What is an ePOS System? How does ePOS work?

Electronic Point of sales or ePOS systems as they are better known, are crucial to the day-to-day operations of retail businesses. Learn more on how ePOS systems work and how they can be integrated into your business and how they will enable you to sell more.

AirPOS
AirPOS
11 min read

Creating the best ePOS system (electronic point of sales system) set up is crucial for your business success. You need to have confidence in your sales system so that you can sell more. As the world becomes more digitally reliant, so must modern retailers. Not only have customer expectations risen significantly in the past decade but the introduction of new technology has made the market for small businesses highly competitive.

Although there are many things a business can do to stay in touch, none could be more significant than the integration of an electronic point of sale system, or ePOS system as they are more commonly known.

Although not a new concept, many people still do not understand what a point of sale system (POS system) is although most work with or see one daily whether in retail, hospitality or on the go. In today’s retail space the traditional push-button till has become something of a relic due to its inflexible nature and poor processing power.

Put simply an ePOS system is a software that can be installed on multiple devices, including, but not limited to mobile devices such as tablets, mobile phones and laptops. This software will act as your till, enabling you to speed customers through checkout, process transactions and manage inventory all on one device. ePOS software is cloud-based which allows for easy updates, flexible integrations such as accounting software, increased security and enhanced reporting when viewing your sales data.

Vendors will be able to use the ePOS software in the same way as a traditional till however, the system is much more adaptable with advanced capabilities.

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How does ePOS Software Work?

Although ePOS software, as mentioned, is primarily software, a POS (Point of sale) system will incorporate the full setup enabling you to sell. Through a cloud-based system, hardware such as barcode scanners and card readers can be easily incorporated via Bluetooth. The beauty however of ePOS software is that it allows you high flexibility in creating your set up. You can build a system that meets the needs of your business and it can grow as you grow adding more hardware and employees as needed.

POS software allows retailers to efficiently manage the day to day running of their business, not only through processing transactions but accurately managing inventory providing real-time reports.

However, as the world is becoming more digitally-driven so is the way we sell, ePOS systems have developed to be so much more comprehensive than a traditional cash point and till. In an attempt to stay on top of trends and ahead of the competition POS providers have developed systems that include a wide variety of unique features making them essential for any business.

7 Amazing benefits of using EPOS Systems for retailers

It's clear that ePOS solutions could be considered vital for any modern retailer, however, what are the specific features that set them apart? Why should a vendor change up their current system if it does the job?

“Up to 73% of data gets lost in analytics, simply because businesses are unable to recognise it’s value”

1. Enhanced reporting capabilities

If you have ever worked in a business using a traditional till you will understand the frustration of calculating reports at the end of the day, balancing tills and managing accounts. Arguably the largest benefit customers find with switching to a cloud-based point of sale software is the higher visibility across all your data.

With ePOS systems, all your data can be automatically synced with accounting software, saving time and generating more accurate reports. It's been found that up to 73% of data gets lost in analytics, simply because businesses are unable to recognise its value. Particularly when considering small businesses, ePOS systems have taken the stress out of reporting and allow for more strategic planning.

The great part about EPOS systems being on the cloud is that you can view sales anytime anywhere. Not only that you can track sales by period or employee and get an overview of top-performing sales staff, products and what your customers are buying.

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2. Mobility

ePOS software can be downloaded onto mobile devices allowing retailers not only to make sales on the move but also versatility in their instore setup. As well as this, through basic wifi or Bluetooth connections, ePOS systems can be easily integrated with any hardware such as mobile card readers, scanners and receipt printers. The mobility function of an ePOS software is the reason why this system has become so popular and amongst food vendors and event operators, they will never miss the opportunity to make a sale.

3. Save time, sell more

Getting started with an ePOS system is super simple, you can literally get setup and running in a matter of minutes. Not only that the whole process from start to finish is improved. Not only will you be able to sell quicker, you’ll need less staff to do the same job, allowing you to save on overheads. This increase in speed is also a great bonus for customers, it will improve the overall experience when shopping with you. Also, you’ll have the option to print, or email receipts to customers a neat feature.

4. Increased Customer Loyalty

“The probability of selling to an existing customer is up to 14 times higher than the probability of selling to a new customer.”

As mentioned throughout the past decade we have seen a massive surge in customer expectations, the consumers' idea of quality has changed and businesses are required now, more than ever to go the extra mile.

A study conducted by Accenture in 2018 found that as many as 91% of consumers are more likely to shop in stores that remember them and can give offers and suggestions relevant to them.

Marketing Metrics found that "The probability of selling to an existing customer is up to 14 times higher than the probability of selling to a new customer."

Some ePOS providers have recognised this trend which is why many point of sale systems now have built-in loyalty and customer management schemes. These, in many cases, will be more sophisticated than the antiquated card schemes that many small retailers still use, taking consideration of consumer data and tracking for reporting.

At AirPOS we offer both customer loyalty and customer accounts giving you the tools you need as a small business to build loyalty and increase your sales.

5. Inventory Management

A good ePOS system will provide you with inventory management. You should be able to check stock levels in real-time, reconcile stock vs actual stock, update and add new stock and include stock variations.

Ultimately it allows for greater control over stock levels, you can monitor wastage, and ensure you have your best selling items always in stock. Some systems will even streamline the stock management process by ordering stock automatically, this allows you to easily manage multiple locations and to transfer stock between them.

6. Integrations

With ePOS systems being fully digital, you have the opportunity to fully integrate with other providers. That includes payment providers, other software providers such as accounting tools like Xero. All of these tools and integrations are created to improve your business efficiency and it really lets you focus on what you do best, creating good customer experiences and selling more.

7. Take Contactless Payments

Contactless payments is the latest trend in consumer purchasing. With EPOS Systems not only can you take traditional cash payments you can also take chip and PIN, Apple pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay etc. Just combine our software with the latest hardware and your new system can do much more than your old til system ever could.

What are the different Types of ePOS Systems?

As the popularity of ePOS systems has continued to grow its only natural that there are a variety of options available to retailers to host their software.

Mobile POS Systems

Smartphone ePOS systems are an option available to retailers who sell on the go. In general, companies will offer this level of software for free however charge for the mobile card reader to which it will integrate. Although convenient for some small retailers this solution will only work for businesses who do not manage a sizable level inventory or process a large number of transactions daily.

It is worth noting however that these POS systems can usually be linked to mobile card readers and printers if this is a necessity for your business.

Tablet POS Systems

Integrating ePOS software with a tablet device is becoming an increasingly popular option with business owners across all industries. Hosting POS software on an iPad, android or windows device gives retailers much more flexibility with movement, not only to sell on the move but with their store set up.

It is a fair assumption that today, most people have some kind of tablet device for personal use and the benefit is that most POS software can be painlessly downloaded either for free or for a small monthly subscription. POS on tablet devices, similar to smartphones is mobile however they with higher processing power and offer the user a wider variety of features and capabilities.

Importantly, most ePOS software will be able to integrate with external hardware such as barcode scanners or till drawers meaning that you can build a business set up that meets your needs.

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Traditional POS Systems

POS software on terminals is a more traditional route for business owners, usually offering an all in one solution, with all hardware accompanying their ePOS system. This is a popular option for those retailers who rely on strong internet connectivity and process a large number of transactions each day.

Hosting ePOS software on terminals is also common with businesses who have a larger workforce as it gives owners more control and visibility over their staff. For example, ePOS terminals can be configured to give employees restricted access to certain areas of the back office and from browsing the internet.

Are EPOS Systems Secure?

There are many common misconceptions surrounding ePOS systems; whether they are secure or as efficient as a traditional till, or worries relating to data protection.

The answer is simple really. As long as a business chooses a provider they have researched and can trust, this shouldn't be a problem. There is a huge amount of information online surrounding this topic and once you have a provider in mind, contact them and ask about their security protocols, question the level of care they provide in regards to your data. Most providers will encrypt all customer data securing it from unwanted eyes.

How to get started with an EPOS System?

Almost all ePOS providers will offer a free demo so that you can gain a comprehensive understanding of the product before you begin to pay for the service. The phrase “try before you buy” doesn't only apply to consumer goods.

Although the transition may seem complicated, take advantage of the support system with your provider and ensure that you are not pressured to take on too much hardware for your specific business type. It’s crucially important for vendors to take time to shop around before entering into a relationship with a provider, spend time to find a company who best meets the needs of your business.

If you have existing hardware and a payment provider you can easily integrate new software with those systems. If not, it's relatively inexpensive to get a small hardware setup and software to get you started.

AirPOS ePOS software for Small Retailers

There are a million and one options for small retailers when choosing their ePOS systems. With the growing number of features and add ons it can be difficult to know which provider will best serve your needs.

AirPOS prides itself on its transparency, offering a no-contract POS solution with no hidden fees. The AirPOS ePOS solution incorporates a highly comprehensive POS sofware with features such as customer loyalty and customer accounts which are specifically tailored to meet the needs of our retailers.

AirPOS offers experienced, dedicated customer support completely free of charge who are ready to take interested customers through our process on free demos and even get new users up and running with assisted set ups.

If you'd like to learn more, schedule a demo with our team today.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you’ve never heard of a POS system, you may be wondering more about what it’s all about. As a point of sale provider we receive lots of questions about the definition of POS and the best options for you. Here’s some of the main questions we get asked.

What Does POS Stand For?

POS stands for Point-of-Sale. POS is the point when you and a customer perform a transaction for a good or service. ePOS is an electronic point of sale system, both POS and ePOS are commonly used together as nearly all point of sales systems now are electronic.

What Types of POS systems are there?

There are many different types of point of sale systems, including iPad POS (like AirPOS), Mobile POS, Android, Web-Based POS, and Self-Service Kiosks. There are lots of different POS systems on the market, with the most popular being Mobile and iPad POS. Check out our guide on how to choose a POS system.

How Much Do Point of Sale Systems Cost?

The cost of POS systems varies greatly depending on the business type, size and how many POS terminals are needed. As an example, for a small business with one POS machine,we estimate you’ll pay around £1,000 for hardware and on average £49 per month for a software subscription (some providers can charge £120+). As more POS stations are required, the price will increase.

What is a POS Example?

In modern terms, a POS system is typically a POS software product installed on a touchscreen hardware device. For example, if you’ve ever paid for anything on an iPad, you’ve seen a modern sample. In the past, the most common model was the traditional cash register. You can read more about hardware options for POS here.

How Does a POS System Work?

A POS system works by processing transactions and recording the data from the sale. When a customer purchases an item, you accept payment directly through your POS system. After the transaction is complete, it will be recorded and saved. This helps you track your business’s performance, find your top selling products, track stock and improve your accounting processes.

What is a POS system?

The definition of POS is simply a location, system, or terminal where a transaction occurs. In most cases, a point of sale (POS) system is a hardware and software system that processes transactions and records data.