So what exactly makes ePOS software so much more efficient than traditional POS systems?
What’s the difference between the two? Since the introduction of ePOS systems, thousands of businesses across the globe have ditched their old POS systems in favour of the more sophisticated electronic versions. Keep reading to learn the difference between ePOS and traditional POS systems.
What’s a POS System?
A POS, or point of sale system, is where monetary exchange for goods or services takes place. This is essentially the cash register at your favourite store. An ePOS is an electronic point of sale system and usually operates in a web-based setting, storing information on a secure cloud.
ePOS systems come in all shapes and sizes, and some don’t even include any hardware. The software is easily integrated with mobile devices like iPads or other tablets.
ePOS systems tend to have better security protocols than their more traditional counterparts. Being web-based, the need for better security was absolutely essential to making the software safe for consumers to use.
With heightened security measures, ePOS systems are safer to use and have less chance of being hacked or compromised.
Flexible Payment Options
As the way we exchange money is always changing, it’s vital that retailers and other businesses are able to accept the varying payment methods that exist in our modern markets. From touchless payments to online payments to traditional credit card payments, there are dozens of payment methods available to consumers worldwide.
Traditional POS systems generally only accept cash and a credit or debit card, putting those businesses still using them behind the curve and actually preventing certain customers from using the business’s services or products.
People like to know that their preferred payment method is accepted at their favourite stores, so it’s essential that your POS system is flexible when it comes to monetary exchange options. Older POS systems will not be able to accept touchless or online payments and are therefore considered to be outdated.
In the past, POS systems only worked with the hardware that came with it, which was usually a stationary terminal with a cash drawer and credit card reader. ePOS systems are more flexible when it comes to hardware; many of them being compatible with an iPad or other mobile devices.
This flexibility eliminates the need to purchase costly (and often bulky) hardware that you’d find with traditional POS systems, cutting upfront and maintenance costs considerably. With cloud-based software, you can access your terminal from anywhere with a web connection. Try that with your old cash register!
Additionally, many ePOS systems will work offline as well as online, meaning if there’s an internet outage, your whole network doesn’t go down. This can be a frustrating experience for both you and your customers!
Since you can access your inventory in real-time from an ePOS system, we’re going to go ahead and say that this is probably the better option. Traditional POS systems update slowly, far from real-time updates. Here’s how ePOS can help manage your inventory:
From your ePOS terminal, you can track inventory and even receive notifications when your stock begins to run low. That way, you’ll always have your customers’ favourite items stocked, but not overstocked. Errors in inventory management can lead to dead stock on your shelves, costing you both time and money.
While some traditional POS systems allow for the collection and storage of customer data, ePOS systems do it in a much more efficient and secure way. From the terminal, you can view customer phone numbers, email addresses, names, and even view their purchase history.
This allows for a greater understanding of individual customers, and therefore a better customer-retailer relationship. From the ePOS terminal, you can also manage loyalty accounts and cards, automatically applying discounts where appropriate.
Does your older POS system provided you with charted sales numbers, information on sales trends, or provide you with inventory numbers? Probably not. ePOS systems come standard with analytics tools, allowing you to take a closer look at your business and how it’s running.
You’ll learn what your profits have looked like for the past few months, what kinds of products are selling, and where your expenses are cutting into the profit margin. This level of insight only serves to better your management style and helps identify problem areas that need to be addressed.
Many ePOS systems offer 24/7 customer support to their users, something that only a select few traditional POS services offer. Have you ever used an old cash register, ran into problems, and found that the “tech support” line was either disconnected or completely wrong?
ePOS services offer much better support than their traditional counterparts. With day or night customer service available, you can be sure that any issues you may have will be addressed quickly and effectively.
As with any software, you don’t want to buy something that doesn’t have a dedicated support team behind it. Be sure to check with the company you’re purchasing from to ensure they put plenty of resources into providing technical support to its users.
Overall, ePOS systems offer greater flexibility, security, and mobility than traditional POS systems. The hardware is usually less bulky and the software is easy to learn and use. Choosing an ePOS system for your business ensures you’re getting the most out of your POS, effectively turning it into a marketing/management/analytics tool instead of just a cash register.