Want to make sure your company maximizes sales while saving time on bookkeeping? In today’s competitive marketplace, you can’t manage retail sales with a cash drawer alone. Even small retail businesses need quality point-of-sale or POS software.
You’re in the right place if you’re a business owner looking to streamline operations with a point of sale (POS) app. Here we explore options for the best POS system for retail in our exclusive small business guide for stores.
Using Square for retail is affordable and easy to use. Square POS is so easy to use that it is a great choice for micro-businesses. With simple and reasonable flat pricing, you can easily organize your sale system around Square.
There are simple POS hardware options, from basic card readers to more extensive customer displays like Square Register. One of the primary benefits is that non-tech users can use it immediately. It provides accurate insights to guide your company.
Shopify POS is a powerful platform for ecommerce, so it makes perfect sense that their system would be a great option for ecommerce as well. If you want a powerful data collection and a transaction system for your ecommerce site, Shopify probably has you covered.
Lightspeed HQ is a powerful option for ecommerce since it offers a distinct product specifically for small business owners. It also offers an option for retail, restaurants, and coffee shops.
If you’re trying to decide between Lightspeed and Shopify, check out this article .
Heartland is another powerful option for retail POS systems and ecommerce, as well as for other retail businesses. Take contactless payment easily through your ecommerce platform using a secure integrated payment processing service through Heartland.
Eposnow is a very powerful system that is affordable for small business retailers. If you are small but want to grow big and need robust POS systems for retail, this might be the best choice for you. It is highly compatible with third-party hardware and integrates well across POS systems so it should be able to scale with you.
If you want to set up your point-of-sale and get back to business fast, Clover POS is one of the best retail POS systems around. This is one of the easiest and best POS systems to set up and learn, that’s for certain.
Quickbooks is well-known for all kinds of small business accounting, so it should be no surprise that it also has a powerful POS system. Integration with your bookkeeping is effortless when you use QuickBooks for POS.
Vend offers a very robust option for small to medium-sized businesses at a straightforward monthly pricing scale. It is an excellent option for retail POS systems because of its powerful inventory management capabilities.
Revel Systems Retail POS System
If you want many retail pos features for your specific type of store, Revel might have what you need. The Revel systems POS is targeted toward small businesses with specific needs. It can handle a range of industries and comes with free automatic product updates..
Helcim offers an affordable payment processing solution that is ideal for companies that prefer a human touch in how their POS systems are handled.
Miva is another flexible ecommerce solution worth considering. IT caters to both B2B and B2C markets and aims to provide the full package, so to speak.
KORONA POS is highly adaptable and provides a focus on businesses with diverse needs. It doesn’t matter if you’re in retail, food service, or support, this solution can be customized to work for whatever kind of business you’re running.
Cegid Retail leverages a cloud-native POS to offer up a fresh way to handle retail and distribution.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud
Salesforce Commerce Cloud is an increasingly AI-driven commerce solution, offering digital storefronts and apps to use for all aspects of running a business. It’s a growth-centric platform, with the aim of helping you achieve your goals faster, specifically through the use of smart automation.
SumUp is a global financial technology company that offers a straightforward POS system designed with small businesses and freelancers in mind.
Its simplicity is what makes it stand out as a platform, offering a minimalistic design and easy-to-use interface for accepting and processing payments quickly.
POS System – Buyer’s Retail Guide
There’s no one-size-fits-all for most POS systems since it’s nearly impossible to meet the needs of all businesses with the same type of software. The best POS options provide a range of benefits to support your business, such as:
- Increasing customer base and income
- Improving the checkout experience
- Providing complete awareness of purchases and sales in real-time.
- Retail Inventory tracking
- Boosting customer loyalty (some platforms even include additional loyalty program functionalities so you can build your own customer loyalty app program.)
- Making it easier to see best-selling products or services across customer groups.
When to Scale up Your POS System
If your retail POS software isn’t doing all this for you, it may be time to scale up.
If your retail POS software isn’t doing all this for you, it may be time to scale up.
Many owners invest in systems for their store that include retail features like accounting software when they’re small. Over time, it may be difficult to see that you’ve outgrown it. It is time to update your retail POS system if it:
- Has outdated features: Technology is always on the move and change right under your feet. It makes sense then that your POS system should keep pace. Outdated features can make your business less efficient and limit your ability to compete.
- Doesn’t offer all the integrations that you need: This includes essential integrations like accounting tools and customer relationship management. A lack of integration means, again, a lack of efficiency and can introduce workflow bottlenecks where they simply don’t need to exist.
- Lacks support for advanced inventory management: If your system can’t track your entire inventory or lacks the inventory tools you need, you’re likely missing out on opportunities to optimize stock levels and reduce costs.
- Doesn’t give you up-to-date reports: You need real-time reporting to make informed decisions about your business. If your system is slow to generate reports or provides inaccurate (or outdated) data, your strategy will never be as on-point as it could be.
- Is missing other features you need to grow: Maybe your current system doesn’t provide support for mobile payments. Or maybe it doesn’t offer loyalty programs. Regardless, if it doesn’t have the features you need to meet your business goals, it’s time for a switch.
- It’s unreliable or has performance issues: If your system doesn’t perform as promised, it can make it difficult to complete the tasks you need to.
- Lacks timely and/or experienced customer support: With business growth comes a greater need for knowledgeable support and a lack of it can have disastrous consequences.
- Isn’t up-to-date with the latest in security: One of your most important jobs when doing business online is to ensure the security of your customers’ data. If your system doesn’t meet the latest security standards, it’s time to move on.
What Should You Look for in a POS System
If you don’t know what’s available, you won’t know what to look for. Many POS systems offer more than you may realize . The best POS systems for retail not only improves sales but also improves many aspects of the customer experience. Key features include:
The most important feature of a retail POS system is sales tracking. Most modern POS systems are cloud-based, so you can see what’s happening with sales in real-time, whether from online purchase orders or in-person buyers.
A retail POS system helps you track your customers’ preferences in several ways, which helps manage customer loyalty programs.
If you don’t already have a great loyalty system, it is well worth considering one. Loyalty programs can build customer lifetime value to support growth for years.
The best retail POS systems integrate your customizable loyalty program with your sales platform. The integration allows for a more personalized shopping experience with customized messaging, special offers, and ads.
In retail, adequate inventory management is crucial. Integrating inventory with the best POS data ensures you know what’s available at any given time.
It should work with the type of items you sell in your product catalog and make it easy to manage products with item keywords.
Quality POS software alerts you to shortages, allowing fast restocking and preventing over-purchasing. Some POS systems allow you to automatically reorder when inventory hits a certain threshold, to prevent stockouts.
Many of the best POS systems also alert you when products are in high demand and when products fall out of favor, with item-level reporting.
Reduce the Need for Manpower
Business software aims to automate processes to devote manpower to more value-added tasks, and retail POS software is no different.
Using automation where possible ensures that you can run your retail business with less manpower and dedicates your available manpower to tasks only they can handle. The more that you can integrate, the better.
You can automate everything in your retail business, from supplier goods, to current discounts and coupons, and income per customer. Connecting software to barcode scanners for easy inventory management, too.
Some POS systems can even organize financial data for you, saving time on your taxes and annual bookkeeping tasks.
Customer Management and Customization
The best POS systems help to gather and use data to improve customer relationships. You can base discounts, rewards, and loyalty points on individual customer interactions, rather than mass offers.
If you’ve had trouble with customer loyalty program management before, automating it with your POS software removes the hassle of customer management.
The ideal retail platform not only has powerful tracking capabilities, but also offers a range of engagement tools to help you attract buyers through loyalty programs, and keep in touch with them.
Better yet, quality retail POS providers have excellent customer advertising options. Your POS system can offer targeted ads during checkout including individualized coupons from a receipt printer. This can increase impulse buying to boost profit from each purchase.
If you’ve got a brick-and-mortar store in addition to your ecommerce website, or you’re growing quickly, you may want flexibility in your usage.
Stores that do almost all their checkouts at a counter may want big, easy-to-use, and clear displays to make transactions easier for cashiers and customers.
Stores that sell from multiple locations may want a handheld tablet system. Ecommerce businesses will have entirely different needs from their retail POS system. They may not need at all for cash payments but need highly tuned inventory management .
Regardless of the business model, businesses need to be able to accept multiple forms of payment – from debit cards and credit cards to digital wallets and other contactless payment options, and other custom payment types. That’s another key element the separates out the best POS systems.
Ecommerce Platform Integration
Your POS provider needs to integrate smoothly with your ecommerce platform. The best ecommerce platforms offer features and data that can be extremely useful for making data-driven business decisions.
Integration with your Fulfillment Provider
However your order is fulfilled, The POS systems you consider must be able to automatically communicate with the provider when an order is received and dispatched to the customer. If your fulfillment provider doesn’t support your POS integration, learn what a great ecommerce fulfillment center should offer and make a change.
Your fulfillment provider should work smoothly with your POS system to reduce the manpower you need to manage your retail business.
Security and Compliance
Any of the best POS systems you select as a part of your POS software testing process should adhere to the latest security standards. Period. This is an absolute must to protect your customer’s personal information, including their financial details.
This can be implemented by means of encryption, user authentication, and compliance with industry regulations such as PCI DSS.
Since online security threats continue to be rampant, having a secure POS system should be a requirement for all. For the good of retail businesses but also for the good of your customers and your reputation. You’re not exactly going to achieve customer loyalty if your customers’ data is breached.
That’s why any retail business that wishes to boost customer loyalty and growth needs to consider security just as much — if not more so — than any other retail features.
Analytics and Reporting
The right POS system for you should also offer advanced analytics and reporting features as well. These features allow you to gain insights into sales trends, customer behavior, and overall business performance.
And best of all, you can use this information to guide future decisions you make about your marketing strategies and the inventory you buy.
With the right analytics, you can identify all sorts of things like your best-performing products, the best-performing retail point, whether or not a particular strategy is effective, and more.
Along with analytics come robust reporting tools. Regular reports can provide a clear and concise view of your sales, profits, and expenses incurred in your retail business.
Be sure to look for reporting customization features as well. Narrowing down your reports to specific areas of interest can provide even more helpful insights for your business.
You definitely shouldn’t discount the importance of a user-friendly interface when weighing the best POS system for your business. Beyond hardware bundles and efficiency, you also need to find a platform that ensures that your staff can quickly learn and actually put the POS provider to work — without extensive training.
Retailers and businesses can then enjoy the overall boosted efficiency in workflow and general operations.
What makes a well-designed interface? It should be visually appealing, logically organized, and free of complexity when possible.
It should provide clear navigation and easy access to the most commonly used functions within the POS system. While complicated features might require walkthroughs, the basic interface shouldn’t require a training session for most businesses.
Support and Training
Now, we just talked about the importance of an easy-to-use interface without the need for training. However, as your business becomes more complex, your needs are likely to expand as well.
You’ll need ongoing support and training to maximize the value of any investment you make into a POS system. Training and support are necessary as well for staying ahead of (and anticipating) your customers’ needs. To find the best POS system, look for one that offers comprehensive support, including online resources for retailers, live chat, and phone support.
But training options should be on the table here as well to keep your team up to date. This includes initial training for new users and ongoing training to introduce new features or refresh existing knowledge.
There is no shortage of options for retail POS systems, but making the decision about which one to use hard for many retailers. You’re not alone if you’re struggling to get the ball rolling. This POS system list is designed to help you find the best pos tool is for you.
We’ve found that Square point of sale (POS) is the simplest platform for micro-businesses since it is affordable and easy to set up. For Shopify users, the Shopify POS system is an ideal solution, since it integrates seamlessly.
For medium-to-large ecommerce stores that also have multiple physical store locations, we recommend either ShopKeep POS system or Esposnow POS system. Shopkeep allows for up to 20 retail locations, while Esposnow allows for by-the-register billing making them both the most popular pos systems for larger businesses.
No matter what products you sell, or the size of your catalog, conducting thorough retail POS research is a must. Only then can you land on the right retail POS system that makes all the difference in how smoothly you can operate your retail business.
Spend time evaluating features like inventory management tools, customer relationship management tools, and costs such as the monthly fee and payment processing fees before making your final choice.
And remember that no one POS system is going to work for all retailers. Retail solutions vary from business to business, so take stock of what your business needs, examine what other retailers use, and then you can land on your final decision.