It’s a general term for the central computer hardware, POS devices and software that work together to process and analyse your sales. You can buy each component separately or opt for a complete system from a single supplier.
An effective point of sale system will help you to manage your business more efficiently and provide unprecedented insight into your sales performance. An EPOS system is not a one-size-fits-all solution; it should be tailored to your business. For example, an independent boutique with no online sales platform may need nothing more complicated than a single cash register, card reader and barcode scanner. A chain of restaurants with multiple sites and hundreds of employees will need a much more flexible solution with mobile payment POS devices and a Cloud based network.
What sort of businesses use UK point of sale systems?
Today’s business world is a competitive one with more and more economic challenges surfacing by the day. It’s not a time to be resting on laurels or simply hoping for better times; it’s a time to make bold choices that will improve efficiency, increase sales and deliver a successful 21st century business.
As a customer, you will have used an EPOS system on a daily basis. If a business relies on customer transactions the chances are they have some form of EPOS installed.
Some of the main sectors to have adopted EPOS are:
Integrate your sales across multiple stores, your website and across third party platforms like ebay or Amazon. Introduce special offers or loyalty schemes, control stock levels and analyse trends.
Organise guest bookings, process special requests, manage different room rates, easily check room availability and integrate sales from bars and restaurants.
Enter reservations both manually and automated from your website, implement customer loyalty schemes, monitor real-time, visual table plans, take orders at the table, prompt upsells, create set menus and send special dietary requests or substitutions to the kitchen.
Maintain a detailed and up to date inventory of all products and the key information for your staff. Automate the re-ordering of popular products and avoid a surplus of underselling items. Receive automatic industry updates from C&D.
The right EPOS system should only enhance your business operation without any substantial disadvantages.
What point of sale systems do for my business?
Processing and recording transactions
The majority of systems will include a cash register with a visual display, receipt printer and a card reader with the option of other devices like barcode scanners or mobile PDQ machines. When combined with the right software the system will record sales and produce reports enabling you to monitor performance. Some software will also assist in identifying sales trends and popular products so you can adjust your marketing or stock levels accordingly.
An EPOS system can automatically adjust stock levels in line with your sales. This removes both the hassle of maintaining manual records, the possibility of human error and enables you to identify low or surplus stock. Some software options will even alert you when a product level falls below a certain level so you can reorder in good time.
Monitoring Staff Performance
An EPOS system can also include the option to set up multiple user accounts. This means that each staff member has to log in to use a till so you can monitor who is processing the most transactions. This not only helps with performance management in terms of recognising success or highlighting training needs, but can also be integrated with payroll software to automatically calculate bonuses.
Improving customer experience and increasing sales
An efficient and simple transaction process will not only improve customer experience, increasing the likelihood of repeat business, but can also support your staff in improving their sales. A simple, intuitive system will speed up their ability to accept payments in busy periods and can be programmed to prompt ‘upsells’ before they complete a transaction e.g. shoe polish with a new pair of shoes or side dishes with a main meal.
Used effectively an EPOS system can be used to promote your brand and encourage customer loyalty. Printing your logo on receipts, offering discount loyalty schemes to repeat customers and recording customer contact information for future marketing can all be integrated to ensure you are making the most of every opportunity.
Integrating online business
A Cloud based EPOS system will integrate your website sales with those of your brick and mortar store(s) giving you a complete view of your sales in real time.
Effective EPOS systems should integrate with common accounting software meaning your books are up to date and accurate. Compatible software will vary so it’s important to check with your provider if your preferred accounting software is available.
The specific set-up of a system and software used will vary from business to business, and there are several solutions available that have been designed with a particular sector in mind. For a closer look at how EPOS is being applied in your sector take a look at our Buying Guides.