The Best EPOS Providers for Your Bike Shop
Which EPOS is best for my bike business
If you're running a bike shop, you absolutely need an EPOS system. Whether it's a basic "calculator with a cash drawer" or an all-encompassing accounts and management system for your business, you simply can't get by without one. Luckily, there are a number of established names in the marketplace that offer just the kind of service you're looking for.
So, you're ready to dive into the world of EPOS systems, but where do you start? We'd suggest starting at the end - by that, we mean figuring out your overall goal for your bicycle business. Are you aiming to become a large multi-outlet retailer? Or maybe a single-store entity with a strong online presence? Perhaps you're a trail-center-based retailer with hire bikes only and a store stocked with P&A? Once you know your end goal, you're well on your way to figuring out which EPOS system is the right fit for you.
In no particular order we've listed five cycling industry-focused suppliers and their respective functionality - they're in no particular order! We've also taken the liberty of highlighting (in our humble opinion) which one is best suited for which type of retailer.
Trek's in-house offering, a solid system that adds considerable value in the form of Trek’s hands-on experience and input to the business. They have a global market base, backed by one of the biggest global brands and a development resource that will see continued improvement year on year.
How it handles Ecommerce - With Push! In the UK and Ireland we are the recommended partner for Ascend retailers, we’re purely for the cycling industry and focus all our attention, time and development on it. So yes, Trek/Ascend do a great job.
Conclusions and recommendations
We have 40+ Push retailers on Ascend, we have good feedback on the system, it could be more intuitive but for an EPOS and business management tool it’s very effective. As long as the system continues to evolve then it’s a good medium to long-term investment for your bike business.
This behemoth of an ecommerce platform hails from Canada and has managed to attract a diverse range of retailers, including a number of bike shops. Although it's not specifically tailored to the cycling industry, it does a decent job overall, and its API integration is on point. It may not have all the bells and whistles of a cycling-specific platform, but as a basic system, it gets the job done admirably. The major drawback is the lack of a cycling data sim so you’d need to create your own products on the system which is a full time job for most businesses.
How it handles Ecommerce - As far as ecommerce goes, Light Speed does a pretty good job with its own generic platform. However, when it comes to the cycling industry, it falls a bit short in terms of data and specific service offerings compared to dedicated providers. But hey, no one's perfect.
Integrates with Push? A resounding yes. We've got several successful Light Speed retailers on the Push platform, and they're growing well.
If you're a tech-savvy retailer with a bit of extra time on your hands and the patience to learn as you go, then Light Speed might just be the platform for you. While it hasn't quite caught on with the UK cycling crowd just yet, that might just be because the marketing hasn't quite hit the mark. And let's not forget, it's a cost-efficient option for those of us who are happy to roll up our sleeves and dive into the nitty-gritty
Shopify is a giant in the ecommerce space, and they've even moved into the EPOS sector. While they have a great interface for retailers, they don't have the same level of focus on the cycling industry as dedicated providers do. While they're excellent at handling ecommerce in general, they fall short in terms of product data and industry-specific functionality for cycling. They don't yet integrate with Push.
Citrus Lime is primarily focused on cycling, but they do have a few retailers in other sectors like fashion and equestrian on the system. One interesting feature they offer is a dedicated data sim that can save time on product creation for retailers. However, their development plan is pretty rigid, which can be a double-edged sword. While it's efficient and economical, it doesn't leave much room for retailer input and feedback to impact development.
When it comes to ecommerce, Citrus Lime does a pretty good job. The Zesty framework has a lot of retailers on board as part of the Citrus Lime EPOS/Ecom alignment, and it's a relatively simple web store. The key benefit of using Citrus Lime is the alignment of instore/online stock management.
Does Citrus Lime integrate with Push? The answer is yes! We're currently putting our first group of Citrus Lime retailers live on the platform, and early testing looks promising. We'll be sure to update this article as we receive more information.
One of the last of the old guard, this legacy system is not without it’s usefulness. A small team are on-hand to make changes and additions to ensure the slightly smoother running of the system. Lacks the support of the global giants like Lightspeed and Ascend and is arguably outdated against the other providers in this article, that said, we do work with several retailers still on Abacus that fare well online.
How it handles Ecommerce - A decent API is provided which has allowed us to complete a successful integration to which we run a handful of retailers.
Does it Integrate with Push? Yes, and well, we have a small but mighty group of retailers pushing hard online and yielding great results.
If you’re currently running Abacus then we can get you up and running online, it isn’t however a provider we’d recommend to retailers looking to move to a new system.