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EPOS: Which ePos is right for a retailer?
Retailers are usually the first professionals coming to mind when thinking about electronic points of sale. In fact, this industry has always been an early-adapter of every new ePos technology. So it’s little wonder that specific development work has been performed to create a whole niche market of specialized retail ePos systems.
What are the key features of a retail ePos? How far can the customization for specific retail needs go? What are the main points to watch when selecting a retail ePos?
Key features of a retail ePos system
The many daily operations handled in a retail business require special hardware, and software features for the ePos to match industry needs.
1) Important hardware accessories
As retailers may deal with a large number of customers on a daily basis, and handle many payment options, the following hardware components of an ePos system will be greatly useful:
• Cash drawer,
• Card reader,
• Handheld barcode scanners,
• Cheque scanner
Retailers are also the most likely prospective buyers of self-service tills, so purpose-built checkout-systems, with their many accessories will have to be considered.
2) Main software features to look for
Most of the difference among ePos systems, and customization options, will rely on the software. Retailers will look for optimal performance in the following areas:
• Loyalty and promotion integration,
• Real time reporting and stock check,
• Age restrictions and product prompts
Advanced customization for different retail types
In-depth retail ePos system customization has been allowed by the development of specific software, based on business size or on retail sector.
1) Business size categories
Special ePos systems have been designed for:
• Independent Retailers: the key aspect is adaptability, so that the ePos and its features may grow along with the business;
• Multiple Retailers: here, the focus will be on the handling of multiple channels;
• Corporate Retailers: the capacity to add bespoke developments to the basic software product will be especially appreciated, especially with regards to retail sector special needs
2) Retail sector categories
Bespoke developments and tailor-made retail ePos systems have been successfully implemented for the following retail sectors:
• Furniture & Homeware
• Visitor Attractions & Heritage Sites
• Giftware & Cards
• Off Licenses
• Sports & Outdoors
• Fashion and Accessories
Points to watch
Prospective buyers of an ePos system within the retail industry should be especially weary of four issues when considering their choice of equipment.
Does the business need to implement mobile solutions? So that checkout can be processed away from a payment counter?
2) Ease of installation and rollout
Installing a full retail ePos system has long been a daunting task, especially in the case where several shops belonging to the same organization, or when franchised shops are in the equation. However, the introduction of cloud-based solutions has greatly helped easing these difficulties.
3) Total cost of usage
With the introduction of cloud-based solutions, and the more and more widespread option to rent the hardware, the cost of an ePos should no longer be calculated in terms of total cost of ownership, but in terms of total cost of usage. Do the right maths.
4) e-Commerce integration
Finally, “click-and-mortar” retailers selling their products both online and on the high street will need more advanced ePos systems if they need to factor dual delivery options, dual inventories, cross-channel CRM, click-and-collect policies, etc.
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