A point of sale (POS) system is the hardware and software that helps retail businesses in their daily operations, including sales functions, inventory management, and so on. POS systems are now widely used by many businesses in different countries and industries, especially those building omnichannel shopping experiences. In fact, research has forecasted that the global POS software market will rise to $42.5 billion by 2027.
Are you a retailer looking for a suitable POS system for your store, or curious about what are the best POS options on the market? Then you might have come to the right place.
In case your current platform cannot meet your demand of selling on both online storefront and brick-and-mortar stores, consider moving to another world-leading eCommerce shopping cart, such as Shopify, Magento or BigCommerce.
In this blog, we will give you some information about the 5 best POS systems based on their specialties and pricing plans. Stay tuned!
What is a POS system?
Before further research into the market, you should thoroughly understand what a POS system is.
By definition, a point of sale is the place where customers pay for a product at a store. Based on that, point of sale systems is the unified platforms where sales, payment processing, inventory control, and other post-purchase stages are handled. POS systems are often used by store owners and staff members to handle the activities within their businesses.
Beyond these functions, modern POS nowadays can also be integrated with other technologies and platforms, including eCommerce places, third-party extensions, and other retail ecosystems.
In today’s retail industry, most businesses prefer having a unified system that can perform different tasks together. They are mostly cloud-based, in which data can be accessed anywhere with an Internet connection. Indeed, Forbes has reported that 61% of retail companies nowadays consider getting a cloud-based POS system for their businesses.
Why is a POS system so important in modern businesses?
They can save a lot of time and effort by doing calculating or repetitive tasks for humans.
A powerful POS can also minimize errors in monitoring the company. Moreover, POS software can be a potential gateway to the eCommerce world for brick-and-mortar stores. They can synchronize the information between your physical stores and the online channels.
Now that you know what a POS system is, let’s move on to the focus of this blog. What are the best retail POS systems on the market in the present day? Here are the top 5 of them:
Top 5 POS systems for retail
ConnectPOS — Best for omnichannel businesses
Being a leading cloud-based point of sale provider around the world, ConnectPOS is well-known for its omnichannel capabilities. This system knows exactly what retailers and consumers want in modern days, which is a seamless omnichannel shopping experience. With ConnectPOS, retail store owners can allow customers to buy online and pick up in store. Their shopping journeys are no longer limited to offline or online-only stores.
ConnectPOS supports users from the pre- to post-purchases customer experience. It accepts different payment types, such as cash, debit/credit cards, or split tenders. After that, you can also easily handle refunds and exchanges in the Cart section.
In addition to that, real-time synchronization is also another plus for ConnectPOS. Data will be automatically synced between the real stock numbers and what is displayed in the system. With Offline Mode, this data will be updated later when there is no Internet connection.
Here are some other outstanding features of ConnectPOS:
- Available on the major eCommerce platforms, such as Magento, BigCommerce and Shopify
- Compatible with multiple devices, including PCs, tablets and mobile phones
- Support PWA Consumer App and interactive second screen
- Require no extra fee for third-party transactions
- Integration with a Reward Points System
- Support multi-store and multiple warehouse management
- Provide auto-generated reports
The pricing plans are also a strength of ConnectPOS. This system comes at a very affordable price compared to its competitors. The plans they offer are $39, $69 and $89/month/device and are also open for customization. In addition, a 14-day free trial is also available.
Why would we recommend this to you? Because ConnectPOS excels in its omnichannel features. In fact, research has shown that 45% of customers now buy online and pick up in store. Without a doubt, the omnichannel model is becoming more essential in modern days.
Lightspeed Retail — Best for large businesses
Lightspeed is a big name in the POS market, with a focus on retail, restaurant and golf. This solution is a dominant branch of Lightspeed with powerful features for large companies. They target chain stores and other businesses with more than one location. Therefore, Lightspeed Retail takes pride in extensive management tools, namely:
- Inventory management: easily categorize your items by different variants (such as colors, origins, sizes, etc.)
- Employee management: Keep track of staff’s sales records and assign permissions to a specific part of your POS system
- Customer relationship management (CRM): Engage with your buyers via customer profiles and other marketing tools
- Reporting and analytics: Understand your business better
- ECommerce integrations: Handle your online stores within a single POS
Overall, Lightspeed is suitable for large businesses with more budgets. This is because if you want their advanced features, you need to opt for a more pricey subscription.
For annual bills, Lightspeed Retail’s lowest plan is $69/month (Lean), plus a card-present rate of 2.6% + 10¢. The more advanced options are $119/month (Standard) and $199/month (Advanced). Meanwhile, monthly billing is slightly higher in price. However, if you are looking for a POS system that is exceptionally powerful in management, Lightspeed can be a good option.
Vend — Best for medium-sized companies
Vend is the next point of sale system that we would recommend to our readers. In general, Vend is most suitable for medium businesses with a focus on brick-and-mortar stores. This is because Vend does not have native eCommerce functionalities.
Needless to say, the most highlighted feature of Vend is inventory management. This point of sale system comes with several inventory control tools, including supply data, stock levels, sales records, low-stock alerts, etc. Beyond these features, Vend also allows its users to import the product list in the form of an Excel file to the system. Users can thus use this data across online and offline platforms and make any adjustments.
Here are some other notable features of Vend:
- Loyalty functions
- Offline mode
- Compatibility with multiple devices, including PCs, iPad and mobiles
- No extra transactional fee
Regarding pricing, Vend also stays on a more pricey side like Lightspeed. This POS provider offers 3 types of subscriptions. They are the Lite ($99/month), Pro ($129/month) and Enterprise (customizable price) versions. For the above functions, Vend is an ideal option for inventory-rich businesses and not so suitable for service-based companies.
Square — Best for newly-opened businesses
Square is another reputable name in the POS market thanks to its great flexibility in different industries. This POS provides Square for Retail, a branch that specializes in the retail industry. A big advantage of Square is its free version of the point of sale app. Therefore, it is ideal for start-ups who are still in their primary phases and just need the basic management tools. However, if you need more complex functions, there are also other plans available, which we will mention later.
Here are some other functions of Square that may interest you:
- Built-in payment processing
- Barcode-based interface, including barcode creation, purchase orders, etc.
- User-friendly dashboard
- Online store creation (build a free website/online shop for delivery or pickup)
- Customer relationship management (CRM) tools
Besides the free version, Square for Retail currently offers a Plus version with more advanced features, which is $60/month/location, in addition to a processing rate per transaction. There is also a Premium plan with custom pricing.
Above all, the two major advantages of Square is their free version and ease of use. Therefore, it is definitely a good POS option for newly-opened businesses.
Clover — Best for simple setup
Clover is another point of sale system for retail businesses. Unlike the previously mentioned POS, Clover is also well-known for its hardware. The software works well on these devices and provides a smooth-running experience for retailers.
As for software, Clover is highly suitable for businesses looking for a simple setup. The Clover app comes pre-programmed with merchant services. Therefore, if you are planning to upgrade your cash register and keep your current merchant account, we would recommend Clover for you.
Some outstanding features of Clover are:
- Mobile POS: suitable for both iOS and Android
- Employee management: Assign permissions to specific data to a number of employees
- Customer management tools: track customers’ previous transactions, create customer profiles, manage loyalty programs, etc.
- More than 200 apps and add-ons: complete your business needs by integrating other integrations, namely inventory management, accounting, invoicing, and so on
By leaving space for multiple add-ons, Clover can be easily made into an All-in-One app for your business. Clover is currently offering different pricing plans, depending on your purpose of use. For example, there are:
- Payments plan (with no POS functions): with the flat-rate processing of 2.6% + $0.10 for businesses
- Essentials plan: for businesses with credit card sales below $50,000/year — $9,95/month/additional device
- Register plan: for businesses with credit card sales above $50,000/year — $9,95/month/additional device
We hope that this blog has provided some useful guidelines about the best point of sale system for retail. As each POS system has its own strengths, we would recommend considering your specific problems to choose the best solutions for your businesses.
To complete the POS experience, retail store owners can also choose a shopping cart migration service like LitExtension. You can transfer important data such as orders, customers or products with ease so that you can start your new store as soon as possible. Above all, we wish you the best of luck with finding a suitable retail POS system.
ConnectPOS is a leading retail point of sale provider with more than 2000 clients all over the world. The company focuses on helping retailers provide a seamless omnichannel experience for their customers. In 2021, ConnectPOS has proudly won the Bronze Price of the 2021 Stevie Award for Product Innovations.