The best POS system for retail stores is Vend because it’s an end-to-end cloud POS solution that helps entrepreneurs sell online and in-store. It offers a slew of features ranging from inventory and customer management to payment processing and barcode printing to help retailers run their businesses better.
The retail industry has seen a shift in structure when COVID-19 hit. Although worldwide lockdown mandates have caused online purchases to rise exponentially, retail businesses face tremendous challenges in delivering the best service to their customers. To adapt to the unpredictable changes brought by the global pandemic, your business must use the right POS software when selling your products and taking orders. These provide retailers with tools ranging from order management and inventory tracking to customer management and payment processing for more seamless transactions.
However, retailers need to carefully choose these systems wisely. After all, the platform you use can spell the difference between success and failure. So, to help you out, we compiled the top 15 POS systems for retail stores and discussed their key features. This way, you can zero in on the best solution for your needs.
If there’s if a more appropriate time to get a retail POS system for your business, it is now when cashless transactions are highly recommended for safety reasons but also because the retail industry is heading toward that direction. In North America alone, the number of consumers who make a portion of purchases online is expected to grow between 15%-30% post-COVID-19. Furthermore, cashless payments are also projected to grow to nearly $200 billion in two years, which only reveals the consumers’ changing behavior and growing preference for non-cash transactions.
Source: Statista 2020
But before you make a decision to adopt this technology, let us first learn more about POS.
A POS system is actually a “retail management system” since the software goes beyond just processing sales, offering other capabilities such as inventory management, employee management, customer management, a membership system, supplier records, bookkeeping, issuing of purchase orders, quotations, and stock transfers, sales reporting, and more. The system can even bring extended functionalities, being able to integrate with CRM, accounting, warehousing, business intelligence, and ecommerce and shopping cart software.
You’ll get an in-depth look at POS features, benefits, and pricing when you check out our analysis of POS software.
What differentiates a retail POS system from, say, a POS system for the hospitality industry (bars, restaurants, cafes) or even from a general, multi-purpose POS system? While some systems can handle the POS of both restaurants and retail businesses, many systems are designed specifically to handle the demanding needs of the latter. You’ll get to learn of the unique requirements of retail businesses with this article on 15 POS systems for retail stores and the features offered by these products designed for the retail industry.
Retail POS usually carry features and capabilities to manage or provide the following:
Why should you get a retail POS system? First of all, the POS environment has changed from requiring sizable investments in hardware to current cloud POS platforms that can work or connect with your current hardware and offered at SMB-friendly prices. In other words, it has come to be an affordable business solution.
Second, it provides immense value with so many benefits you gain from a POS system. And third, it meets the increasing use of mobile technology through mPOS, especially now that more people are shopping, banking, and making payments using their mobile devices.
A mobile web study found out that smartphones were used in over a third of total US retail sales in 2018 or equivalent to more than $1 trillion in purchases. Find out the technologies leveraged and capabilities offered by 15 POS systems for retail stores enumerated below.
Remember that, like most other business solutions, a POS system should be able to reliably and efficiently address your retail business requirements. It may have tons of features, but if you only need a few functionalities to smoothly run your daily business operation, then you have to make a practical decision, especially if you are a starting business. But make sure the system can scale as your business grows.
Lightspeed Retail is a cloud-based POS platform that provides features and functionalities to make running your business easy. The solution is designed for the needs of different types of retailers, allowing centralized purchasing to save time by ordering from integrated catalogs. It also lets you manage multiple variations by selling bundled, serialized, or unique items as well as track unit costs and inventory data. Its scalability enables you to meet your POS requirements regardless of the size or nature of your products.
Lightspeed Retail boasts of inventory management, quoting, ordering and invoicing tools, powerful reporting functionalities, and jobs and timesheet features. It allows you to manage inventory and customers, handle transactions more efficiently, and understand your operation via the software’s analytics tool. In other words, it is a POS system with full e-commerce functionality that lets you manage on-site and online inventory while getting a singular view of customers and being able to conduct multi-channel data analysis.
Detailed Lightspeed Retail Review
KORONA is a versatile, web-based POS software that can meet the needs of both small- and medium-size businesses and large companies. With your subscription, you’ll receive a complete POS with powerful features, such as inventory management, sales reports, employee permissions, customer loyalty, promotions, and a lot more.
Moreover, KORONA lets you manage your business operations more efficiently with features like automated ordering, retail loss prevention, reporting and metrics, and loyalty and CRM. It also integrates with most payment processing systems, so it’s cost-effective and you can easily set it up and start using it immediately for your business.
Detailed KORONA Review
Vend is a cloud-based point-of-sale and retail management platform that lets you effortlessly sell, manage, report, and grow your retail business. It offers a POS, multi-outlet retail capability, and an inventory management system, allowing you to run your business, whether online, in-store or on the go.
Vend is designed to work on the iPad for added flexibility aside from Mac and PC and supports mouse, keyboard, and touchscreen systems. With core functionalities built around inventory management, ecommerce, analytics, and customer loyalty, it helps you boost product management as well as track and organize customer data.
Detailed Vend Review
Suitable for using a wide range of business types like electronics, health, and beauty, food and drink, toys and hobbies, jewelry, and others, the solution provides high customization that lets you modify the system for your specific operation. It can work with existing business systems, equipment, and hardware, including barcode scanners, receipt printers, and cash drawers. It is easy-to-use and straightforward, primarily requiring only a web browser on any device.
POS Nation is an all-in-one Point of Sale (POS) system built to the specific needs of restaurants, retailers, and specialty stores like pizzerias, tobacco shops, liquor stores, and specialty groceries. This POS software is acclaimed as an easy to use, powerful, and intuitive platform that enables small and midsized businesses to manage single or multi-location stores with total ease.
The solution provides capabilities for a complete sales lifecycle and tools for productive employee and inventory management. POS Nation offers robust customer loyalty tools to empower retailers to make the most out of their loyal and returning customers. Better still, the software enables store owners to print barcodes that ensure products are rung up more accurately and efficiently.
Detailed POS Nation Review
Besides, POS Nation enables retailers to start making data-backed decisions, thanks to its powerful reporting and analytics module. POS Nation features work in unison to simplify sales, boost customer loyalty, and accelerate the checkout process to the delight of every customer. That’s not all; POS Nation’s hands-on approach allows you to blend, a POS software, hardware, and services to build a turnkey POS solution to manage every sales facet and support your business’ growth.
Revel Systems POS is an iPad POS platform for restaurants and retail companies that promises to streamline both your stockroom and storefront. It is a comprehensive tool equipped with features ranging from order management and payment processing to CRM and loyalty program management. With this, you not only ensure that your administrative tasks are running smoothly but also gain the insights you need to get to know your customers better.
Another thing that makes Revel Systems POS unique from its competitors is that it’s built for accessibility and flexibility. For starters, it has an “always-on mode” that keeps it up and running even when your internet connection slows down or becomes unavailable. Also, it has an on-the-go option so you can check on your sales operations while you’re away. Last but not least, it can support a wide variety of third-party applications so you can connect it to your existing software ecosystem.
Detailed Revel Systems POS Review
Cybersys POS is a top solution for business owners looking for a system that works on any device. It is used by various types of retail businesses selling different products like mobile devices, clothing, beauty, cosmetics, books, sports apparel, and even groceries. You have the option to manage your data in the cloud or locally. It’s also complete with features such as financial data analysis, inventory management, customer loyalty programs, payment gateways, delivery management, and currency exchange.
This software is popular among small retail businesses because of its clear, unlimited, and no-hidden charges plans. Subscriptions have no limits over items, employees, and registers with options on using the system for 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year. Instead, you will only have to pay more when you expand with a new physical store.
Detailed Cybersys POS Review
AB POS is one of the top retail POS solutions that offer robust POS terminals, ecommerce gateways, and software apps. This tool is built with scalability in mind to provide support as your business grows. You can make sure to stay connected with your business even when on the go, for free. A graphical dashboard interface and business intelligence are included at no cost in your monthly subscription plan.
While AB POS is known for its restaurant-based POS, it is just as reliable for retail businesses because it’s highly flexible for any business type and service-oriented process. Retail plans come in three options to suit your needs: a handheld solution, an SMB plan, and a full enterprise package.
The tool suits users who want to maximize rich analytics. It provides intelligent dashboards, store and cloud-based reporting, and data warehousing. The Cloud Portal offers rich business insights to help you run your retail business on your computer, laptop, tablet, and smartphone.
Detailed AB POS Review
Square is a POS system that allows you to take payments using your iOS or Android devices and can be used on the counter or on-the-go. The system comes with free downloadable software plus a Square magstripe reader, enabling payments via debit and credit cards. It is also equipped with a real-time sales and inventory tracker, and item management platform. This simple to use POS helps your business get up and running quickly, letting you drag and drop items and categories, customize your items grid, and bring popular items front and center.
Two robust sets of tools are offered – a free Square POS for credit card processing and tracking sales, and the Square for Retail with intelligent and integrated tools purpose-built for more complex retail businesses. Square offers the capability to manage inventory, such as changing item details like price, name, or quantity in real-time. It also manages employee access to data with employee passcodes and keeps a tab on who sold and refunded what. Also, the system lets your employees clock in and out right at your point of sale and even links every transaction to the relevant employee.
Detailed Square Review
Miva Merchant is an example of an ecommerce tool that comes with a robust POS system for your retail business. This tool gives you all the features you need to showcase, promote and sell your products. It also has top-notch marketing integration to help you collect more visitors and convert them into customers.
Miva Merchant takes pride in its personalized buying experience. It empowers businesses to lower shopping cart abandonment rates, appeals to unique buyer needs, and utilize strategies for driving revenue and traffic. It also has features like intelligent product recommendations, curated shopping experience, check-out offers, cart abandonment tools, and scheduled promotions.
Detailed Miva Merchant Review
Clover is one of the most flexible retail POS systems around. It has various POS solutions tailored to how your business operates: Station for speed, Mini for a full POS that comes in a small size, Flex for processing payments beyond the counter and settle for an on-the-go swiping and tapping of payments using a mobile device. Meanwhile, users can opt for the Station + Mini to provide a POS solution on each side of the counter – for the customer and the salesperson.
Retail businesses can use the system for both stationary and mobile devices. Furthermore, the tool helps you manage everything – your employees, inventory, and payments. Basic features are already built-in so you can immediately set up and start your business. The customizable and fully-featured software is accessible anywhere since it syncs in the cloud.
Detailed Clover Review
Salesforce Commerce Cloud is a tool you can use to grow your retail brand. It offers an end-to-end, centralized commerce solution for unifying the buying experience of your multiple channels like an online store, brick-and-mortar store, and social media shop. It empowers one-to-one experience personalization without requiring data analysts on your team.
This tool goes beyond helping you sell. It empowers you to exceed customer expectations and drive conversions for your brand. Some of its top features include omnichannel commerce, multichannel selling, predictive intelligence, customer service, fulfillment, and marketing. It’s mostly used by C-level executives or anyone assigned at growing your business on your social media channels.
Detailed Salesforce Commerce Cloud Review
QuickBooks POS brings you the quality and reputation of Intuit’s QuickBooks to power your point-of-sale system. Designed for small, medium, and large businesses, the system can be deployed as an online-based service, on-premise, and mobile point-of-sale solution. The platform offers tools and features for inventory management, customer management, sales tracking, and customer loyalty and retention to encourage repeat sales. Also available are additional hardware, including bar-code scanners and receipt printers, to use with the POS software.
You get three software versions to choose from – Basic, Pro, and Multi-Store, all designed to help you ring sales, take payments, track customer data, and generate reports. The software integrates with QuickBooks Desktop financial software, ecommerce platforms, and other POS systems. As with every Intuit product, QuickBooks POS comes with extensive customer support through FAQs, knowledge articles, tutorial videos, and phone.
Detailed QuickBooks POS Review
Cegid is a robust cloud POS system and store management solution for retail businesses that combine the capabilities of inventory management and CRM. The program brings together all customer touchpoints across different channels to deliver centralized store management, whether customers are shipping on the web, in-store, or from their smartphones. It also enables you to implement loyalty schemes, real-time KPIs, customized pricing, as well as rich client profiles for enhancing customer experience.
Cegid boasts of several features designed to enable retailers to handle inventory management, sales, staff monitoring, and provide optimal customer experience. It is accessible from every device and comes with tools to let you manage customers, point-of-sale, in-store, omnichannel, omnicommerce, inventory, merchandise, mobile shopping and transactions, CRM, and loyalty programs. It also offers analytics and data intelligence.
Detailed Cegid Review
Shopify POS is an iPad and iPhone-based point of sale application that allows you to manage your entire online and physical store business using a unified platform. It is part of the Shopify ecommerce suite that lets you manage a business from everywhere, including tracking inventory across channels, accepting any form of payment, applying discounts, emailing customers their receipts, and processing refunds. Shopify POS integrates with all compatible hardware, although if you need hardware components, these are also offered by the vendor.
Shopify POS gives you all the tools you need for your business, whether you are a beginner or an expert and regardless if you are a starting company or an established one. You’ll be able to manage payments using your own credit or debit terminal, handle checkouts and customize orders, offer discounts and set up promotions, efficiently operate your store, and manage customers and products. You also get dashboards, retail, and product report to gain insights into your store’s growth and sales performance.
Detailed Shopify POS Review
ShopKeep by Lightspeed is a retail POS system for iPads. With an iOS-specific solution, you can easily maximize the software’s features as they’re exactly built for your device. With a sleeker and more modern register, customers can pay on various payment types like the EMV and Apple Pay. For your hardware needs, it also offers affordable hardware options you can choose from.
ShopKeep by Lightspeed’s automated inventory eliminates the time-consuming, error-prone process of updating and managing your inventory counts. Retailers can also use the app’s features like real-time analytics, staff management, bulk item management, and seamless eCommerce support. Offering returns, refunds, deposits, down payments, and discounts are streamlined in the centralized system.
There are various POS systems available with numerous features but not all of them match your needs. Hence, we compiled a list of the top 15 retail POS systems that you can explore and evaluate. To find the right software, it’s crucial to consider your business’ unique requirements. You may ask the following questions:
After determining your specific POS demands, you can start narrowing down your choices to which product offers you the best value. Reach out to the POS vendor to gather more information and ask for a rundown of its basics. We recommend you request a free trial or demo from the vendor so you can test and apply the software’s features firsthand. Use this opportunity to gather information, weigh the product’s pros and cons, and test-drive its tools to see if it fits your specific processes.
To start, we highly recommend you check out Vend. This cloud-based POS system doubles as a retail management platform. With it, you not only get access to payment processing tools and inventory management features but also customer management functionalities.
Of course, in case it’s your first time browsing for these tools, we recommend that you learn more about the technology before you start subscribing to these free plans. To help you with your research, you can check out our guide to POS software. With this, you should learn more about what features to expect from this type of solution.
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