Pros and Cons of Vend: A Leading POS Software

What are the pros and cons of Vend? Vend is a robust POS solution built for the retail industry. As there’s no perfect, one-size-fits-all solution, we explored the offerings of Vend based on the most crucial features of a POS platform to determine where it excels and where it needs improvement.

POS platforms play an integral role in creating an intelligent retail environment for you and your customers. As customers demand a seamless shopping experience and the ability to shop on the go, POS technology also continues to evolve in becoming smarter.

There are various benefits of POS software solutions. Today’s POS systems handle more than payment processing, customer transactions, and inventory levels. It now even offers ecommerce and mobile capabilities, among others. Mobile commerce accounts to 20% from 2% of all digital spending according to the Atlantic, hence, it’s vital to consider this functionality when choosing a POS software for your retail business.

If Vend is in your sights, does it offer these essential functionalities? What is it good at? What are its limitations?

Reasons for companies to switch POS systems. (Source: RSPA)

Finding a POS system that keeps up with the latest trends in the industry while matching your requirements can be a challenge. In fact, the top reason for businesses to switch POS systems is not having the right features as per RSPA. This stresses the importance of getting to know the software first before implementing it in your operations.

Vend is one of the most popular solutions in this category. While it has been around for a while, it continues to provide users with regular system upgrades to improve its product. With that in mind, we’ll tackle the pros and cons of Vend to get to know the software better.

Vend: Intuitive Retail POS Software

Vend shows a comprehensive visualization of retail metrics on the platform’s reporting dashboard.

Vend is a POS software used by businesses in the retail industry. Powered by modern technology, this product offers an intuitive and easy-to-use platform for leveraging your processes across PC, Mac, and iPad devices. It also has a multi-store functionality to run all your retail store operations. It has a central management solution for unifying your multiple store locations, pop-up shops, offices, and warehouse.

As a cloud-based solution, you can access your most crucial data—sales, products, inventory, and reports—anywhere, enabling you to work out of your office, stockroom, or counter at any time. It also works offline so you can continue processing transactions even when the internet connection is down.

Since Vend has a robust set of inventory and product features, it is most suitable for inventory-based businesses. Hence, it’s a popular solution by business types such as fashion boutiques, health and beauty, electronics and computer, homeware and gifts, and sports and outdoor equipment, among others, in the retail industry.

In terms of supporting your business size, Vend is highly scalable. You can use the software to begin selling when you’re still starting up. It also grows with you when you need to add more staff, registers, locations, and sales channels. It also offers plenty of third-party integrations to seamlessly connect your system with your existing applications in accounting, payments, or ecommerce or you may build your own extension using its open API.

It’s best to explore the platform firsthand to learn more about its features. You may sign up for Vend free trial here to check out its tools and features and determine if it matches your own retail operations.

Key Features

Vend offers a rich set of POS features for your inventory, sales, and products. Here are its key features:

  1. Point of Sale
  2. Multi-Store Capability
  3. Inventory Management
  4. Reporting
  5. Ecommerce
  6. Customer Management
  7. Payment Processing
  8. Gift Cards
  1. Cash Management
  2. User Accounts and Permissions
  3. Centralized Product Catalog
  4. Online Order Management
  5. Customer Profiles
  6. Customizable Pricing and Taxes
  7. Bulk Product Imports

Pros and Cons of Vend

Vend has a robust offering of features and functionalities; but just like any other software, there’s no “perfect” solution for all businesses. To start, Vend is not an all-in-one POS solution. Since it’s suited for retail businesses, it doesn’t have essential features for businesses in the food industry to manage their operations such as table and table-side ordering, custom menu and floor plans, and full-service or fast casual management.

While this is the case, it’s not necessarily a disadvantage. Deploying a software that delivers its specific functions well results in a more effective implementation instead of trying to be all over the place. Various factors are to be considered, hence, we looked at the pros and cons of Vend to help you see if it matches the requirements in what you’re looking for in a POS solution.

Accessibility of platform

Vend’s point of sale solution simplifies how you process sales and handles customer experiences both online and on-the-go. It works on both PC and Mac online and offline to let you immediately start selling your products and/or services. Meanwhile, it seamlessly connects with a variety of payment processors, POS equipment, and hardware to support your processes.

At the same time, it also optimizes selling on-the-go using the Vend Register iPad application. The feature, Quick Keys, enables you to customize the interface in accessing your popular products faster. Furthermore, the platform expedites the checkout process through keypad taps, swipes, and touches to quickly complete transactions and focus more on assisting your customers.

You can use any operating system you prefer. At the same time, it is worth noting that Vend requires you to use Google Chrome as your web browser. It is also only available for iPad devices if you want to use its on-the-go platform. Users of Android tablets can’t use the POS system.

Vend’s cash management feature tracks the movement of your finances to avoid discrepancies, error, and theft.

Streamlined POS solutions

Vend leverages the way you process transactions by expediting checkout, having in control of each transaction and simplifying the buying journey for your customers. It ensures you don’t spend too much time in workflows that can be accomplished in the system. For instance, you can create and save templates of popular products for each store to speed up checkouts. Adding discounts, notes (such as care instructions and targeted offers) on customer receipts, and products is also streamlined.

It also makes sure you are in control for each transaction. Define permissions based on roles and align them with specific store processes when creating user accounts to choose which information is accessible or secured. This lets you track employee performance and increase accountability. Additionally, you can register closure reports and record all cash changes for a transparent cash management.

While the platform is equipped with a rich set of useful features, some users may not find it as robust, especially for those who are looking for more advanced functionality like cash float, for example. However, this comes to specific preferences and business requirements which make it important to understand your organization’s pain points and to determine the right features you need.

Robust inventory management

As Vend concentrates more on inventory-based businesses, its inventory management and control features are some of its most robust offerings. It has tools for managing your products regardless of the number of your SKUs, handling pricing across multiple channels and sales groups, and ensuring your products are sufficiently stocked.

Some examples of its features include categorizing your products according to SKU, name, brand, type, tag, supplier, and handle, among others. This simplifies inventory counts, reports, and online store collection organization. The product catalog is centralized to avoid human errors and double data entries across your sales channels.

Inventory counts and stocks transfers help make sure you don’t run out of stocks by syncing data to your systems and adjusting your inventory levels automatically. When stocks are running low, you’ll receive low stock alerts. Furthermore, stock orders are automatically generated to reorder when it drops below your preset levels so you won’t have to worry about dealing with out-of-stocks anymore.

Deep insights and comprehensive reporting

Vend’s reporting capabilities take the guesswork out of your decision-making as they show you an overview and a comprehensive look at your retail business’ performance and metrics. It offers Small Business Reporting for SMBs to build their own reports from drilling down data using a variety of filters and variables. This spots trends and problem areas, the performance of your store/s, which products are most profitable, and the people on your team with the most sales.

You also get advanced reporting and metrics. However, it’s only available for higher subscriptions—Vend’s Pro and Enterprise plans. This gives you deeper insights from exclusive sales reports: true performance of employees, products, customers, and even suppliers which you can extract as the system breaks down reports further. For instance, it lets you look at your store metrics at the register level.

Its other reporting features include giving you a summary of daily transactions, setting individual sales targets for your team, and tracking the average transaction value and average basket size for each salesperson. This gives you data you can use to enhance measures and drive sales.

Vend enables you to offer gift cards to customers to improve your bottomline.

Reliable customer management

As an integral part of your business, Vend gives you a tool for customer management and loyalty to grow and build your customer base. If you have an existing customer list, you can easily import it to the platform through CSV upload. Meanwhile, you can build your own customer database by capturing customer information from checkout where it’s automatically stored in their customer profiles. This shows you a customer’s purchase history, account balances, and loyalty.

To drive business growth, you can use this POS software to nurture your relationship with your customers. Creating your custom program is streamlined where customers can earn loyalty through a qualified purchase and redeem it in the future. You can also set customer groups to treat your most valuable customers with special discounts and offers.

A missing feature you might be looking for is email marketing. Vend provides an alternative solution for sending newsletters and targeted marketing by allowing you to opt for an add-on with MailSync that syncs your data from Vend POS and ecommerce system to your mailing list automatically. It connects with popular email tools like Campaign Monitor, MailChimp, and Constant Contact.

Agile Ecommerce platform

If you want to leverage your POS system, Vend also offers its own ecommerce solution. You can easily transform your business from a brick-and-mortar store to having an online storefront to widen your reach. It simplifies opening an online store as it syncs data from Vend POS. Additionally, it gives customers a consistent shopping experience from your physical to your online store with the ability to shop anywhere and anytime.

It’s worth noting that the ecommerce functionality is only available in the Pro and Enterprise plan. That means if you’re under the Lite plan, this feature is not included in your package. However, it’s included in the higher subscription levels at no additional cost.

Since its ecommerce feature is a standardized solution, it is not as robust as other ecommerce software solutions. If you’re looking for more advanced ecommerce features, you may choose to integrate with third-party ecommerce applications. With that said, Vend’s ecommerce tool is mostly sufficient for startups and SMBs looking for a basic, simple, and intuitive solution.

It already offers web hosting, an integrated website builder, in-story inventory live-sync, connecting with your own domain name, and a wide selection of responsive themes. When a purchase is completed in your online store, it automatically sends an email to the admin for a real-time order fulfillment.

Vend lets you set a schedule in closing your store register to guarantee an accurate till count.

Final Verdict

In this article, we explored the pros and cons of Vend. This retail POS solution is a robust system for retailers to try as it’s easy to use, quick to implement, and packed with vital inventory features. You’ll also get the benefits of cloud technology in using this POS platform.

While there’s room for improvement in terms of its advanced functionalities, SMBs that don’t necessarily require in-depth reports and deep inventory insights will find this a reliable solution. Furthermore, the system is always updated and it has an extensive list of third-party integrations to leverage your retail operations.

If you’re interested to look at other options, you may also check out the top 10 alternatives to Vend. The list features the leading POS systems that are similar to Vend with comparisons of their key features.

Shaun Baker

By Shaun Baker

With 5 years of experience in digital marketing and retail strategy under his belt, Shaun Baker is the resident eCommerce expert at FinancesOnline. A contributor to Entrepreneur, The Atlantic, and other business portals, he has spoken and written about various eCommerce subjects, from AI and headless commerce to the economics of Black Mirror’s “Fifteen Million Credits”. His (highly) opinionated pieces on the ebbs and flows of eCommerce as an industry remain both a dynamic resource of talking points and entertainment in itself.

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