Whether you’re running a local cafe, corner shop or clothes store, an EPOS could save you time, reduce mistakes and even help you make more money.
If you’re new to electronic point of sale systems (known as EPOS), can’t decide if you need one, or simply want to know more about how they work, then don’t worry.
We’re here to give you the lowdown, with 10 reasons why they could make a big difference to your small business.
1. Speed up your service
You know the situation well. It’s the busiest time of the day and your customers are lining up, eager to be served. You’re stressed and your customers are frustrated – research shows that on average Brits give up and leave after 6 minutes and 46 seconds of waiting.
An EPOS system can cut the queues at your till, make taking payments at the table a breeze and simplify life for your staff.
By connecting your card machine to your till, you don’t need to duplicate your sales records. There’s no more faffing with receipts while your customers wait to pay. And you can say farewell to dashing back and forth between the till and the tables.
What’s more, an EPOS system can help you identify your busiest times so you can ramp up the staffing to match and keep up with customer demand.
2. Cut down on mistakes
The more hoops your staff need to jump through in order to accept card payments from your customers, the more chance of mistakes creeping in.
Using an EPOS system, and connecting it to your card machine, means you cut the risk of entering the wrong amounts when it’s time to give your customers the bill. It’s a better service for your customers and less headaches for you when you try to balance the books at the end of the day.
3. Make your money work harder
An EPOS system will help you get insights into your business, products and customer needs. Most EPOS systems have in-built reports, enabling you to quickly spot trends. Want to know what days and times are busiest for your business? A report will tell you that, giving you the power to increase staffing for when it’s needed most and reduce it when it’s not.
You can also discover which of your products or services are most popular – and the ones that aren’t – and use that knowledge to run promotions or offer discounts. And the ability to track seasonal trends can help you plan months ahead.
4. Say goodbye to cashing up catastrophes
How many times have you stayed late after closing up for the day because the receipts from your till don’t match the ones from your card machine?
Time spent on admin can swallow your profits. Dojo research shows that using our integrated payments service can save customers a third of their time spent cashing up.
5. Say hello to seamless stock control
Running out of stock can cost your business money. Not only do you lose a potential sale, you could lose repeat business.
Luckily, most EPOS systems have inventory management built in. This means you can automatically track your stock and get alerts to let you know when you’re running low on anything.
You’ll also get an in-depth view of your best-selling items, as well as any patterns, such as your bestsellers at weekends or at different times of the year. By using this information to plan ahead you can keep your customers – and your bank balance – happy.
But it’s not just empty shelves that are bad for business. Having stock that you can’t shift, eats your profits, too. And overstocking is a particular risk for cafes and restaurants.
The last thing you want is to be throwing away food at the end of the day because you ordered more of it than you can sell before the use-by date.
Using the stock management tools that come with your EPOS system can help you reduce waste and run your business more sustainably.
6. Transform your table service
The COVID-19 pandemic forced small business owners to radically rethink how they operate. The hospitality industry, in particular, had to act fast to keep up with the new rules about table service, which resulted in a rise of ‘order and pay’ services.
Rather than a team member taking orders in person at the table, customers can now browse menus, place their order and settle up their bill using their smartphone. Taking orders this way offers a smooth and positive experience for customers, as well as reassuring them that you’re able to quickly adapt to the latest safety guidance.
It also makes things faster for you. If you’re running a cafe or restaurant then using a portable card machine and connecting it to your till makes it easier to take payments at the table. And because your staff don’t have to keep running back to the till, your turnaround times will speed up, too.
7. Sync your sales tools
Connecting your card machine to your till can help you speed up your service. It’s known as integrated payments. It’s easy to set up, helps you cash up faster at the end of the day, and gives you the flexibility to take payments at the counter or at the table.
It also reduces the chance of mistakes. Connecting your card machine to your EPOS system saves you from having to enter transactions twice – a factor that can lead to businesses having to write off £140-month in lost revenue.
We partner with more than 600 EPOS systems, so there’s a good chance you’re already using one that works with our card machines.
8. Breeze through your accounting
Most EPOS systems work alongside accounting software, helping you keep tighter control over your company accounts, while reducing the risk of human error.
Connecting your sales with your accounting tools in this way saves time and money. Your products and services can be paid for, tracked and even added to your accounting system all at the tap of a button. It means fewer headaches for you and your accountant will thank you for not handing over stacks of receipts each month.
Over the past few years, HMRC has been introducing its new rules for making tax digital. In simple terms, businesses need to keep digital records of their accounts and use those records for reporting income – and paying tax – to HMRC.
So by choosing an EPOS system and accounting package that work together seamlessly you’re not only making life simpler for yourself, you’ll be complying with the government’s rules on using software to submit your tax returns.
9. Boost customer loyalty
Many EPOS systems allow you to create loyalty cards, so you can reward regular customers. It also gives you a powerful marketing tool. When you create a loyalty card for a new customer, you’ll be able to collect some basic information about them – like their name, phone and email. So, as long as you have their consent, you’ll be able to send them offers even when they’re not in your store.
What’s more, over time, you’ll be able to understand their shopping habits from the things they buy. Not only does this help you see which of your products and services are the most popular, you can use this knowledge to tailor your rewards.
Offering customers rewards they’ll actually want to take advantage of gives them a more positive experience – and a reason to keep coming back to you again and again.
10. Keep your customers’ data safe
Most EPOS systems these days are PCI-compliant – which means they use the data security standards that you’ll need to meet in order to take card payments from your customers. It’s essential to take these steps to protect your customers’ identity and data, and prevent card fraud.
All Dojo card machines come with point-to-point encryption. It’s the world’s best security, which means you won’t have to worry about breaches. So by pairing one of our card machines with a PCI-compliant EPOS system, you can rest easy knowing that your data is secure.
How Dojo works with EPOS systems
Dojo card machines connect with more than 600 types of EPOS system. So if you already have an EPOS system, integrating one of our card machines is simple and fast – we can get you up and running in as little as three days.
And if you’re getting an EPOS system for the first time, our card machines give you the flexibility to choose the system that suits your business best, with security and data compliance covered straight out of the box.
Ready to start accepting card payments? Find out about opening a merchant account with Dojo.
Find out more about integrated payments with our complete guide.
Time spent cashing up with Dojo integrated payments data found from 131 customers asked across two studies in 2019 and 2021: the saving was 3 minutes 55 seconds, equating to 34.9% of the time taken; margin of error of 22 seconds at 95% confidence.
Save £140 in lost revenue statistics from research from 80 customers in February 2021: data represents the average customer, based on size of business and number of card machines; £16 margin of error at 95% confidence.