Gone are the days when the typical point of sale system consisted of a simple glorified calculator that spit out a receipt. We now live in a world where interconnectivity between systems is a necessity to compete against businesses with more resources and manpower.
This world is governed by an unwritten rulebook, a natural order, which naturally selects businesses that are more capable of attracting new customers and retaining those they already have. Within this simple rulebook we can also find another cardinal subscript: Use any technology you can to give you an advantage.
If you find yourself micromanaging too many things at the same time to be able to focus on running things, it’s definitely time to refresh things and get a new and more versatile EPOS system. But even if you aren’t in this situation, there are other reasons to do so:
- Competitivity is everything
Big businesses consolidate their success and power in the market by employing all of the latest technologies and techniques to “wow” their customers. While looking at how they compete with each other, it’s easy to forget that they are also competing with you. What the recent bankruptcies of McGregor and Ritz Camera tell us if the failure to adapt to an ever-changing market can hurt medium or large businesses, smaller ones will be hammered down for the same reason.
The most visible area where retail businesses limit themselves and pave their path to success is in the way they interact with their customers. Newer EPOS systems avoid becoming obstacles to this interaction and improve productivity.
- New systems have upgraded cybersecurity
Cyber attacks have become a lot more commonplace in recent years, with famous cases like the one that Target suffered in 2013 and (more recently) the attack on T-Mobile suffered in 2015 where the data of 15 million subscribers was exposed. The possibility of data breaches shouldn’t be taken lightly, as this has accounted for a $400 billion loss every year.
For retail businesses, having an outdated point of sale system is a liability not only because of the potentially lost productivity but also because it is easier to hack. Symantec in its 20th Internet Security Threat Report has suggested that point of sale systems continue to be valuable targets for hackers. The best response to this threat is to get a cloud-based point of sale system that is constantly updated by the developer against any known threats.
- Make your inventory count easier
If a EPOS system is a retail business’ heart, its inventory is the blood that flows through it. The way it is managed can very well determine whether a retailer gains ground or loses its loyal customers. Counting inventory is a laborious process that often leaves smaller retailers with no other option but to close for a few hours or even the entire day. A physical inventory count would go by much more quickly if it were assisted with technology, preferably from a reliable point of sale application adopted throughout the entire business.
The idea here is to minimise the hours you spend on getting your inventory in order. Rather than using the traditional method of tallying then inputting data (double data entry), you end up using a barcode scanner to “tally as you go”. With the data gathered and historical analysis, you can anticipate spikes and slumps in demand to make better decisions. Products that spend less time on the shelves will translate into less overhead.
- Give customers more incentive to return
It’s a good business practice to give customers a personal touch that lets them feel appreciated and keeps them coming. Larger chains do this by offering gift cards and establishing loyalty reward programs. This has been previously seen as something only accessible to those with deep pockets. Today, that perception is entirely misguided. In recent years, newer software-based EPOS systems have appeared that allow retailers to offer these perks to their customers. Developers are now hard at work to provide smaller businesses with richer tools that allow them to offer customer experiences that put them on equal footing to their larger counterparts.
Loyalty programs will not only incentivise your customers to keep coming back, but also offer a new trove of data as time passes regarding their purchasing habits. You can now tie that data to individuals rather than seeing it as a lump sum of transactions. On the customer’s end, they will feel more included in your company culture as a result of their membership in this “club”.
You have everything to lose
It’s often the little details that lead us away from the path to success and into a moment in which we don’t know what hit us. Your EPOS system is more than just some minor detail; it is a metronome that will determine the pace at which your business runs. Not only does getting a proper “metronome” and keeping it up to date guarantee that your business doesn’t slow down as a result of it, but it also gives you more decision-making power and newer ways to accelerate productivity. Rather than asking why you should have a new system, a more appropriate question is “why not?”