EPOS software is practically essential for every retailer in this day and age, but there remains the question: which EPOS system is right for my business?
There are endless solutions on the market, and builders’ merchants have a tricky decision to make when deciding on a system. Of course, once you’ve chosen your EPOS software you don’t have to stick with it - but deciding when to make the switch to a better system can be tricky in itself.
In today’s article, we look at how to weigh up making the jump to an EPOS system built specifically for merchants like Trader from Integrity Software. If you’re beginning to doubt that your current, generic software is up to scratch, here’s what you should be looking for…
#1 No trade discounts
Many builders’ merchants operate separate pricing structures for trade customers, yet generic EPOS systems rarely allow you to dictate different prices for separate groups of customers. If you find yourself reaching for the calculator every time a trade customer makes a purchase, there’s a better way. Specialist builders’ merchants software lets you open and manage trade accounts so that discounts can be quickly (or even automatically) applied at the checkout.
#2 Lack of credit options
Similarly, it’s unlikely that your basic retail software will be able to cater for the array of credit options you offer trade customers. Generic systems simply aren’t equipped to keep a record of a customer’s debts and credit limits. Specialist providers understand that trade customers often don’t pay upfront, and their EPOS software accounts for this - letting you view or change agreed credit limits at the point of sale.
#3 Handwritten invoices and quotations
Again, a normal retail customer doesn’t go around asking for quotes at M&S or Asda, but your trade customers (and many non-trade customers) are more accustomed to seeking quotes before committing to a large purchase.
In the same way, your generic retail software probably isn’t equipped to issue invoices to customers - perhaps you have to use a workaround every time you need to invoice a trade customer.
Specialist software helps you avoid this hassle by automatically generating invoices based on the data in the system. Quotes and invoices can also be sent electronically through the system instead of having to print them out.
#4 Other workarounds
If you constantly find yourself struggling with your system and wishing for EPOS software that was built for your business, you’ve got two options. First, implement a series of workarounds using other software (such as Excel or Google Docs). Alternatively, be on the lookout for a specialist system that eliminates the need for you to resort to workarounds.
These workarounds might include keeping a separate database of trade customer details, using mail merge to populate invoices and other documents, or having a spreadsheet on hand to calculate agreed discounts.
#5 Poor customer support
Tired of having to constantly explain how your business works when talking to your software provider’s support team? That can change with specialist software. Software built just for merchants means a support team built for merchants. No need to explain merchant terminology or clarify how your business operates. That means any problems or questions you have can be resolved quickly - minimising disruption and losses.
Of course, generic systems work for plenty of standard retail businesses - but the complexity and structure of builders’ merchants mean that these basic systems rarely perform well.
If you’d like to learn more about Trader’s specialist EPOS software for builders’ merchants, give the sales team a call on 03453 40 30 40 and arrange a free software demo.
Trader is an easy to use electronic point of sale system designed for the unique requirements of building, plumbing and timber merchants, hardware and DIY stores in the UK and Ireland.
Our team are ready to help with any queries or arrange a demo for you.