Your company’s EPoS system is likely one of the most valuable tools available to your business. From selling and taking payments to capacity management, product and stock management, right through to customer accounts and members, the right choice of system will keep things running smoothly every day of the year.
This reliability being fundamental to success depends also on users’ ability to operate the system as intended. This is why it is also vital that your team understand your PoS and what it can do for you so that you do actually get the most out of it.
Every ticketing and PoS solution is different, which means that although there is no single right way to using your EPoS or ticketing solution in your own business. That said, the best point of sale systems today will have common functionalities that you need to be aware of when choosing a system that is future proof and right for you.
Here we look at some of these features to help you manage your business using your EPoS solution to the best advantage.
How to use your EPoS system to increase sales
The primary function of your fixed or mobile point of sale solution is to make and facilitate sales, so you need to be completely familiar with your sales screens.
Every solution is individual and the best will allow you to design your own layouts, but generally, your POS will let you make sales using the following processes:
Add items to the sale – This is the first step of the sales process. Depending on how your EPoS system is set up, adding items can be done by:
- Scanning a barcode or QR code
- Searching on the sales screen (better POS will have product lookup functionalities in multiple formats)
- Using a shortcut enabling you to search quickly by product type or best sellers, for example. Again, better solutions will enable you to manage these with ease, adapting them for user profiles, locations etc.
From there, you can adjust product quantities, add and remove items.
Apply discounts – If you’re running a promotion or would like to apply discounts to an item, group of items or even the entire basket, you should be able to use your POS to do so. If your system doesn’t have this feature, see if it lets you adjust the item price manually.
Take payments – The all important moment when you receive payment. All good EPoS systems will have the ability to take cash or card, and better systems will enable you to take virtually any payment type available. Remember that mobile wallet options such as ApplePay are becoming the norm and the more choice you offer, the greater chance you have of creating the all important great customer experience.
Adding modifications or notes – Finally, if you wish to add special notes to a sale (e.g., if a customer has a special request or needs to personalise their purchase) you can add those details as a note.
Managing stock through your point of sale solution
Your retail sales and stock inventory are inherently connected, which is why the best EPoS systems (in particular cloud-based solutions) offer features to help manage your stock effectively and efficiently.
This, at the most basic level, should allow you to set up a product list that details your items, their attributes, and their respective quantities.
To do this, you typically need to enter product details manually into the system or import them using a CSV file, in which case you’ll need to grab a template from your POS vendor.
Other POS systems provide more advanced features such as:
Multi-site inventory management – Crucial when you are managing or running more than one site (store, sales location, depot, for example). You ned your POS and stock management system to give you central stock control so you can manage products from multiple locations from one platform.
A good solution should enable you to transfer stock between locations, as well as generate reports in as many forms as you may require – slicing and dicing data and mining for a multitude of purposes.
The right system and using it correctly will make managing multiple sites a much easier task, closing gaps and reducing shrinkage.
Multi-channel inventory management – This principle applies also to multi-channel sales. If you sell both online and face to face, then your sales and stock movements must operate seamlessly across all your channels.
This is vital to delivering excellent customer service ensuring that you are able to fulfil orders with a real time control over stock and availability.
Stock counting – nobody’s favourite task, a good system will deliver you faster and efficient ways to keep on top of stock counts with added features designed to protect stock and reduce shrinkage. You should look for features including random stock counts on specific products (e.g. prompts for users to count high value items at random intervals, partial and complete stock counts).
Ordering and par levels – The best EPoS systems let you set “Par” levels or set triggers for orders at given points, generating automated orders or requests when a product drops below your determined levels.
Using EPoS for customer management
Customer service is more important today than ever, in an age where social media and reviews remain publicly visible online for the long-term. If your EPoS system doesn’t feature CRM capabilities, you should consider finding a solution that does when you are seeking a new system.
Here are some of the features to look for:
Customer database – Ideally, your system should allow you to create customer profiles that can contain their contact information, preferences and historical purchase data.
Customer groups – Being able to create customer profile groups is also essential, as this will allow you to easily create tailored messaging and promotions.
Loyalty schemes – Better EPoS systems will support loyalty schemes, rewarding and accepting payment by points, and offering tailored benefits and promotions to members.
EPoS reporting and analytics
You should be relying heavily on your reporting tool to monitor all areas of your business, including sales, stock and performance.
Ideally, you need to consider the following:
Inventory in real time – You always need to keep track of stock levels so if there’s a report that you should run regularly, it should be this one.
Low Stock – This report tells you which items are running low, so you can avoid out-of-stocks issues and disappointed customers.
Product Performance Report – How quickly are items selling? Which products are making the most money? Such questions can be answered by your product performance report.
Sales Summary – This report gives you an overview of your sales for a given time period. Your sales report should also show your cost of goods sold, gross profit, margins, and tax.
Sales Report Per Product and Product Type – This type of report makes it easy to identify your best (and worst) selling products, so you can determine the right course of action.
Sales Report Per Customer or Customer Group – This will enable you to identify your better customers as well as those who would be receptive to targeted marketing and promotions. Then you can tailor your marketing and communications accordingly.