Choosing the right EPoS system is of paramount importance to your charity retail operations. They can checkout faster, boost productivity, give you oversight of your sales and inventory, and even help you maximise Gift Aid contributions.
But whether you’re just contemplating a new EPoS system or if you’re looking to upgrade from an old system, perhaps one that’s reached its end of life, there’s a lot you need to consider before deciding. So let’s have a look at the seven questions you should ask when choosing your next system…
What do your staff need?
What would help them in their day to day? Is this system easy to use? What would they like from an EPoS system? These are the first points to ask yourself. Consider everybody’s individual skill level when it comes to technology and find a solution that works for even the most tech-shy person.
Ideally, you want something easy to use that even new volunteers can warm to quickly. A good EPoS system should make your staff’s job easier, not harder.
Is it compatible with your charity?
There are many systems available, so it’s important to choose one that’s best for your charity. Do you need regular offline access? EPoS systems are used in various industries too, so it’s vital to ensure your system is designed with the needs of the charity sector in mind. This is especially important for making the Gift Aid process much simpler.
How does it integrate Gift Aid?
As a charity, Gift Aid will be one of the factors at the top of your agenda. The process to claim Gift Aid can be cumbersome and full of administrative work you don’t have the time for. Some solutions will simplify the process, making it as easy as a couple of clicks.
But with this, you have to look if they take a commission on any claims. You aren’t always guaranteed 100% of the Gift Aid. Furthermore, the admin work of the volunteers seems to increase and there is the potential that you also need to purchase consumables (at a higher rate) from the EPoS supplier.
What does the support look like?
We’ve all been in a situation where we’ve been on hold for what seems like forever, only to be forwarded on to yet another robot. It’s frustrating, tiring, and when you’re trying to run a shop, unacceptable.
Find a solution that comes with 7 days-a-week, in-house support available. Some EPoS providers even offer training, making the likelihood of needing to phone support that much slimmer.
Is it as secure as possible?
This should go without saying, but you need the most secure system available. Payment fraud is on the rise, and criminals are only becoming more sophisticated in their methods. Not to mention all the information the system can hold, such as PII data, which is essential you encrypt.
EPoS systems in the charity sector will hold donor information, and you need to ensure this is secure at all times.
Do you want the system to be able to go mobile?
For many shops, the freedom of being able to walk around the floor with the system on a handheld device like a tablet is extremely important. It allows for better customer interaction, improving the shopping experience. Staff also don’t have to be in one particular place to find the information they need.
What is the cost long-term?
If you are looking to write-off the solution over a three- or five-year period, consider what the costs look like over the term length. While it might look like you’re getting a great deal on the surface, with low monthly payments, it could potentially be substantially more expensive over that time.
You also have to take commission into consideration, as this will eat into your profits over the term. Keep in mind that it might increase over the life of the contract.
All EPoS systems are built differently. So it’s vital to conduct thorough research to work out which will benefit your charity shop the most. Don’t feel you have to settle; find the right one for you.
Charity Retail Systems’ EPoS solution, CHARiot, is designed specifically for charity retail. With this volunteer friendly and HMRC-recognised system, you can be certain that your charity shop has the best EPoS, keeping it both efficient and productive. For more information, get in touch on 01204 706 000.