Forget POS – think EPOS!
- January 5, 2016
The POS revolution isn’t only within the concept of moving from a manual POS system to a full EPOS with brand-new software and hardware. The software is practically universal but the hardware isn’t.
Let me ask you a question: Apple iPad, Apple iPod, iPad mini, iPad Pro or something in your staff’s hands that looks like a half brick with buttons? Which of the two following options is going to make your establishment looks slick and up-to-date? A sleek Apple product or something which already looks about 30 years old?
Mind you, if your establishment has a 70s or 80s theme, you might well be better off with one of those 2 inch thick contraptions which are often seen at restaurants, bars, retail outlets etc. But if you want to make your customers feel at home and do wonders for your business image, you should be considering the Apple Option.
Using an Apple iPad is not just for aesthetic purposes. You already know that is a modern looking slick piece of kit with the sort of functionality we used to dream about only 5 years ago.
Staff can take an order anywhere within your establishment, even outside it – if your Wi-Fi is man enough! From a sales point of view, it is always good ( especially in a shop) to strike while the iron is hot. If, for instance, someone is admiring a pair of jeans, you or your staff can make the sale there and then.
If you see customers queueing, you can even walk along the queue completing orders.
If you own a retail establishment, think back at the sales you may have lost because it was taking you or your staff too long to deal with a single client, while two were ‘getting away’.
You may be surprised to hear that it is debit cards which are the big growth area – especially during the end of year buying season just gone when buyers also returned to the traditional Christmas presents of clothing and jewellery.
You need two things to keep up with the trend: The first is an iPad-based EPOS system and a friendly merchant account provider so that as soon as a sale is made, the money is sitting in your business account – usually well within 24 hours. But why an iPad system? Surely not only for aesthetic purposes……and by the way, if you’re not sure what a merchant account provider is, do ask your EPOS supplier…he will be able to point you in the right direction.
There are many reasons why you should consider an iPad based system, one of which is the fact that the iPad is so universally popular that the vast majority of EPOS development work is now done with the iPad in mind. Having said that, the full range of point-of-sale software is already available to you off-the-shelf and all your supplier has to do (if necessary) is to help you to carry out any modifications specific to your business – and most of those will be purely cosmetic. The other great advantage of an iPad-based system is the fact that you can build it up in a modular way, that is to say introduce various functionalities as you find them necessary.
Nowadays, for instance, a simple iPad scan of a barcode, followed by a contactless ‘read’ of a debit or credit card completes a sale. That simply means no matter which business you are in, you can be processing transactions all day long without error.
As far as the retailer is concerned, any payment is automatically transmitted to the nominated bank and batched with all the other takings for that day.
If you are a retailer or restaurant of a certain age, you no doubt remember the daily routine of either placing the day’s takings in a safe, taking it home with you or that long journey to the bank clutching a canvas bag full of cash whilst looking over your shoulder. Those days are over.
The only thing you need to think about are the processing charges and your EPOS supplier will be happy to help you with those.
So, one or more Apple iPads with a fully integrated EPOS, a merchant account, a bank account plus customers are all you need.
Finally I should also mention something I have seen quite recently which was a total lack of a large box with a screen on the shop counter – or to give it its proper name – an Electronic Cash Register.
Instead of an Electronic Cash Register to which all the shop assistants’ iPads were connected, the merchant had a wall mounted iPad which did all the work of a cash register.
I thought that was pretty cool! And I’ll definitely be going back there!
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