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What's In This Guide

Compare ePOS systems & software

Save money on the cost of your ePOS system with SpotDif. As your go-to comparison website, we take the stress out of comparing quotes in your area so you get the best deal every time. 


Tech has changed the way we do everything — and that includes the way you do business. Your customers now expect so much more from a retail or dining experience, and an ePOS system provides seamless payment methods that are quick, accurate and secure. 


Don't want to miss out on the benefits of automating your business? We've taken an in-depth look at ePOS systems and software to help you make an informed decision when you want to update your payment systems. 

 

What are ePOS systems, and could they be the right fit for your business? An Electronic Point of Sale is like an update on the traditional cash register. But instead of being manually operated, you use an automated system operated via a touchscreen terminal. Card readers, barcode scanners and receipt printers are all part of an ePOS system, widely used in retail and hospitality, health, wellness and beauty, multi-service businesses and more. Using hardware and ePOS software, you can streamline how you do business and boost customer satisfaction. 

 

The right ePOS system helps you process payments and much more. From managing inventory to customer insights, an electronic point-of-sale system is much more than a pimped-up cash register. So, if you want to enjoy the benefits of automation for your business, is it time to start thinking about installing a cost-effective ePOS system? 

 

At SpotDif, we want to help you get the most out of your ePOS system. All you need to do is share a few details, and we’ll do the rest. With price comparisons across leading suppliers, we can help you make significant savings on ePOS systems in your area. Just fill in our quick questionnaire and start saving on ePOS system price comparisons.

What is an ePOS system, and how does it work? 

If you want to keep your customers and your business running smoothly, you need an ePOS. An Electronic Point of Sale is like a modern till. But unlike a manual cash register, an ePOS system combines hardware and software so you can do much more than just handle payments. 

 

ePOS is great for retailers because it makes handling customer sales a breeze. But your system can do much more, helping you manage inventory, process payments and store data. If you run a customer-based business, no matter if you're an independent start-up or a big brand, an ePOS system makes running your business better.

What do you need to set up an ePOS system? 

So, how can you put together an ePOS system that works for your barber shop or cafe? You'll need a combination of Point of Sale hardware and ePOS software, including: 

 

  • ePOS terminal 
  • Card reader 
  • Touchscreen display, like a tablet or mobile 
  • Data storage with local ePOS software if you want to handle inventory and customer data yourself 
  • Cloud ePOS software to host inventory and customer data on the cloud 
  • Cash box 
  • Thermal printer for receipts 


The hardware handles the physical payment. Meanwhile, the software gives you control over sales logs, inventory, refunds, discounts, and more. 

 

An ePOS system is essential for your business because it makes transactions quick, accurate and secure. So your customers come back time and again for your seamless customer service. Want to know how you can get started with an ePOS system? We can help you compare and save on ePOS systems, from hospitality software to self-checkout and food-ordering apps. 

What are the advantages and disadvantages of an ePOS? 

So, let's take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of setting up an ePOS system for your retail business.


What are the advantages of an ePOS system? 


  • Excellent customer service: Time is money, so make the most of your time by streamlining your payment system. Accurate, fast and secure, your ePOS system makes the payment process plain sailing for you and your customers. 

 

  • Manage stock easily: Electronic Point of Sale systems make it easy to see and track your inventory. Run reports with ease and access insights at your fingertips so you can easily track current trends and make decisions for the future. 

 

  • Boost your marketing: Want to boost your marketing with promos and discounts? Get more out of your ePOS system with quick and easy updates to pricing across your range. Your customers will love making savings, and you’ll love how straightforward it is to update your pricing systems.  


What are the disadvantages of an ePOS system? 


  • Training can be daunting: Compared to a till, an ePOS system can seem challenging. But don’t worry, we’re on hand to help you find the right intuitive and easy-to-use software for a smooth transition. 

 

  • Regular maintenance and updates: If you want to get the best out of your system, it’s important to schedule regular maintenance and updates. This is the best way to minimise any potential hiccups and take advantage of your ePOS system’s incredible functionality but you’ll need to remember to arrange checks.

 

  • Can be costly: ePOS systems can seem pricey. But don’t forget — you’re getting so much more than a few devices and some software. Shop around using our ePOS comparison, and you can save on your new system by answering a few simple questions. What’s more, your business will soon start making savings in time and effort, resulting in increased efficiency. 

Why do businesses use ePOS systems?  

There are plenty of benefits to using an ePOS system. But why do so many businesses use ePOS systems for everyday transactions?


Put simply, businesses use Electronic Point of Sale because it's great for customer service. You already know that customer satisfaction is essential to your business so why not aim to get the most out of your payment software?


Compare an ePOS system with a traditional cash register, and you'll soon see why your competitors are upgrading: 

 

  • A cash register holds money, records sales and gives out change and receipts. ePOS systems do this and so much more, recording data and updating prices and inventory in real time. 

  • Although both cash registers and ePOS systems are simple to use, cash machines have more restricted functionality. An ePOS on the other hand grows to meet the needs of your business. 

  • A cash register doesn’t collect data. But with ePOS systems, you can get great insights into what does and doesn’t work for your business. 

  • Cash registers can’t match an ePOS system for speed, security and accuracy. 

 

Business ePOS systems can also help specific operations like: 

 

  • Product performance 

  • Accounting 

  • Stock and inventory 

 

If you run a hospitality or retail business or offer entertainment, sport, nutrition or health services, an ePOS system lets you wow your customers and outperform the competition. 

How do you set up an ePOS system? 

There are two ways to set up your ePOS system. You can go down the DIY route with a plug-and-play system or you can choose a system that's configured and installed for you. Whichever path you choose, set aside plenty of time to get the set-up right before you use it. Then, train your employees so that using your ePOS becomes second nature, especially if you choose a mobile set-up that lets your team take payments on the go. 

 

1. Check what’s in the box: Before you start, check you have all the hardware and cables you need. 

2. Set up your POS hardware: If you've ever set up a desktop computer, you'll know what to expect. Connect your cash drawer once your touchscreen and printer are powered up and ready to go.

3. Connect to Wi-Fi: Connect via Ethernet cable for stability, or go full Wi-Fi for slick operation and versatility.  

4. Set up your ePOS software: Finally, sign into your account and configure your account settings to suit your business. 

How much are ePOS systems?

There's no one-size-fits-all solution when choosing ePOS systems. What hardware and software your business needs will vary depending on turnover and the set-up you need.  


On average, POS hardware costs anywhere between £300 - £1000+, depending on your business. Entry-level software is available for free, but for a reliable system, expect to pay between £30 and £100+ per month. 

 

Bear in mind that not every business will need a full-scale ePOS system. If you're an independent retailer or coffee shop, a basic ePOS, including a terminal, card reader, and printer, could cost as little as £250. Comparing prices with us will help you get the best system for your needs and budget with minimal fuss. 

How do I choose an ePOS system?  

ePOS systems are beneficial for all kinds of businesses but you’ll need to look for the best software for your needs.


Traditional ePOS systems

These rely on wired connections and are an excellent solution for businesses that do thousands of daily transactions. 

 

Mobile ePOS systems 

Mobile options can be run using software on your phone and a card reader. A mobile set-up could be the perfect solution if you're an independent business selling on the go.  


Tablet ePOS systems

These are similar to mobile ePOS but offer greater processing power, making tablet options a great way to scale up your business transactions without investing in a full-scale system. 


Other options

If exceptional customer service is essential to your business, you could be considering one of these ePOS systems: 


  • Hospitality ePOS system, including tablets or multiple card readers. 

  • Retail ePOS system with self-checkout functionality and customer loyalty cards. 

  • Fashion ePOS system, suitable for boutiques and shoe stores. 

  • Beauty ePOS systems make it easy to pay for a haircut or beauty treatment and add a tip. 

  • Service ePOS system for key cutting, shoe repair, launderettes and other service businesses.  

What to look for in an ePOS system 

Your business type and size will significantly influence the system you choose. But here are some of the key considerations to bear in mind when you're choosing and comparing ePOS systems.


Ease of use

 Is it an intuitive system that your staff can pick up fast? And is it user-friendly for your customers? 


Support for your business

Will your system grow and adapt, or will you need to start from scratch if you move premises or scale up your business? 


 Features and functionality

Does your ePOS handle quick and secure payments? Does it provide inventory updates and real-time stock information? Does it have the features you need to offer fantastic customer service? 


Cloud-based or on-site

Cloud-based systems are generally more affordable, while on-site systems give you more control and customisation. 


Existing hardware

Hoping to make a saving by reusing existing equipment? Choose compatible ePOS software, or you'll need to factor in the cost of new hardware. 


Overall cost 

This includes upfront costs for hardware, subscriptions for software and whether your ePOS system will help you grow your business and make a larger profit. 

What is the difference between ePOS and POS? 

We're often asked what's the difference between ePOS and POS. Once, businesses relied on a manual cash register to handle their Point of Sale payments; and we're all familiar with card readers when paying for our shopping.  

 

Electronic Point of Sale systems take point of sale to the next level. Integrating software and hardware, they include features like flexible payment options, stock management and more. So you can streamline your business and deliver amazing customer service at the drop of a hat. 

 

Nowadays, POS and ePOS are essentially the same thing. The Point of Sale (POS) is where you take payments, while the online ePOS system handles data storage, inventory, pricing and more.

How much is an ePOS system in the UK? 

No two ePOS systems are the same, but we can give you an overview of the hardware and software costs for a standard set-up. Bearing in mind the size and complexity of your ePOS system, you can expect to pay: 

 

Hardware 
  • ePOS terminal: £150+ 

  • Thermal printer: £150+ 

  • Card reader: £15+ 

  • Cash drawer: £60+ 

  • Barcode scanner: £75+ 

 

Software  

Some popular ePOS software systems offer a free package. Still, for basic functionality, you can expect to pay from around £19 a month.  

 

Factors that impact the cost of your ePOS system in the UK include the following: 

 

  • ePOS hardware  

  • ePOS software 

  • Functionality and features 

  • Payment processing  

  • Offline functions 

  • Installation and support  

How can I minimise the cost of an ePOS system?  

Rent or lease: This is a fantastic option if you're just getting started with ePOS or are struggling to see whether it's a good fit for your business. Your equipment will be covered with a warranty, and you'll get support, updates and repairs as standard. Just remember that leasing can be more expensive over the long term. 

 

Reuse and refurb: If you already have a card reader or barcode scanner, get compatible ePOS software to make a saving. Otherwise, look for a refurbished second-hand system with a warranty and support. 

 

Compare suppliers: Compare ePOS system suppliers with us to find the best system for your budget. 

ePOS maintenance guide 

We recommend using a professional installer for your ePOS system, especially when food and drink are present. However, you can take a DIY approach to maintenance to keep your system running smoothly. 


Maintain your hardware  

Your hardware is the mainstay of your ePOS system. Check regularly to make sure everything's working correctly so there are no hiccups when taking payments. Look for loose cables and remove any dust build-up with a soft cloth. 

 

Always follow the manufacturer's guidelines when cleaning and inspecting equipment like printers and cash drawers.  


Update your software 

Your ePOS software is the brains of your system. Therefore, it's critical to update it regularly so you don't miss out on security updates and new features. Regular system backups are essential to safeguard data. Otherwise, you could see your reputation suffer if the system goes kaput.  


Train your staff 

Regular training sessions are essential so your staff can handle any hardware glitches or technical issues. A well-trained team can also minimise any problems regarding customer transaction complaints.  


Plan professional maintenance  

You'll need to plan regular preventative maintenance, particularly for retail and hospitality systems where any failure could be catastrophic. Look for an ePOS system provider that offers a maintenance contract as part of their support package. Your provider can also help you implement new technology and roll out additional features. 

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Tansy Dando
Senior Content Manager
I'm always curious to understand and unpick the latest trends for all things wealth and business.
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