Having options is usually a huge benefit. It’s nice to be able to compare similar products in order to ultimately find the one that best meets your needs. But on the same hand, having options can make narrowing down your top choices a little harder.
One of the most important investments you’ll ever make for your business is an ePOS system. Not only can these systems be costly, with the right system, but you can also streamline, automate, and make your business efficient for years to come.
But, there are dozens upon dozens of ePOS to choose from, so how do you know which one is right for your business?
Here’s what you need to know about choosing the right ePOS.
Crunch the Numbers
Before you set out to research an ePOS system, figure out how much you can comfortably spend. Not only do you need to consider the upfront cost of buying the system, but you'll also need to factor in maintenance fees. When researching possible systems, be aware that many vendors only offer partial pricing information, so it's important to ask how much the software and the hardware components cost.
For example, you may need to pay for updates in the future in order to keep the system as modernized as possible. Or you could choose to buy a system that supports rolling updates, which saves you money on hardware and software and the future, but often comes with a higher upfront cost.
Know What Features You Need
When choosing an ePOS system, you’ll want to have a good idea of what features and functionality you need. You don't want to spend thousands of dollars on a system that doesn't offer everything that you want out of an ePOS.
The good news is that even the most basic ePOS systems offer a wide range of features that will have a positive impact on your business' daily operations. Some features you'll want an ePOS to include are:
● Inventory management
● Customer information tracking
● Employee tracking
● Digital receipts
● Offline capability
● Mobile & EMV payments
These are just a few of the features that are important to have in the ePOS machines and software that you choose. Be sure to take the time to figure out what other features are a must-have for your business. For example, if you run a restaurant, you may want an ePOS that allows check splitting and tipping via card.
An ePOS with the necessary features and functionality is a good start, but it's just as important to choose a system that is easy to use. To determine if a system is user-friendly or not, it's best to check out a demo or ask the vendor if they offer a free trial period.
You don’t want to invest in an ePOS that you haven’t tried and tested for yourself. There’s nothing more eye-opening than a hand’s on experience with the system.
A system that's easy and intuitive to use is much more like to receive buy-in from your employees. If the system is too confusing or complicated to use, your staff will quickly become frustrated and uninterested.
When choosing an ePOS system, look for one that offers an easy to use interface and other beneficial features like quick keys, inventory search, and digital signature pads.
Hardware is always changing, so you want to ensure that the ePOS system you choose works on many different platforms, to include mobile ones. The broader the platform support is, the better, as this means you can install the ePOS software onto a computer, tablets, and other mobile devices.
Data drives how you do business and the business decisions you make. When comparing ePOS systems, be sure to pay close attention to how data is collected, stored, and managed. You want to find an ePOS system that allows you to track important numbers such as which items are selling the fastest, which customers visit the most frequently, average purchase total, and peak sales hours.
Having the ability to collect and analyze this kind of data allows you to make informed business decisions. If you know which items are selling the fastest, you can market them even more while keeping a close eye on your stock levels. Knowing which customers are shopping the most often allows you to pinpoint candidates for a new loyalty program.
The more data you have access to through the ePOS system, the better!
Choosing an ePOS system isn’t a decision to make lightly. Before committing to a certain system, be sure that you’ve thought about the price, features, and other aspects so that you know you’ve made the best choice for your business.