7 Things To Consider When Choosing A Retail EPOS
If you’re looking to make the move to a more sophisticated retail EPOS which can connect your business and unifies your processes, then there’s a few things you’ll need to first consider. When looking at any EPOS solutions for retail businesses, it’s important to focus on a few key things: its sales functionality, compatibility with other products (such as accounts software), and how easy it use for you teams to use. Then there’s the consideration of hosting options and budgets too – there’s a lot to look at it and each area is of equal importance if you want to more effectively manage your business with the help of a retail EPOS solution.
Sales Management – Instore and Online
Speed of service is paramount, whether making sales instore or online. Your retail EPOS needs to be able to serve retail customers quickly and accurately with easy-to-use retail tills and POS. You won’t get that without a system that gives you real-time data and live stock information that updates as soon as sales are made, to ensure your staff are playing from the same playbook and you customers are looking at genuine availability.
Multiple Payment Options
This one is two-fold. The first thing you will most certainly need to consider when looking at retail EPOS solutions is the ability to offer several payment methods. In this day and age, customers expect to have the freedom to pay in several ways. Whether that’s through cash, debit and credit cards or using their mobile phones with Apple Pay or Google Pay.
On the flip side of that, a good retail EPOS will facilitate special pricing for your teams on the other side of the counter. You’ll want instant access to data on your customers and special pricing or discounts on every till. Maybe you serve both retail and trade customers, can the system toggle between two prices depending on who they’re serving?
Compatibility With Other Products
It is also essential to ensure that your EPOS solutions for retail are compatible with third-party apps and software systems. This is really important because your new system should aim to eliminate the need to switch between multiple systems and having several data sources. Consider whether the system can integrate with your accounting software or customer relationship management system.
Solutions like KCPOS benefit from out-of-the-box links to Sage, Pegasus, Exchequer, Access and Xero (plus plenty more accounting systems) to get started quickly with your new retail EPOS. It can document every sale, whether in-store or online, with a direct feed into your chosen accounts solution and will record all sales accurately and quickly without human intervention.
Consider your stock control too. There’s no use making sales and feeding into your accounts, if you can’t properly monitor and maintain your stock levels. Without proper integration to stock control, you’re cooking using a recipe for disaster! Whoever the technology partner is that you choose, make sure that the system they’re setting you up with has all the integration capabilities that you need.
Ease of Use
This one will be at the forefront of your teams minds. Useability. You’ve bought the retail EPOS system, taken the time to implement it, placed the relevant data inside, integrated with your other systems, then it comes to staff use and the complaints roll in because the design isn’t intuitive, the interface isn’t user-friendly and updates are timely and long-winded, requiring downtime.
During the demo phase, make sure you ask plenty of questions to get a really good idea about not only the look and feel of the system, but how it works and how intelligent it is, plus whether it does all the non-negotiables you need it to.
This next one will be important to include when you begin conversations with a technology partner who’ll provide you with your new retail EPOS, and that’s hosting options. For whatever reason, it’s not always possible to have your own server and host your system. Can you tech partner host it for you? You’ll have a lot of sensitive data about people from their sales transactions so look out for a partner who can confirm they have stringent measures in place when it comes to the safety of that data if they’re hosting it for you.
For most businesses, a new retail EPOS system is a big and long-term investment. You certainly don’t want to be making a large purchase and then finding it’s not the right fit for you, or the support in place isn’t up to scratch. There’ll be a number of things to consider when looking at budgets – many are tempted to go with the most cost-effective, but will that get you best system? Will that get you the best support service? You should really weigh up what’s important to you and factor that in when agreeing a budget.
Choosing The Right Technology Partner
With all the above factored in, this might be the most important bit: choosing the right technology partner when choosing a new retail EPOS system. They’ll be the ones to show you all the bells and whistles of a system, so make sure that they’re passionate about what they do and what they’re offering – you want to know that they can help you get the most out of your system.
Discuss what the implementation process looks like, ensure it is fully documented and gives your teams the chance to receive robust training that sets them up to hit the ground running from the start and also have a think about your longer-term play, consider how effective their support will be. Do you have a direct line to support? What are the wait times? The fix times? Can you get a 24/7 service? These are all things to consider when choosing your partner and your new retail EPOS system.