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The future of retail ePOS systems

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It wasn’t long ago that POS systems were merely the mechanism for taking a customer’s money when they paid for a product. Cash boxes and handwritten receipts were the norm, and there was no technology involved.

Advances in innovation, however, have led to more integrated systems that not only support the needs of retailers, but also shape the interactions between customers and stores.

Newer retail ePOS systems help shop owners manage their inventory more efficiently, take care of business from wherever they are, and personalise interactions with their customers for a stronger relationship between store and patron.

The future of retail ePOS systems is now, in that advanced technology has led to major changes in the retail industry and ePOS systems have both supported and driven those changes. Many modern ePOS systems are already equipped with at least the basic features retailers need in order to stay competitive in changing markets well into the future.

The challenge to ePOS system developers will be to find ways to expand these features so that they encompass more needs, as consumer expectations continue to grow and businesses require more advanced support.

More diversity in payment methods

In the last decade or so, our payment method options have diversified beyond what most of us ever imagined. No longer do we only pay with cash or the swipe of a debit or credit card. Now we use NFC technology, tapping our cards to a payment station for nearly instant processing.

Just being in close proximity to a payment station allows us to use our phones to pay for purchases. Not including groceries, 87 percent of retail purchases were made online, and we can use payment methods that connect directly to our banks with one click.

Cryptocurrency is growing in popularity, and that may be an upcoming development in brick-and-mortar as well as eCommerce payment processing. Whole Foods and Starbucks have started accepting bitcoin payments, and the procedure is similar to using ApplePay, PayPal or Google Wallet.

Existing modern hardware should be able to handle an adjustment to the newer method with a few simple software updates.

Better inventory control

Handling inventory efficiently is essential to a retail business’s profits. When a shop stocks too much of an item, it loses money through wasted use of storage, a decline in value over time, and spoilage. Sometimes stores have to run special sales and promotions in order to move overstocked inventory. When the inventory is food, it is sometimes a complete loss.

On the other side of things, stock outs lead to loss of customers. When a patron visits a shop to find that what they are looking for is out of stock, they will look elsewhere. Unless you have established a great relationship with your customers, they are likely to shop where they know they can dependably find the items on their list.

Modern ePOS systems offer comprehensive inventory management tools that keep your shop stocked up on its most popular items while preventing you from ordering too much. These features will continue to improve and offer more accessible insights as technology advances, but some systems already offer powerful tools that allow businesses to simplify stock-takes and automate ordering.

More personal customer interaction

Businesses inundate consumers with ads through every source of media possible. Direct mail marketing, email marketing, targeted web and social media ads, YouTube ads, there is no escaping retailers trying to reach audiences wherever they are. And consumers are tired of it.

The majority would much rather see ads based on previous interactions. Coupons and offers related to previous purchases, emails based on a website visit or item left in a shopping cart, and loyalty discounts and promotions are the preferred method of outreach.

Fortunately, ePOS systems are making the personalised customer experience standard. When customers enter their information into the system, their entire purchase history can be tracked for more targeted promotional contact, better loyalty relations, and an overall tailored shopping experience.

Shop owners can use detailed metrics to reach customers in exactly the ways they prefer, to offer products and services they are sure to love.

Cloud-based data, maintenance, and updates

One of the most convenient features of modern ePOS systems is the trend toward cloud-based operation platforms and data storage. Shop owners that have multiple physical locations no longer have to visit every site in order to run updates, and they can sync all their data to access it from wherever they are.

Businesses that run brick-and-mortar, as well as eCommerce shops, can keep all their information in one place, using data from across channels to run reports for important insights about their business.

In addition to the convenience of remote access to data and reports, everything is available in real-time. When customers purchase an item, it is automatically removed from the inventory. End of day register closings get noted into accounting software as they happen.

You can even monitor employee sales performance throughout the day in order to tailor feedback and optimise suggestions.

Final thoughts

EPOS systems will continue to become a more integral and necessary part of doing business as small to medium retail markets must double down on inventory management and customer relationships in order to compete with major corporations like Amazon and Tesco.

In the highly competitive market, business owners need tools that keep them ahead of the curve.

Modern ePOS systems support personalisation of services while collecting data to provide powerful insights that help businesses prevent waste and save owners and managers time. While the most important features are already in place, they will only keep improving to allow for even more efficiency and better customer relationship management.

About Business Woman Media

Our women don’t want to settle for anything but the best. They understand that success is a journey involving personal growth, savvy optimism and the tenacity to be the best. We believe in pragmatism, having fun, hard-work and sharing inspiration. LinkedIn

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