What is the best EPOS system for my retail business?
This step-by-step guide will help you determine which of the UK’s EPOS systems is the best fit for your retail business.
In this article:
– Prioritising what’s important
– Testing what is important
First thing’s first… you need to prioritise what’s important for you in an EPOS and stock management system.
– Must your till and back office be easy to use? How easy? Make sure you actually see it done in an online walkthrough.
– Must product/ stock entry be quick and easy (especially if you have many variations per product)?
– Is reporting important to you? Must the reporting be clear and flexible, yet detailed?
– Should your system open doors directly to eBay and Amazon, not just link with your own site or link via a third party? (some find that having a third party web linking system in the mix creates many ongoing technical and support issues)
– Should the training and technical support be thorough?
With every EPOS system you view, you need to rate them on the following five tests:
1) Product creation/ stock entry (out of 10)
Test: ask the EPOS demonstrator to create a product that you actually stock, including any variants e.g size/ colour. Then ask them to enter stock and produce all the barcoded labels. In some systems this takes 60 seconds, but in most of the systems we’ve seen it take between 5 – 20 minutes per product!
2) Ease of use (out of 10)
Test: rate the process of getting around the system and getting exactly the reports you need – how many screens, menus and boxes do you need to wade through? Two or twenty per task or somewhere in between? The more interactive the system the easier it will generally be to use.
3) Reporting clarity (out of 10)
Test: name your most desired report to the EPOS demonstrator and rate the clarity of that report. Is the information you want there, can you see both the stock and sales information together, and in the format you want it in? Is there a choice in how you see the data, such as bar or pie charts? Can you easily adapt the report to add extra information when you need it?
4) Website linking (out of 10)
Test: ask the EPOS demonstrator to show you, from start to finish, how to get a product on your website, eBay or Amazon and then process a sale. Some EPOS systems let you do the whole process end-to-end including pictures, descriptions, alternative web prices, picking lists, shipping notes and courier links etc; whereas most systems only get you a small part of the way there.
5) Support (out of 10)
Test: ask the EPOS demonstrator to tell you about the training and technical support that’s included in your quoted package. Some systems offer unlimited training and same-day phone technical support, whereas others offer email support only. It’s also worth checking if you can get a ‘time to fix’ – since anyone can answer a phone; so it’s not about how quickly a call is answered but how quickly, on average, a problem gets resolved.
Prioritise what’s important. Using the five points above, test and rate each of the EPOS systems you are considering, and you will arrive at an informed decision as to what EPOS system is the best fit for your retail business.
Considering a Top to Toe EPOS walkthrough? Click on the big purple button below to see the six unique claims that Top to Toe can make over every other EPOS system!