Previously, small business owners only had a few ways to accept payments from their customers.
The most common ways included cash, credit cards, and check. This is not the case anymore.
Today, cloud computing, smartphones, and RFID provide even the smallest business entities with an opportunity to use point of sales (POS).
The best POS systems combine inventory, payment processing, payroll, customer management, accounting, and other services into powerful POS software and hardware packages.
Given that modern POS systems are flexible, they provide a variety of functionalities that businesses can enjoy.
The capabilities of POS systems are just limitless. You can use them to track your most productive employees, best-selling products, and anything in between.
Table of Contents
But with a range of them in the market choosing one can be a bit tricky. Here is a guide that will help you choose one.
As a global brand, Square is one of the most well organized and common POS systems in retail locations.
It’s a flexible service that allows you to turn your own devices into a POS system without having to invest in anything.
Since it’s free to start, easy to use, and full of all the features, this software is the right choice for new businesses who are looking for powerful and simple software to help them start out.
It’s an all in one system that you can use to take payments regardless of where your customers are. You can also pair it up with other tools to give your business that extra boost.
With this software, taking customers’ payments is quite easy. You can use it to create customized receipts and send them via email and print from the receipt printer.
You can also use it to split checks, keep open tabs, and manage all your inventory in real-time. As a versatile software, it’s a very popular choice.
Its 100 percent free to download and start using. It’s also transparent hence you won’t pay any monthly fees or hidden costs.
Regardless of how many sales you process, you only pay the transaction rate.
- Dipped, Tapped and Swiped payment is 2.6% + 10¢
- The card on files and Keyed-In payments is 3.5% + 15¢
- Square Register payments is 2.5% + 10¢
- There is no monthly cost for the basic plan
- Transparent transaction cost
- Hardware and software are easy to set up
- Real-time reporting and analytic
- Higher fees for manual entry
- The transaction cost is a bit expensive
This is one of the best eCommerce and POS software currently in the market. Whether you want to expand your online retail stores or using Shopify, you should try out this POS system.
With this point of sale system, you can take care of all your online and in-store selling in one place.
With Shopify POS, your inventory is managed and updated in real-time for both in-person and internet sales.
You can also use Shopify for inventory focusing and manage transfers between locations. Also, if you want to build customer loyalty programs, it provides you with the tools that you need.
Just like other POS systems, it will allow you to avoid long lines and accept payments from anywhere.
Given that your in-store and eCommerce solution will be linked to Shopify POS, you’ll have the ability to exchange or return an online store purchase at the local location.
- Basic Shopify POS is $29 per month
- Shopify POS is $79 per month
- Advanced Shopify POS is $299 per month
- It has some of the best features
- It’s easy to use
- It’s easy to integrate
It’s better if you are using Shopify
If you are looking for the right POS management software, this is the right one. Although it’s not as popular as others, it’s still among the best.
It provides POS solutions for restaurants and retailers and makes it easy for them to save time with a centralized purchasing catalog.
With this software, you can manage multiple product variations and sell them in bundles. You can also get alerts for items, track unit costs, and even sell out stock items.
Whether your retail location requires work order, custom items, or purchase orders it’s the most suitable software to use. You meet all these from your POS.
Along with running on desktops and iPads, its hardware package includes receipt printers, scanners, cash drawers, and iPad stands.
Whiles its features are good it comes with one cash register thus making it a little bit expensive as compared to others.
As a good all-round Retail POS system, it’s one of the right choices for business with complex inventories.
Some of the businesses that may require it include jewelry shops, bile shops, home décor, pet suppliers’ apparel, and sporting goods.
This software will, therefore, never disappoint you.
- The basic plan is $79 per month
- The starter plan is $119 per month
- The standard plan is $139 per month
- Advanced plan is $189 per month
- Pro plan is $259 per month
- It’s the best for inventory management
- Suitable for retail stores
- Robust eCommerce platform
- 24/7 support and onboarding
- Detailed inventory and analytics
- Expensive for small businesses
- It’s hard to navigate the user interface
4. Vend POS
Vend POS is a system that integrates with a huge number of third-party apps and features to give you several good features.
With this system, you can add third-party payments through PayPal, Shopify, and Square POS among others.
Since it comes with fantastic eCommerce integration, it makes it very easy to sell across digital, physical, and mobile channels. Additionally, it provides inventory and sales management.
As compared to other POS systems, it comes with a store credit, layaway tools, loyalty programs, easy product catalog management, and offline processing.
It’s a user-friendly cloud system with flexible configurations and on-account sales. It also has a free ios app for scanning bar codes, looks up product details, and perform quick inventory counts.
Furthermore, it has a native loyalty program fitted with third-party tools for accounting, eCommerce, multichannel inventory management, and employee scheduling.
However, as compared to other software, Vend does not process any payment nor sell any hardware.
Instead, you have to integrate it with other software for things such as payment processing among others. It also works best for small businesses.
If you have a large business you can request a custom solution that comes with a dedicated account manager and other things.
The best part is that you can try it for free and see whether it’s the right none for you.
- Lite plan is $119 per month
- Pro plan is $159 per month
- It’s a user-friendly system
- It has flexible checkout features
- It comes with 24/7 support
- Strong eCommerce integration
- Suits businesses of all sizes
The lower pricing tiers may lack the details that you need
5. ShopKeep POS
If you are looking for a system with the best Retail POS system then ShopKeep is the right choice. You can use the iPad app to track the sales and even keep up with the daily sales from any location.
ShopKeep also has one of the best customer service tools. Whether you want to issue a gift card or special discounts, you can do all these and even draw old customers back in.
Coming with email, phone, and live support, its technical team support is one of the strongest. If you fall into a small retail or quick-serve category it’s the best software for you.
The amazing thing about ShopKeep is its simplicity. If you have a high employee turnover or part-time staff you won’t have a hard time training them.
It’s designed in such a way that it will automate monotonous business tasks, accelerate your checkout process, and set up your business for success.
In addition, you have access to its mobile app where you can view sales information, data, and inventory regardless of where you are.
This allows you to monitor and keep track of your business even when you are very far.
More so, if you are looking for a startup loan it offers that. This is just a way for businesses to secure loans in exchange for a percentage of their credit card sales.
- Monthly software fee is $69
- Payment processing depends on the process you want to use
- Hardware fee
- It’s fitted with a user-friendly interface
- Provides a 24-hour support system
- Robust back-office apps
- Works on all android devices
- Prices are POA
- Support options vary by plan
6. Talech POS
Although Talech is a fairly new system, it’s still a decent pick. Coming with great features it has an easy to use interface and a good support team that’s available through multiple channels.
It boasts an average price but gets cheaper if you go for a more limited plan.
Since it’s meant for restaurants, retail businesses, and service industries, it has all the features that these businesses need.
These include support for exchanges and returns, employee management abilities, and granular discounting abilities.
Featuring a mobile app you can comfortably use it on an iPad. Since it’s cloud-based you can access your data anywhere, anytime, and from any browser of the device.
Although it does not come with a free plan, it’s one of the most affordable POS systems for small businesses.
According to the website, it’s fitted with more than 10 features. The standard and premium plans come with features that normally cost extra such as gift cards and loyalty programs.
If you want to gain some insights about your revenue and customer behavior, you just need to run a variety of sales reports.
Unlike other tools, all its plans come with customer management tools that you can use to view sales histories and come up with customer profiles.
Since the standard and premium plans have insight reports you can know about customer behavior such as average amount spent and frequency per visit.
- The Starter plan is $44 per month
- The Standard plan is $62 per month
- The Premium plan is $89 per month
- Comes with granular product settings
- Great customer support
- Easy to use interface
No eCommerce integration
7. Revel POS
Revel POS systems provide POS services for restaurants, retail, quick-serve businesses, and bars.
Using a combination of local network and cloud to store information it’s considered a hybrid system.
This means even if you lose a connection you can still continue with your transactions without any worry.
If your business has multiple locations, Revel is fitted with a centralized management system that makes sure everything is standardized.
While other systems encourage you to use your own devices, Revel advice that you buy from them. This is to ensure that everything runs smoothly.
Its insight reporting provides real-time ingredient level, sales reports, and performance metrics. Given that you can take advantage of its CRM features its high prices are just justified.
When it comes to managing customer loyalty programs from the software it’s among the best.
If you can pay for installation fees, high monthly rates, and hardware fees it’s among the best systems for your small businesses.
Its only downside is that it does not come with a free trial. Although there is a free demo you must pay at least $99 for you to start using it.
POS Software starts at $99 per month
- It’s a robust and customizable system
- Comes with granular reporting tools
- Back office management systems
- Intuitive user interface
- Insights app dedicated to reporting
Setting it up is a bit complicated
8. Fresha POS
Previously known as Shedul, Fresha is a versatile and free tool for spa, salon, and other beauty professionals.
It combines inventory management and retail sales features together with calendar management, appointment booking, and marketing tools to give you an all in one system.
Unlike other software, it’s completely free to use. This is a plus since most software comes with some form of subscription.
It provides the best solution for salons, spas, barbershops, personal training professionals, tattoo, tanning studio, and several others such as businesses.
With this system, customers can book online through social media platforms or websites. You can also send automated reminders and allow your employees to track their schedules.
Moreover, it has CRM tools that you can use to identify top clients, create targeted email campaigns, send personalized offers, and segment your clients’ groups.
Whether you want to view real-time performance, track internal product use, generate supply orders, or even track inventory, this is the right software for you.
This POS software is free thus you can sign up and start using it immediately
- It combines CRM Retail, online booking, and calendar management.
- It has free plan options
- It’s extremely user friendly
It does not have phone support
9. Clover POS
Although Clover POS is suitable for businesses that want to take orders online, they must have a business website.
With this system, you’ll be able to add online ordering since it has a mobile app and an intuitive user interface.
Unlike others, it has several hardware options including contactless payment hub and countertop POS station thus making it easy to manage any business.
Some of its core features include inventory, sales reports, and customer loyalty tools. It also has employee tracking tools, customizable permission levels, and payroll management to help you around.
Since it focuses on the security of your transaction, it ensures that any theft and fraudulent activities are minimized.
This system allows you to streamline your payment processing inventory management and much more.
Clover can replace all outdated processes involving paper receipt printer, cash register, barcode scanner among others.
Some of its hardware features include Clover Go, countertop clover station, Clover Mini POS station, and Clover Flex mobile payment processor.
Additional Clover POS comes with several peripherals that you can always use to customize your system. Just like other software purchasing your equipment upfront is the least expensive option.
If you need any help, you can always reach their customer support through email and phone. It also provides blogs for its developers and merchants on the website.
For pricing, you need to consult the website
- Free trial
- Good range of hardware options
- Great for companies that started online but need a physical
- Additional features cost extra
- You need a preexisting website unlike other software
10. NCR Silver POS
NCR Silver is a cloud-based POS system that has been in the market for several years now. There are a number of things that set it apart.
Founded in 1884, it provides POS solutions for hospitality, financial, travel, and retail corporations.
As a matter of fact, it’s the number one POS Company for hospitality and retail companies.
Once you’ve signed up the company will provide you with 24/7 support, all software updates, and remote set up assistance.
As opposed to other companies, it bundles its hardware and software together. While some bundles include a monitor others have a stand.
It also comes with a strong selection of features including loyalty and email marketing tools. The best part is that’s you don’t have to pay anything for regular updates.
If you need a system that can track inventory, this is the right one. For instance, you can set it in such a way that it can send alerts when your stock is low.
Further, it features a customer database that you can use to gather information for all your marketing needs.
As compared to other POS systems that rely on third parties or charge an extra fee, this system has social sharing, built-in email marketing, and loyalty programs.
This allows you to send promotions and coupons to customers.
Besides it has real-time reporting with an at-a-glance dashboard and pre-built reports that provide you with hourly and daily sales data so you can know the business times.
- The IOS Vault bundle is $79 per month
- The PX10 Core bundle is $135 per month
- The PX10 Full bundle is $149 per month
- It comes with a loyalty program
- It has eCommerce integration
- It has Multi-store capability
- Does not have a free trial
- It has an early termination fee
11. Quickbooks POS
QuickBooks is perhaps the industry leader when it comes to small business accounting solutions. Although it’s little known as POS, it works just like some of the best systems out there.
If you are currently using QuickBooks for your accounting jobs or you are in the market for a new POS system this is a good place to start.
The advantage of using the same company for your accounting and POS software is that everything you do will be very accurate.
By using QuickBooks POS, you’ll ultimately boost your accounting department and all your bookkeeping process.
Unlike other software, it has a unique pricing system. Instead of paying monthly or yearly it’s a one-time purchase.
Optimized for use in Microsoft Surface Pro 4, this software is different from other products that mostly focus on Apple iPad.
Meant for retail businesses, QuickBooks comes with many solid features that a good POS should provide.
Simple and easy to use it provides you with several ways to access its features.
Other than the navigation, the left-hand side button allows you to access data and tasks such as customer lists, make a sale, and end of the day work.
Further, it’s fitted with drop-down menus at the top that allows you to access features such as Add Item, Make a Sale, Held Receipts, and purchasing venders among others.
- The Basic Plan is $1200
- The Pro Plan is $1700
- Multi-Store Plan is $1900
- It integrates well with the QuickBooks ecosystem
- Comes with a 30-day free trial
- Charges a one-time fee
- It has lots of payment plan choices
- You cannot create email campaigns
- It does not have any mobile options
TouchBistro is industry-specific software that serves businesses such as bars, restaurants, quick service food, and food trucks.
Some of its features include inventory management, table ordering, CRM, menu management, staff management, and payment processing.
Since it’s an all in one solution, it allows you to set up self-ordering kiosks, customer-facing displays, and a kitchen display system.
This means it has almost everything that you would need POS software. You can even integrate it with online ordering and take reservations.
With this system, you can either use your own software or purchase one from them. If you like you can bundle the hardware and software with your plan.
It comes with 24/7 customer support through phone and email. If you have a large business they will provide you with training services.
Given that their staff includes actual servers, owners, service managers they understand how to take care of your needs.
Although it’s one of the best POSs for restaurants you should keep in mind that it’s not cloud-based. You also need to use a local network.
It’s therefore not the best for those who use unstable internet.
- The solo pricing plan is $69 per month
- The dual pricing plan is $129 per month
- The team pricing plan is $249 per month
- The unlimited pricing plan is $399 per month
- It’s stable and flexible
- It works both online and offline
- It easily integrates with payment providers, apps and gateways
- Has customer-facing displays and kitchen display system
The interface can be hard to navigate
13. Erply POS
If you are looking for a customizable and flexible POS system, Erply is the right choice.
By using its retail franchise plan you can set up security permissions to determine the kind of access that managers get.
You’ll also be able to decide how to centralize your inventory, potentially sensitive information, and CRM tools.
Starting at $99, it’s not the cheapest solution when it comes to POS services. However, it’s perhaps the best when it comes to customizability and flexibility.
For its price, you’ll enjoy excellent features and highly flexible solutions that will work for both eCommerce and brick and mortar settings.
Although Erply is web-based, you can use it offline. There is a small cloud icon that will let you know whether you are online or not.
Also, it will provide you with access to all the modules of the back office. These include inventory, calendar assignments, sales, projects among others.
Interestingly, it separates employees and users, something that you don’t find in other systems.
With this system, you can build customer groups to target pricing and specific promotions.
For instance, you can set these prices according to the type of good, date, location, and type of customer.
Finally, for email marketing, they are currently testing a module that you can use to send notifications based on triggers such as a customer’s birthday and the rest.
Erply pricing starts at $99
- It provides more features than most systems
- Comes with several modules
- It highly configurable
It does not have a 24/7 customer support
Selecting the Best Point of Sales System
Now that you know different types of point of sales systems, you are ready to choose the right one for your needs.
But how do you know whether you are getting the best? Where do you start and how do you go about it. Here is how to find the right one.
1. Know the State of Your Business
When it comes to selecting the right point of sales system the state of your business plays a very important role.
For instance, you must ask yourself whether you are opening a new business or not.
- If you are new then the system should be simple and easy to use. This makes your business more efficient.
- If you are upgrading you should ask yourself whether the system will eliminate discrepancies and track down the sales and match the bank account balances.
- If you are switching from a different POS you should know why the other one is not working for you and how the new one will help you solve your issues.
2. Know the Features That You Need
This is a very important consideration when looking for the right POS for your business.
Choosing the right features will ensure that your business runs well. Here are the main features to consider
- Online ordering for restaurants
- Delivery tracking for food
- ID and age verification prompts
- Class calendars and integrated appointments
3. Know the Cost
You also need to find a POS system that will save you time and money. Although these systems are not cheap, you may reduce the expenses by a competitive card processor.
When looking for one, start by getting different quotes. Once you get the quotes you can ask for available services.
By taking this route, you’ll end up with true and tested companies that won’t fail you.
4. Look for a Transparent Pricing
Older points of sales systems require you to buy a software license, sign a multiyear contract, or pay an annual service fee.
You may also need to pay for some upgrades every year. On the contrary, most modern systems allow you to pay a monthly subscription that you can always cancel.
Since they post their offers online, you can know what features are available and how much the service will cost.
The main advantage of a monthly subscription is that you are not locked in any contract. You have the flexibility of switching anytime you want.
Instead of remaining in a system that you don’t want you can pay the penalty and move on to another.
5. Decide Between Leasing or Buying
Another important consideration is to decide whether to buy or lease the system.
Since POS systems are a bit expensive you need to think about what you can afford and what makes sense.
While some companies will ask you to buy, others will give you the option of leasing the equipment.
But you should know that leasing equipment may cost you a lot of money over time.
The monthly fee that you pay could add up to a lot of money. You should also know that leasing comes with an agreement that you can’t just cancel.
Although purchasing a POS system is a bigger commitment upfront, you’ll own the equipment for good. So do the math and see whether it’s worth leasing after all.
6. Get a System That Allows You to Choose Your Processor
Although some POS systems are compatible with all the major processors, others are only compatible with a handful.
There are even companies that provide you with these services and insist that you have to use them.
Since processing and credit can be costly, you should choose one that gives you a choice of payment processor.
This will allow you to shop around while doing comparisons until you get one that provides few fees and lower rates.
If you’ve chosen one the first thing to ask is which systems they are compatible with. This will allow you to choose without paying a fine of looking for a new processor.
7. Ease of Use
If you are just starting out, you require a system that is easy to set up. You don’t need an engineering degree to set up. It should have an intuitive user-friendly interface.
It should also be simple enough to use that you don’t need to call support or consult a manual every time you want to use it.
8. Know the Hardware that You Need
The type and the size of your business generally determine the kind of hardware that you should choose.
For instance, if you have a small business you may only need a card reader, tablet, or cashbox.
But if you have a larger operation you may require receipt printers, terminals, barcode scanners, and much more.
Since POS starts with the software you should also examine the cost and the capabilities of the software and ensure that they are right for your businesses.
9. Automation and PCI Compliance
Another thing to ask is whether you can reduce the cost by automating the processes.
For instance, the right choice should use data from supply chain and logistics to update order information and inventory.
Since payment is important, your POS system should be compliant with data security standards. It should also feature end to end encryption and data tokenization.
10. Customer Support
Whether you know the system in and out, you still need the best customer support.
This is because once in a while you may run into issues or you may need some help that only requires customer support.
You should choose a system that offers 24/7 support through live chat, email, and phone.
Frequently Asked Questions
Also, known as the POS system, a point of sales system is a software or hardware that allows you to process customer payments for products and services.
Traditionally, these systems were registers that only accepted checks, cash, and credit cards.
Nowadays this term includes cash drawers, recipe printers, barcode scanners among others.
Also, modern mobile point of sale systems and credit card readers will allow you to use modern mobile devices such as iPads and even mobile phones to process payments.
These devices are capable of accepting any online payment including Google Pay and Apple Pay.
More so, nowadays POS does much more than payments.
They serve as important business systems that handle everything from employee management, customer management, payroll, inventory, and shopping services.
Modern POS comes with a number of features to help you manage your normal business operations.
Although features range depending on the product, some of the main features include payment processing, accounting processing, employee management, inventory management, analytics and reporting, and customer relationship management.
How can I manage a large inventory with my POS System?
Most affordable POSs are designed majorly for payment processing. But what should you do if you are running a restaurant with several products and ingredients to check?
In this case, you should choose a POS system that integrates or includes a robust inventory system.
POS software is a system that comes with a compatible hardware package used to operate and organize businesses.
This software will help you link your customer inventory, service, accounting payroll, and other more departments.
Using a POS system is not only time saving but also quite efficient.
It will also help you improve your customer experience and reduce a lot of waste that may take place through expiration, ordering alerts, inventory reconciliation, and even prevent theft.
The cost of any POS generally depends on the quantity, complexity, and number of users of the hardware and software.
Apart from the price of the software you may have to pay for a cash drawer, scanner, printer, and an extended warranty.
Since the return on investment of POS is positive, even if you buy one you don’t expect to run at a loss. Since it will help your organization to grow you’ll easily compensate for additional costs.
Can I transfer my data from the current POS to the new one? If your current POS system can export inventory and customer details, you can easily transfer the data into the new system.
However, before doing this you must evaluate each case.
Sales reports and customized details organized by the customers can easily be retrieved by an efferent POS.
Most systems organize this information into reports with different categories so they can use the data for future references.
Choosing the right POS system is very important if you want your business to succeed. It should help you know the number of sales and track your inventory so you know when you should restock.
It will also help you analyze your stock, sales, and refund so you can maximize profit. To get started you need to compare the quotes and choose the right system for your needs.