EPOS hardware describes the physical components of an EPOS system, both the most basic and main components such as screens and cash registers as well as more specialised equipment like barcode scanners or receipt printers.
What type of hardware you will need for a complete EPOS system depends on various factors such as the size of your business and the industry you are in. For a small retail business, the full EPOS system hardware setup might comprise nothing more than a desktop computer with a mouse and keyboard. Modern merchants might use only a tablet and a mobile card reader.
Most Common EPOS Hardware Components
Optional or Industry Specific Components
- EPOS keyboard
- Card reader
- Weighing scales
- Kitchen docket printer
- Handheld units
- Customer display
- Barcode printer
EPOS Hardware Setups in Retail Environments
Many parts of the traditional retail environment have been improved by the introduction of EPOS hardware. While computers and cash drawers do not necessarily need to be specialised EPOS components, the benefit of an integrated system is that many processes can be completed much faster, more efficiently and accurately.
EPOS touchscreens allow for faster processing of orders. There is a wide range of products available, from very heavy-duty integrated touchscreen systems which will often include their own processor and are counter-based, to small and light handheld devices. Find out which product is right for your business in our EPOS touchscreen overview.
EPOS tills can be the most valuable piece of hardware you invest in. A fully integrated till can completely change the way you run your business and improve efficiency in processes from sales to staff management to stock management to accounting. Find out more in our EPOS till overview.
Barcode scanners are not only invaluable for processing retail transactions quickly, they can also make stock management much more efficient. There are various factors to consider when thinking about barcode scanners, for example what type of data output you prefer. Find out more in our barcode scanner guide.
Receipt printers are essential to any business handling money, regardless of sector. The more sophisticated your EPOS system, the more options you will have in your receipt printing. Some software suites will let you customise your receipts entirely, adding your company logo or other images. In this case you might consider investing in a thermal receipt printer. Find out more in our EPOS printer comparison.
EPOS Hardware Setups in Hospitality Environments
In hospitality environments, it’s often important for hardware to be portable so that transactions can be carried out at the customer’s table. These days, there are portable options for many pieces of hardware including card readers. These will have a wireless internet connection. Find out more in our card reader guide.
Kitchen printers or docket printers integrated with an EPOS system will send orders logged at the table or counter straight to the kitchen. This means fewer mistakes and faster service. Find out more in our EPOS printer guide.
Minimal EPOS Hardware With Tablet Setups
These days, tablet devices such as Android tablets or iPads have enough computing power to run integrated EPOS software and control a variety or hardware components. EPOS for iPad has come a long way and can now be a legitimate choice for sole traders and small businesses. It is possible to use an iPad as the central processing unit for the EPOS system and connect hardware components like cash drawers, scanners and printers to it wirelessly. It is also possible to have a setup using several iPads on the shop floor.
In retail environments, store assistants can help customers find the item they are looking for and process payments directly. In hospitality settings, servers can take orders and send them straight to the kitchen, including any special wishes the customer may have. Find out more about iPad setups in our EPOS for iPad guide.
Before investing in EPOS hardware, you should take the time to properly assess your business, taking note of the industry, environment, size including number of locations and number of employees, and think about what functions your EPOS hardware needs to fulfil.
Not every business needs every piece of hardware available, and it’s easy to waste money on something you don‘t need if you aren’t sure of your business requirements. On the other hand, you should ensure that your hardware setup contains every component you need to make your business more efficient, as otherwise it could cost you in lost revenue later.
Most businesses with a point of sale will require a cash drawer and a card reader. Other elements, like barcode scanners and handheld units, need to be individually evaluated. To get help choosing an EPOS system for your business, simply fill out the Expert Market web form and we will send you free, tailored quotes. The questions are designed to analyse your business needs and match your query to suppliers that fit your specifications. The quote service is free and easy – start comparing prices for EPOS hardware now!