Not all EPOS systems are the same. Yes, Top to Toe links EPOS tills and automated websites into one completely integrated system, but our unique specialism is how we handle products that come in variants (e.g. multiple sizes or multiple colours).
Due to our system’s clear and intuitive product variation handling, you’ll be surprised at how Top to Toe reduces tasks that would normally take 1 or 2 hours with more ‘general retail systems’, down to just 10 or 15 minutes.
That’s why we have a client retention rate of 99.5% – no one else does Electronic Point of Sale like Top to Toe!
What is EPOS?
EPOS systems are made up of software and hardware elements that work together to manage a retailer’s stock, sales, orders and customers, helping the user to process transactions and run comprehensive reports on sales performance. Most EPOS systems can link a retailer’s ‘bricks and mortar’ shop with multiple eCommerce platforms, keeping accurate stock positions across all channels – some do this automatically but many require considerable manual intervention.
EPOS hardware refers to the computer, touchscreen, barcode scanner, receipt printer and cash drawer, whereas the EPOS software refers to the program that runs on the hardware.
It is the EPOS software element that greatly differentiates one system from another. Some systems are built for general retail, whereas others are built for specialist sectors such as hotels, restaurants or clothing. It’s only a small number of niche EPOS systems that are built for specific sub-sectors in retail – Top to Toe EPOS systems fit uniquely into this category. Our uniquely designed retail EPOS system is more than just an EPOS solution – it is especially designed for retailers that sell products with variants, such as those in Fashion, Footwear, Schoolwear, Sportswear and more.
What does EPOS mean, and how do you define EPOS?
The term EPOS stands for ‘Electronic Point of Sale’. EPOS is more commonly known as the hardware which is used to efficiently process face-to-face customer transactions. In other words, this particular EPOS definition is what we refer to as “a till”.
However, the term is sometimes used to refer to the wider retail system, made up of a back office ‘hub’, a till element, and links to various eCommerce platforms. This EPOS definition goes further, and refers to the whole retail system set up.
Definitions of EPOS vary depending on whether they are attempting to define EPOS as the Electronic Point of Sale till unit, or to define EPOS as the wider retail system, sometimes called the retail POS system.
Retail EPOS systems – how are they all different?
For specific problems, we see specialist doctors, rather than GPs. In the same way, specific retail sectors need specialist retail EPOS systems, rather than general retail EPOS systems.
Retail EPOS (Electronic Point of Sale), also known as just retail POS (Point of Sale) or retail EPOS systems, often have similar functionality, but vary massively in their structure and processes. It’s crucial for retailers to assess each system’s ease-of-use, as it can mean the difference between inventory tasks taking hours of your time vs only a few minutes. For instance, Clothing and Footwear retail EPOS systems should be built to make the handling of a products size and colour variations incredibly straightforward.
Retail EPOS systems that don’t have such a structure at their foundations result in the user having inefficient processes, leaving the retailer trying to make a system fit a purpose it wasn’t really built for. For instance, if the EPOS software is designed for more general products, then clothing or footwear products (that come in multiple size and colour variants), with all their barcodes, may take 15 – 60 minutes to create, whereas in a specialist retail EPOS system, it should take less than 1 minute.
To help you with your decision, we have written a step-by-step guide on how to logically choose the best EPOS system for your retail business – simply click here to read the article, or visit our Learning Centre for many other helpful articles.
Retail POS systems UK and Ireland
You may be considering a retail POS system that isn’t based in the UK or Ireland. Perhaps the Point of Sale supplier is located outside of Europe… it doesn’t matter! That’s not something that by itself should worry you when deciding which POS system to move forward with. Top to Toe is based in the UK but let us explain why that’s not so critical…
Hardware is generally standardized across the globe, plus POS installations, initial training and ongoing technical support are all often done remotely nowadays – they don’t need to be local. However, that’s not to say that you should pick any POS software solution… POS software solutions and support all do differ – a great deal! So, there are two crucial questions you must ask yourself before signing up with any retail POS system, regardless of whether or not the POS supplier is UK or Ireland based.
Firstly, ask your POS supplier whether their technical support lines open at least between 10:00 and 17:00 GMT; is there weekend cover? If not, then you may be in a difficult situation should your retail POS system have a fault in the middle of the working day or on a busy Saturday. You don’t need us to tell you that mission critical systems (such as your Electronic Point of Sale) should be reliable and consistently supported.
Secondly, how thorough will your retail POS system training be? Will you be broadly left to your own devices; reading manuals and watching tutorial videos? Or will you have unlimited, one-to-one, personal, handheld support, ensuring you get the most value out of your system? Top to Toe EPOS has always offered the more personal approach.
So, rather than focusing on finding a ‘retail EPOS system UK’, or a ‘retail EPOS system Ireland’, examine the quality of each supplier’s remote services, such as initial system training and ongoing technical support. Customer reviews are also a great way to get a feel for what your experience will be like.