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What separates an Epos from a traditional POS?

18th January 2018 Print

A POS or point of sale system can now be classified as either a traditional POS or EPOS. While traditional POSs have been around for years, EPOSs are slowly creeping up and many new businesses swear by them. But what exactly separates an EPOS from a traditional POS? In this article, we’re going to look at the differences between an electronic point of sale system and a traditional point of sale system. We’ll also discuss the benefits that an EPOS provides compared to a traditional point of sale system.

Hardware Flexibility

One of the biggest advantages of an ePOS like the Vend ePOS is the ability to run the software on any device. You can provide your team with tablet computers, install the ePOS and put them to work. If several tablets are stolen or broken, you can disable their connection to the company systems or brick them remotely, buy new tablets, install the EPOS software and be good to go. If you upgrade to new tablets or switch to a different brand like from Apple to Android, your ePOS still works. Compare this to the proprietary hardware that many traditional point of sale systems use. If the few checkout systems you have, have been damaged by vandals, you are left with time-intensive manual data entry, slowing down checkouts and likely losing customers who don’t want to wait. Then there’s the risk of being unable to get service for it if you own them too long because you didn’t get the mandated upgrades at the 5-8-year mark.

Tech support for EPOS is far better than traditional point of sale systems since you’ll be able to install the software yourself and reinstall it personally in the rare cases where the installation errored out. If the software updates, you update the EPOS software like any other app. In a worst-case scenario, you delete the software and then reinstall it.


Perhaps the biggest advantage of electronic POS systems is their mobility. You can give a tablet or even a company controlled smartphone to your employees and let them go where your customers are. Let an employee process sale orders as people peruse items on your sidewalk or sell to those interested in display items at a trade show. The Vend EPOS system can process customer relationship management system data to recognize loyalty program discounts or your team members can register prepaid items and layaway requests as someone wanders around the store, improving conversion rates.

Data System Connections

Too many traditional point of sale systems record information in the terminal and then upload it to your main inventory management and material resource planning systems at night. Corrections by managers may update data for an individual transaction, but this isn’t reflected in departmental reports for hours, days, or even until the end of the reporting period. 

Electronic point of sale systems connect to your inventory management, accounting, and even payroll systems. Your organisation processes sales information as soon as transactions are entered. You’ll avoid problems like someone selling the last of a particular item that someone else has put on layaway or sold to a customer who will pick it up later. 

You’ll also be able to see hour by hour and daily sales trends. Now you’re able to better plan staffing needs to meet customer demand while eliminating slack, and you’ll know what items are selling unusually well so that you can order more, well before you run out. Conversely, you can mark particular items on sale and everyone’s EPOS system automatically reflects that, while you can track the increase in sales as a result.

A side benefit of EPOS is the ability to track sales information at a granular level. Is an employee closing a surprising number of sales while the manager is at lunch before processing multiple refunds? Are particular employees generating a disproportionate number of returns or listing items as lost? An electronic point of sale system lets you identify unusual trends almost immediately and address them, instead of trying to reconcile inventory at the end of the month and then try to figure out what happened weeks later.

Another attraction for business owners is the ability to access data anywhere at any time. If someone calls to report a problem, managers can access the EPOS data on their own tablet and review the reports themselves.

Simplify Customer Loyalty Management

We’ve already said that EPOS can connect to your customer relationship management system to recognize those who are repeat customers and give them the appropriate discounts as well as track items they’ve already paid for but left at your store on layaway, or until they can transport it to their home. Another benefit of EPOS is the fact that they can integrate with customer loyalty programs

Traditional point of sale systems can process loyalty program IDs by scanning the barcode on someone’s loyalty card or link that information when the person enters their telephone number. This slows down the transaction and can leave customers stuck when they rely on a customer loyalty card they don’t have with them at the time.

An EPOS system can be set up to let your employees handle a predetermined list of situations per company approved procedures without needing to call a manager. You say you’re a loyal customer? Let me search for your name and bring up the loyalty program information to secure that discount. You eliminate the workaround some businesses use, with a generic loyalty card that the clerk scans so that the customer gets loyalty program discounts, though this is at the expense of accurate data collection. 

Are you demanding a refund for an item you recently purchased? Any employee can pull up that transaction information and see if the customer has a history of returns. At this point, they can call for a manager to sort out the situation. Or they can see that the person hasn’t actually purchased this particular item and call for a manager to deal with a suspected case of fraud. In cases where someone is demanding a rain check, your staff can automatically process these requests and have the customer’s records updated to inform them when the item comes in.

Another benefit is the ability of an employee to answer customer questions. Is this item in stock? It isn’t their department, but they can check inventory reports for that product. If the customer wants verification of a price or discount, anyone with the EPOS can answer that question.


EPOS has many benefits over traditional POS that shouldn’t be overlooked. An EPOS can supplement traditional EPOS, but it stands out when it comes to mobility. You can arm your employees with tablets with EPOS to handle sidewalk sales, support sales at flea markets and trade shows or support transactions in the middle of the store. 

You can also streamline data collection and speed it up at the same time while giving everyone access to the same data when you use an EPOS. An EPOS system lets everyone tap into the same customer relationship management database systems and ensures they follow the same procedures when customer problems arise, all while giving them the data that reduces fraud and theft.