While the cash register cha-ching is an endearing sound, a retail establishment owner or manager has to deal with tracking inventory. Also, analyzing sales figures, keeping customers happy, and managing employees.
According to the US Census, the retail industry is growing, having reached $6 trillion in 2019. To manage your operation efficiently, your business needs the best retail POS system to help perform various daily tasks.
Whether you’re a small retail business, a franchise, or a large retail brand, your point of sale system needs to be reliable. Also, it should be flexible, and easy for employees to learn and operate.
Your retail software should be your number one sales tool. Most systems are built with sales in mind, as well as tracking data and cutting costs.
Ultimately, a retail POS system will help your business meet its operational goals; ring up sales faster, manage inventory, schedule employees, and cut waiting lines.
- 1 Our Best Retail POS System: Vend Systems
- 1.1 The Top 10 Retail POS Systems for 2019
- 1.2 Vend Systems: Reasons Why It’s Our Top Pick & A Solid Retail POS System
- 1.3 2. Easiest to Use Retail POS Software: Lightspeed Retail
- 1.4 3. Retail POS System for Small Stores: Square POS
- 1.5 4. POS System for Small to Medium Retail Businesses: Shopify
- 1.6 5. Best Cloud-Based Retail POS: Shopkeep
- 1.7 6. Most Affordable Point of Sale System for Retail Stores: Revel Systems
- 1.8 7. Most Ideal for Small Clothing Stores: Epos Now
- 1.9 8. Easiest POS System to Setup: Clover
- 1.10 9. Best iPad-Based POS System: Retail Pro
- 1.11 10. Simple But Powerful Retail Software: SalesVu
- 1.12 Why Does Your Business Need a Retail POS System?
- 1.13 Features You Should Look Out For In Retail POS Systems
- 1.14 The Bottom Line
What is a Retail POS System?
The point of sale is the time and place in which a transaction is completed. In the past, a cash register was your basic POS system. IBM introduced the first ECR (electronic cash register) in 1974 and the POS system graduated to a computer mainframe.
As businesses continue to grow through their digital channels, new tools have been developed to further accommodate e-commerce. For example, POS systems can help you send e-mail promotions to your in-store clients like a Facebook or Instagram contest, helping you build your follower base.
There is a certain type of POS system for every industry—and retail is no different. A retail POS system will address industry-specific issues like inventory management and employee performance. You should be looking for features designed to accommodate the retail space.
- Running transactions
- Accepting payments
- Employee reporting and management
- Customer profiles and data
- Multi-channel integrations
- Inventory management
- Shipping and receiving
- Analytics and reporting
- Security and data protection
- Loyalty and incentive programs
- Offline capabilities
There are many retail POS systems to choose from, most of which you can customize to your specific business needs. If your business requires precise software, a bespoke POS solution may work best.
The idea is that this technology helps employees perform transactions quicker, while customers benefit from shorter wait times. The software can even inform consumers on product availability, inventory, and pricing.
Why Use Retail POS Software?
By using retail software, business owners can get insights like never before. From processing transactions to managing inventory, a retail manager can pull reports that help make smart business decisions. If you have an online store, a POS system can sync with your web and in-store purchases.
Additionally, retail POS systems can help simplify accounting. Keep all your financial data and transaction details in one place. This will help you budget accordingly and forecast your growth. When it comes time for tax season, you’ll be able to quickly pull reports for your accountant to work with.
Retail management systems are also vital when it comes to employee management, scheduling, loyalty management, and email marketing. Perhaps the most comprehensive feature retail software offer is reporting and analytics, which gives you an end-to-end view of how your business is doing. Such systems also help you see where you can improve.
From a retail employee point of view, such systems allow the ability to ring up customers, send out customer loyalty promotions, and manage the process of restocking. If you’re a single person operation, most POS systems sync with a mobile device like a tablet. This will help you become more mobile around the store.
Our Best Retail POS System: Vend Systems
Vend is perfect for smaller businesses just starting out, but it can be tailored to growing and expanding businesses as well. Vend offers all the basic features that you would need from a POS system.
Its multiple tiered plans make it a great choice if you find your business growing. Vend has been in the Retail POS system market since 2010. Since then, the New Zealand-based company has grown to serve over 15,000 enterprises in 100 countries. It is undoubtedly one of the most reliable POS systems for retail.
The Top 10 Retail POS Systems for 2019
Customer loyal features
24/7 (Live Rep)
Multiple locations on one account
One dashboard for all management functions
24/7 (Live Rep)
Automated accounting & inventory
Live chat available during business hours
Mobile – iOS Native
Advanced data reporting
Remote management system
Extensive reporting options
Vend Systems: Reasons Why It’s Our Top Pick & A Solid Retail POS System
Vend offers all the POS features a retailer of any size would need. With Vend, you can easily maintain price books, manage inventory and your customer list, and design your own branded gift cards. Vend also features employee tracking to manage cash flow and employees better.
Its e-commerce functionality has become one of its hallmark features. The interface fits screens of all types and sizes. The content management system enables users to easily add products and pages and improve functionality. It also allows you to rearrange the menu and other elements.
As a solid retail POS system, Vend also makes inventory and client management simple. You can set prices based on client type and location, and importing and exporting inventory is child’s play.
Vend POS Cost
Vend’s starter plan costs just $69 per month without an annual contract. With this plan, you can still enter unlimited customer data and add as many products as you want.
Their advanced plan is geared towards relatively established small retailers. You also get 24/7 email support with both. The advanced plan costs $79 a month, and you get unlimited products, clients and user accounts, and e-commerce functionality.
Vend also has another plan, which is completely free. This one enables ten products and up to 1,000 customers. This is a great choice for a very small business just starting out. Naturally, you don’t get professional customer support with this one.
Their 30-day trial is another awesome advantage. If you’re just starting out and not sure if Vend will be the right POS for you, watch the demo first. Sign up for a free trial, and get a feel for the system before making a commitment.
If you want priority phone support, you’ll have to pay an additional amount. This is regardless of the plan you choose. The free plan doesn’t offer phone support at all. You can opt for one-to-one support or look at Vend U if you’d rather learn the ropes on your own.
Vend is a cloud-based product using HTML5. In the case of an outage, it uses offline cache functions which make it possible to cache most data and keep processing orders even if you’ve lost Internet access.
No POS system is perfect, and this goes for Vend too. Their in-store POS doesn’t currently support purchase orders. As a result, you’ll only be able to configure commission payments on delivery or pay for the display of demo products. Also, Vend does not offer its own merchant processing service. Additionally, the POS doesn’t support e-mail promotions. If you need phone support, you’ll have to upgrade to one of their higher tier plans.
The Bottom Line
Vend is a flexible, affordable and scalable. Its POS system is tailored to various types of retail businesses, no matter the size. We truly believe it is one of the best solutions for retail establishments. While Vend offers a plan that’s virtually free for retailers, their advanced plans offer no restrictions on products, support, and customer data.
2. Easiest to Use Retail POS Software: Lightspeed Retail
Lightspeed has been on the market for over a decade, but their retail POS system was launched closer to 2013. Despite being on the market for less time than some of its peers, it quickly became one of the top-ranking POS systems for retailers.
Lightspeed Retail stands out from the competition by offering high-level features. Such features include inventory management, reporting and analytics, multi-store functionality, and more.
Recently, they expanded their integration of various apps. Such apps can help drive your retail business to grow faster. For example, their team developed the “On Spot Transactions” feature which allows your business to accept payments on the sales floor. What we appreciate about Lightspeed Retail is the level of security within the system.
Lightspeed makes it possible for clients to pay how they prefer to, including by means of store credit. You can also easily place items on layaway or on hold and apply discounts.
On the back end, the software also features a myriad of functions such as managing inventory, purchase orders, and staff. Among their newer features is merchandise return management, which comes in handy when you have damaged goods or shipment errors.
This small business focused retail POS easily tracks unit costs and shipping fees, ensuring good budgeting. If you have more than one location, you’ll enjoy complex inventory functionality.
Even More Features
You can transfer merchandise between sites, and you have full visibility of all goods in stores and in the warehouses. You can also set varying prices on a location basis for the same SKU, helping you maximize your profit margin.
If you’re a retailer that offers both goods and services (such as a bike shop), Lightspeed Retail can help you create quotes, service and repair orders, and determine labor costs.
Lightspeed Retail Cost
The cheapest Lightspeed Retail plan is their small plan, which costs $99 a month for a single register. This plan will provide access for up to five staff members.
The medium plan costs $169 a month and offers up to two registers and access for ten employees. Their third plan is ideal for large retail establishments. The plan you select depends on the size of your establishment.
On the surface, Lightspeed Retail seems expensive. If you want to add more registers or employee accounts, the advanced plan will be required. On the upside, even the smallest plan includes 24/7 support and free software updates. You’ll also get to enjoy multichannel capacity and secure cloud backups. This way, no data is ever lost.
The price of this system is one downside. The system offers plenty of features and can serve as an all-around POS option. Additionally, it may be difficult to make spontaneous, unplanned price or inventory adjustments. The system is a bit complex and will require some employee training before using in your store.
The Bottom Line
Given the price of Lightspeed Retail, it’s better suited for more established operations. Smaller retailers will find more beneficial options as far as the cost goes. Nonetheless, it is one of the most reliable POS systems for retail stores.
Lightspeed Retail’s myriad of features also makes it attractive for companies with a large staff and lots of inventory to manage. Lightspeed also offers a Support Center and a community forum, in case you have additional questions.
3. Retail POS System for Small Stores: Square POS
Square POS is an open-access, lightweight retail POS software geared toward small business owners. Square started its humble company by pushing a small and versatile card reader into the market. They also support this hardware with full-feature POS software. They are relatively inexpensive to get started with.
One thing that stood out for us with Square is its ability to simplify selling. Square for Retail offers a complete solution; software, hardware, and a payment system. This all-in-one solution is perfect for any storefront looking to boost its sales, track data, and cut overall costs.
Square POS Pricing
To run Square’s POS, users will need an iPad or Android tablet and a card reader. Square POS has no monthly fee with the free version, which still has enough features to get a retail business off the ground.
Square’s retail option ($60 per month), comes with additional features such as multi-location inventory management. Also, employee accounts and permission, full Square hardware compatibility, vendor lists, low-stock alerts, and more.
Square prides itself on the fact that they provide transparent pricing, simplicity, and comprehensive support. Square’s website is chock full of resources. The company also offers a forum where you can ask questions and resolve issues.
Square lightens the load by being very transparent in the capabilities and pricing of their software and hardware options.
This free to download POS was designed for usability. It features a user-friendly menu, with a drag-and-drop feature for items and categories. Square also offers a slew of add-on features like payroll functionalities and advanced reporting. Such add-ons will run you an additional $25 per month and $5 per employee.
Square was ultimately designed with brick and mortar stores in mind. It’s ideal for retail store owners who want simplicity, without all the advanced features of an enterprise POS system. Keep in mind that Square is not ideal for a large multi-store operation.
Some Square users have also encountered problems when making large transactions ($3,000 or more). Online retail store users may also not like the increased price per swipe percent charge that is applied to all online transactions.
4. POS System for Small to Medium Retail Businesses: Shopify
Shopify was originally designed with retailers in mind. Started up in 2005, this app has become one of the best-known in its class and remains a favorite among retailers, especially those with e-commerce stores.
Unlike other POS systems, with Shopify, you get to take advantage of advanced e-commerce functionalities. Regardless of which plan you sign up for, you’ll like the simplicity of this system. Shopify helps simplify online transactions for retail e-commerce stores.
One such feature is the ability to add a shopping cart and a “buy button” to every product listed on your site.
Shopify offers social media integrations as well, allowing you to drive sales through Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. This system also makes your online and traditional brick-and-mortar store easy to sync.
Generate discount codes or online coupons with Shopify. Send these codes to your email list or customer base to drive more sales.
Why We Love Shopify
Shopify is a hybrid POS system. Its online store and inventory are cloud-based. However, most of the data generated through the POS app is saved locally on your device. Keep in mind though, if your Internet connection is down, you won’t be able to process card transactions in your physical store.
This system lets you create custom line items. Integrate seasonal or special offers, and automatically calculate tax for each store. Your register is fully portable, being that most transactions will be processed by using an iPad.
Shopify’s back-end features include creating customer profiles and tracking register activity. Also, you can access complete order history for both in-store and online purchases. Organize and track unlimited inventory with Shopify.
Shopify POS Cost
Shopify is one of the best-priced retail POS systems on the market. Their most basic plan costs just $29 a month. The pro plan gives you more features, including gift cards and professional reports. The pro plan costs just $79 a month.
You pay nothing for two weeks if you sign up for a free trial. Additionally, you don’t have to provide any credit card information. For an additional cost, Shopify experts will offer you one-on-one support.
Shopify’s retail system offers complete payment processing solutions. The rate will likely be higher than if you shop around for a merchant processing solution. You also have to pay an extra $19 for Shopify Payments. Despite the cost, Shopify’s integrated payment processing solution is quite reliable.
Our Bottom Line
This system is a good choice if you’re a retailer who wants comprehensive online store functionality. Its initial price is low, but the extras must be paid for additionally, which is likely to accumulate over time. While it is not the absolute best POS system for any retail store, Shopify is more than ideal for small to medium-sized businesses. If you have any questions, Shopify offers a Help Center on their website.
5. Best Cloud-Based Retail POS: Shopkeep
ShopKeep is one of the most simple to use retail POS systems on the market. It is most suitable for smaller retail businesses, being relatively cheap and very efficient.
It’s also no stranger to the market; Shopkeep has over 22,000 retail stores using its software. This also makes it one of the most popular POS systems for small businesses.
ShopKeep has staff and inventory management features built into the system. Their software has every front and back end feature you’d need. Ring up items, accept payment, add modifiers, give refunds and make returns easily. It’s also possible to apply discounts at order and item level.
ShopKeep also offers in-depth worker shift reports that show you not only what items are selling, but who’s selling them. You can see which the busiest hours of the week are to help set the staffing schedule accordingly.
Analytics & Inventory
ShopKeep’s analytics and inventory functionality are its most impressive features. The analytics show which items are selling and which aren’t. This way you can decide what to restock and replace better. The inventory functionality feature helps you track quantities of each item. Generate a report with the reorder criteria in detail and set reorder points. You can import inventory in bulk or item by item.
Shopkeep POS Cost
ShopKeep’s system costs $69 a month, which includes 2 months of free support from a ShopKeep expert. Then, continued 24/7 customer support thereafter. Given its price, it targets small businesses, but it works very well for medium-size enterprises too.
At this price level, you also get access to their full range of features. You can take advantage of their 2-week free trial if you’re unsure about whether to commit. You can cancel at any time if you are not satisfied without having to pay a penalty because you don’t sign a contract with ShopKeep.
Few people can say anything bad about ShopKeep’s apps. Some have complained about insufficient features, which has grown steadily over the years. This retail POS system enjoys a stable base of loyal customers who intend to stick with ShopKeep.
The Bottom Line
If your inventory is large (over 10,000 items), ShopKeep probably isn’t for you. Designed with small specialty vendors in mind, this system has solid inventory features, but they’re best suited to more limited inventories.
6. Most Affordable Point of Sale System for Retail Stores: Revel Systems
Revel Systems was founded in 2010 and is currently in use by over 20,000 businesses and was awarded best iPad business app of 2012.
The company’s goal as a POS provider is to streamline functionality in the form of a hybrid iOS while blending with cloud-based functionality and security. Revel’s designs seek to implement a mobile POS that is both modern and cost-effective.
Revel POS runs on iPad and offers a versatile, multi-location set of features with specific retail packages that offer mid-sized to enterprise-level capabilities. Revel does not make contracts and instead is delivered on a month to month fee basis.
Revel Has Advanced Customizing Options
Revel is very customizable with payment and mobile ordering and online options. Revel can either run on a local server or via the cloud.
This hybrid system gives dual benefits, the mobility of the iPad with the safety of the cloud. This makes it great in terms of security, but also reliable in times that the internet may be unavailable due to power outages or other mishaps.
Revel is boasted as being intuitive to use and offers customer service 24/7 by phone, email, and live chat. Revel’s customer service has been highly rated by their customers and they are known as one of the standouts in this category. It was voted one of the most reliable iPad retail POS solutions by its consumers.
Revel also has an always-on feature, which allows users to continue doing business even if an Internet connection isn’t available.
Revel is a very feature heavy application, offering real-time inventory management and tracking. Also, business progression reports, flexible ordering options, and a large number of possible integrations and add-ons.
However, Revel is a bit pricier than similar competitors on the market. Additionally, users must also give Revel a 30-day notification of termination or incur extra fees. Some users have also complained about the limited customization options.
A long set-up process has also been a problem for some users. However, this is normal with any POS system. Normally, there’s an onboarding process which takes around 2-3 weeks. While Revel was initially developed for specialty business categories, it is a big name in the Retail space now.
7. Most Ideal for Small Clothing Stores: Epos Now
Epos Now is a top retail POS system that launched in 2011. This company had the idea of taking full advantage of cloud-computing capabilities. Currently, Epos Now has expanded its service to over 100 countries and serves 30,000 businesses on a daily basis.
Epos Now’s cloud-based software not only has clout as an easy to learn and reliable POS system. It also has other functions like inventory management tools, accounting, stock management, and online store integration.
Supported across all platforms, Epos Now is an ideal POS for small to mid-sized businesses. The universal Epos Now even claims that a staff member can be fully trained in a less than a 15-minute session.
Epos Now Pricing & Subscription
Epos Now is subscription based, but software can be purchased in one upfront cost. It’s known for its ease of use and comes with built-in features like remote management and back-office features.
Epos Now’s customizable dashboard ensures a UI that meets staff needs. Basic services start at $39 per month, and there is also a 30-day free trial available.
Real-time reports on prices, products, and even employees can be checked on any device with cloud access.
Epos Now also has great barcoding promotional sales and online store integration capabilities. Along with their top-notch security, Epos Now a great choice for retailers with a large online footprint.
Who Is Epos Now Ideal For?
Epos Now is primarily geared toward small to medium-sized retail businesses. Therefore, it may not contain features that large retail stores need. Some users complained about long wait times when calling for customer service.
Others found some of the discounting features to be not as extensive as they would have liked. However, with Epos Now’s intuitive UI, easy-to-learn training, these shortfalls could be overlooked.
8. Easiest POS System to Setup: Clover
Clover POS was launched in 2013 in Mountain View, CA. Since its inception, this company’s goal was to provide an easy to use point of sale solution. While this POS system fits various retail categories, it mainly used by jewelry stores, electronics stores, footwear, and other merchandise-based stores.
Out of the box, it has quite basic functionality. However, by using additional apps from its marketplace, this software can be quite powerful. If you apply such features, you can schedule employees and enter customer data. Also, create custom reports, as well as track inventory and revenue.
Clover POS Overview
Clover was acquired in 2012 by one a really big company in the credit card processing industry, called First Data Corporation.
Naturally, it makes sense that Clover Station is always coupled with a merchant account. You can get Clover Station at more than 3,000 banks in the US, including Citibank, Wells Fargo, and others.
From a quick glance, Clover may seem like the best POS system for a retail business. It’s packed with features, easy to use, and quite functional. However, many current users are not happy with the service, mainly because of the merchant processor First Data.
Also, you have to pay for hardware out of pocket initially, while other POS providers offer hardware at no cost. However, Clover offers an easy and quick solution for small retail stores without having to deal with long setup times.
Clover POS Pricing
Clover’s pricing is different than other POS systems, mainly because it has to be sold with a merchant account.
This may seem like a major drawback. However, if your operation is large enough, you may be able to negotiate your swipe fees and the cost of hardware.
Even though many different banks sell the Clover product, the rates don’t vary too much. The terminal and the hardware that goes with it can be purchased for around $1,000.
However, you have the option of leasing the system through select banks. Furthermore, swipe fees for your credit card processing is an important factor to consider. This is because you’ll be paying on every transaction and for as long as you use Clover’s merchant processing.
As far as the rate goes, you’re looking at 0.30% + 5¢ to 2.5% + 15¢ or more. This will depend on which reseller you end up buying from. Try to negotiate for flat-rate pricing if possible. Of course, the rate you’ll be able to get or negotiate will depend on your credit score and how much revenue you process monthly.
Ease of Use
- Easy & Quick Set Up: Clover Station is all about its user-friendly interface. This is a significant factor in its popularity. It comes with a pre-loaded, straight ‘out of the box’ and so there are only a few tweaks you have to make.
- Almost No Learning Curve: With just 15-30 minutes of basic training, employees can figure out Clover and its easy to use menu. Many apps that run reports and track inventory are self-explanatory and can be found easily with one click. The great benefit that comes with Clover is how seamlessly its hardware integrates with the actual POS system. For various business owners who used Clover, the answer was simple; no more guessing games. Clover’s touchscreen monitor is durable and will look great in your store as it’s quite visually appealing.
Clover’s Top Features
- User Interface: Clover’s interface is really plain but easy to use. As we mentioned before, its basic functionality can be upgraded with its many apps. The minute you launch an app to add more features, you will notice a status bar with a content area. This will lead to the app’s main function, where you’ll notice a barcode scanner. Then, an icon to return home or to access the most recent apps.
- Apps: Apps do pretty much everything in Clover. As a POS provider, Clover is very ideal for retail because it has customized bar functions. Also, the ability to process refunds fast, apply discounts, manage employees and their schedule, and process inventory management. With more third-party apps you can also process gift cards, send emails to your loyal customers.
- Orders: The best way to add an order is by searching for it on the menu or by typing the product name in. When needed, it’s possible for your employees to customize an order. If you run a food establishment, custom orders need to be sent to a set kitchen printer. If you want to apply a discount, it can only be done through the register app. However, adding new items or apply discounts on the menu is possible, if you have that level of access. If the employee doesn’t have such access, the manager can authorize the transaction.
- Payment Options: Clover’s POS station can process checks, credit payments, debit charges, and cash. If you need to accept secure EMV payments; Apple Pay, Android Pay, and others, you’ll have to buy Clover Mini or the Clover Mobile device.
Even More Features from Clover
- Inventory: Adding inventory is not as easy as it is with some other retail POS systems, but still not that difficult. You’ll have to download a spreadsheet, open it in Excel and enter the price per item in the respective field. Also, you’ll have to enter the item’s name, how many units, price type, tax rate, your cost, and the barcode ID or SKU number. Finally, you’ll enter the quantity or any other identifying data. If you need to enter a certain size or color, this is also possible and actually quite easy to do.
- Reports: Clover’s Station app offers pretty solid reporting tools, including their popular “By Payments” report. This report displays an overview of every single transaction you processed for that selected time period. Also, you can view reports for how you generated the revenue; how much cash and credit you collected. Finally, you can view how much taxes you paid and what discounts were applied by employees. Sort reports by time or date, and if needed, it can be exported into a file or printed.
9. Best iPad-Based POS System: Retail Pro
Retail Pro has been built from the ground up to meet specialty retail needs. In terms of point-of-sale specific features, it is quite powerful. This POS company has served the retail software business for over 25 years. They are trusted by over 9,000 customers in over 128 countries and 54,000 stores. The company is headquartered in Folsom, California and serve really big brands such as Toys R Us, Adidas, and Calvin Klein.
Retail Pro has some pretty robust built-in e-commerce capabilities, allowing businesses to manage their online store transactions. This is an ideal feature for online or hybrid-style brick and mortar stores.
RetailPro Is Easy to Work With
This software runs on almost any hardware you may already have. This makes it a very powerful and versatile POS system. If you run your business using an iPad device or just your smartphone, Retail Pro may be a good option for you.
The customizable UI is another great feature. This feature enables the user to redesign the interfaces to meet a variety of needs. This can further expedite transactions for better customer experience. Retail Pro offers both local and cloud-based versions of their software (Retail Pro 9 and Prism).
This POS provider offers different plans for small retail stores, all the way up to global enterprises. The ability to sync multiple store locations is one of Retail Pro’s strongest selling points.
Support & Training
Retail Pro has over 800 online training videos. Given its multi-store connectivity and high customization options, Retail Pro is a great (albeit pricey) POS solution for larger corporations.
Some users may find that Retail Pro requires some training before using in the store. The UI may take some time getting used to. The price is also an investment that must be considered. It’s advised to use Retail Pro’s free demo to make sure it is a good fit with your business.
10. Simple But Powerful Retail Software: SalesVu
SalesVu is an independent cloud-based, retail POS system that offers seamless payment processing. It doesn’t matter if you have a clothing store or a food truck operation, SalesVu is still a solid choice. SalesVu’s reputation comes from the flexibility of its actual software.
Just like the name, SalesVu helps you sell more. It has excellent marketing features that aim to help you make more money. While it doesn’t work as well offline, it can still process basic functions when you don’t have an Internet connection. Overall, it has a simple look, yet you can customize the appearance of this point of sale system to your liking.
SalesVu POS Pricing
The pricing structure for SalesVu is a bit complicated. While the actual application is free, you have to pay a monthly subscription fee. The cost will depend on the plan you choose. While the pricing is pretty competitive when compared to other providers, there are just too many pricing plans.
We noticed at least 10 plans, and one might get confused when choosing. Plans start at $25/month, all the way up to $150/month. Of course, the actual costs will depend on how many transactions you processed and your volume of sales. We strongly recommend speaking to one of their reps to ensure you select the best plan for your business.
Ease of Use
SalesVu is made up of two different segments; their front-end which operates the POS and payment processing. Then, the backend area where one can tally inventory, manage employees and reports. The backend is accessed by logging into their website, as it is cloud-based. This way, you can review your activity and transactions in real-time from anywhere with just an Internet connection.
Both interfaces are quite user-friendly. When we looked at the demo with a SalesVu rep, we looked at the management section and were able to play around with the back-end features. We felt there was a lot you can do with just a few clicks.
If you access the checkout screen, you can see the products you’re about to sell and which category it belongs to. Another great feature from SalesVu is the ability to add custom images of products and color-code your buttons for a better experience for your employees.
SalesVu has more features than even some of the more popular POS systems on this list. Some features we really loved include customer invoicing and recurring billing. Also, customers can take advantage of layaway and promos.
Other features include:
- Processing payments credit cards, cash or check. Split payments for larger parties.
- Split checks by seat, product, or even item.
- Email digital receipts to customers with all the sales data or simply print to any printer in your establishment.
- Customize your receipts and add your company logo and slogan or message.
- Monitor incoming cash with an option to deposit it all into a safe, count cash on hand, and closing out shifts.
- Look up items swiftly by entering SKUs or by scanning a barcode.
Retail businesses expect to get support when they need it. Having support ready to answer your questions is crucial in the retail business. SalesVu customers can reach customer support through various channels.
- Email: You may email support at firstname.lastname@example.org. This is probably one of the fastest ways to get support. Based on customer reviews, you can get a response within a few hours during non-standard business hours. We were told that usually, you’ll be able to resolve your issue with just one email.
- Phone Support: The company also offers a direct number, which is pretty cool because not all POS providers offer that. It seems to be 24/7 as well.
- Online Portal: If you’re signed up to the account portal, you can first look for a question similar to yours. If you can’t find it, submit a ticket which will get a timely answer.
- Live Chat: The final option is the live chat. You can reach a support specialist in minutes. They may, however, have to forward your request to the tech support if that’s what you need.
Why Does Your Business Need a Retail POS System?
The more modern technology you adopt, the easier it will be to run your business. Anyone that sells through a brick-and-mortar store will tell you that the technology is just as important in-person, as it is digitally.
There are several reasons to justify intelligent retail software, such as:
The best way to relate to your customers is to keep track of their data. This includes behavioral information, in addition to contact data and demographic stats. A retail POS can help you store consumer data all along the buyer’s journey.
You can then use the information further down the road to make more informed business decisions. If your audience reacted poorly to a campaign, try tweaking it and testing on another channel. The idea is to keep people consistently satisfied with your content.
You may have apps running all over the place for your business. Your marketing team may also be working tons of different channels with various forms of content. The point is, there are a lot of loose ends to keep track of in retail.
A retail POS ensures a brand has everything easy to manage in one spot. That typically means a dashboard of some sort. This is the place where you can aggregate all data and connect your various marketing channels. This way your messaging is more consistent across the board.
Retail managers use POS software to monitor retail transactions and analyze sales. They can easily collect inventory data such as volume, amount, or frequency. Customer relations are facilitated through gathering this type of information and the way you use it.
Great insight can be gained by studying the sales patterns and intent of your audience. The best retail POS systems will allow you to report on a variety of metrics to help you make better decisions in real-time. You can set up reports to run on weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly intervals, then compare your numbers accordingly.
POS software is usually installed on dedicated hardware specifically designed for the technology. The type of tools and the cost depends on the brand. The hardware runs as small as a dongle for a mobile device to a full-screen interactive digital register. The style and price of the equipment all depend on the needs of your business. Typically, the first unit is cheap, and the cost quickly rises as you add more equipment.
To deliver maximum efficiency, POS software integrates with ERP and inventory management solutions. This means you can easily exchange data on products. This type of program also integrates a variety of retail solutions, like:
- Customer relationship management tools.
- Supply chain and logistics
- Accounting and finance
- Employee management
- E-commerce platforms
- And more…
You don’t want to abandon any processes that are currently working for you. Thus, it’s important to find a retail POS that accepts your apps for seamless integration.
Features You Should Look Out For In Retail POS Systems
- Ease of use: Systems should be intuitive and responsive to the user.
- Price: What is the monthly fee? Cost of hardware and processing per sale?
- Payment processing: Is it a third-party merchant or built-in?
- Reporting and analytics: The program should provide data on people, products, inventory, pricing, location, returns, cancellations, etc…
- Customer support: How often are they available? In what format?
- Relationship management: You should be able to create customer profiles and retain data like loyalty programs and email campaigns.
- Integrations: The software should accommodate a variety of popular apps, from marketing to bookkeeping. It’s also a plus if the system integrates with an e-commerce app to build your online presence.
- Secure data: Limited access and functionality to protect sensitive data like customer information and credit card numbers.
- Inventory management: All retail POS systems should have some aspect of managing your inventory. The programs are designed to alert you when levels are low.
- Employee management: Have your people clock in and out straight from the POS system. Scheduling, management opportunities, and user permissions are all ways to utilize a POS system for retail.
The Bottom Line
The best retail POS systems will help your business manage inventory, schedule employees, ring up sales faster and create purchase orders. Ideally, the right retail software will produce detailed reports that will help you improve your operations and increase revenue.
If your goal is to cut waiting lines, offer secure payment methods, a point of sale system can certainly help. All this should be done with keeping customer loyalty in mind.
After hours of research, we found Vend to be the most flexible and easy to use retail POS solution. Even non-retail establishments like bars and restaurants use it. While it is not the cheapest option, it is quite intuitive and offers plenty of features.
If you have a single location retail business with few employees and limited products, you may find ShopKeep as a suitable option. Shopify is more ideal if you want to integrate an online store with your traditional store quickly and easily.
Last but not least, Lightspeed POS is great for growing businesses, as they offer quick set-up and centralized reporting for smart business decisions.
What do you look for in a retail POS system? share with us below!