At the touch of a button an EPOS system can find products from a database of hundreds, display the prices, total them up, calculate the customer’s change, print a detailed receipt and record the sale. We can’t be sure, but we would guess that there aren’t many humans that can perform that quickly without error. A POS system delivers a level of financial insight and accuracy that mere mortals simply can’t equal, but the best part is how you can translate this into profit for your business.
- Identify best selling products and reinvest in those bringing the greatest return
- Avoid overspending on less popular lines that gather dust in your stockroom and introduce ‘special offers’ to encourage sales of existing, older stock
- Drill down into your outgoings by integrating accounting software into your system; by creating a comprehensive view of your accounts, pending invoices, taxes and bills you can really get a hold on your business
- Remove human errors from the stockroom that lead to lost sales or product and ensure customers are charged correctly. Undercharging customers is money lost from your profits and overcharging will reduce the likelihood of repeat visitors
- Increase sales by creating automated ‘upsell’ prompts for your staff when completing customer transactions
- Maintain complete visibility of sales activity and prevent fraud or theft by carrying out intuitive real-time reporting.
A POS system will streamline almost all of your business’ daily operations, revolutionising your working day. With the time you’ll save on the everyday tasks you can turn your attention to your customers and those big decisions that will move the business forward. It won’t be long before you’ll wonder how you ever did without it! And of course more time to interact with your customers, build relationships and improve their experience will quickly translate into repeat customers and increased profits.
- Quick, simple transactions
- Instant reporting
- Real-time stock updates in line with sales
- One-click stock checks
- Full access to product detail
- Automated creation of orders and invoices.
The best managers in the world can’t be everywhere at once, and that’s where EPOS steps in. Whether you operate from one location or several, an EPOS system can give you complete visibility of your sales, staff, stock levels or customer bookings at all times.
- Encourage staff accountability with unique user IDs e.g. monitor staff clocking in/out times, track individual sales performance
- Incentivise and reward high sales performance or identify opportunities for extra training
Analyse sales from multiple outlets and online platforms to identify high performing locations or products
- Plan your diary by creating staff rotas, planning cover for holidays and making sure you have enough staff to cover busy periods or special bookings
- Keep customer records including purchase history or buying habits to inform your marketing strategy
- Analyse the performance of new marketing campaigns or product lines so you only move forward with the best
- Know your products inside out with a complete database just a click away.
As much as you’re going to love your new EPOS system, let’s not forget about the benefits that your customers will see. The better the experience for them the more likely it is they will talk about you, recommend you, come back again and again and, ultimately, keep sending profit your way. An EPOS system should make your customer’s journey simpler and more efficient, delivering:
- Efficient, accurate and simple transactions
- Quality service from knowledgeable staff with product information at their fingertips
- Improved brand engagement e.g. branded visual displays, logos printed on receipts or loyalty schemes featuring discounts or special offers for repeat customers
- Targeted, more personal marketing based on the sales history of each customer
- More relaxed and confident staff spending less time on administration and more time building relationships
- A product range that they want to see based on facts, not assumptions.
Costs of an EPOS system
With so many potential benefits to your business it’s natural to be waiting for ‘the catch’. Our main advice is to make sure you have clear objectives in mind; what are you trying to achieve and what will help you get there?
Once you’ve identified what you need, shop around to make sure you are getting the best value for money. A standard EPOS till with a touchscreen, POS machines and software may cost anything from £2,000 to install which for some smaller businesses may be unrealistic.
An alternative to an outright purchase is to rent or lease a system on a monthly basis. This removes the pressure of the bulky upfront payment and gives you much more flexibility in adding extra hardware or upgrading software as your business grows. It should also include ongoing maintenance and technical support.
Maintenance and Updates
In addition to the installation costs you will need to consider ongoing maintenance and upgrades during the life of the system.
Cheap is not always cheerful
It is possible to cut costs by purchasing secondhand or refurbished hardware and looking for a cheap (or even free) software program. More often than not this is not cost effective in the long run as it includes none of the technical support or warranties included in a ‘partnership’ with a single provider.
You will also need to consider that different providers will quote prices in different ways. Some may give you an itemised list of installation, POS machine, software, support etc but others may give you an ‘all in’ package price that will need to be explained to enable you to make an accurate comparison.