Managing sales, stock, staff and customer information can be time consuming for many retailers. With an older point of sale (POS) system, much of this work is manual, such as checking stock on the shop floors vs the warehouse, compiling detailed reports, and managing customers. When managing multiple branches and an eCommerce shop, the process of running a retail business can be challenging.
For a modern business to exist, traditional POS systems have been replaced by Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) systems.
What is a POS and an EPOS System?
POS refers to the location where a customer purchases goods or services, most commonly a traditional cash register and card machine. The focus of a POS is almost exclusively on carrying out transactions.
An EPOS system is a modern electronic update of the traditional POS system, and is a combination of the hardware and software needed to carry out transactions and streamline the management of a business. EPOS systems come with the added benefits of many integrated features that can allow retailers and attractions to run their businesses more effectively. EPOS systems can control stock management across all your locations, and offer detailed reports as well as customer management.
What are the differences between POS and EPOS systems?
When thinking of upgrading from a traditional POS to an EPOS system, it is important to know how the two systems vary.
Flexible payment options
POS systems typically take payments via a physical cash register and card machine that accepts debit and credit cards. An EPOS system will take a more comprehensive approach. As well as accepting all leading credit and debit cards, they will go much further and accept contactless payments, online payments and integrate with all leading merchant gateways, opening the door for any possible payment system.
With a traditional POS system, adding on new features such as gift cards or loyalty programs means adding in a new system, and attempting to connect this to your till systems. This can become increasingly complex when gift cards need to be used online or across multiple branches. A comprehensive EPOS system will offer gift cards and loyalty programs as part of their offering and will be connected to tills across all your branches and online. With integrated customer and order management, you can send paperless gift cards directly to a customer’s email, meaning lost gift cards are a thing of the past.
Comprehensive stock management
A fully integrated EPOS system not only integrates with all major payment providers, but it manages all your reporting, sales and stock software. This allows the system to automatically adjust stock levels across your entire business whenever a sale is made or an item is returned. With POS systems, stock management can be a manual task carried out periodically, and open to human error, or involve adding a separate system.
EPOS systems also provide real-time inventory and sales reports to identify where items are running low and need to be restocked. Real-time inventory tracking also allows your customers to look up items via an integrated e-commerce website, improving customer satisfaction as you can provide them with the products they need.
With traditional POS systems, inventory management errors could lead to shelves being full of dead stock, too much stock or not enough stock, leading to unhappy customers and extra time fixing the issue. Integrated stock management and reporting can also show trends in particular products, highlighting items to be restocked, or items that are poor sellers. With one comprehensive system, price changes can be made from one central location and applied to your entire business in real-time.
Run your business more efficiently
One of the main benefits of switching to an EPOS system is the amount of time and money it can save your business. Automating large parts of your business can help it run more efficiently and cut down on unnecessary costs. Whether it is stock-taking, generating reports or dealing with customer returns, many businesses still rely on manual, human processes and paper systems to track the health of their business, likely as a result of using a traditional POS system.
An EPOS system brings all your old systems together in one interconnected system, with more accurate real-time data making this information accessible for review from any of your locations. This provides greater insights to your business’ performance with less manual effort, allowing you to resolve issues as they arise.
Keeping your business relevant with Meridian Retail
How consumers shop and their expectations are evolving rapidly. With an outdated POS system, growing your offering means adding new systems and additional admin to get them in line with your existing systems. A modern EPOS system such as Meridian Retail comes with many additional benefits such as integration with eCommerce shops, ticketing solutions, paperless receipts, gift cards, receipts, appointment shopping and many other benefits that can keep your business ahead of the competition.
Meridian Retail is our proprietary EPOS system designed for specialty retailers and visitor attractions. With over 25 years of experience, our platform has been built with the needs of our customers in mind. Meridian Retail has been implemented by many of Ireland’s leading specialty retailers.