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Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) systems are installed in commercial organisations at the point of sale ie the payment counter or check-out. Modern EPOS systems are generally computer-based systems that have brought about a revolution in the way customers pay in a store.

The installation of the computerised EPOS system has generally resulted in a drastic reduction in the time taken to service customers and thereby led to an increase in efficiency and productivity in retail outlets from restaurants to supermarkets, cinemas to dental surgeries. In fact, it would be hard to imagine a shopping outlet without a decent EPOS system.

A good EPOS system can be of great use for:

  • Boosting overall efficiency and reduce manpower costs, by handling more customers in the same amount of time with fewer people.
  • Preventing misappropriation of cash|payments with the right checks and balances built in.
  • Accept multiple currencies with in-built currency converters.
  • Identifying the buying habits of customers and providing valuable information for making the right sourcing/procurement decisions
  • Higher-end EPOS systems can help with product tracking and inventory management.
  • Keeping track of buyer loyalty and rewarding their loyalty. Smart EPOS systems equipped with recommendation software can help give customers alternatives and provide them with greater value.
  • Monitoring employee productivity.

There is a plethora of EPOS systems available in the market, with the modernisation of shopping outlets and ease of use for the operator becoming a key factor. You’ll find many EPOS systems being operated with a touch-screen.

Powerful EPOS systems are a necessity for most product-sales organisations, both for improving internal efficiencies as well as improving customer satisfaction. However, a good EPOS system involves the hardware component as well as the software component and it is important to get both components right when investing.

What is an ‘EPOS’ System?

‘EPOS’ stands for electronic point of sale, and these systems are essentially a modern, technology-enabled version of the traditional cashier’s till. They’re hugely popular in the retail and hospitality industries, particularly in restaurants, cafes, hotels, leisure centres, and high street stores.

EPOS systems are becoming more and more advanced, but at the most basic level they provide a platform for managing all sales transactions and pricing data for your business. Many handle a variety of payment methods – including cash, credit/debit card, and online payments – enabling you to keep an accurate record of both stock-related outgoings and sales-related profits.

How Do EPOS Systems Work?

There’s a common misconception that EPOS systems are complex, but understanding how they work is actually very simple. Here’s a quick overview of how an EPOS system will operate within your business:

  • Cash Transactions

    For cash transactions, an EPOS system is really no different to s a standard till. Cash is exchanged for a selected product or service, and the cash is stored within the EPOS terminal. The only difference between them is that the system will keep a record of all cash transactions, allowing you to quickly and easily produce accurate historical sales reports as and when required.

  • Credit Card Transactions

    Unlike traditional tills, EPOS systems have built-in credit/debit card processors. In the UK, this will usually be an integrated PDQ (‘chip and pin’) machine. The EPOS system will connect to both the business bank and the customer’s bank, managing the transaction. With a debit card, funds will be transferred instantly. With a credit card, the payment will be marked for billing.

In terms of hardware, many EPOS systems look somewhat similar. They’ll be comprised of a traditional till-like storage unit, and will have a screen for displaying product information – this may be a small, text-based screen, or a more interactive, graphical interface. There are also a wide range of add-on hardware that a business may wish to consider, including barcode scanners and receipt printers.

In terms of software, you’ll find that most EPOS systems are remarkably different. Different software allows the EPOS system to offer different features. Some, for example, may include internal management software which allows your staff to track hours, reducing payroll errors, while others may include an option to input your own restaurant table plan to minimise mistakes with wait staff.

If you’re interesting in learning more about EPOS systems, and how they could benefit your business, give us a shout! At compareyourbusinesscosts.com, we’ll scour the EPOS market, bringing you the best systems at the best prices. Simply complete our quick online form today to get started!

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Here’s just a small selection of ways that an EPOS system can benefit a business:

  • Stock Control

    For retail businesses, particularly those with more than one location, an EPOS system can be used to monitor which stores sell which products, and how well stocked those products are. Many systems will enable you to set your own ‘low limit’ level, giving you opportunity to reorder as necessary. The system may even be able to contact a supplier and order on your behalf.

  • Order Management

    For hospitality businesses, EPOS systems can help to streamline the order taking process, making it quicker and more straightforward. For customers who like to order ‘off menu’, an EPOS system makes it easy to combine individual orders to create a new item, and handles all calculations to ensure your business never loses out when it comes to customised ordering.

  • Sales Transactions

    EPOS systems not only allow businesses to take payment through cash, credit card, or via online methods, but also track purchases, helping you to produce accurate historical sales reports. You may have the option to purchase additional hardware, such as a barcode scanner, which can be connected to the EPOS system and used to make it quicker to bring the item up on the screen.

  • Customer Accounts

    Small businesses may like to use their EPOS system as a form of customer relationship management (CRM) system. The system is capable of tracking all orders by client, making it easy for you to ensure that all accounts remain up-to-date. If necessary, the system may also enable you to apply individual discounts directly to the customer account, building loyal relationships.

  • Marketing

    With a good EPOS system, it’s easy for businesses to see in an instant which products are selling well, and which are struggling. This sort of insight can be hugely beneficial in terms of marketing, identifying any products or services which may require a little more marketing and promotion to get them off the ground, and identifying those which will essentially sell themselves in future.

If you think that an EPOS system could help your business to grow and develop, look no further than compareyourbusinesscosts.com. Whether you’re in the retail or hospitality industry, we’ll help to find you the best EPOS system for your needs, and at a price you won’t be able to say no to!