Running an ecommerce shop requires you to manage your inventory, which can become more complex and time-consuming if you have multiple physical shops and/or distribution centres. Enter EPOS (Electronic Point of Sale) system... Most popular e-commerce platforms, such as Magento, have built-in stock inventory funtionality which is sufficient if you are only dispatching products from one location and don't have a massive catalogue of products. If this isn't the case, you'll need something a little more enterprise level, like an EPOS system.
The first Windows-compatible electronic point of sale (EPOS) system was launched in 1992 by Bob Henry and Martin Goodwin and it was called IT Retail. Since then, we've seen lots of new systems introduced to the market, with different models offering a host of new features including advanced user interfaces, real-time stock information, integration with lots of different web-based software programmes and lots more.
We work with a number of online retailers and I'm frequently asked “Who are good EPOS companies for us to work with?”. This is a difficult question to answer as, unless you’ve worked with a provider and implemented their solution, you don’t really have good grounds on which to base a recommendation. I’ve written this post to provide guidance for retailers on what to look for in an EPOS provider, whilst also possibly giving advice to EPOS providers so that they can interact with retailers more efficiently.
Selecting an EPOS provider
Top things to look for in an EPOS provider:
- High and consistent operating speed (speak with their existing clients)
- Reliability (speak with their existing clients)
- Ease of use
- Remote support
- Functionality you need now and maybe in the future
- API documentation - this is essential for your website developers
As with selecting any company as a provider you should address these points too:
- Have I met their team? Not just the sales person or owner.
- How has their company grown in the past 10 years?
- What level of support do they offer and what processes do they have in place?
List of EPOS providers in the UK
Here’s a short list that we have compiled based on some basic research and previous projects.
- Mobo Innovations
- Order Talk
- Software for Restaurants
- Touch 2 Success
We are planning to conduct several blog interviews with different EPOS suppliers this year, once we've published them we'll add links from here.