An EPOS system, or “POS”, is essentially an environment where you can handle much of the financial and administrative work of running your business. At your point of sale, you make sure that there is enough stock for your customers. You can also use your EPOS software to track sales trends and manage transactions.
Having an efficient system for processing payments goes a long way in ensuring that you can continue to be successful as a business manager.
How does an EPOS system work?
An EPOS system is a tool that enables your business to accept payments from consumers and track sales. While it sounds relatively straightforward, there are various ways you can customize your point of sale based on the EPOS providers you choose and your business plan.
An EPOS system in a small business environment refers only to a store's cash register. However, modern point of sale systems is not the same. These tools are fully digital, which means customers can check out your business virtually anywhere, with a POS app and an internet-connected POS device or terminal.
Here are the basics of how an EPOS system works:
- A customer decides to buy your service or product. If you have a physical store, you'll likely use a barcode scanner to check the item's price and then treat your customer to the point of “checking out”.
- Your point of sale will calculate the price of the items combined with any potential taxes and then update the information in your inventory management system. This makes sure you know how many items you have left to sell.
- Your customer gives you their credit or debit card (sometimes loyalty points and gift cards are also needed). Depending on the nature of the payment, your client's bank must then organize the transaction.
- The sale is finalized, and the sale is officially processed. You can use a receipt printer to issue a receipt or send it to your customers digitally, by email, or text message.
The hardware and software of a point of sale
The hardware and software you use in your EPOS system will depend on your individual dual need. Some companies use a lot of hardware with their online technology, while others prefer to stick primarily with software. While every EPOS system requires software, not all of them require hardware.
If you have an online store, all your transactions will take place digitally, so EPOS hardware wouldn't be necessary unless you use an occasional pop-up store. If you have a physical location, like a cafe or bar, you will need a cash register and a credit card system. Sometimes you can process orders with a tablet or phone instead.
Here are some of the standard hardware items that you might find connected to your point of sale:
- Cash Register: Records can help with processing and calculating customer transactions.
- Portable device: Tablets and smartphones can be an excellent alternative to using a stand-alone monitor, as you can take them with you to tables and two clients.
- Card Reader: Card readers allow your customers to pay for their goods by credit card securely. Sometimes you can get card readers that accept contactless payments.
- Cash Drawer: Even if you accept credit and debit card payments, it's a good idea to have a cash drawer where you can store any cash you might need.
- Receipt printer: Paper receipts show your customers exactly what they bought, how much they paid, etc.
- Barcode Scanner: Barcode scanners read the details of an item so you can close the sale. These scanners are also helpful for checking the price of an item or how much you have in stock.
The software solution for your EPOS system typically revolves around components that enable payment processing. Anytime a customer or customer purchases something from you, your EPOS system can handle the transaction. There are even systems for processing cash payments.
Other features of an EPOS software solution can include:
- Inventory Management: Inventory management software helps you keep tabs on the products you need to ship and sell. Some software can also connect to your sales data to know when you are running out of supplies.
- Point of Sale Reports: These reports provide insight into what you are earning and selling. Clear reports help you make better business decisions.
- Employee management tools: Team management tools help you know when your employees are available and perform well. You can even use the software to help employees check-in or out.
- Customer Relationship Management: Your sales system's CRM tool will help you track your customers' buying and when they are buying from you. This technology can help you personalize your customer engagement strategy and customer service.
- Recipes: Designed to facilitate refunds, receipts give you a track related to the purchased item. The receipts you give will also help your business appear professional.
- Tip Management: If you run a service business where tips are encouraged, you can access tip tools at your point of sale to allow customers to add a digital tip during checkout.
What are the benefits of using an EPOS system?
An EPOS system, or point of sale software, ensures that your customer can pay for the services and products they get in your store. Every time a customer purchases something from your store, it's part of a POS transaction.
Point of sale is a critical part of your business, where everything like sales, customer management, and inventory tools come together. There are many benefits to having a point of sale for your business, including:
- Better Efficiency: When your cashiers have the right tools for processing payments and you have the right software to manage your inventory, things go much more straightforward.
- Simplicity: A point of sale systems like Square or other market leaders makes it easier to track all your financial information in one place. You can even manage payments from an iOS or Android smartphone in some cases.
- Offline Selling: Point of sale solutions can be delivered with EPOS hardware such as a credit card reader or terminal. This means that you can make sales both offline and online.
- Extensive Payment Options: Point of sale benefits can also include the ability to accept a wide range of payments, such as contactless payments from a mobile device or EMV chip cards. It makes your retail business more versatile.
- Better insight: Most EPOS solutions give you valuable sales reports and information about your sales. Sometimes you can integrate things like QuickBooks or ShopKeep to show more details about your customer information in your software.
- Better Accuracy: In addition to keeping track of customer data, your retail POS system can also make it easier to keep track of your expenses and cash receipts. This is valuable for tax management.
- Inventory Management: Unlike accounting software and cash registers, your EPOS system comes with tools that tell you exactly how much inventory you have at any given time. This means you never run out of sales opportunities.
- Employee management: Many points of sale systems ensure that you can track things like employee schedules and the number of sales your team members make. It helps to achieve better results for your business.
Apart from all the great features of POS systems mentioned above, it should be noted that there is also a lot of software that comes with various add-ons that you can use to develop your back-office technology. For example, you can use Google Analytics to track how customers move around your website or access tools to get itemized receipts.
More detailed receipts could mean that you can design customer loyalty programs that allow you to offer perks and points to your customers when they purchase additional products from you.
What to look for in an EPOS system
Point of sale systems come in different shapes and sizes. Some tools can work with or without an internet connection. You can find EPOS solutions that simplify taking mobile payment options and solutions with software for purchase orders.
There is no single strategy for getting the best point of sale system. Instead, you'll need to consider the factors that matter most to you. Are you looking for a mobile point of sale system that you can take with you to festivals and pop-up shops? Or do your business needs revolve around more traditional EPOS systems, like the ability to monitor your inventory and track sales? Near me makes it easy to get quotes from EPOS suppliers. We do all the leg work. All you do is wait for the quotes and info to be sent directly to you to look over.
Here are some of the features to look for to find the best point of sale system.
- Comprehensive Inventory Management: Modern EPOS systems should always include a lot of technologies to track inventory. To avoid buying too much from your suppliers, you need features that tell you how much of an item you always own. It would help if you also looked for tools that help you identify the most popular products.
- Sales Tracking and Reporting: Sales tracking and reporting tools are other essential software options for your EPOS system. It would be best to see which types of customers spend the most money with your business to tailor your sales and marketing strategies. It's also important to keep track of purchases, returns, customer preferences, supplier information, and more.
- Payment Processing Tools: Most EPOS systems will come with solutions to manage purchase orders, in-person payments, mobile payments, etc. You will need to think about the type of transactions you process each day to ensure that your EPOS system is the right fit for your business needs. Don't forget things like Apple Pay and Google Pay if you are considering contactless transactions.
- Automation of tasks: Some EPOS systems have software options beyond tracking inventory and help stores process payments. A modern point of sale can automate inventory and purchase reports or automatically send receipts to a customer's email address. Various automation features can make it much easier to manage your business operations with as little stress as possible. You can even find a point of sale system that generate accounting and expense reports and send them to your accountant for you.
- Reward Programs: Many EPOS systems make it easy to build relationships with your customers through things like EPOS advertising and rewards programs. The ability to follow your most loyal customers means you can offer exclusive discounts and benefits to those who spend the most money with your organization. It can even lead to things like referral programs and brand promotion at a later stage.
- Ease of Use: While it's always a good idea to ensure that you have a lot of diverse functionality in your POS systems, you should also make sure that you can use the technology. Find out how easy it is to accept the swipe and digital payments and how comfortable you manage your back-end and inventory items. The more confident you feel with the software, the better your trading decisions will be.
- Customer management: Besides letting you make payments in advance or set up tabs for customers, your point of sale should also be equipped with features that help you manage and support your customers—other ways. If there's no built-in CRM technology to associate transactions with specific customers and track a customer's journey, make sure you can at least find an integration option.
- Employee management: A point of sale system is more than just accepting card payments. Your store or restaurant's point of sale system should also help you keep track of employees. It would be best if you had a solution that allows you to add new team members to your tracking system, share schedules with employees, and even the functionality to see who your best employees could be.
- Integrations: Today's major EPOS systems need to work well with the existing software and technology you already use. Aligning your software with your accounting tools and CRM technology means you can access more valuable data and context for your sales.
Point of sale refers to when a cardholder and merchant complete a transaction. It is present in online purchases and transactions carried out traditionally: brick and mortar stores.
Point of sale (or POS) in the retail industry uses a combination of software and hardware. This can include a manual or electronic cash register, scanners, scales, touch screen terminals, and a wide variety of other items.
An example of a point of sale in a traditional brick and mortar store is the scale used to weigh goods in a traditional grocery or candy store.
Marketers emphasize a point of sale for their products or services because consumers often make purchasing decisions at EPOS locations. Physical stores traditionally place their outlets at store exits to increase impulse purchases by customers who leave them.
Whereas department stores usually place a point of sale in different places in their stores. They found that it allowed them to target customers looking for specific product types and influence their buying decisions earlier in the sales process.
The first point of sale systems was nothing more than written receipts, but retailers now prefer electronic systems. Point of sale solutions. These simplify the sales process while allowing the merchant to gather valuable sales data.
A primary point of sale system may be nothing more than a cash register and the software needed to collect sales data. These can be extended and improved using additional hardware, such as barcode scanners, card readers, or other software modules.
Depending on the software used, traders can track their sales and inventory levels, gross revenues, profit margins, sales structure, and a host of other data.
This data can then be analyzed to increase profitability and locate weak points in the sales or inventory. Sophisticated software can automate orders and restock while helping entrepreneurs tailor their marketing campaigns based on consumer behaviour.