Putting customers first: What to consider when choosing your EPoS hardware

We welcome Sarah Appleby, Oxhoo's UK Sales & Operations Manager, to guest blog on the factors that businesses need to consider when choosing EPoS hardware.

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How much space to allocate to EPoS when planning your venue layout is an important consideration.  And it should be, because your venue space is the first impression a customer has when encountering your brand.

No matter what size business you are operating, you want your EPoS systems to be prominent enough for your customers to locate quickly where they need to order/pay but still small enough not take up valuable floor or countertop space.

Gone are the days of vast banks of tills and people jostling in the queue. Customers have varied experiences in restaurants and the experience of ordering and paying often only stands out to them when things go awry - the queues are too long; service is too slow or there are limited payment options. Your EPoS choice today needs to address these common customer complaints by offering a variety of payment options suited to your operation.

When choosing your EPoS system, there are basically three options: countertop, kiosk and mobile. The system has the power to transform your business, so it is worth putting time into researching which is best for you.

A countertop EPoS system might take up more space but today’s sleek designs will complement your interior. A PoS terminal can include an integrated printer, and a flat touch screen which can be turned to face the customer. And they can be moved—so if you decide later that you want to change your venue’s layout, your countertop system adapts perfectly.

If, on the other hand, you want roaming service options and no fixed space devoted to paying, then there are a range of tablets that have all the functionality of a fixed till but can be brought directly to the customer. A Mobile EPoS can do everything a fixed countertop till can do but on the move. And if you decide you’d rather it stay put, pop it into the fixed cradle and it is back to being a small countertop till—temporarily.

Or you could be looking for a more autonomous customer experience and decide on a kiosk EPoS. The design of a kiosk is very important because a majority of your customers will be using it for the first time, and you want theexperience to draw them in rather than intimidate them. That’s why they need to look and actually be simple to use.

Recently on a drive through France my family and I stopped at a motorway services. Expecting the usual slightly grubby space with uninspiring choice of food kiosks, I was pleasantly surprised to see a modern McDonald’s with complete kiosk ordering system. I looked around and saw how the customers were interacting with the service team: it was respectful and calm—especially for a motorway services. A roaming McDonalds staff person was there to help with the kiosk ordering when issues arose. They had clearly thought hard about the space, flow of customers and what kind of EPoS system they needed—and they got it right. 

Whether you choose a kiosk, mobile EPoS or fixed EPoS, the first question you ask is what is my space? What is the feeling I want to impart on customers as they walk in the door, sit down, browse. It is never a one size fits all and that is why we at Oxhoo work with our own clients to customise their EPoS solution. 

Countertop EPoS

With such a huge range of fixed terminals, the choice is yours based on what suits your space best. And plenty of EPoS terminals can be easily moved if you decide to change your layout.

  • Zeo: All in one with printer, fanless (Greta Thunberg would approve), robust and adaptable
  • Ultimo: completely versatile and fanless, this award winning EPoS system has an integrated bar code, NFC reader and camera, which reduces the number of connection cables on view to create a clean and minimalist look. This terminal offers 3 different screen configurations: Central, off-axis or wall mount.
  • Dandy: Modern, with a new and even thinner base that hides all peripheral connectors creating a clean, sleek and minimalist design.

PROS: Countertop EPoS systems of today can do everything, but much faster than traditional tills once did. The designs are sleek and modern and fit into every retail environment.

CONS: Takes up more space. Is fixed in one place, until you decide to move it, but means that you need to commit to a layout with a dedicated till space.

Mobile EPoS

You can go everywhere with our TAB8. It is fully connected and allows your staff to bring payment and ordering directly to the customer. Studies have shown that that a lot of customers prefer this. It eliminates standing in line. But as with any PoS solution, there are pros and there are cons:

PROS: No lines, easier for customers, staff can move around to check inventory or orders. The TAB8 offers all the resources of a fixed till but it is small and portable.

CONS: Internet connection—mobile can be tricky in patchier areas. The TAB8 is slightly heavier than your average tablet, so that might take getting used to.

Kiosk EPoS

Autonomy, speed, potential for higher till sell. Gives customers freedom to choose in their own time, examine the options.

  • ELYA and ELYA II: available in either Android of Windows, with a large 18” screen that will put customers at ease.

PROS: Kiosks give customers autonomy, letting them choose and pay at their own pace, and often see an increase in till spend. Millennials and Gen Z prefer it 7 to 1. Gives your staff time to focus on customer service rather than processing orders. And completely cashless, so reduces fraud.

CONS: Some customers won’t like doing it themselves. The learning curve for customers new to a kiosk could hold up the queue.

Whatever you decide, Oxhoo is committed to developing and supporting trusted and robust EPoS solutions.