get on the day of purchase; find out how easy it is to set-up, what immediate and on-going support is offered, what features are included out-of-the-box and whether you will have to pay for updates or enhancements in the future, how modular and customizable the solution is, and how that will suit your business today and accommodate your growing requirements in the future.

Choosing an EPOS system – What You Need to Consider

An EPOS system allows businesses to better serve their customers and collect vital data at the same time. There’s plenty of flexibility when it comes to the hardware you can use – particularly when you use off-the-shelf equipment like an iPad – which means that you can match your equipment to your own specific requirements.

When selecting EPOS software, consider all the features that your business needs, but also be aware that cost doesn’t always reflect quality, functionality, and suitability. Remember to consider the points above, what you will get versus what’s on offer, whether you are buying the latest version, how often updates are released, and how useful the software reporting functions are to your own situation.

That’s it! Now you know exactly what an EPOS system is, how to choose which option is best for your business, and why you need one.

Need more info? Here are some useful links:

What Are EPOS Systems, And How Do They Work?

Entrepreneur Small Business Encyclopedia: Point of Sale (POS) System. 

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Nick Blackbourn