What is EPOS and what does EPOS mean?
EPOS stands for ‘Electronic Point of Sale’, and it can be used to refer to two different things. The simplest meaning refers to an ‘EPOS till’ – the computer hardware that makes up a till in a retail outlet. Associated with this definition is the till software that runs on the till hardware – the till software dictates how the till hardware behaves.
The term EPOS is also used a second way, to describe an ‘EPOS system’. In this definition, an EPOS till is part of a wider stock management system. The system software links a central admin hub to tills and possibly websites too, all in order to manage shop inventory and sales across the whole business. Associated with this definition are additional software functions such as Purchase Orders and Customer Management.
What is an Electronic Point of Sale system used for?
Electronic Point of Sale systems help retailers manage their business better, as they use their system to track stock and monitor sales performance across their shops and websites.
Retail EPOS systems have many other benefits, such as:
• Automatically updating websites and accounting software when a sale is made
• Efficiently capturing sales data, rather than manually updating spreadsheets
• A good system will deliver good analysis, allowing you to drive profits up.
• Allow you to regularly market to your existing customers by text or email
• Streamlining the customer experience at the till point, with tools such as quick stock lookups
• Monitoring staff performance and what is really happening at the point of sale
• Spot theft
Are all EPOS solutions the same or similar?
Yes and No!
Yes, because most solutions are made up of similar hardware elements, all based upon computer technology: at the shop a touchscreen, a receipt printer, barcode scanner and cash drawer per till. At the admin hub, normal computers can be used to add products, access data and report on what is happening, and where.
…and No, they are not all the same, because it is the software that greatly differentiates EPOS systems! Some POS solutions are built for hospitality, and the vast majority are built for general retailing.
Most of the systems marketed to multi-variant retailers (especially clothing, footwear, sportswear) are based upon an adapted general system, where every size/colour variant is a separate product.
This approach makes for a lot of extra work inputting data, and the sheer number of relatively ‘unorganised’ variants hampers the user’s ability to analyse what’s really happening.
Very, very few POS solutions are built specifically around the needs of retailers who have products that come in multiple variations…
…Top to Toe EPOS is one of those very, very few!