In this fast-paced world, everyone is looking to get things done quick and easy without compromising on the quality of the outcome. Businesses continue to seek innovative solutions to improve their systems and processes.
Today we will talk about a technology that has revolutionized how businesses process orders and payments of their customers. We will discuss the EPOS system!
What is an EPOS system?
EPOS stands for ‘electronic point of sale’. An EPOS system is basically a modern and upgraded version of the traditional ‘checkout till’. This system goes beyond performing the basic job of a classic till, i.e. accept payments from customers and keep a track of sales.
The EPOS system not only carries out this basic task in a better and efficient manner but also offers a host of additional features. Some of these functions are listed below:
- Taking payments – including cash, credit/debit card, electronic and contactless payments
- Purchase and order processing
- Flexible product pricing
- Recording sales
- Creating receipts – including issuing email and text receipts
- Accepting returns
- Discounts, promotions and special offers
- Loyalty programs
- Marketing campaigns
- Storing and processing information
- Generating insightful, customised data, reports and insights
- Staff schedules and payroll
- Identifying customer trends
- Integration with an eCommerce website
- Inventory management tools – which can update your inventory in real-time
- User access and management controls
How does an EPOS system work?
As discussed above, an EPOS system is basically a modern-day version of the classic check-out till which carries out a number of different tasks in addition to the basic function of processing orders and payments. This multipurpose, state-of the-art solution has been made possible by combining different hardware and software. This fusion of the right software and hardware can offer your business a wide range of benefits.
It is the software that makes all the advantages of the modern EPOS system possible. The software is an application and database server that runs on the hardware to store and process relevant information.
The software connects the front-office to the back-office enabling the EPOS system to carry out all the value-added functions listed above. A good EPOS software can also be integrated with a number of third party software or apps to enhance the customer offering
Hardware is the front end of an EPOS system. It is basically the equipment you see on the counter that is used to take orders and payments. The terminal screen is the core component of an EPOS system since this is basically where sales are recorded. This could be in the form of a touchscreen monitor or a portable tablet to process orders. These devices allow for quick entry of data and eliminate the need for a keyboard.
Some other EPOS hardware components are listed below:
1. Barcode scanner: This is an electronic scanner that identifies product details via barcodes. The two different types of barcode scanners are given below:
- Multiline scanners are suitable for businesses with a high volume of transactions. They scan the product from different angles to read the barcode in order to quicken the process. They are ideal for places with a high volume of transactions.
- Handheld barcode scanners, in contrast, work better for businesses with lesser volume of transactions.
2. PDQ Terminal/Card Machine: This device is used to accept card/contactless payments on your EPOS system. It supports chip and PIN functionality on debit and credit cards as well as contactless payments from providers such as Google Pay and Apple Pay.
3. Receipt printer: A printing device is used to print transaction receipts.
4. Cash drawer: This metal drawer which is used to store cash can be locked. You can control who has authority to open it and when; this minimizes potential theft by employees.
5. Customer or Pole Display: This is a standing screen or monitor that showcases the price and advertising information to a customer at the POS.
6. Touchless Screen/Tablet/ iPad EPOS: As discussed above, the terminal screen can come in the form of both a touchscreen monitor and a portable tablet/iPad. These devices allow faster data entry and waive the need for a keyboard. They work best for businesses that require higher mobility or have limited space.
7. Scales: Weighing scales might be needed in places like grocery stores.
Depending on the type of business, different hardware might be added or eliminated to cater to the needs of your business.
Benefits of using an EPOS system
We have explained what an EPOS is, how it works and what it comprises. Now let’s talk about its benefits. So why should you get an EPOS system for your business?
A modern day EPOS system has automated features that streamline a number of business activities including inventory management, sales management, staff management, customer management, reporting, etc. This spares the business an ample amount of time that would otherwise be wasted in trying to understand complex spreadsheets or count cash. You can devote more time to what matters the most, i.e. improve customer experience.
In summary, an EPOS system will offer your business the following benefits:
- Saves Money
- Serves More Customers
- Greater Capabilities
- Greater Flexibility
- Reduced Costs
- Reduced Human Error
- Reduced Paperwork
- Better Accuracy and Efficiency
- 24/7 Access to Data
- Marketing Opportunities
- Simplification of Operations
- Regular Updates
- Multi-Store Functions
- Technical & Technological Support
- Better Customer Experience
- Better Customer Satisfaction & Loyalty
- Better Security
- Increased Revenues
- Reach Customers Anywhere
- Payment Integration
- Reduced VAT liability
- Improves Efficiency And Speed Of Payment Transactions
- Enhances The Overall Appearance of Your Environment
- Advanced Auditing
In a nutshell, an EPOS system cannot solve all your problems, but it can provide solutions to a number of them. If you have been looking for a way to cut costs, improve customer service and decrease your operational stress then an EPOS system is the answer!