The past year and a half has been difficult for all businesses, but retail has been hit particularly hard with Brexit, stock shortages, driver issues and the global chip shortage, as well as repeated lockdowns and covid restrictions. Now we are nearing the end of the summer, thoughts begin to turn towards winter and the next year. Putting the aforementioned issues to one side for a moment, now is the time to ensure your EPoS systems are fit for purpose and can handle what may be the busiest seasonal shopping year in a decade as the world begins to emerge from the global pandemic.
If you haven’t invested in your EPoS system for some time, you are not alone. The last eighteen months have put the breaks on many businesses’ plans to upgrade their equipment as operational difficulties and stock problems took precedent in the fight for survival. However, the return to relative normality after this hiatus has highlighted for many the need to address operational efficiency and customer experience.
Any EPoS solution should fulfil some basic requirements for any retailer:
- Managing stock
- Selling product
- Accepting payments
However, for the ambitious modern retailer, these basics are simply not enough to provide the level of operational efficiency required to cope with high volume sales while remaining competitive, profitable and offering a better customer experience than your competitors.
To assess whether your current EPoS solution can support your plans for business growth and cope with the upcoming shopping boom, ask yourself the following questions:
- Can your system list products across multiple platforms such as Shopify, WooCommerce, Big Commerce, Visualsoft and Magento; or on marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay? If retailers have learned anything in the last year and a half, it’s that an omnichannel approach is the only way to safeguard your business from further lockdowns and enforced closures.
- Can you manage stock across multiple physical locations? If you’re a multi-site retailer, you will be aware of the benefits of shifting stock between locations to meet demand. If you can’t synchronise your inventory in real time and allocate stock across locations, you run the risk of over or underselling.
- Can you easily manage returns and automatically update your stock levels? This is particularly important during sale periods, when customers have a tendency to bulk purchase and then return what is unwanted at a later date.
- Is your EPoS solution cloud-based? Many EPoS software solutions are installed locally on PCs and EPoS terminals, so you may require servers, additional security and an upgrade to your IT infrastructure. With a cloud-based software, the servers are remote, security is built into the solution, the cost is typically much lower, and your solution becomes mobile as you can access it from any internet-enabled device. A mobile solution also enables you to sell from anywhere, for example a pop-up shop, or to offer curb side pick up to your customers.
If you answered no to any of the above questions, your solution may not be fit for purpose. We would be happy to review your current solution and offer an EPoS Project Scoping Service to all our clients. Our expert project managers have extensive retail experience and can provide professional advice and guidance on the best solution for your business. Our team will initially scope your project to ensure that the solution we provide is tailored to your specific needs and delivers the system that require on time and on budget.
We are also proud partners of Bluestar Leasing and an offer finance for our solutions. Many EPoS solution providers require payment upfront, even before an installation is complete. Leasing your solution means you can spread the cost of your system, enabling you to benefit from the latest equipment and software from Day 1, without the large initial financial outlay.
If you are considering an upgrade in 2022, we urge you to get in touch today. Demand for new systems is extremely high and the supply of hardware is currently affected by a number of factors. For more information, please give our team a call on 0800 138 0050 or contact us here.