Using Electronic Point Of Sale (EPOS) technology is crucial for new and experienced businesses wanting to expand their payment methods. With the frequency of customers reaching for their smartphones and contactless cards on the rise, it’s never been a better time to capitalise on this digital payment trend. In this guide, we’ll directly answer the question of ‘what is EPOS’ by giving you an EPOS definition. We will also detail how an EPOS system works and explain how it can positively benefit your business.
- Define EPOS and an EPOS system
- Why is having an EPOS system necessary?
- How do EPOS systems work?
- The business benefits of using EPOS
- Get started with an Electronic Point of Sale system
What does EPOS stand for? EPOS is the acronym for Electronic Point Of Sale, also known as POS or Point Of Sale. POS is a regular cash register we see in brick-and-mortar establishments. EPOS is the electronic version of POS. It is also mainly utilised by online stores and E-tailers.
This guide won’t continue to touch on POS, but it is a good payment term to understand for any future use.
EPOS system meaning
What is an EPOS system? It's an Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) system that enables retail stores and businesses to sell goods and process customer sales online. This modernised software can also help manage product inventory, finalise sales, collect data, and track sale history.
As outlined, these systems are multifunctional. Therefore, any size of business from small businesses and scaled startups to enterprise businesses can tailor their systems to their needs and start reaping the benefits. These systems usually store business data in the cloud with layers of secure data protection.
What is the specified hardware?
It’s important to note that Electronic Point of Sale systems and Electronic Point of Sale hardware are different. While an EPOS system is the software you can use to manage products and finalise sales, EPOS hardware is classed as physical items like card readers and Bluetooth receipt printers. Both hardware pieces can combine with a dedicated system (like a mobile app) to track sales history.
What payments can the systems process?
The main benefit of Electronic Point of Sale systems is that they can connect to your businesses payment methods of choice via integrated payments - including cash, digital wallet payments, and contactless cards.
Why is having an EPOS system necessary?
So now that we’ve covered “what is EPOS?” and what a dedicated system is, let’s answer the question: “why is having an EPOS system in place necessary for your business?”
As more customers opt to use contactless payment methods instead of paying with cash, the use of digital and wearable payment methods, like tapping a smartwatch on a card reader, has also increased. For example, in 2022, the total value of all contactless payments jumped by 49.7%. Elsewhere, digital wallet payments (Apple Pay and Samsung Pay etc.) accounted for 4.1% of the total value of all contactless transactions last year. This can be attributed, in part, to convenience and the speed that these types of transactions allow for.
Utilising an EPOS system allows you to be more flexible and faster in accepting payments so you can make the most of shorter queues and an improved customer experience.
An Electronic Point of Sale system doesn’t just enhance the payment experience, it can also help businesses streamline, improve operational efficiency and tap into unexplored areas of commerce. This may mean connecting to an app that allows your customers to track deliveries. Or, it could be utilising a website to sell your goods online and in a brick-and-mortar establishment.
Electronic Point of Sale systems also run via smartphones and laptops. This means you can take your till on the go and start organising payments remotely.
How do the systems work?
If your business currently operates via a classic button-operated cash register, you should already be able to do the following:
- Process payments
- Keep a manual record of sale transactions
However, if you utilise an Electronic Point of Sale system, you can link your till and card payment devices to a mobile device or computer. This will allow you to create daily reports with accurate data. You will also be able to manage inventory effectively and process online sales with the press of a button.
EPOS systems also work remotely. This is because data is cloud-based. So, if you’re away from your florist or your office, you will still be able to access data.
You can make your hardware EPOS compliant by adding EPOS software to them. However, your tech (IE card readers, cash draws and iPads) will also need to be Electronic Point of Sale-compatible. If it is not, you will have to upgrade them to start utilising Electronic Point of Sale software.
To summarise, an EPOS system essentially works as an enhanced till system. It allows business owners to create up-to-date reports and safely store data - something a traditional till system cannot do.
The benefits of using EPOS
The world of technology is ever-changing. Therefore, it’s more important than ever to stay ahead of the curve. So, if you’re not already convinced about how EPOS UK can benefit your business - here are four reasons how:
1) An EPOS could save you time
Accounting can be a headache. Especially, when you have to manually pull numbers every month. It can feel like a never-ending job for you and your accountant. However, (thankfully) Electronic Point of Sale systems work alongside dedicated accounting software.
You can save a chunk of time by integrating accounting tools to your EPOS. That means less time crunching numbers and more moments spent marketing and building your dream business.
If you do integrate accounting software to your EPOS system, you can start digitally tracking sales and tax. This is compliant with HMRC’s digital tax legislation. If you own a VAT-paying business, you are required to keep digital records and file your tax returns using accounting software.
Key takeaway: Utilising an EPOS system can help you save time and comply with HMRC digital tax legislation.
2) EPOS systems allow you speed up your service
By utilising an Electronic Point of Sale system at your restaurant, you can cut down time spent between the till and the customer's table. As long as your card machine is connected to your till, you won’t have to duplicate sales records, rush around for receipts or lose crucial payments due to misplacement.
As well as speeding up your hospitality service, an EPOS system also has retail sector benefits. With EPOS, long wait times at the till will be a thing of the past. This is because EPOS systems can compile data that points to your peak periods. So, if your system has indicated that Tuesday afternoon sees high foot traffic, you can better schedule staff accordingly and speed up your service at the till.
Key takeaway: An EPOS system can help you do more than take payments. It can help you increase operational efficiency, like staff scheduling with business insights.
3) Utilising an EPOS system can help you dominate in omnichannel selling
Introducing an Electronic Point of Sale system into your business can help create a fully integrated shopping experience. With this system in place, customers can buy online and in pop-up stores. They can also return items they bought via your website to your brick-and-mortar shops. This is because Electronic Point of Sale systems link all of your inventory.
Utilising an Electronic Point of Sale system therefore helps you dominate in omnichannel selling. It also elevates the customer experience, making them more likely to purchase goods and services from your business again.
Key takeaway: EPOS systems can help you unlock omnichannel sales and more efficient stock management.
4) EPOS systems help you accept all types of payments
What is EPOS, if not a way to accept flexible payments. The main benefit of installing an Electronic Point of Sale system is allowing customers to use their preferred payment method. Whether they deal in cash or prefer to tap their NFC-enabled contactless card - an Electronic Point of Sale system offers your business more flexibility when it comes to taking payments.
However, does accepting all types of payments make managing your cash flow more difficult? If you are not utilising EPOS then the answer is yes. Electronic Point of Sale systems allow you to understand exactly what fees are attached to each method of payment. So you will always be able to manage your transactions.
Key takeaway: With EPOS you can integrate payments and better manage transactions.
How to get started with an EPOS system
Throughout this guide, we’ve discussed “what is EPOS” and “what the EPOS system's meaning” is. We’ve also covered the benefits of integrating Electronic Point of Sale systems into your business.
So, the only question left is how do you get started?
How does Dojo work with EPOS systems
You’ll be pleased to know that Dojo card machines can connect with 600+ types of systems. So if you just started using one of these electronic systems, odds are our Dojo card machines will be able to connect.
However, if you’ve yet to take the plunge with an Electronic Point of Sale system, then we are flexible. Due to the number of systems our card machines connect to, you can choose what EPOS system works best for your business.
For more business information and software tips head to our blog.