No matter what type of brick-and-mortar store you own, your goal is likely to get your visitors to make a purchase soon after they walk in the door. However, getting shoppers to buy relies more on a strategic checkout process than you may think. Turning to digital payment solutions like EPOS software can help you make sales efficiently and gather data that helps you grow.

While bulky cash registers were once the standard for retailers around the world, the most proactive businesses are adapting to big changes in consumer behavior. Instead of making cash payments the default system, they’re making it easier for customers to pay with their credit cards or smartphones. 

Business leaders must recognize that Americans are increasingly moving toward a cash-free lifestyle, with 46% already saying that they’re unconcerned about keeping cash on hand. We’ll help you navigate modern payments by explaining EPOS software and how it compares to other digital payment options.

What is EPOS software?

Electronic point-of-sale software—better known as EPOS software—is a digital payment solution that businesses use to accept a variety of payment types from customers. It helps your customers complete the buyer’s journey faster, often just by completing a few taps on a touchscreen.

EPOS software always works as part of a greater EPOS system. To function properly, your software needs to be minimally paired with a mobile device (commonly, iPhones, Androids, iPads, and Android tablets) or a desktop computer like a Mac or PC. However, many companies will add more accessories to their EPOS systems to improve the customer experience. These accessories may include:

  • Card readers, which are a must for accepting debit and credit card payments.
  • Barcode scanners, for companies with larger inventories.
  • Cash drawers, to give customers the option of paying with cash.
  • Receipt printers, in case your customers want a physical copy of their receipt.
  • Weighing scales, which are commonly used by grocery stores and bulk stores.

With all the tools that can be paired with your EPOS software, this digital payment management system can effectively replace the bulk and inefficiency of whatever system you previously had in place. Of course, this software isn’t just practical for your store. It can also help you get a deeper understanding of what’s being sold, who’s buying, and how your business is doing as a whole.

What EPOS software can do

Beyond helping your store(s) accept payments, your chosen EPOS solution can play a variety of roles to improve your operations over time. Here are some business needs that EPOS software can help you meet:

  • Inventory management: As products are sold, your EPOS software will automatically update your inventory, even across multiple stores. This can save you time on stock control.
  • Sales tracking: EPOS software can provide real-time and historical data about what’s being sold. With this data, you can easily spot trends, capitalize on products that are in demand, and figure out when changes need to be made.
  • Data collection: Once a shopper’s card is stored in your EPOS system, your team will be able to see their purchase history and recommend the most relevant products. Some EPOS systems can even help you request contact information and birthdays, so you can further personalize your marketing efforts. This can lead to more repeat purchases and greater customer loyalty.
  • Better customer support: EPOS software helps you assist your shoppers faster, whether they’re looking to check out or asking about what’s in stock. It even increases your team’s accuracy, as price or inventory changes can be made across all stores with just a few taps. What’s more, your software company can also provide your team with support if you run into any issues with your payment system.

Many EPOS solutions can even link to e-commerce stores, so you can easily sell and track sales both online and offline. This digital payment solution is highly versatile—much more so than an old-fashioned cash till—and can help you record the data you need to build a smart business strategy.

How SMS payment software compares

While EPOS software is one of the most popular payment solutions for today’s retail businesses, some brands are taking an even larger step forward to offer a more convenient customer experience. Instead of only moving toward a mostly cashless and paperless checkout process, they’re eliminating the need for shoppers to wait in line in the first place through SMS payments.

SMS payment software makes it easy for customers to make purchases, with no stationary hardware needed. All consumers need is their smartphone and a text messaging app to submit their payments—even if they’re across the globe from your team. As today’s consumers look for the most convenient experiences possible, your brand may stand out, leading to successful increases in your conversion rate.

EPOS software vs. Podium Payments

Podium Payments is one SMS payment software that offers many of the same benefits of EPOS systems. It allows you to send customers branded, digital invoices through text—which they can pay just by tapping on a link—all on the same platform where you’re already managing your SMS marketing efforts. Unlike EPOS software, Podium can turn the checkout process into an extension of the conversation you’re already having with customers.

While both Podium Payments and EPOS software can help you accurately track payment data on a user-friendly platform, Podium is ideal for modern companies. Without reliance on hardware, your team can collect payments and even follow up on unpaid invoices, no matter where customers are. Podium Payments also allows you to export your data straight to your accounting software.

EPOS software is useful for retail stores that want to collect cash payments. However, Podium Payments can expand your accepted payment types, allowing shoppers to choose between credit, debit, bank transfers, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and even health savings account (HSA) payments for the most convenient customer experience.

Podium Payments, just like all EPOS software options, is PCI-compliant, which means that no matter what payment method customers choose, they can rest assured that their payment information will be safe. Your company can also benefit from the fraud protection that both software options provide, as digital payment software can better track fraudulent credit card usage than the average store employee.

Tap into modern payment solutions

These days, electronic point-of-sale systems are commonly used around the world by a variety of companies, ranging from coffee shops and hair salons to farmers’ market vendors and convenience stores. They give you a step up from cash tills by performing more business functions than just helping your customer check out. With EPOS software, you can also track data about your sales, customers, and inventory—and new features may come with every update.

However, if you want to stand out from your competitors, consider a text message payment solution as your next step forward. By allowing customers to pay on their phones and choose how they pay, you’ll create a convenient digital checkout experience that converts from anywhere in the world. Learn more about how this payment solution can help your business with this Podium Payments demo.

Jason A’alona
Jason A’alona Director of Retail Sales

Jason A’alona is a retail professional at Podium, the leading messaging platform that connects consumer businesses with their customers.

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