Off the shelf or API? The Importance of EPOS Integrations for Retailers That Scale

api

As a retailer, you’ll rely on different systems for different aspects of your business. From integrations with accounting and payroll to e-commerce and marketing, the efficiency of your integrations and the ability of them to report together will be a crucial contributor to your ongoing success.

In this article, we’ll be covering the main types of EPoS integrations and whether you should opt for a platform with off the shelf integrations or a platform with an API – allowing you to develop integrations yourself.

We believe this choice is crucial in a scaling enterprise: off the shelf solutions can only scale so much. The business considerations of a larger retailer require the true flexibility of an API.

ERP & Business Process Management

ERP, or Enterprise Resource Planning, manage the core processes of an enterprise-scale business from a singular location. This includes finance, HR, manufacturing, supply chain, services and procurement. SAP, Microsoft Dynamics, Oracle and NetSuite dominate the ERP market.

By effectively implementing business processes in one location, accurate analytics and reporting can be generated – giving executives unprecedented levels of oversight and allows for data-driven decisions to be made live.

While OpSuite, our premier EPoS solution, has advanced reporting and stock management functionality (including distribution, inter-site transfer and stock balancing) its developer API platform allows you to build direct integrations into ERP systems.

Accountancy Platforms

With Making Tax Digital, PAYE, PSD2 and other digital-focused accounting laws coming into effect the importance of a seamless integration between your enterprise and your accountancy software is now more important than ever.

Popular accountancy platforms like Sage, Xero and Quickbooks provide the accountancy backbone to many businesses. Effectively managing your taxation, payroll and VAT obligations is crucial to a successful business. Integrating your EPoS directly into your accountancy platform can reduce the amount of labour and increase the amount of oversight in your accountancy obligations.

Some EPoS software allows for direct integrations into a select few popular pieces of software. These off-the-shelf solutions may work for some small businesses but full control is required for business process management in the enterprise. API driven enterprise friendly EPoS software, including OpSuite, allows for your development team to build exactly the integration you require.

E-commerce and other online sales channels

Directly integrating your omnichannel marketing is crucial for a modern business. Managing your physical retail and online sales environment through one integrated platform allows for effective business insight and management.

WooCommerce, Magento and Shopify dominate the e-commerce environment. Many sellers look at running direct integrations into Amazon, eBay, Etsy and other platforms.

Some EPoS providers allow for off-the-shelf integrations into some of these platforms. OpSuite’s developer platform allows for completely bespoke solutions to be created so that the best solution possible can be developed.

Marketing Platforms

APIs form the core of most online marketing platforms: from email marketing platforms to social media channels and websites. Ultimately, choosing an off the shelf solution is choosing a developer who doesn’t work for you to build something not designed for your business considerations.

Effectively managing customer data is crucial in the age of GDPR. Being able to segment customers based on location or purchase history to send them highly relevant promotions is also crucial for enterprise level retail.

Some EPoS systems offer off the shelf integrations into marketing platforms such as Mailchimp. These types of solutions can work – particularly for small businesses.

Our own OpSuite platform allows for the development of a complete and bespoke loyalty programme – with points and rewards being completely programmable and not reliant on someone else’s calculations. Using the API, customers who shop online can also participate in the loyalty programme.

To use customer data for marketing effectively you require complete control. A developer-driven platform such as OpSuite allows for as much segmentation and as many marketing integrations as your business requires.

Conclusions

An EPoS that integrates effectively with each aspect of the enterprise is an EPOS that can drive success to your business. Having an API that your developers can build on is an essential source of flexibility for the evolving modern retailer.

Some EPoS providers offer off-the-shelf integrations with no guarantee of further development, bespoke options or ongoing support. These cheaper solutions may fit the bill for many small retailers.

Larger businesses require flexibility. That’s where API enabled EPOS such as our very own OpSuite with its OpServices layer can provide a valuable platform on which to grow your business.

To book a demo of OpSuite, please fill out this contact form or call us on 0800 138 0050.

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