By Libby James, director for Merchant Advice Service
According to The Business of Fashion, 2017 was the worst financial year on record for bricks-and-mortar retailers. But its research shows how new technology is set to change the fate of fashion retail.
With the world of tech advancing quickly around us, it can be difficult to understand which EPoS system will be most suited to your boutique both now and in the future. Let’s face it, if you are splashing out for an expensive bit of kit in the early days, you don’t want to purchase an EPoS product that isn’t suited to your needs or spend too much and end up with a system way above your requirements.
Cloud-based systems can provide a world of benefits to retail businesses big and small. Here we look at the top five reasons they can work efficiently for you.
ACCESS THE BACK OFFICE FROM ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD
The beauty of a cloud-based system is that vital live reporting information can be accessed from almost anywhere. This means that you don’t need to be at the shop itself to understand stock levels, daily sales or staff benefits used. Systems can be accessed via any computer, tablet or phone allowing owners and managers to carry out work from home, or even while on a buying trip abroad.
PORTABLE TILL SYSTEMS
The majority of cloud-based systems can work anywhere. This is a brilliant function for boutiques wanting to work outside of their normal store surroundings such as pop-up shops, events and markets. Workers can log on to the system from a laptop or tablet and accept payments via portable terminals, running the store in the same way they would do ordinarily.
TAKE THE HASSLE OUT OF ACCOUNTING
Hands up, who loves tax returns and accounting? Thought so – and we don’t either. Our clients much prefer researching next season’s trends than submitting forms. Cloud-based systems allow users to run reporting and automatically send this to your accountant, taking the hassle out of end of year accounts. Some systems also link to accounting software, making self-assessment a walk in the park.
FUTURE PROOF SYSTEMS
Cloud systems often use automatic updates meaning that once you have purchased your EPoS system, the likelihood is that you will not need an upgrade in a hurry. The beauty of this is that as market trends change, such as in recent years with the use of contactless payments and in coming years the prediction of use of bitcoin and alternative cryptocurrency payments, your system remains future proof.
A SYSTEM THAT GROWS WITH YOUR BUSINESS
Cloud-based software can be used in conjunction with both solid, more conventional EPoS hardware as well as smaller solutions such as an iPad. If you are a start-up retailer and don’t want to shell out huge amounts of money on your point of sale system, this can be a flexible and cost effective way to start. Using a cloud-based iPad system for the first year or so means you can then transfer to more substantial hardware as you grow. All information and reporting is kept in one place therefore nothing will be lost in the transition.