Making the most of EPOS
Making the most of EPOS. An EPOS system is no longer a luxury, but rather an essential tool for modern retailers and business sales managers.
What is an EPOS system?
‘EPOS‘ stands for electronic point of sale, and the term encompasses all the hardware and software that a business requires to manage their stock, transactions, CRM (customer relationship management), and reporting within a single system.
An EPOS system encompasses various hardware components and operates using dedicated point of sale software. The specific hardware each can vary from retailer to retailer, but a basic system usually includes the following:
- Touchscreen terminal
- Cash drawer
- Barcode scanner
- Receipt printer
- Credit card terminal
- Office printer
- Specialist software
How can retailers make the most of their EPOS systems?
Select the right system
Choosing the right point of sale system is important, as not all EPOS systems provide the same tools and functionality.
It’s vital that you do your research and select an EPOS system that’s designed specifically for your sector so that you get the best functionality.
Although the hardware can be similar, EPOS software is usually industry-specific, so ensure you don’t buy a system that’s designed for a restaurant if you own a convenience store.
It should also be customisable so that every piece of equipment is useful to your business, and you’re only buying what you need.
Select a good quality system from a reputable provider that provides ongoing support and development.
Development helps to future-proof your investment and ensures you are always getting the most up to date features.
A support facility will ensure that you and your staff know about all of the available features and can use the system to its full capability.
Your EPOS system should be scalable so it’s able to grow with your business. You should be able to start with a small basic kit and add extra equipment if you need it.
In short, ask lots of questions and find out what your new point of sales system can do for you before you buy.
Utilise reporting and analytics
One of the main benefits of EPOS systems is their data records and analytical capabilities.
Every piece of information processed through an EPOS system is collected and stored. The system will keep track of your stock levels and pricing, manage your transactions and customer database, and retain your essential figures for accounting and revenue.
All this data is not only important for the smooth day-to-day running of the business but it can also be collated to generate useful reports and analytics. This information is invaluable to a business for strategic planning and forecasting, and it can make all the difference when it comes to your profit margins.
EPOS software’s reporting and analytical capabilities are vast, and you can use your system to generate the exact information that is important to your business.
Aside from the basics such as stock management, end of the day, and accounting reports, you can delve further into your store’s statistics to generate information that will help you develop your business strategy.
Some examples of useful reports might include:
- Highlight best selling products and poor performers
- View products sold by time frame or category
- View product margins
- Identify fast-moving consumer goods for efficient selling
- Analyse past promotions on performance, by type or date
- Identify popular promotions
- Analyse shopping habits
- Monitor preferred payment methods
- Target regular customers for loyalty promotions and discounts
- Make use of demographic information for purchasing decisions
- Use your EPOS to record staff rosters and hours
- View transaction data by employee
- Monitor employee performance
Drill down data
- Select specific elements of reporting data for in-depth analysis
- Combine reports and statistics to provide detailed results, e.g. find your best selling product, with the greatest margin, sold within a particular time frame.
Use this data when planning a new campaign, offering reduced to clear items, or targeting specific customers for promotional offers.
The right EPOS system can transform your business by providing all the right data to help you make great business decisions and plan ahead.
Keep it current
Technology is improving all the time, so make sure your EPOS system is always up to date and provides the best features for your business.
This might include the latest, most powerful till systems and PCs, but also software updates are also important.
New tools, integrations, and equipment are coming on to the market daily, all designed to maximise your profits or make your life easier.
Keep an eye on the market by attending trade shows, monitoring your competitors, following the right social media pages, and browsing sector magazines, so you always know what’s in the pipeline, and what choices are available to you.
Additional equipment might include, for example:
- Handheld terminal
- Weighing scales
- Label printers
- Fuel management
- Head office server
- Self-service terminals
- Automated vending and robots
Countless third-party software applications can be integrated with your EPOS system, to create even greater functionality, exactly where your business needs it.:
- Loyalty schemes
- Waste management
- Payment services
- Mobile apps
- Electronic shelf edge labelling
- Cash management
In conclusion, most retail businesses will now be using an EPOS solution, so make sure that you are making the most of your system and taking advantage of all the benefits it has to offer.
Getting to know the features and options of your system can help your business to become more profitable, and aid with planning and growth to help you stay ahead of the competition.
Who are we?
Retail Solutions is a market-leading EPOS provider with over 25 years of business experience. Our leading sectors are convenience stores, supermarkets, forecourts, and pharmacies.
We are dedicated to providing your store with the most up-to-date and reliable point of sale hardware, along with software management tools to help you manage your business effectively.
To find out more about what we do, get in touch to chat with one of our knowledgeable consultants:
About the author:
Susan McGuire has been with Retail Solutions for over 6 years, and during that time has had roles within the areas of Maintenance, Finance, & Marketing. You can follow her on LinkedIn!