Imagine a technology that lets retailers process transactions and perform other operations faster, safer, and more affordably. You would think that adopting it would be a no-brainer. Now imagine that speedier checkouts, heightened security, and cost savings were only some of the benefits the technology delivers. That’s ePOS in a nutshell.
When you consider the advantages that cloud-based ePOS systems provide to small retailers in particular, the prospect of reverting to conventional closed-box POS approaches feels like trading in your smartphone for a landline with a rotary dial. These six winning features of ePOS systems for small retailers can help boost your shop’s bottom line and move your operation solidly into the 21st century.
ePOS Saves on Upfront Costs and Simplifies Maintenance
A terminal for a traditional POS system can cost from $1,500 to $5,000. That expense alone is enough to keep some small retailers out of the market. Now, compare that price to the fees charged by cloud-based ePOS vendors:
- Mobile ePOS apps run on tablets, smartphones, and other hardware that store owners and employees likely already own. Card readers and other peripherals can cost as little as $10 or $15. This allows small retailers to get an ePOS system up and running without impinging on the business’s cash flow.
- Monthly fees for ePOS software are as low as $30, and full-featured plans with features such as appointment booking, inventory alerts, and online ordering cost as little as $99 a month. In addition, the systems update their software automatically to ensure secure transactions, and they can grow along with the business.
ePOS Systems Link Easily with Scanners, Receipt Printers, and Barcode Readers
For every retailer, large or small, job one is keeping your customers happy. Retail customers now expect to be offered more options and to be allowed more control over the shopping experience. ePOS systems help small retailers meet the rising expectations of their customers by supporting a range of devices that connect via a wireless or wired connection to offer touchless payments, receipt printing, and other features at an affordable price.
For example, during COVID-19, many restaurants and other shops have moved many of their operations outdoors or to remote locations. An ePOS system allows a tablet or smartphone to be used as a full-featured POS terminal that connects via Bluetooth to a mobile printer such as the Star Micronics SM-T300i. Similarly, payment devices such as the Ingenico RPC 457c take payments using EMV chip cards or and contactless payments via Apple Pay or Google Pay.
ePOS Delivers the POS Features You Need at a Much Lower Price
The advanced customer-relationship management (CRM), inventory tracking, and integrated accounting features of POS systems designed for large retailers can be overkill for smaller retail operations. Cloud-based ePOS systems ensure that shops aren’t spending on features they don’t need. At the same time, the systems are flexible enough to support more advanced POS features as the retailer’s operations expand.
ePOS Makes it Easy to Create Branded Portals that Integrate Seamlessly with Real-World Operations
Customers increasingly contact small retailers through the stores’ online presence. Omnichannel shopping presents an opportunity to engage with customers through virtual storefronts. ePOS systems make it simple to have a custom branded portal that presents customers with shopping and purchasing options for delivery, pickup, and in-person shopping.
- A savable shopping cart that customers can return to in future visits
- A wish list of items for birthdays and holidays
- Promotions based on customers’ purchase history and other information
Combining customers’ online and in-person transactions into a single experience allows retailers to connect with clients via social media, email, and chat to let them know about sales events and special offers.
ePOS Lets Your Customers Shop and Connect with You Wherever You Operate
More and more retailers are going mobile in an effort to connect with customers more easily. An ePOS system’s mobile app brings the store’s inventory and sales records, employee schedules, and other data to any location within range of a cell or WiFi network. Five features are considered must-have for an ePOS mobile app:
- An in-app catalog of products for managing inventory and keeping tabs on product levels
- Security features that take advantage of biometric and other identification methods available on mobile devices
- A real-time view into sales records to help spot any potential sources of product leakage as quickly as possible
- The ability to accept a range of payment options, including swipe, EMV, and manual credit card entry
- Order and receipt customization for adding notes and descriptions to orders and for allowing tips and delivery fees to be added to receipts
ePOS Puts More Power and Flexibility in Your Customers’ Hands
Putting the customer first extends to how a retailer plans and implements an ePOS system. Mobility benefits customers and retailers alike by making the shopping experience as convenient and rewarding as possible. Using a portable ePOS system allows retailers to respond more quickly to changing conditions and to have a unified view of all their operations that’s accessible wherever and whenever they need it.
ePOS also empowers store employees by providing them with ready access to the information they need to answer customers’ questions about product availability, menu items, and special offers. For returning customers, employees can access a record of their past purchases. The systems can handle merchandise returns, discounts, and write-offs. They may also suggest bundling related products. Small retailers can apply many of the same sales-analytics tools that their larger counterparts benefit from.
Small retailers owe it to themselves to take advantage of every opportunity to capitalize on new technologies that make their operations more efficient without smashing their budget. A modest investment in a modern cloud-based ePOS system prepares stores and restaurants to deliver a first-rate customer experience today and tomorrow.
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