If you’re new to electronic point of sale systems (known as EPOS), can’t decide if you need one, or simply want to know more about how they work, then don’t worry. An electronic point of sale (EPOS system) system connects back-office and shop-floor operations to create a streamlined retail management system. This system works on the premise that all of a retail business’ operations are interlinked — from processing customer transactions to marketing initiatives.
Whether you’re running a local café, corner shop, or clothes store, an EPOS could save you time, reduce mistakes and even help you make more money. For small operations, a cash register will probably meet your needs for considerably less money. Many businesses however decide to invest in an EPOS system from the outset, often because they have reaped the benefits before, or because they want to lay a foundation on which they can build upon.
Improved Customer Experience
Whether you’re running a retail business or a restaurant, you need to be able to give your customers accurate information about product quality and availability. EPOS systems hold real-time inventories, so you can perform a quick stock search while you’re with the customer on the shop floor.
In restaurants, speed of service is also a very important issue. A server can now enter an order into a handheld device, meaning chefs can be cooking starters while the orders for main courses are still being taken. Orders appear in the kitchen as printed tickets or on large kitchen display screens. Customising food orders is also very easy. Servers can add or remove certain ingredients according to the wishes of the customer. There is also the ability to add notes to order for the chefs — which is vitally important if you’re dealing with potentially serious allergies or food intolerances.
Having an accurate picture of your stock, helps you ensure you get your ordering right. Having an automated way of knowing what’s there, means that you can respond faster to changes in customer behaviour and this improved efficiency means you can hold less stock. This has both capital and space advantages.
Detailed Sales Analysis Reports
EPOS systems record every transaction in great detail. You can use this information to identify shopping or dining trends, allowing you to tailor your business accordingly. It’s also possible to make predictions about future revenues, allowing you to plan schedules, orders and so much more.
Efficient Labour Management
Your EPoS system records your staff activity. You can see who did what and when. It’s easy to monitor the performance of staff at the checkout and by making staff responsible for the contents of their cash drawer you reduce wastage. Some stores have on display their top employees based on items processed an hour. That provides them with a way to recognise their top performers, identify weaknesses and create a competitive environment. If you are not working in an environment where this is a useful metric, EPoS systems still provide a way of recording staff activity. You can see who has been voiding a transaction, who dealt with a particular customer. All of this information can be recorded. The ability to have this information and review it is a great way to reduce fraud and helps keep everyone honest.
Most EPOS systems work alongside accounting software, helping you keep tighter control over your company accounts while reducing the risk of human error.
Connecting your sales with your accounting tools in this way saves time and money. Your products and services can be paid for, tracked, and even added to your accounting system all at the tap of a button. It means fewer headaches for you and your accountant will thank you for not handing over stacks of receipts each month.
Accurate Cash Management
How many times have you stayed late after closing up for the day because the receipts from your till don’t match the ones from your card machine?
An EPOS system can provide a cash report at any time of the day — letting you know exactly how much cash should be in each register’s drawer. You can use this information to perform random cash checks, which is essential if you suspect theft or poor staff performance.
Not everyone wants a paper receipt these days, which is why the latest EPOS technology can send a digital receipt to an email address. This function not only gives the customer proof of purchase that won’t be lost but also provides you with potentially lucrative contact details.
The marketing opportunities are endless when you have a powerful EPOS system in your business. The vast array of reports available allows you to identify trends and consumer preferences that can be used to drive effective marketing campaigns. For example, if a sales report is telling you that a particular line isn’t selling very well, you can create digital discount vouchers to help things along a little.
A lot of retail and catering businesses are now collecting email addresses directly from customers. This creates a valuable marketing database you can use to promote new products and special offers.
A growing number of businesses are linking their EPOS systems to their CRM software. Analysing sales data and consumer habits is an important part of developing marketing strategies, so it makes sense to bind them together in this way. This approach is crucial for relatively small businesses that find in-house marketing a challenge, as it slashes the costs of printing, postage, and labour. In effect, your EPOS can be the driving force behind all of your marketing efforts.
The Marketing possibilities are endless.
In the long term, a good EPOS system can save you money, increase productivity and save you time that can be spent driving your business forward. No matter how small a business is, an EPOS system is rarely unnecessary as it will bring in business benefits, these may be simply better reports, faster transaction times, better stock management, etc. For any questions feel free to contact our friendly team of experts, it doesn’t cost to talk!