Electronic Point of Sale systems are used in retail, restaurants, the hospitality sector, consumer services, multi-service businesses, and many other industries. No matter what type of business you have, if you process transactions on a daily basis, you will definitely benefit from an all-in-one EPOS system.
This article will cover everything you need to know about all-in-one EPOS systems and why they’re more convenient than traditional cash registers.
- What is EPOS?
- How does an EPOS system work?
- Cash Registers vs. EPOS
- Advantages of EPOS
- Choosing the Right EPOS
- What is MPOS
- Talk to an EPOS Expert
What Is an All-in-One EPOS System?
An all-in-one EPOS or POS system is a modernized version of a cash register that comprises different hardware and software. EPOS stands for Electronic Point of Sale, but it can also be referred to as a Point of Purchase or a Retail Management System. Although the term POS was used to refer to a traditional cash register before, now it indicates advanced digital point-of-sale software.
To be more specific, an all-in-one EPOS system typically refers to one machine that can be connected to a cash register, a barcode scanner, a credit card reader, a cash drawer, a chip reader, and a receipt printer, all at the same time. The main device that all other hardware is connected to is usually a monitor, but it can also be a tablet with a stand. Desktop POS nearly always has a touchscreen, which makes the payment process even easier.
When it comes to software, all-in-one EPOS systems need programs for payment processing, inventory management, POS reports, bookkeeping, employee management, quotations and stock transfers, receipts, tipping support, customer management, and similar.
The types of hardware and software that feature in an EPOS system depend on the type of business it’s used for. It’s important to note that every EPOS system needs POS software to operate. On the other hand, not all businesses need to use POS hardware. For example, online businesses only need EPOS software. However, for restaurants and cafes, you would still need a cash register and a credit card reader to accept payments.
Likewise, EPOS systems in retail businesses can have various additional convenient features as well. This includes customer loyalty programs, personalization features, discount information, marketing programs, gift cards, and additional software. Another thing to keep in mind is that not all POS software and hardware are compatible since they might be designed for different operating systems.
How Does an EPOS System Work?
Although they may seem complicated, EPOS systems are generally easy to install and use. You need an internet connection to access your cloud-based EPOS system, and it can be directly opened with any browser. Depending on the type of POS software and hardware you have, the system can operate in a number of different ways.
Regardless of the specifications, all EPOS systems have the same goal – to process payments. This is how it’s usually done:
When a customer visits your store or business and decides to buy your product or service, you need to scan the price with a barcode reader. Once the sale is initiated, your EPOS system automatically updates your inventory records. After the customer pays for the product/service, with whichever method of payment they choose, the transaction is authorized and finalized. Then, the EPOS system calculates the payment and prints out a receipt.
For online businesses, the process is even less complicated, since there’s no physical activity. The digital receipt will be sent to the customer, and their order will be shipped after the payment has been finalized. Even then, your EPOS system doesn’t stop there. The processed payment is followed by transaction logging and stock-level updates.
Keep in mind that while payment processing is the main goal of an all-in-one EPOS system, there are so many other things it’s used for.
Cash Registers vs. All-in-One EPOS Systems
With so many businesses adopting all-in-one EPOS systems, it’s essential to know what makes them different from traditional cash registers.
By processing transactions that take place in your business, a cash register makes a record of all expenditures and income. Cash registers can be used for a few things – mainly for sale processing and printing receipts. You can find traditional cash registers in the majority of supermarkets and grocery stores. Furthermore, cash registers never command a high price (at least compared to EPOS systems), capping at a few hundred dollars.
Technically speaking, EPOS systems can do everything normal cash registers do. What sets them apart is the variety of features they offer. They’re the ideal solution for businesses that have multiple store locations, distribution centers, or warehouses. All employees can then access the same EPOS system, which basically offers a centralized location for all data of a single business.
EPOS systems allow you to do so much more, including collecting employee and customer data, bookkeeping, running a loyalty program, tracking POS reports, creating and implementing promotions, and similar. While a cash register is only a single machine, an all-in-one EPOS system is made up of different hardware and software. Basically, EPOS systems can have the same functionalities as a PC or a laptop.
As opposed to cash registers, EPOS systems are typically pricier. While the cost of the EPOS system itself might not be too high, the price of getting everything set up might surprise you. To be more specific, it can cost around $1,000 per year in fees.
What Are the Advantages of EPOS Systems?
EPOS systems come with many benefits for both the business and the consumer. With this advanced software, cashiers are able to access data and insights much faster. Cash registers only have the ability to record transactions, while EPOS systems offer many more functionalities. Aside from keeping track of sales, they also analyze transactions, manage inventory and stock levels, examine customer data, and so on.
EPOS systems are highly portable. They can be used via various devices, including monitors, laptops, tablets, and even smartphones. They’re also easier to use, contrary to what some might think. Since they typically come with touchscreens, you can count on accelerated operations, which will lead to more productivity.
With EPOS systems, there is no need for price tags, since the product code entails all the necessary information to finalize the payment. Any changes made to the product’s price will also be updated in the POS system, accelerating the entire sale process.
EPOS systems are guaranteed to save time you’d otherwise spend on checking and rechecking, using multiple devices, and consulting with numerous people. They also give you a better understanding of your customer base. For example, EPOS software can tell you which products are popular at the moment and which aren’t doing so well. Similarly, you’d be able to see who your most loyal customers are and their purchase history.
How to Choose the Right All-in-One EPOS System for Your Business
There are so many EPOS systems to choose from that the sheer volume of choices might be overwhelming. Here are some pointers to consider if you’re in the process of getting an all-in-one EPOS system for your business:
The most important factor is the type of business you have. Defining your needs will determine what type of POS software and hardware you require. As mentioned before, not all POS software is compatible with all POS hardware. Therefore, this is something you need to look into. It might mean having to get new barcode scanners, cash drawers, credit card readers, etc. Make sure your EPOS system can integrate with third-party software and that it’s compatible with different kinds of devices.
Another factor to consider is whether you want a regular, server-based, or cloud-based EPOS system. The latter is much more convenient because it allows you to access the EPOS system from any device. Additionally, decide on an EPOS system that’s easy to use and that your entire staff will be able to master.
It’s important to look for an EPOS system that has all the necessary features – inventory management, bookkeeping, data collection, employee and customer management, logistics, loyalty programs, etc. This is also dependent on the type of business you have.
What Are MPOS Systems?
MPOS stands for Mobile Point of Sale, and it’s becoming even more popular than POS systems with monitors. Technically speaking, MPOS systems can feature a mobile phone or a tablet. They are the ideal solution for businesses or stores with multiple locations, or for vendors who sell products at events or markets. Not only that, but MPOS systems can be of great help to single-location brick-and-mortar businesses.
Another reason why MPOS systems are becoming so widespread is because they’re portable and lightweight. What’s more, they’re useful for flexible retail payments and online transactions. There are various mobile POS systems you can choose from. Two of the most comprehensive mobile computers are the Sonim RS60 and the Sonim RS80.
The Sonim RS60 is a handheld computer with an integrated Smart Scanner. This device is an all-in-one solution for corporate communication and logistic needs. Plus, it can be very useful if connected to an EPOS system. In fact, it can even be used as an MPOS system.
The Sonim RS60 is typically used in warehouse management, transportation, manufacturing, field service, fire and EMS, and law enforcement. But it can also be quite handy in retail and hospitality as this handheld model has all the software tools of a desktop computer. You can use it to scan 1D and 2D barcodes, collect data, manage inventory, track orders, and the manufacturing process, and stay connected with the entire team.
What makes the Sonim RS60 even more convenient than other advanced EPOS systems? It’s lightweight and portable, so you can take it with you anywhere you want. What’s more, this device has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. Not to mention it’s drop-proof, water-proof, and dust-proof. You can truly use it in any kind of working conditions.
The high-speed barcode scanner allows for quick and efficient data collection. It also lets you scan worn tags, while being able to perform in low lighting conditions. The long-lasting multi-shift battery is easily removed and replaced, allowing you to work at full speed without any interruptions throughout the whole day.
The Sonim RS80 is an advanced version of the Sonim RS60. It would also make a great addition to your EPOS system for a number of reasons. As the screen is 2 inches longer than its predecessor, this model is the latest all-in-one mobile computer and smart scanner.
With the Android 10 operating system, this product has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to transmit data to all the connected devices in seconds. It features an integrated high-performance barcode scanner, which is compatible with 1D and 2D symbology. It even gives you the option to download third-party apps, so you can keep track of your business performance in numerous ways.
The Sonim RS80 can operate in all kinds of environments and can be used in warehouse management, retail, the hospitality sector, transportation, manufacturing, and many other industries. Even though this handheld computer is fully rugged, it’s still incredibly lightweight. Paired with its connectivity options, you can carry it around with you the whole day and still stay connected.
It even comes with a Push-to-Talk feature, enabling instant communication between you and your colleagues. Let’s not forget about its long-lasting multi-shift battery, which makes it even more portable. As mentioned, this device is fully rugged, which means that it’s shatter-proof, water-proof, and dust-proof.
Talk to an EPOS System Expert
There’s so much more to EPOS systems than just accepting payments and keeping track of sales. To keep operations running smoothly, your business can definitely benefit from an all-in-one EPOS system. It offers much more convenience, productivity, effectiveness, and ease of use than a traditional cash register.
There are so many different kinds of EPOS systems to choose from. Energy Electronics offers various all-in-one handheld computers and smart scanners for your business. If you’re interested in getting a Sonim device for your mobile POS, all you need to do is contact us for a special quote.