The retail industry has been changing so quickly it can make a shopkeeper’s head spin. It seems not a week passes without a new circumstance to deal with or a challenge to overcome. Small retailers in particular are finding the best approach to keeping their businesses running is by focusing on meeting their customers’ needs while keeping costs down.
That explains the tremendous rise in the use of ePOS by small retailers. The answer to why shops use ePOS is twofold:
- Customers now expect their favorite shops to come to them via mobile apps and branded websites. They also want a choice of payment methods, including contactless payments and mobile wallets.
- Shop owners are able to take advantage of advanced POS features without any large upfront costs. Cloud-based ePOS systems put more information into employees’ hands while allowing store managers to access sales, inventory, and employee data from anywhere and at any time via a mobile device.
Here’s a closer look at the many reasons why shops choose ePOS for payment processing.
Best ePOS Features for Shopkeepers
Retailers want to maximize the amount of time they and their employees spend meeting the needs of customers and minimize the time they spend on administrative tasks. Modern cloud-based ePOS systems put the focus squarely on the customer by automating many of their routine operations:
- All of the functionality stores have come to expect from a POS system are available via a clear, easy-to-use interface on the retailer’s custom application. Employees are able to handle refunds and returns, as well as print receipts or send them to customers via text or email from an app on a smartphone or tablet.
- By connecting the free ePOS app to an inexpensive card reader, stores are open for business wherever the customers are: street fairs, flea markets, and special events.
- Even small shopkeepers can provide their customers with a catalog or menu describing as many as 100 different products that shoppers can browse through via the store’s custom website or an app running on their phone or tablet.
- As vendors move from place to place, the ePOS system automatically calculates inclusive and add-on tax rates for each location. This includes applied taxes (percentage-based tax applied after the subtotal); inclusive tax (percentage-based tax applied before the subtotal); and flat tax (dollar-amount tax levied per item).
- ePOS systems integrate with the store’s online ordering system to maintain an up-to-date record of each customer’s purchase and shopping history. This allows employees to offer clients personalized discounts and other special offers.
Three Key Benefits of ePOS: Portability, Versatility, and Reporting
There’s no better way for shopkeepers to let their customers know they appreciate them than by providing them with the same services they’ve come to expect from the big retail outlets. The bonus for small retailers is that cloud-based ePOS systems allow them to offer these advanced services at a price that fits their budget. ePOS addresses the three trends that are driving the modern retail industry:
- Mobility: If a customer can’t come to the shopkeeper, the shopkeeper will have to come to the customer. The two principal ways retailers use to connect with clients remotely are mobile apps running on phones and tablets, and a portable card reader that supports contactless payments and digital wallets such as Apple Pay and Google Pay.
- Versatility: Among the features built into ePOS apps are the ability to accept multiple forms of payment on a single sale (split tender), and to apply discounts or make service-charge adjustments on the spot.
- Reporting: The advanced sales-analytics features that large retailers benefit from are now available to small shops via the sales-reporting functions offered by ePOS systems. Cash management is enhanced because retailers have an up-to-the-minute accounting of sales, which allows them to bill for and receive payments more quickly.
These and other accounting and management features are readily available from any device via an in-app sales dashboard. Immediate access to sales and other data about the business means retailers are able to make better decisions and adjust quickly as conditions change.
How ePOS Systems Create a Welcoming Atmosphere for Customers
Whether they’re browsing store shelves and display racks in a brick-and-mortar shop or looking for bargains online or via a custom app, the people coming to your shop anticipate a warm, comfortable ambiance that is your store’s unique signature. ePOS systems contribute to creating a pleasant and inviting atmosphere for shoppers by promoting closer relationships between customers and your store’s staff.
Among the aspects to consider when pairing an ePOS system to your store’s needs are the mobile devices the system will use, the equipment the system will connect to, and the methods customers will use to interact with the system.
- Hardware costs can be kept low by installing the shop’s mobile app on employees’ own smartphones, or by providing workers with low-cost phones or tablets to use on the job. Determining the best mobile devices to use requires understanding how your staff performs their duties, and whether you want to offer customers self-service options.
- While many shops and mobile retailers can provide customers with receipts sent via email or text, others will need to link a printer to the ePOS system, whether via a cable connection or wirelessly. Similarly, many retailers require connecting to a barcode scanner for sales and inventory management.
- Just as employees benefit from being able to access the POS features they need via an app on their phone or tablet, customers can be empowered by installing the store’s app on their own devices, or by giving them access to its features via a self-service kiosk or tablet.
As with so many aspects of running a retail business in these changeable times, shops planning to implement an ePOS system need to consider how the devices will alter the look of the business, how it functions, and most importantly, how your customers will interact with the store. The best way to smooth the transition to ePOS is by working with a partner like talech who has the experience to craft a solution that checks all the boxes for your business.
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