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Choosing the right EPoS system for your business

Any business that makes sales and needs to deal with stock management can benefit from an EPoS system, but choosing the right one means understanding your needs and requirements before making your final decision.

Pricing

The cost of the system is sure to be a key driver in your decision, but remember that cheap is not always best, and it is vital to choose a system that will give you and your staff the best possible user experience on a day-to-day basis.

To choose the right system for your business, you need to understand the typical or anticipated number of transactions you are going to be making and over what period of time. If you have fewer transactions or customers, then you will need fewer EPoS outlets which will reduce costs. Making these assessments beforehand will help to save you from spending money unnecessarily.

Payment methods

There are now so many different ways for businesses to take payments that you need to have made some decisions about the way your transactions are processed to ensure you get the correct hardware and software for your business. If you only take cash payments, your requirements will be very different from companies taking debit, credit card and gift card payments. Consider your options carefully though, while taking cash may be cheaper, you could lose business if people are not able to pay with plastic.

Security and Support

You need to be sure your EPoS system is secure so no-one unauthorised can access it, but staff need to be able to unlock the system quickly to prevent customers being kept waiting.

In addition, you need to be sure that the support you will receive from any provider will be ideally suited to your needs, yet be offered at the right price.

Legacy systems

You may already have an existing point of sale or stock control system that you do not want to change, perhaps for convenience, cost or familiarity, and if this is the case then you need to ensure your new EPoS system will integrate successfully with the systems that are already in place. Bear in mind though, in some cases the systems will be so outdated that there is no possibility of integrating the two.

Additional features and functions

The features and functions you need will vary depending on your business type. For example, a shop will require a very different set up to a leisure centre, or restaurant. But when it comes to additional features that can help your business in other ways, you need to think about what is available, and more importantly, whether you would use them to full effect. It would be pointless to spend money on something as an extra that then is simply not used.

Special features you can add to your EPoS system include:

Tracking inventory and stock management – this will not only help improve your sales, it will also ensure you order the correct stock at the correct time, which will save you money and improve turnover.

Customer choice capabilities – Keeping current records on the system about what your customers are buying and when will help you understand trends that you can use to push your business forwards, and prevents you from ordering slow-moving stock.

Offering incentives – Understanding the behaviour of your customers means you can offer incentives to them to encourage them to return to your business, and the right EPoS system can help you offer the right loyalty schemes by showing you the purchase patterns of your regulars.

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