Setting up a retail business, online store, restaurant or warehouse? You’ll need to compare POS systems to find the right one for your business.
We’ll also advise you on some of the top considerations to look out for when buying POS systems.
What are POS Systems?
Consider POS systems as a stock management and till system linked to your online store.
With a POS Systems (point of sale systems), customers can physically come into your store and pay for items, using card or cash.
Your cash register will then either be linked up to a mobile device or computer which syncs to your businesses store.
POS systems can help your business speed up its efficiency.
You can also use POS systems to easily track all your inventory, manage orders and stock takes, and also view all of your sales figures.
Plus the system speeds up transactions in the shop, and can also make it easier to gather your customer’s details for your email marketing campaigns.
5 things you need to know about POS Systems
1. Does the system suit your business?
POS systems can be expensive.
Make sure you’re paying for the right system to cater to your business, by assessing the size of your inventory, the number of sales you’re making, and what you want to achieve.
Purchase a plan that is scalable, and can cater to your growing requirements.
2. Ecommerce features
Running both an ecommerce shop and a brick-and-mortar store can both boost your sales massively.
POS systems that offer ecommerce features will give you a wider reach online, but will also be able to link up to your in-store POS system and integrate your physical sales and inventory.
Speaking of integration, make sure you choose a POS system that can integrate with a variety of different applications enabling you to run your store more efficiently.
For example, with QuickBooks POS, you can integrate this with QuickBooks accounting, QuickBooks ecommerce, and QuickBooks Time Recording, to give you a fully automated and connected business.
Are you looking for accounting software for your business? Click here to compare and find the best one for you.
When making a transaction in-store, you don’t want to be faffing around in front of a customer, trying to find the discount they want or the product they need.
Having streamlined and easy to use POS systems, will speed up transactions and improve your customer’s experience so they come back to purchase more.
If you want to look the part then you’ll need to get the best card readers, iPad stands, and cash registers that will seamlessly link up with your online store.
Take a look at Vend’s Terminal and iPad stands for a sleek, functional, and easy to use suite of hardware.
Here’s the 10 Best POS Systems
A great feature of Vend is that you can use it on the go anywhere without Wi-Fi.
Although not compatible with android platforms yet, you can still use the POS system on a web browser too, and from here you can access all of Vends key reporting analytics about your daily sales and inventory, while also keeping an eye on the offers and loyalty deals you are providing to your customers.
Its inventory management system is one of the best in the business, categorising your products by their size, design, brand, and name and is all automated preventing human error from creeping into your inventory management system.
You can also perform stock takes by using the scanner app you can download on your phone, which will help you quickly flick through all your products and tell you how much stock you have left.
Although one downside is that Vend forgets the restaurant and catering industry, and focuses solely on the retail industry.
Vend offers a pretty comprehensive and cost-effective pricing plan. Firstly you can use the platform for free, but you’ll only be able to use limited functions on the platform.
Starting at £49 per month if paid annually, you’ll gain access to a wealth of features, no transaction fees, inventory management, and unlimited products and users.
The next tier up at £69 will give you access to promotions and gift cards, Add-ons, and ecommerce channels.
Vend will also offer its enterprise plan to those businesses running larger stores, who are looking to get up and running fast and have a dedicated account manager looking after your stock and sales figures.
You’ll have to request a quote to get a price for this one.
Vend Trustpilot Reviews
Vend is ranked at 3.5/5 stars on Trustpilot with many users reporting that the platform was quite intricate and hard to use.
But it seems after users get used to the system it “makes the flow of business quite easy.”
Click here to visit Vend.
Square POS Features
One great feature about Square is that it is fully scalable to run online stores and in-shop stores for restaurants and retail organisations.
Its online store comes free and all you have to do is build your own site, and integrate with the Square POS system so Square can keep an eye on all your transactions for you.
Square will also look after your tax information, manage refunds and works offline too.
Plus we loved its amazing card readers, especially the Terminal which looks slick and is a high tech way to show that you mean business.
Although aside from that, it isn’t the most intricate POS on the market and doesn’t have the most advanced reporting features, meaning it’s not the best for larger businesses.
Square POS Pricing
Different to other POS systems on this list Square doesn’t tie you down to a monthly contract.
Instead, it makes its money through transaction fees and its hardware, which might I add is some of the most well designed and portable equipment on the market.
There are two different transaction fees.
If you are transacting an item in-store via chip and pin or a contactless payment, Square will take 1.75% of that fee.
But for transactions occurring on your online store, Square will take slightly more at 2.5%. Still pretty cheap, right?
Well, to sell in-store you’ll need to have one of Squares card readers, with its standard reader costing £19 plus VAT.
But if you’re feeling more high tech, you can purchase Square’s touch screen, chip and pin Terminal for £199 plus VAT.
Square POS Trustpilot Reviews
Square has 4.5/5 stars with an 85% rating of excellent.
Quickbooks POS Features
You’ll be able to use QuickBooks to make sales, manage employees, manage payroll, offer gift cards and loyalty programs, and manage multiple stores.
One great feature about QuickBooks POS is its scalability allowing you to open multiple stores and communicate your inventory between each store.
QuickBooks does also provide a very user-friendly service that is easy to get to grips with.
You can customise your home and landing pages so that when you jump onto the console, you can easily find and select the products your customer wants and ultimately speed up each transaction.
It will also update your inventory for you automatically meaning you won’t have to crunch the numbers of how much stock you have left.
Quickbooks POS Pricing
Although you can use the platform’s free trial, you’ll get access to a limited suite of features you can use to start setting up your online store for 30-days.
But the platform does not have a set range of pricing. You’ll have to get in touch with QuickBooks to get a quote depending on your business’s needs.
But we have done some digging and it appears it is a very expensive bit of kit, you’ll have to flog out a one-off payment which has been reported to be around £1000 ranging up to £1500 for the higher range multi-store plan.
Along with that, you’ll have to purchase QuickBook’s hardware to get your store up and running, which can set you back around £200 to £300 just for a chip and pin card reader.
Quickbooks POS Reviews
65% of customers rate QuickBooks POS systems 5 stars on Software Advice.
Many state that it is efficient and easy to use and enjoy using the reports system which shows useful analytics.
Others noted that the platform was fairly costly to buy all at once.
Click here to read our full review of Quickbooks.
Shopify POS Features
Unfortunately, Shopify has been created solely for retail and is not suitable for the catering industry.
But that aside, it can cater for a wide range of businesses and is both affordable for the small start-up, yet comprehensive enough for the larger marketplaces.
Shopify’s POS system is great for efficiency and ease of use.
You can customise your terminals using its smart grid view which puts your most-used apps, most bought products, and most applied discounts in your checkout display.
Plus it is also designed to sync up with its brilliant ecommerce platform, meaning your inventory will align itself with your online store when you make a sale, meaning less hassle and time-consuming stock-taking for you.
Shopify will also allow you to create gift cards that can be used in-store and online and can sync up to your accounting software too so you can see how much VAT you’re paying on each sale.
Shopify POS Pricing
Ultimately this could be a fairly expensive package.
Shopify is built for those looking to have an online store as well as a physical store, and with its POS systems syncing seamlessly with its web hosting and ecommerce features, you’ll probably end up purchasing one of Shopify’s ecommerce plans as well as one of its POS plans.
You can try Shopify for free for 14-days when you sign up for one of their three plans.
Another great thing about Shopify’s plans is that they will all provide you with an unlimited number of tills, save an unlimited number of products on your site and give you unlimited staff access. Here’s a brief outline of Shopify’s pricing:
|Card reader fees||1.7%||1.7%||1.6%||1.5%|
|Features||24/7 email and chat support||24/7 phone support, sales channel reports||Gift cards, refunds, support, detailed financial statements, customer sales stats, and web traffic reports.||Everything included as well as customised reports and analytics of your customers purchases.|
Shopify POS Reviews
Many rate Shopify’s POS as being one of the most comprehensive and well-rounded systems on the market with most stating it is best used with Shopify’s online ecommerce features.
One of the great things about Shopkeep is that it offers great integration with QuickBooks, BigCommerce, and MailChimp.
With all 4 platforms, you’ll be able to easily follow your accounts, sell online and sell in-store, and run comprehensive email marketing campaigns to boost sales.
One of Shopkeeps greatest features is its inventory matrix system. It is particularly useful for catering companies who will need to know how much of each ingredient they have.
With the matrix system you can set up a parent item, like a ham and cheese baguette let’s say, and within that parent item you can track how much of each ingredient you have in that item, e.g. you have 6 slices of ham in the fridge.
Plus it’ll also notify you when you’re low on stock and can automatically order new stock for you.
It can be tricky to gauge how much Shopkeep will cost you.
Ultimately it does come with a set of base plans but does offer you a personalised quote based on how big your business is, and what sort of business you run.
Shopkeep’s plans start at its basic plan of $69 per month and range to $199 per month. Its basic plan will let you ring in sales, accept contactless payments, and build an ecommerce site on BigCommerce, something most other sites don’t provide!
Its midrange plan costing $99 per month includes QuickBooks integration, lets you set up gift cards, and track all your sales on your mobile device.
The Advanced package at $199 per month enables you to set up online marketing systems, customer loyalty programs, and manage your presence on social media sites.
Shopkeep Trustpilot Reviews
Shopkeep has a 3.4-star rating on Trustpilot.
Although some users report the service to be buggy, the majority of users online state that the service is superior for their needs!
Bindo POS Features
Bindo caters well to both the retail and restaurant industry, providing restaurants and cafés with booking management features, ingredient tracking features, and floor plan setups.
Although Bindo isn’t as comprehensive as other restaurant POS systems services out there, it still does a good job for quick-service coffee shops and small cafes.
One of Bindo’s great features is its ability to import all your inventory from your current setup into your Bindo platform, saving you heaps of time.
But make sure you are careful about how often you import items, as Bindo will charge $250 per import if you do multiple imports in one month.
Bindo also comes with great staff management features allowing you to track who’s working and keep an eye on when your team are checking in and out.
Bindo POS Pricing
It is slightly unclear about how much one of Bindo’s plans will set you back.
Bindo offers a 14-day free trial, which you won’t need to sign up to using a credit card.
After that, Bindo does not state its pricing arrangements on its website, although we expect Bindo will calculate a quote for you depending on the size, number of items in stock, and nature of your business.
Although will have to pay a $150 activation fee, which is billed annually, meaning you’ll be tied-in for a year at a time.
Bindo POS Reviews
Many online users rank Bindo as a comprehensive and good piece of kit for small businesses, but many also claim it to be hard to integrate with other platforms like WooCommerce and QuickBooks Accounting, compared with other POS systems.
ERPLY’s pricing arrangements are cheap if you’re a larger business looking to set up a warehouse or shop, but they aren’t the best for smaller businesses, and there is little scalability for a small business to grow into these plans.
Once you purchase one of its plans you’ll find it a very convenient and well-presented dashboard you can use to navigate to serve customers quickly.
And as ERPLY caters a lot to online businesses and warehouses, you can easily integrate shipping apps to its systems to send your products far and wide.
ERPLY also has its own built in HR management system that enables you to track all of your employees workloads, their timesheets, and when they’re on annual leave.
Like other POS systems, ERPLY comes with a 30-day free trial.
After the trial you’ll be able to upgrade to one of ERPLY’s plans that offer a number of different features, which can cater for shops and warehouses and webshops.
For example, you can purchase its base plan at $39 per month, tailored for small shops without a complex inventory.
This plan will provide you with a basic POS system that can create reports, produce email receipts and provide basic CRM functionality.
If you’re operating an online store or a warehouse, the $69 per month plan is a great plan that tailors itself solely to inventory tracking, product management, and real time reporting on all your products.
Or you can combine both plans in ERPLY’s $99 per month plan that adds a couple of extra cool features like a gift card and loyalty program and supplier relationship management tools to help you automatically re-order new stock when it gets low.
Customer’s online were impressed with ERPLY’s integration tools, allowing them to connect to Shopify and other third party applications, but were disappointed that the system would crash sometimes and would have to be restarted in the middle of a sale.
Lightspeed POS Features
Lightspeed comes with pretty much everything you need to start up your retail business.
It even comes with its own ecommerce platform enabling you to manage your stock, build an online shop, manage shipments, use its tools to rank higher in google searches to get noticed more.
You can also turn one time shoppers into loyal customers by utilising Lightspeed’s rewards program that pulls in more repeat purchases online.
Lightspeed are also thinking ahead in the current COVID-19 crisis, and can offer you table planning features, to help you reorganise your restaurant’s floor plan to keep your customers socially distanced.
It has improved the delivery game, enabling you to sync up with major food delivery platforms like UberEats and Deliveroo.
Lightspeed POS Pricing
Lightspeed offers a 14-day free trial on its retail plans, and once you’re satisfied with the free version, you can opt to either pay monthly or be billed annually.
Lightspeed offers scalable POS systems that may be slightly expensive on the retail side of things at the base level but do allow you to buy into greater features as your business grows.
For example, its basic plans start out at £69 per month, that will get you its base level inventory management and reporting systems, you’ll then have to pay £99 if you want to add ecommerce store functionality to that, while £129 for additional loyalty and rewards features, and finally £199 for analytics functionality.
Lightspeed POS Trustpilot Reviews
Lightspeed is pretty highly regarded on Trustpilot, with 76% of customers ranking the software as excellent with many stating that the support is responsive and helpful when resolving issues on the platform.
Although some users reported connectivity issues between iPads and receipt printers and card machines.
Revel POS Features
Once you’re up and running, Revel provides you with a streamlined user interface that is very easy to use, and also can provide customers with a front facing display enabling them to see their purchases as you ring them through.
Depending on your business needs there are an array of features on Revel, but one of our favourites was the Kitchen Display System that can be used to send and track all orders being sent to the kitchen.
It’ll track the order’s progress, who sent it and will be cleared once the food has left the kitchen. A pretty neat addition for any restaurant business!
Revel POS Pricing
Revel’s pricing is probably what will turn many small businesses away from the platform.
Firstly, it offers no free trial (just a demo), so you cannot trial the POS system before you purchase it.
Then if you do opt to purchase one of its packages, each one will set you back at a minimum, $99 dollars per month per terminal.
That’s a very big outlay if you’re a small business with more than one terminal.
Plus if you’re operating a larger business and want to have multiple terminals and POS systems set up around your business, Revel offer an onboarding installation fee of $649.
And to get the best deal, you’ll have to pay annually, which unfortunately will also lock you into a three year contract, not the best for small businesses looking to save cash.
Revel POS Trustpilot Reviews
Unfortunately, Revel doesn’t have the best reviews on Trustpilot.
Ranked at 3.4 stars, many customers cite that Revel is too complicated and overpriced for their small business needs, compared with other POS systems.
It does, however, have pretty good customer service.
NCR Silver Features
NCR Silver offers some awesome features for both retail and restaurant businesses.
One of the best is its back-office section that has an Activity summary that provides you with analytics on your store’s sales trends and top sellers.
It also includes a customer tracking feature you can use to follow customer loyalty points, purchase history and other data about your customers.
The system also comes with its kitchen production tool, which allows waiters to serve and track orders going to and from the kitchen, add notes to certain orders in case the customer doesn’t like pickles in their burger.
One cool feature in the restaurant department is it’s ‘happy hour feature’ that will add automatic discounts to specific items during timed events.
NCR Silver Pricing
NCR Silver has two pricing plans you can choose.
Although, NCR takes you through a questionnaire to determine which of its POS systems are best for you, you can simply just opt for whichever plan you want when buying the hardware.
Its Silver Basic Plan costs $99 per month and provides you with training, 24/7 support, and on-boarding assistance to help you get your online shop onto the platform.
Annoyingly, if you’re operating a restaurant, you’ll need to purchase it’s Silver Pro plan which costs $169 per month.
This plan includes the above features but you’ll also get included seat assignments, table layouts and its kitchen production software.
NCR Silver Online Reviews
NCR Silver’s online reviews are mostly positive with a lot of customers applauding the excellent 24/7 live customer support as ‘helpful’ and ‘innovative’.
But many users do state that the pricing is too much for a small business.
The platform is not scaleable either and its plans are very rigid and unaccommodating for business growth.
Depending on what type of store you’re setting up, and whether that’s a retail business or a restaurant or bar, make sure you pick a POS software that is tailored to your businesses needs.
Our top tip is to make sure you’re not paying for services you don’t require, as POS systems do not come cheap.
Pick a scalable system that can meet the needs of your restaurant or online shop, and link that up to an ecommerce platform that will give you a wider online presence to amplify your shop and make more sales.
Have you tried using one of these POS systems? If so leave us a comment with your thoughts.