Most merchants and vendors will be familiar with the concept of a till or cash drawer. Traditionally, this piece of hardware has been used to take cash payments in a retail or hospitality environment. More sophisticated cash drawers will add up purchases and let the clerk know how much change to give the customer and other useful features.
Today, tills are available as part of a complete EPOS system and these integrated EPOS tills can perform a wide range of functions. These can include syncing with a card reader or PDQ machine and accessing cloud systems to sync with tills in remote locations as well as other back office features like stock control.
Cash till registers, hybrid or EPOS?
For those businesses looking for a processing route to meet the demands of their trading objectives, there are three main solutions available:
- Basic electronic cash register which will generally cost in the range of £75 – £600
- Hybrid point of sale system (from £750 – £995)
- Full EPOS package which can be available from £1,100
A standard cash register will offer functions including the totalling of sales and the addition of any area taxes, with the ability to display sales by department. There will be no access to inventory control, CRM (customer relationship management), barcode scanning or sales analysis or reporting.
A high end ECR (electronic cash register) or Hybrid EPOS system will provide additional features which will generally include touchscreen operation, full barcode scanning functionality, sales tracking to an item level and more comprehensive levels of reporting.
An EPOS system offers the business a feature rich option with a platform of functions such as barcode scanning, inventory control, CRM, sales forecasting and in depth reporting and analysis for an end to end processing solution.
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Choosing a till system
Whether you are looking to upgrade your existing till system or starting a new venture, the wide range of cash drawers and tills for sale can make it difficult to know which product is right for your business needs. With prices ranging from around £500 to £5,000, it is important to choose one which will offer the most advantages to your business, whilst still remaining sensitive to your budget.
Key Points to Consider
1. The Size and Structure of your Business
If you are a small business with few employees, low customer volume and predominantly cash transactions, then a single cash register for your till system may be sufficient for your business requirements.
If you have a higher customer turnover, then you should consider a simple EPOS (Electronic Point of Sale) system, consisting of a network of several electronic cash registers and back office integration.
2. How your Business Receives Payments
If your business regularly receives payments by credit or debit card, then it is highly advised that you purchase an EPOS till system with an integrated payment system in order to reduce the opportunity for human error or fraud inherent in a stand-alone card terminal.
If your business regularly makes sales online, then it is important that you choose a more sophisticated EPOS system which can connect with your web page in order to keep track of sales.
3. Sector Specific Requirements
Many EPOS till systems are available from retailers as a package, including both hardware and software tailored to a specific industry sector. For example, many come with barcode scanners for retail premises, or splash resistant touchscreens for pubs and restaurants.
4. Optional Extras and Integration
In addition to simply providing safe storage for your takings, many EPOS systems offer a raft of additional features that can help you stay in control of your business. Most mid-range EPOS systems offer some extras such as stock control and sales review options. These are extremely useful in any busy retail environment.
If you wish to integrate your EPOS system with other business systems, including your business accounts or back office hardware, then you will require a higher end EPOS system. If you have multiple retail outlets or make sales from varied locations, you may wish to consider an EPOS system with cloud computing capabilities.
Which till system is right for me?
Finding the right till system and deciding whether you need a standard till, a hybrid till or an EPOS system depends largely on the sector your business is in.
Best Till for High Tech Companies: Intelligent POS
For offices that enjoy the benefits of utilising alternative desktop devices such as tablet PCs, it may be worth looking into the offerings from Intelligent POS. The till software is designed specifically for use with an iPad, removing the need for costly dedicated hardware. Payments can be taken either by credit card through a chip and pin add-on device, or by cash if a cash drawer is also purchased.
Intelligent POS sell a range of compatible hardware, with a cash drawer costing £76. The software itself is available for a monthly cost of between £39 and £3199 depending on exact requirements.
Best Till System for Restaurants: T3000 by EPOS Systems
The T3000 package from EPOS Systems is a comprehensive EPOS system, comprising of the Sam4s SPT-3700 15 inch touchscreen terminal, integrated POS software designed specifically for the food service industry, a cash drawer and a receipt printer, with a number of optional extras such as the menu manager which allows meals to be customised appropriately and discounts to be applied for meal deals.
The entire package costs £1,350 with extras such as kitchen printers costing from £185.
Best Tills for Small Business and Start-Ups: Sharp XE-A102B
Its small size, low cost and high efficiency makes the Sharp XE-A102B a good option for very small businesses such as family run businesses or start-ups. Considered to be an entry level cash register, this device doesn't have some of the high-tech functionalities of more expensive models, but it's quick, it's simple to use, and it does everything a standard till should do.
The till features an integrated printer which prints receipts at above average speed. This reduces the time taken to complete a sales transaction and helps boost customer satisfaction. The built in cash drawer can also manage payments via cash, cheque and credit card, giving customers a wide range of payment options. The Sharp XE-A102B can be purchased for £126.
These days, a till is rarely simply a till – there is so much more that the appropriate EPOS system can offer your business. However, which solution is best for your business will be largely dependent on the way that your business operates.
Make sure you take time to consider which of the additional features will be most useful to your way of doing business and remember an EPOS system is an investment. A little time spent researching and selecting your new till system will pay dividends for your business in terms of improved customer flow and long term profitability. To get help finding the best till system for your business, simply fill out our web form, and you will receive free quotes from selected suppliers tailored to your specific business needs.