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Written by Anna Murphy, Communications Lead
What is EPOS? What does EPOS stand for? How are EPOS systems changing retail? Why are EPOS systems important? Why should a retailer be using EPOS? Read on to find out more about the benefits an intelligent EPOS system can bring to your retail business: we provide Help Desk services that can support your EPOS system.
An Electric Point Of Sale (EPOS) system is fast becoming one of the most important tools a retailer can utilise as they become more in control of their operations, more profitable and more competitive. Not to be confused with the average electronic till system – although they look similar – an EPOS, or POS, system allows retailers to utilise much more information and data to help their business to run smoothly.
As retail IT services replace and update the humble ‘cash register’, POS systems usher in a whole host of features suitable for the modern retail environment, with the ability to store and process data being particularly valued. Where once retailers may have had to scrutinise various sales records in order to compile information as to shoppers’ choices and habits, POS systems can produce reports and show growing and declining sales with ease. Other attractive features include being able to tap into nurturing millennial and Gen Z retail expectations of an ‘instant’ shopping experience by printing out vouchers or offers, whilst also being able to link up communication with existing infrastructure and websites and recording of the activities undertaken by staff whilst using it.
How are POS systems changing retail?
Offering a variety of new ways to improve transactions, there can be no doubt that POS systems are bringing change to the retail and hospitality sector in making it more streamlined and able to effectively compete with rivals. A major way in which this change is manifested is perhaps just as reactive as it is proactive; retailers need to reduce the costs associated with ‘bricks and mortar’ retailing as much as possible, in order to remain viable as the bite from online enterprises continues to be felt.
One of the ways this can be done is through readjusting the thinking as to exactly how physical stores work with online activity; closer links are needed, which is something POS systems can provide. Instead of a business model where high street locations compete with online sales, modern POS systems are making it easier for the retail world to work as one. Linking with a retailer’s website, a POS system can provide real-time data to users as to whether local stores have products in stock and provide an easy collection point for them. Online orders can also be fulfilled more promptly via processes that can see stock sent out to online buyers from stores nearest to them, or those that are experiencing an excess of certain stocked items, thus helping to provide the ‘I want what I want when I want it’ notion that underpins millennial and Gen Z shopping habits.
The ability to target customers more effectively is also leading to changes in the retail world. POS systems can register and monitor customer behaviour and spending patterns, offering incentives that are specified and personalised. A clear example of this is recognising that someone who buys a certain item is more likely to buy another similar item, and giving them a clear incentive to do so. Offering customers this sort of engagement is another part of the changes POS systems are bringing to retail.
POS systems can also:
All of these factors combine to increase the experience that both millennials and Gen Z shoppers expect from their rising expectations of an in-store experience.
Why are POS systems important?
POS systems offer a highly flexible approach that can be customised and adapted to fit an individual retailer’s needs and wants.
If, for instance, speed of sale and a quick transaction time is critical to a retailer’s business model, then this can be the primary advantage of using a modern POS system. Not only can the speed of each purchase be quicker, the possibility for human error causing delays is hugely reduced.
For retailers to whom speedy service is less of a concern, but who see customer attention and personal care as a priority, POS systems are also important. As previously mentioned, they provide opportunities for individually tailored offers or vouchers, whilst also providing the chance for staff to address any questions or concerns more thoroughly. Customers can have issues about stock availability or any loyalty schemes answered, providing personal touches that would not have been possible without a POS system.
Why should a retailer be using POS?
As well as the need to keep up with the tech demands of customers, there are many reasons a retailer should consider a modern POS solution as a vital tool – not only for today, but as paramount importance for the future.
As portable devices such as tablets or smartphones continue their popularity as payment options, having a till system that can work alongside them is paramount. As data carries on with pushing new ways of working in the retail sector, being able to not just collate information, but also having a way of processing and using it, will only become more significant in years to come. POS will be able to do this in a manner that requires little effort, but generates maximum return.
With features such as taxation and bookkeeping also being part of POS software, the ability to reduce man hours and prioritize staffing in other areas is also something that can take place as a retailer moves forwards. The ability to predict and seize on growing industry trends can be grasped, as data allows things to be highlighted quickly that might otherwise have been missed. Larger retail organisations may also see disparities in what sells in different geographic locations, as something that sells well in one location may not be selling well at all in another. POS will allow this to be noticed quickly, ordering levels to be adjusted accordingly, and will even allow for relocation of stock to locations that need it the most.
How can Retail Assist help?
Our Help Desk supports over 14,000 different tills and devices, which operate in 18 different countries. Working with both hospitality and retail clients, our Help Desk offers consistent support that runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, helping retailers, and their POS systems, to run smoothly no matter what the business hours might be.
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