Are you still relying on outdated cash registers or need a POS system that integrates with your business operations? In today’s fast-paced retail environment, a robust POS system is no longer a luxury — it’s a necessity.
From streamlining sales transactions to managing inventory and generating sales reports — a POS system integrates various aspects of your retail business to improve efficiency and enhance customer experience.
In this guide, we uncover the seven best POS systems for retail, helping you make the right decisions to propel your business to new heights.
QuickLook: Best POS Systems for Retail Businesses
Understanding the Basics of a POS System for Retail
At its core, a POS (Point of Sale) comprises two main components: hardware and software. Hardware elements, like touchscreens, facilitate user interaction, while barcode scanners expedite product checkouts and reduce human errors.
On the software side, functionalities span from inventory management — ensuring products are adequately stocked — to sales reporting that provides insights into consumer behavior. Together, these components streamline retail processes, fostering efficiency and boosting customer satisfaction.
Benefits of a POS System for Retail Businesses
With any investment, it’s good to know what’s in it for you and your business.
Here are the key benefits of a POS system.
- Streamlined sales processes and reduced human errors: Modern POS systems automate many sales-related tasks, minimizing manual data entry. This speeds up transactions and also significantly reduces the chances of human-induced errors that could impact sales or inventory records.
- Efficient inventory management and stock control: POS systems often integrate real-time inventory tracking. This means that every time a sale is made, the system updates stock levels, ensuring retailers always have an accurate view of their inventory. This can help prevent stock-outs or overstocking.
- Enhanced customer experience and satisfaction with faster checkout: Nobody likes long queues. With a POS system, checkouts are swifter, often with multiple payment options, making the purchasing process seamless and leaving customers with a positive impression.
- Improved sales analysis and decision-making through detailed reports: Beyond just processing sales, POS systems can analyze data to offer insights into sales trends, best-selling products, and customer preferences. Such detailed reports guide retailers in making informed decisions about promotions, stock orders, and store layout.
- Simplified financial management and accurate accounting: A good POS system integrates with accounting software, automating daily sales data transfers. This integration simplifies bookkeeping, ensures accuracy, and can provide real-time financial overviews.
7 Best POS Systems for Retail Businesses
Ready to transform your retail operations? We’re about to unveil the top seven options that can truly revolutionize the way you operate and serve your customers.
Toast is a dynamic POS system specially tailored for the food service industry. Boasting features like tableside ordering, real-time data analytics, and integrated online ordering. It’s become a go-to for many restaurants and cafes seeking to enhance their service delivery and operational efficiency.
Key features of Toast include:
- Tableside Ordering: Allows waitstaff to take orders directly at the table, increasing order accuracy and efficiency.
- Real-time Data Analytics: Provides instant insights into sales, inventory, and customer data.
- Integrated Online Ordering: Streamlines the online order process, merging it seamlessly with in-house operations.
- Loyalty Program Integration: Offers tools to create and manage loyalty programs.
- Employee Management: Tools for scheduling, performance tracking, and tip distribution ensure streamlined staff management.
- Quick Start Bundle: Starting at $0 per month
- Core: $69 per month
- Growth: $165 per month
Clover stands out with its adaptability, catering to both small businesses and bustling retail giants. Its sleek hardware options paired with an app-based operating system offer merchants a customizable experience, ensuring diverse business needs are met with precision.
Key features of Clover include:
- Customizable Hardware Options: Whether it’s a countertop setup or a mobile POS device, Clover offers a range of hardware tailored to different business needs.
- App-based Operating System: With its extensive App Market, businesses can enhance their Clover system with numerous integrations, from inventory management to customer loyalty programs.
- Multi-layered Security: Equipped with end-to-end encryption and built-in fraud protection, Clover ensures that every transaction is secure.
- Employee Management Tools: Set permissions, track shifts, and manage employee performance seamlessly within the system.
- Offline Mode: Even when the internet is down, Clover ensures that sales can continue, storing transactions to process when back online.
- With Clover, you can pay as little as 2.3% + 10¢ per transaction. For detailed pricing on POS packages, it’s recommended to contact Clover directly for a customized quote.
Designed with restaurants in mind, TouchBistro blends the best of both worlds — technology and food service. Its intuitive table management, detailed sales reports, and 24/7 customer support make it an exceptional choice for eateries aiming for optimal performance and guest satisfaction.
Key features of TouchBistro include:
- Intuitive Table Management: TouchBistro facilitates efficient floor planning, allowing restaurants to optimize seating arrangements, manage reservations, and streamline table turnovers.
- Detailed Sales Reporting: Restaurants can dive deep into sales data, understanding peak hours, top-selling items, and more.
- 24/7 Customer Support: With support available anytime, restaurants can ensure quick resolutions even in the wee small hours of the morning.
- Menu Management: Easily update, categorize, and customize menu items, leading to a smoother ordering process.
- Integrated Payment Processing: Offering flexibility in payment methods, TouchBistro supports various payment processors, ensuring swift and secure transactions.
- Starting at $69, TouchBistro provides a range of pricing plans carefully tailored to accommodate restaurants of all sizes and needs. For a detailed overview of their pricing framework, it is advisable to reach out to TouchBistro directly to receive a personalized quote.
Shopify, while renowned as an e-commerce platform, offers a POS system that’s perfect for retailers who want to unify their online and brick-and-mortar stores. With robust inventory management, seamless online integration, and detailed sales analytics — it’s an excellent fit for those looking for a comprehensive retail solution.
Key features of Shopify POS include:
- Omnichannel Integration: Easily sync and manage your online and physical store sales, inventory, and customer data in one unified platform.
- Robust Inventory Management: Track and update stock levels in real-time across multiple locations, preventing overselling and stockouts.
- Mobile POS: Accept payments, check out customers, and manage your store directly from mobile devices.
- Detailed Sales Analytics: Gain insights into sales trends, best-selling products, and customer preferences to make data-driven business decisions.
- Loyalty and Promotion Integration: Seamlessly incorporate loyalty programs and promotional offers both online and in-store.
- Basic: $19 per month
- Shopify: $52 per month
- Advanced: $399 per month
Square’s simplistic yet powerful design has made it a favorite among startups and established businesses alike. Its signature card reader, combined with an all-in-one POS software, enables businesses to process payments anywhere — all while managing inventory and gaining insights from sales data.
Key features of Square POS include:
- Mobile Payment Processing: With Square’s card reader, businesses can accept payments on the move, be it at pop-up events, trade shows, or even on the sales floor.
- Inventory Management: Automated inventory tracking ensures that stock levels are up-to-date and reorder points are flagged in real time.
- Sales Analytics and Reporting: Deep-dive into data to discern sales patterns, identify top products, and understand customer behaviors.
- Employee Management: Allocate roles, monitor performance, and manage schedules right within the platform.
- Integration with E-commerce: Square smoothly integrates with various online platforms, allowing retailers to manage online and in-store sales seamlessly.
- Free: $0 per month. 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction
- Plus: $29 per month. 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction
- Premium: $70 per month. 2.6% + 30¢ per transaction
Smart tools to grow your business
From taking payments and processing orders, to customer acquisition and managing your money–with SumUp, it’s possible. 4 million businesses have already chosen us to be their partner, let’s see how we can help you too.
SumUp is a beacon for small businesses, offering an affordable yet robust POS solution. With its compact card reader and straightforward app interface, businesses can effortlessly manage transactions, track sales, and provide quick checkouts, no matter where they are.
Key features of SumUp POS include:
- Mobile-first Design: SumUp’s mobile-centric approach ensures that businesses can process payments on the move, optimizing for flexibility and convenience.
- Unified Dashboard: From sales data to customer insights, everything is available at a glance in their intuitive dashboard.
- Multi-Currency Support: Accept payments in multiple currencies, making it an ideal choice for businesses serving international customers.
- Secure Transactions: With advanced encryption standards, SumUp ensures every transaction is secure.
- Integration Capabilities: SumUp can seamlessly integrate with various e-commerce platforms and accounting software such as Woocommerce and Wix.
- In-Person Transactions: For all in-person payments, whether they’re swiped, chipped, or contactless, businesses are charged a flat fee of 2.75% per transaction, with no hidden costs or monthly fees.
- Remote Transactions: For payments that are processed either over the phone or via a payment link, the rate stands at 3.25% + $0.15 for each transaction.
- Invoicing: Businesses can send an unlimited number of invoices via the SumUp App without incurring any charges. However, a fee of 2.90% + $0.15 is applicable once an invoice is settled online.
Aimed at the more advanced retail and restaurant sectors, Lightspeed boasts detailed inventory tracking, multi-location support, and e-commerce integration. Its rich feature set, paired with intuitive design, makes it a worthy contender for businesses aiming for growth and scalability.
Key features of Lightspeed POS include:
- Advanced Inventory Management: Lightspeed’s system offers intricate tracking capabilities, allowing businesses to manage their stock levels efficiently and reduce discrepancies.
- Omni-Channel Sales: With integrated e-commerce, businesses can sell both in-store and online, ensuring a consistent brand experience.
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM): Detailed customer profiles and purchase histories enable personalized marketing and sales strategies.
- Integrated Payments: With secure payment processing, businesses can facilitate transactions without the need for third-party integrations.
- Detailed Reporting: From sales metrics to employee performance, Lightspeed provides insights that drive decision-making and business growth.
- Lightspeed offers a tailored pricing structure based on individual business requirements. For an in-depth understanding of what the system can offer and its associated costs, they provide a free, no-obligation demo.
Factors to Consider When Implementing a POS System for Retailers
While the benefits of a POS system are clear, it’s crucial to select one that suits your unique needs. Before making a decision, let’s explore these key considerations for choosing the ideal POS system for your retail business.
When investing in a POS system, initial and ongoing costs are of utmost importance. It’s not just the initial payment, but also subscription fees, transaction costs, and potential upgrade or maintenance costs. A cost-effective system that fits your financial capabilities while providing all the important features is a must.
Scalability for Future Business Growth
As your business evolves, so should your POS system. If you choose a system that is adaptable and can grow with your growth trajectory, it won’t quickly outgrow you. This means you should choose solutions that can handle higher transaction volumes, additional locations, or extensive inventory management as you expand.
Training and Support Provided by the POS System Provider
Implementation is just the beginning. A POS system is only as effective as the team that operates it. Choose a vendor that offers comprehensive training for your staff and reliable customer support. Immediate support in the event of technical glitches or problems can make all the difference in keeping your operations running smoothly.
Data Security and Compliance with Regulations
Your POS system will handle sensitive customer data and transaction details, so security is non-negotiable. Make sure the system complies with industry regulations and employs strict encryption and security protocols to protect both your business and customer data.
The Future of Retail: Final Takeaways on Leading POS Systems
The emergence and evolution of POS systems have undeniably redefined the retail landscape.
Throughout this article, we’ve explored seven of the most influential POS platforms in the industry, offering features like inventory management, seamless transactions, and insightful sales analytics. As we look to the future, it’s clear that harnessing the power of the right POS system can be the catalyst that propels a retail business to new heights of excellence.
How does a POS system benefit retail businesses?
POS systems streamline transactions, automate inventory management, and provide invaluable sales insights, optimizing overall retail operations and enhancing customer experiences.
Can a POS system be customized to fit specific retail needs?
Yes, many POS systems offer modular features and integrations, allowing businesses to tailor the platform to their unique requirements and operational needs.
What hardware is required to set up a POS system for retail?
Basic hardware for a POS setup often includes a touchscreen display or tablet, a barcode scanner, a receipt printer, and a cash drawer. Some systems may also require card readers or other specialized equipment.
Are cloud-based POS systems secure for retail businesses?
Yes, reputable cloud-based POS systems adhere to stringent security protocols and often offer encryption and other safeguards to protect sensitive data and ensure transactional security.
Can a POS system help manage inventory efficiently?
Absolutely! POS systems offer integrated inventory management tools that track product quantities, automate reordering processes, and provide insights on sales trends.