Why Your EPoS is More Than Just a Till

Last Updated: 

November 8, 2022

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You may think the humble till point hasn’t changed much over the past 100 years. Yes, it’s been digitised and made simpler to use, retailers can now accept debit cards and we have a screen rather than just a keypad. However, in the past 5-10 years, there’s been dramatic innovations in the way tills function, ultimately heightening the role it plays in the retail experience.

One key innovation is the rise of Omnichannel Retail software or ‘Unified Commerce’. This all-in-one software solution enables retailers to manage retail sales and marketing operations in one platform. Unified Commerce combines EPoS, eCommerce, inventory management and CRM giving retailers a 360° view of what’s happening across every sales channel.

This is important because retailers now have access to more data than ever before. And, with ‘data-driven marketing’ being an unmissable industry buzzword, retailers can harness customer data to create personalised experiences and ultimately better retail environments.

The Power of EPoS & Unified Commerce

When EPoS is part of a Unified Commerce platform, which includes eCommerce, CRM and RMS, it becomes much more than just a till point. It’s an essential tool in your arsenal that keeps your staff happy, customers happy and sales strong. Why? Because you have access to data from all of your channels including your inventory.

All of the elements in a Unified Commerce platform are powered from one central database. This means data is updated across every channel in real-time, with no integrations. The result is a fully connected, omnichannel retail landscape.

With that in mind, here are 5 reasons your EPoS is more than just a till, and actually a gateway to a market-leading customer experience, increased sales and delighted customers.

1. Stock is visible across every channel for you and your customers

Because inventory data is held centrally, it’s available wherever and whenever you need it. Examples of how you can leverage this include:

  • Allowing customers to check stock in different stores when shopping on your website
  • Offering a click and collect service based on real-time stock figures
  • Reserving stock in the next closest store for collection if your store is out of stock
  • Transferring stock to other locations to fulfil orders - e.g. reserving stock from one store to fulfil eCommerce orders

2. Customer data is collected and stored centrally

In the same way inventory data is stored centrally, so is customer data. This means that wherever your customers shop you can learn more about them and offer relevant products and services. Your EPoS is an essential data collection point that feeds customer data into the system every time a transaction, return and refund is processed.

For example, top Unified Commerce platforms use data collected from til points and online purchases to serve bespoke messages when shopping online and offline including:

  • Serving personalised homepages and banner ads
  • Using AI to sort product categories based on previous purchase habits
  • Generating personalised offers and discounts online and at the till point
  • Recommending highly specific products based on similar customer profiles
  • Grouping similar customers together to support targeting email marketing and advertising campaigns

3. Quote customers in-store, let them pay online later

Retailers will be far too aware that many customers like to browse in-store before going away to purchase online, from you or a competitor. Because Unified Commerce connects your online and offline channels there’s no longer a gap in your sales process and a risk of losing a sale. Here’s an example.

A customer comes into your furniture store and shows interest in a particular sofa. They have a few models from different retailers in mind but aren’t ready to make the purchase right away. Your sales assistant helps them to narrow down their options to one of your best sellers in store. The sales assistant knows they’re not ready to buy but that’s okay.

Instead of pushing for the sale, they set the customer up with an online account, adding the sofa to their basket with the exact specification the customer wants using the in-store EPoS. The customer can now purchase this bespoke item online at a later date, without having to come back to the store. A few days later the customer makes the purchase online, including insurance and fabric protection that they discussed with the sales assistant in store.

In Summary

For many retailers, EPoS is the last step in the retail journey. However, the introduction of Unified Commerce software has turned EPoS on its head. More than ever before, it’s a vital component in the wider retail landscape.

EPoS is no longer a place to log sales and take payment, it’s a data collection point that fuels everything from personalising the online customer experience to ensuring you have the right stock levels to fulfil orders from every sales channel.

Retailers that wish to excel in the 2020’s, after what has been an awful start to the decade for bricks and mortar, must consider the benefits Unified Commerce has to offer and start thinking outside the proverbial retail store box.

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