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Josh Phillips
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July 11, 2018

What is an EPOS system and how does it work?

Now that payment methods have become more advanced, businesses need to do away with old cash registers, but what is the alternative? EPOS systems present retailers, restaurateurs and business owners with smart solutions to keep up with the technology in the hands of their customers.

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You can think of EPOS systems as like smart tills. Not only do they make transactions faster and more seamless, but they also collect data on every single sale and payment, and sync it to a cloud-based office suite. With a cloud-based EPOS, you know exactly what’s happening in your business, wherever you are in the world.

EPOS hardware and software

system_small_jpegEPOS hardware typically consists of a screen (either on an iPad or a computer), a cash drawer, and a card reader. Depending on the nature of your business, you may even use a smart barcode scanner or a receipt printer, which are essential for the hospitality industry. You may also choose to use wireless hardware if your business operates on the move or you give your employees hand-held devices.

 

EPOS software is the programme you use to run your store, café, or restaurant. If you have an existing iPad you want to use, you can download EPOS software and use with your current hardware, or you can purchase an entirely new system. The key is to use a vendor that allows your EPOS to operate offline. That way, if your Wi-Fi cuts out, you won’t lose your transaction data.

What’s data got to do with it?

8009 - Statistical Analysis-1Thanks to the smartphone revolution and the rise of cloud computing, we’re now creating more data than ever before. This is good news for small businesses, as data analytics have become both cheap and accessible. As a result, café, restaurant, and shop owners can now gain insight into almost every aspect of their business. This helps business owners improve their margins and tailor the purchasing experience to the customer.

 

In short big data helps companies target their products and advertising. Ultimately, it makes them more money.

 

However, those same businesses need a system to collect, store, and translate that data so they can turn it into action. They also want to be able to sync the information they collect, with their existing accounting or scheduling software to lighten the load of back office paperwork. This is where EPOS systems come in.

 

EPOS systems allow you to store and access data from all areas of your business in real time. If you run a restaurant, this means automatic updates from the kitchen staff about menu items and ingredients, as well as a fast ticketing system that means you’ll never miss an order again. If you own a retail store, an EPOS system will keep track of all your stock and help you process orders.

 

EPOS systems aren’t just fancy tills. They possess many other features to help your business run smoothly and keep the cash flowing.

What else can you use an EPOS system for?

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EPOS systems can be used to manage practically every area of your business. This is the same, whether you’re running a tiny city bar or a retail franchise. However, by far the best solution for most modern businesses is proving to be the iPad POS system, which is flexible and portable, no matter the needs of your business.

 

Since computers are getting smaller and more portable by the year, it makes sense to invest in equipment that your business won’t grow out of. Most people are familiar with Apple products, and an iPad POS system is intuitive and easy to use for people of all skill levels.

 

The benefits of using an iPad POS system in place of a traditional point of sales system include:

Customer record management

4412 - Online ContactMany EPOS systems have customer record management capabilities that can tie purchases to individual customers. Therefore, you’ll have records on who your best customers are and what they buy in the palm of your hand. If you have permission to send your customer emails, you can then use the data stored on your EPOS to send targeted promotions and marketing materials, either on 

a small or large scale.

 

Many EPOS systems sync with other industry software like MailChimp, which automates email marketing and makes the whole process faster and more accurate.

Streamlined service

The average UK customer will only queue for six minutes, so you don’t have long to make a good impression. An iPad POS system allows you to take multiple payments at once with seamlessly fast service, reducing wait times and keeping customers happy. What’s more, with a handheld POS, there’s no need for staff to pop to the kitchen to check the availability of a menu item or leave the shop floor to go to the stock room. Staff can answer customer questions quickly and efficiently on the move, freeing them up to deal with several enquiries at once.

Scalability

Your business needs to grow, and thankfully iPad POS solutions are the perfect companions to help you boost your sales. As your operation expands, you may need more EPOS systems so your staff can meet the needs of your customers. Luckily, iPad POS systems are lightweight and affordable, and they contain all the tools you need to expand your business.

Affordability

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Lastly, one of the main reasons companies go out of business in the UK is down to poor cash flow management. Therefore, any avenue that saves your business money should be explored. An iPad POS system is 33% cheaper than a traditional point of sales system, but it offers all the functionality of a touch screen terminal, just at a fraction of the price. The affordability of the system allows for a quicker return on your investment, fuelling further growth.

 

Choosing an EPOS solution for your business

Choosing from the raft of solutions on the EPOS market can be tricky. However, finding the right technology is essential to supporting your business growth.

 

iPad POS systems will provide all the insight and ease of use of a traditional POS system, with the ability to scale your business flexibly.

 

For more information and advice on iPad POS systems, get in touch with Nobly today.