EPoS is more than just a sophisticated till — it’s a vital business tool and an important investment.

Back in May 2011, James Bielby, chief executive of the Federation of Wholesale Distributors, told Retail Express that too many retailers don’t use EPoS. Three years on and an estimated 30% of symbol group stores and 70% of non-affiliated shops are still missing out on the numerous benefits an EPoS system can offer their business.

Switching from a manual till to EPoS can seem confusing – there’s research to be done, comparisons of systems to be made and the integration of the system into the running of a store to take into consideration. But if used properly, an EPoS system enables retailers to save money and garner greater profits.

“An EPoS system gives you the management information you need to run your shop efficiently and profitably,” says Stephen Burnett, managing director at the Retail Data Partnership. “A good EPoS system is not an electronic cash register, it is a business tool.”

Thanks to accurate pricing, efficient stock control and identifying shoplifting and shrinkage, EPoS can increase profits by 2-4%. John Furness, who runs Kingmoor Road Post Office in Carlisle, says when he upgraded to a more powerful and accurate system he benefited from a 3% increase in profits. “It’s the best investment I’ve made in my shop,” he adds.

Suppliers also point to the increased control it gives retailers over their business. It gives complete control over the shop, stock and cash, and the various reports the system can run allows shop owners to track everything that happens in their shop – especially when they’re not there.

The investment needed for EPoS is generally in the region of £2,500-£3,000 per terminal, and the return on investment comes very quickly.  “Return on investment varies on turnover and the more functionality the system has the greater the returns, but it can be anywhere between six to 12 months, on average,” says Richard Holder, director at Reposs.

What to consider – 9 important points you need to think about.