What is an EPOS System & How Do EPOS Systems work?

Electronic Point of sales or EPOS systems as they are better known, are crucial to the day-to-day operations of retail businesses. Learn how EPOS systems work and how they will enable you to sell more.

EPOS systems are designed to make life easier for retailers. They can offer a range of benefits from inventory management, customer relationship management and reporting capabilities, business integrations that save time and much more!

In this post, we explore what an EPOS system is, how it works, and the key benefits for retailers.

We also take a look at the different types of EPOS systems available and how you can upgrade your old till system to an EPOS system today.


EPOS system in store

What is an EPOS system?

An EPOS system (electronic point of sale system) is the combination of point of sale software and hardware to make a till system.

The software will act as your till interface, enabling you to speed customers through checkout, process transactions and manage inventory all on one device.

EPOS software is cloud-based which allows for easy updates, flexible integrations such as accounting software, increased security and enhanced reporting when viewing your sales data.

EPOS systems are used in the same way as a traditional till however, EPOS systems offer more functionality, better reporting, and they are easier to use.

The days of the traditional push-button till are long gone. Modern EPOS systems have made it possible for businesses to efficiently process transactions and keep track of customer records without compromising on security or efficiency, all while saving their employees time that they can reinvest back into running an efficient business.

With the rise of digital technology and mobile commerce, there’s never been a better time to invest in a point of sale system.

How do EPOS systems work?

EPOS Systems work like a traditional till system, you add POS software to your POS hardware and it creates a system that lets you make sales and records all your transactions.

Unlike a traditional till system, your POS system does way more, including giving advanced business reports, integrated with your accounting, providing ways to collect customer information, and can include a built-in loyalty system.

An EPOS system is much more powerful than a traditional till system as it allows you to create detailed reports that allow you to understand your business better.

EPOS Software is also better than a traditional system as it stores your information on the cloud, this means you can access it anywhere at any time. This is great if you’re a busy director that’s always on the go, you can check in on the store at any time.

Although EPOS Systems, as mentioned, are primarily software, an EPOS (Electronic point of sale) system will also include POS hardware which can come in many forms. You can easily add hardware such as touch screens (including iPads and Android tablets), cash drawers, printers, barcode scanners and card readers.

The beauty of an EPOS System is that it allows you to build a system that meets the needs of your business and it can grow as you grow by simply adding more hardware and employees as needed.

EPOS Systems allows retailers to efficiently manage the day to day running of their business, not only through processing transactions but accurately managing inventory providing real-time reports.

As the world is becoming more digitally driven so is the way we sell, EPOS systems allow small business owners to improve their business with advanced reporting and features, something a traditional till system can’t do.

What are the key benefits of using an EPOS system for retailers?

It’s clear that EPOS solutions could be considered vital for any modern retailer, however, what are the specific features that set them apart? Why should a vendor change up their current system if it does the job? How does an EPOS system actually save you time?

“Up to 73% of data gets lost in analytics, simply because businesses are unable to recognise it’s value”

1. Better business reporting

If you have ever worked in a business using a traditional till you will understand the frustration of calculating reports at the end of the day, balancing tills and managing accounts. Arguably the largest benefit customers find with switching to a cloud-based point of sale software is the higher visibility across all your data.

With EPOS systems, all your data can be automatically synced with accounting software, saving time and generating more accurate reports. It’s been found that up to 73% of data gets lost in analytics, simply because businesses are unable to recognise its value. Particularly when considering small businesses, EPOS systems have taken the stress out of reporting and allow for more strategic planning.

The great part about EPOS systems being on the cloud is that you can view sales anytime anywhere. Not only that you can track sales by period or employee and get an overview of top-performing sales staff, products and what your customers are buying.

2. Mobility

EPOS software can be downloaded onto mobile devices allowing retailers not only to make sales on the move but also versatility in their instore setup.

As well as this, through basic wifi or Bluetooth connections, EPOS systems can be easily integrated with any hardware such as mobile card readers, scanners and receipt printers.

The mobility function of EPOS software is the reason why this system has become so popular and amongst food vendors and event operators, they will never miss the opportunity to make a sale.

Integrated ecommerce with AirPOS

3. Integrated ecommerce

Ecommerce is the future of retail. With over 73% of customers looking at products online before they buy, now more than ever it’s important to have an omnichannel sales experience.

With an EPOS system like AirPOS you can make the move to ecommerce much easier by using our Shopify integration.  This will sync your products to Shopify and allow you to start selling in no time.

Read more about omnichannel sales in this guide.

4. Save time, sell more

Getting started with an EPOS system is super simple, you can literally get set up and running in a matter of minutes.

Not only that, you will be able to sell quicker, you’ll need less staff to do the same job, allowing you to save on overheads.

This increase in speed is also a great bonus for customers, it will improve the overall experience when shopping with you. Also, you’ll have the option to print, or email receipts to customers a neat feature.

5. Increased customer loyalty

“The probability of selling to an existing customer is up to 14 times higher than the probability of selling to a new customer.”

As mentioned throughout the past decade we have seen a massive surge in customer expectations, the consumers’ idea of quality has changed and businesses are required now, more than ever to go the extra mile.

A study conducted by Accenture in 2018 found that as many as 91% of consumers are more likely to shop in stores that remember them and can give offers and suggestions relevant to them.

Marketing Metrics found that “The probability of selling to an existing customer is up to 14 times higher than the probability of selling to a new customer.”

Some EPOS providers have recognised this trend which is why many point of sale systems now have built-in loyalty and customer management schemes. These, in many cases, will be more sophisticated than the antiquated card schemes that many small retailers still use, taking into consideration of consumer data and tracking for reporting.

At AirPOS we offer both customer loyalty and customer accounts giving you the tools you need as a small business to build loyalty and increase your sales.

Inventory management built-in

6. Easy inventory management

A good EPOS system will provide you with inventory management. You should be able to check stock levels in real-time, reconcile stock vs actual stock, update and add new stock and include stock variations.

Ultimately it allows for greater control over stock levels, you can monitor wastage, and ensure you have your best selling items always in stock. Some systems will even streamline the stock management process by ordering stock automatically, this allows you to easily manage multiple locations and to transfer stock between them.

7. Integrations that save time

With EPOS systems being fully digital, you have the opportunity to fully integrate with other providers. That includes payment providers, other software providers such as accounting tools like Xero. All of these tools and integrations are created to improve your business efficiency and it really lets you focus on what you do best, creating good customer experiences and selling more.

Contactless payments

8. Take contactless payments

Contactless payments are the latest trend in consumer purchasing. With an EPOS system not only can you take traditional cash payments you can also take chip and pin, Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay etc.

What are the different types of EPOS Systems?

As the popularity of EPOS systems has continued to grow it’s only natural that there are a variety of options available to retailers to host their software.

Mobile EPOS systems

Smartphone EPOS systems are an option available to retailers who sell on the go. In general, companies will offer this level of software for free however charge for the mobile card reader to which it will integrate. Although convenient for some small retailers this solution will only work for businesses that do not manage a sizable level of inventory or process a large number of transactions daily.

It is worth noting however that these EPOS systems can usually be linked to mobile card readers and printers if this is a necessity for your business.

Tablet EPOS systems

Integrating EPOS software with a tablet device is becoming an increasingly popular option with business owners across all industries. Hosting EPOS software on an iPad, android or windows device gives retailers much more flexibility with movement, not only to sell on the move but with their store set up.

EPOS on tablet devices, similar to smartphones, using a tablet EPOS system offers mobility with better processing power so you can normally do more on your tablet device.

Importantly, tablet EPOS systems can easily integrate with other POS hardware such as barcode scanners, cash drawers, receipt printers and more, which is why it’s now the preferred solution for most retailers.

Traditional POS systems

Traditional POS software on terminals is a more traditional route for business owners, usually offering an all in one solution, with all hardware accompanying their EPOS system. This is a popular option for those retailers who rely on strong internet connectivity and process a large number of transactions each day.

Hosting EPOS software on terminals is also common with businesses that have a larger workforce as it gives owners more control and visibility over their staff. For example, EPOS terminals can be configured to give employees restricted access to certain areas of the back office and from browsing the internet.

How do I get started with an EPOS system?

Getting started with an EPOS system is easy. Just sign up for a free 14-day free trial and test our AirPOS today.

We’ve also written a comprehensive guide on choosing the right EPOS system for retailers, it’s well worth a read if you’re considering the switch.

You’ll also find that most EPOS providers will offer a hassle-free switching service and their customer success team will get you up and running in no time. At AirPOS we offer a free setup service for new customers so you can move pain-free.

A word of warning when looking for an EPOS system, make sure to read the terms and conditions before you buy. Some EPOS providers will tie you into a long term contract with high cancellation fees, and many charge for support, which can end up being an expensive mistake.

Read the guide: how to choose the right EPOS system.

AirPOS EPOS systems for retail

There are plenty of EPOS system providers in the market, but not everyone is set up for retailers.

If you are a retailer, then look no further, AirPOS is the perfect solution for you.

AirPOS prides itself in its transparency, offering a no-contract EPOS solution with no contracts or hidden fees.

Our system is tailored for retailers, with customer accounts, loyalty, easy inventory management, integrated ecommerce and advanced business reporting, it’s the one-stop software solution for your needs.

As well as all the above, AirPOS offers dedicated customer support completely free and will provide free assisted setups for new users.

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