Top 5 POS systems on the market: review

Check out our review of the top 5 POS systems

checkout

Top 5 POS systems on the market: review. Source: shutterstock.com

When I worked at a local grocery store as a teenager, every price change was followed by the manual rewriting of price tags, and the daily inventory check-ups were a nightmare. Thankfully, now even small businesses can avoid this ugly routine with one of the numerous POS systems out there. Who needs selling points? In short, practically every business. Restaurants and hotels, concert halls and cinemas, repair shops and gas stations, not to mention all types of retail and wholesale. It is no wonder then that the global POS software market is forecast to grow in the coming years, reaching a size of $42.5B by 2027 – a more than threefold increase from 2018.

While basic checkout experience is similar, additional features required by different business segments vary greatly. Depending on the business purpose, some functions are more important, while others may be non-essential. However, functionality is not the only thing you should consider. Pricing matters most in these global recession times. Moreover, a recognized brand name of the POS solution may increase customer trust. As you can see, there are plenty of factors you should consider before integrating a POS system. Yet, some products are all-time favorites among business owners. Here is our review of the top 5 POS systems.

5 best POS systems on the market

  • Square
  • Vend
  • Shopify
  • ShopKeep
  • Lightspeed

Square

Square POS software works without any setup fees or monthly fees. Source: unsplash.com

The most famous PSP brand on our list offers a fully integrated out-of-the-box point-of-sale solution. It offers customers fast checkout, automatically creates profiles and loyalty programs. Employees will find it easy to customize their sales by adding locations and staff members as well as connecting third-party apps like Postmates, DoorDash, and other delivery options. In times of this pandemic, it’s important that you can add a kerbside pickup option in minutes. Communication with clients is also made easier – you can send email marketing updates and promote your business on social channels, all through your POS Dashboard. This solution is supported by the easy-to-use free app that helps you run your checkout and your business, including managing online orders and delivery.

Square deposits payments into your bank account in 1-2 business days. It also syncs with QuickBooks so your accounting becomes seamless. Analytical tools will help you see what’s selling best, what your busiest hours are, and who your best team members are in real-time mode. Tracking inventory and viewing a complete sales history will help you keep abreast of your business progress. As for the hardware, you can plug in a cash drawer, receipt printer, order ticket printer, or barcode scanner. If you are in the U.S. or Canada, you can also accept payments with a Square Reader or Square Stand.

SEE ALSO: Square ecosystem: products review

Square Point of Sale software works without any setup fees or monthly fees. The payment processing rate is 2.6% + 10¢ per tap, dip, or swipe. Custom pricing packages are available for some businesses that process more than $250K in card sales and have an average ticket size of over $15.

Vend

POS systems

Vend is a cloud-based POS system. Source: vendhq.com

Vend is a cloud-based POS system that works on iPad, Mac or PC and syncs across all the devices. Your customers will like flexible purchase options like layaway programs or making purchases on-account with partial payments of an amount owed. Moreover, you can let your customers pay with multiple tender types by accepting two or more payment types in a single transaction. Another benefit is that Vend works offline so the customers won’t have to wait until your Internet works properly again. You may continue selling even when the internet goes down, and Vend POS will automatically resync your sales when you’re back online.

For your online sales, Vend integrates with leading e-commerce platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, and more. You can open new stores and connect existing ones to the Vend software solution, manage locations and sales channels in real-time, and handle all products, inventory, customers, and sales. Inventory lists from one or multiple stores or warehouses can sync with your e-commerce shop which is crucial for multichannel sales. The system also reports across online and offline operations in a single interface. The online/offline receipts can be customized with your business logo and website, discounts, and notes to specific line items or to the entire sale.

Vend supports all major payment means including mobile NFC payments like Apple Pay. If you’re already set up with your preferred processor you don’t have to switch to accept card payments. Simply connect third-party solutions. There are a bunch of other helpful features like customizable reports, mobile access to key sales metrics, multiple add-ons, connection to email marketing tools, etc.

The pricing policies range from $99 per month and can be customized per request. You can also have a free trial without any commitment.

Shopify

Shopify’s POS system is also a great choice for unifying in-store and online sales.  Source: shopify.co.uk

Shopify’s POS system is also a great choice for unifying in-store and online sales. Numerous options of combining online and bricks-and-mortar shopping ways will appeal to every modern buyer. Stock items can be ordered not only based on sales, but also on inventory forecasts. Customizable checkout adapts to actions in the shopping cart, while a mobile POS terminal gives greater flexibility to your checkout location.

Many customers are disturbed or even scared away by constant intrusion of shop assistants when they come for preliminary browsing instead of buying right away. At the same time, others can’t find a free assistant during busy hours to learn some details about the items on sale. Solve both issues at once by adding QR codesQR codes in-store to drive customers to your site to learn more about products and purchase online. Moreover, these products will remain in their browsing history, so they can save what they like to the wish list to buy later.

SEE ALSO: Shopify launches POS adapted to post-COVID-19 world

Flexible payment ways include accepting 2 or more payment types in a single transaction, partial payments, deposits or layaways, gift cards, custom payment options such as cheques, IOUs, or even gold coins. You can master bricks-and-mortar sales with the complete Retail Kit which includes the Retail Stand, Tap and Chip Card Reader, and accessories, or customize your POS with a selection of compatible barcode scanners, printers, cash drawers, etc.

A free trial is available for 14 days. Later on, you’ll need to pay $29-$299 per month depending on the number of features included in the plan.

ShopKeep

pos systems

ShopKeep offers POS hardware bundles. Source: shopkeep.com

ShopKeep offers powerful inventory management tools built into a solid system. It also boasts one of the best Retail POS System mobile apps on the market that keeps you connected to your business 24/7. The reporting analytics will give insights on employees’ performance and attendance. You track and resupply your inventory with ease, getting low-stock alerts, bulk updates, and more.

ShopKeep’s POS software is available on the iPad and Android. Hardware kits differ for retail, restaurants, and quick-service enterprises. ShopKeep offers all-in-one solutions, POS hardware bundles, or personalized options to meet all your unique business demands. For the last five years, ShopKeep’s Customer Care team has been recognized by the Stevie Awards as one of the best support teams in the business segment.

ShopKeep doesn’t provide standard pricing plans. It offers full customization depending on a few factors like the type of your business, products and services you sell, profit, the term of operations, existing payment processing method, needed hardware, etc. The pricing policy is obscure, but they claim you can “get started for as low as a daily coffee“.

Lightspeed

pos systems

Lightspeed offers cloud-based POS systems. Source: lightspeedhq.com

Lightspeed cloud-based POS systems help retailers and restaurateurs bring their customer experience to the next level. It’s available on the iPad, so you can manage your inventory and sales on the go. You can also centralize purchasing with built-in purchase orders that combine multiple vendors and stores.

The omnichannel retail POS system synchronizes your physical inventory with your e-commerce store. Shipments can be managed from the back office and you can use built-in tools to boost SEO and drive traffic to your online store. An integrated loyalty program offers reward points across all the channels. It has a tiered rewards opportunity and allows to send targeted offers from one dashboard. Fast mobile transactions are accepted with a swipe, dip or tap of every credit, debit and gift card. You’ll also get an EMV-compatible terminal when you sign up. Third-party retail tools like PlasticPrinters, Ikeono, Homebase, and Mailchimp will assist you in email marketing, customer communication, employee management and issuing gift cards.

Lightspeed future-proof restaurant POS currently helps restaurant owners reinvent their business with delivery, contactless payments, and customizable floor plans for social distancing. Restaurant business owners can sync their menu with major food delivery apps like UberEats and DoorDash, manage all in-house orders and consolidate online orders on one single screen, maximize the delivery zone, and spot new opportunities with Lightspeed’s reporting tools. Custom images for tables, seats, and decor will help you properly represent your space in the POS system. You can open tabs and place orders under customer accounts, add tips on the spot or later, and set custom tip redistribution for your team. Contactless transactions are supported by an EMV-compliant terminal restaurant POS software.

The pricing plans range from $69 to $259 depending on the set of features and the way you wish to pay (annually or monthly). Additional registers cost $29 per month. High volume merchants and large businesses can discover the customized possibilities available by contacting support.

Payments may get accepted with Lightspeed Payments in the US and Canada. The card-present rate is currently 2.6% + 10¢ while card-not-present rate rises to 2.6% + 30¢. All other regions should check integrated payment solutions.

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