The main and most basic function of an EPOS system is allowing the merchant to take payment for a product or service. To this end, most EPOS systems include a cash till and some form of card reader. This could be a PDQ machine, a Chip & PIN device or a magnetic swipe slit integrated into a keyboard. The type of payment processing depends on the industry of the business. To process card payments, a merchant needs to have a merchant account.
Most EPOS systems support multiple checkout lanes or payment points and will keep track of the takings at each point in a central dashboard. Using EPOS software and modern equipment make it easy to keep track of daily, weekly and monthly sales and your customers' preferred payment methods.
An EPOS system designed for a retail environment will typically feature some kind of inventory management, whereby a sale registered in the till will automatically update the quantity of the sold item in the stock dashboard.
This makes it much easier for merchants to keep track of their stock and make sure they don’t run out. It also enables tracking of which items aren't selling well and product trends. Some EPOS systems feature customisable alerts for certain events such as stock falling below a defined level.
Staff management is made possible by dedicated accounts for sale points. Any staff member manning an electronic till will sign in to their account, ensuring all transactions are accounted for.
The resulting data can usually be analysed within the EPOS software itself, giving insights into which staff members are pushing the most sales, which products are being sold the most and at what times. Some EPOS systems will also integrate with more complex staff management tools such as payroll software, allowing bonuses to be calculated directly from sales performances.
Customer Engagement And Satisfaction
Many EPOS systems either directly support customer loyalty and discount schemes, or will integrate with other customer loyalty software programs.
Additionally, an EPOS system provides many ways to increase customer engagement. For example: a thermal printer integrated into an EPOS system can print the company logo onto the customer receipt. Using an electronic, integrated till rather than an old-fashioned cash register will speed up transaction processes and minimise human error, creating a more positive experience not only for the customer but also for the sales clerk.
Many EPOS systems, especially cloud-based and hybrid software packages, will support the eCommerce side of your business. Sales in local brick-and-mortar stores and online sales from the e-shop can be tracked in the same system, making it easy to track business development and gain insights.
Most EPOS system will integrate seamlessly with accounting software such as Sage, Peachtree or QuickBooks, exporting your numbers and minimising the hassle of keeping your books balanced. If you prefer a certain accounting software you will need to check the integration capabilities of your chosen EPOS system or software bundle. Some are very flexible and will integrate with all of the most popular accounting programs.