Empower your vape shop with a POS that streamlines operations, organizes, and monitors the stock. Vape shops are somewhat unique when it comes to POS requirements.
For the best results, it is advisable to get a solution that is specifically designed for a vape shop or an e-cig lounge.
The right system is the one that combats such vape shop challenges as a diverse and complex inventory, organized order management, effective customer relations management, and marketing. Additionally, the right system should make it easier for you to manage the shop and process customer payments.
When shopping for one, you should consider such aspects as a preloaded vape database, flexibility, ease of use and payment processing policy.
If you own or manage a vape shop, it’s essential to evaluate the best vape shop POS systems to increase the success of your business.
“Vaping” refers to smoking an electronic cigarette. The early generations of vape devices were somewhat harsh to smoke and difficult to operate.
Over the last decade, vape technology has evolved and the number of devices, tobacco oil cartridges (both flavored and unflavored), and other accessories has skyrocketed. And competition in the vape market soared as vaping became more popular and stylish.
New vape shops started to pop up everywhere as competition grew. Vape shop owners needed to find a way to differentiate and rise above the growing competition. The smart ones started looking for a vape shop point of sale (POS) system.
Now there is a vast number of POS systems that were either designed for vape shops or designed for general retail store use. The latter serve vape shops well and many successful vape businesses use them.
Below, we’ll provide a brief overview of what vape shop POS systems are, how they benefit vape shops and some essential components of a solid vape shop POS system. We wrap up with descriptions of our picks for the five best vape shop POS systems.
But first, we’ll provide a refresher on POS systems and what they do, as well as a preview of those top five systems.
- 1 What Is a POS System?
- 2 Overview of the Five Best Vape Shop POS Systems
- 3 How Do POS Systems Benefit Vape Shops?
- 4 Vape Shop POS Software Features and Hardware Components
- 4.1 Vape Shop POS Software Features
- 4.2 Vape Shop POS Hardware Components
- 5 The Five Best Vape Shop POS Systems
- 6 Need Your Own Vape Shop POS System?
What Is a POS System?
An entire POS system consists of a POS software solution and various peripheral hardware components—such as cash registers, scanners, printers, and card readers. They work together as one, with the software dictating how the hardware components function and how they store data.
POS systems streamline payment and operational processes for retail stores such as vape shops that process payment transactions and keep inventory on site. They automate manual administrative tasks, which frees up time that employees can devote to higher-value tasks, like assisting customers and delivering a better customer experience.
There are many different types of POS systems and many of them were developed for a certain industry. One thing is certain—if you own or operate a vape shop, you need a POS system to help carry the workload and increase efficiency and productivity.
You can buy your POS software system and hardware components separately and piece together the system that aligns with all your needs.
Or, you can purchase an entire POS system bundle that includes software and hardware in one comprehensive package. The route you chose depends on your needs and whether you can find a system bundle with everything you require.
Overview of the Five Best Vape Shop POS Systems
- Lightspeed: Best overall POS system ۞ [TOP PICK]
- ShopKeep: Best multi-feature system, stocked with valuable features
- Vend: Best system for loyalty programs and business growth
- Clover: Best system for add-on apps
- Square Point of Sale: Most affordable vape shop POS system for those on a tight budget
How Do POS Systems Benefit Vape Shops?
POS systems provide a ton of benefits to vape shops. One of the primary benefits of vape shop POS systems is that they store customer and prospect data that can be used to personalize the customer experience.
This is key because the customer experience has risen above price and product to be the main deciding factor in consumers’ purchase decisions. Plus, a good experience generates customer satisfaction.
Customer satisfaction leads to word-of-mouth advertising, repeat business, a great brand reputation, and business and revenue growth.
There are many additional benefits vape shops receive from using a POS system, which we touch on in the “Vape Shop POS Software Features” section below.
Vape Shop POS Software Features and Hardware Components
Because every business is unique with distinct needs, the POS software features and hardware components each business needs vary. Vape shops typically require certain features and hardware, which are essential to generating the maximum return on their investment in a POS system.
Vape Shop POS Software Features
Vape shops require specific POS software features. These features differ from those needed by restaurants or hotels, for example. Below, we cover the key features vape shops should look for when shopping for a POS system, as well as how they benefit vape shops.
- Inventory Management: Save time by automating inventory tracking and running inventory discrepancy reports.
- Multiple Payment Method Processing: Improve the customer experience by giving customers more ways to pay.
- Partial and Split Payments: Make it easier for patrons to purchase the items they want.
- Hardware Integration: As you scale and need new hardware, it’s essential that it integrates with your system.
- Barcode Scanning: Save time for employees by eliminating the need to key in items being purchased.
- Discount and Gift Card Features: Improve customer satisfaction by managing discounts and accepting gift cards.
- Reporting and Dashboards: Maintain constant insight into your results and make better, data-driven decisions.
- Customer Relationship Management: Form better, more personal relationships with your customers.
- Employee Management: Eliminate the need to manually track hours, payroll, etc., by automating those processes.
- Customer Loyalty Programs: Reward your best customers with discounts, gifts, etc., through loyalty programs.
- Marketing Features: Keep customers informed about new offers and encourage them to return and purchase more.
- eCommerce Integration Capabilities: Make it easy to set up an online store by integrating your eCommerce site.
- Free Software Updates: Save resources by not having to pay for routine software updates.
There are certainly more features that the best vape shop POS software provides. Some systems are so feature-rich that they include the majority of those.
On the other hand, smaller vape shops may not need so many features and shop owners and managers should take that into consideration when shopping for POS software.
The best way forward is to start by creating a list of your POS needs. Then, as you evaluate options, you can see which systems check off the most boxes on your list of needs.
Vape Shop POS Hardware Components
There are so many POS hardware components available that we won’t cover them all here. Besides, many components are made for specific business types, like restaurants, and wouldn’t serve any purpose for a vape shop.
Instead of covering every component out there, below we list the most essential components vape shops need to cover their basic needs.
A POS cash register is a digital cash register that links into your overall POS system. They can be used to track inventory, process purchase transactions, track sales, and automatically store sales data in your central POS system database.
When someone pays with cash, you need somewhere to store that cash. POS cash drawers serve that purpose.
For every purchase transaction you process, you must provide the customer with a receipt. Receipt printers connect to your POS system. When an employee rings up a purchase, the system recognizes this and automatically prints a receipt.
Handheld Inventory Scanners
Vape shop inventory must be tracked to avoid inventory discrepancies. A handheld inventory scanner automates inventory tracking and stores data in your POS system so managers and owners can easily access it.
Every item vape shops sell has a barcode that must be scanned before you can charge the customer. Barcode scanners streamline the checkout process. The one you choose depends on your business needs.
Touchscreen POS Monitors
A touchscreen monitor allows employees to initiate system functions by touching options on the screen, rather than using a keyboard. This saves time and is easier for employees.
Many POS systems are “mobile” systems, meaning they require a tablet to function. POS tablets are used for many purposes, from checking out a customer to running reports, managing various functions, and much more.
A normal keyboard comes with a standard key layout. But programmable POS keyboards differ because they include blank keys that can be configured to capture and store data that is unique to your vape shop.
Today, most credit and debit cards use encrypted chips rather than magnetic strips to process a payment. Having a card reader is essential if you want to receive credit card payments.
Signature pads are necessary if you want to collect electronic signatures from your customers when they make a purchase, which is often required by many credit card providers.
POS PIN pads can also act as card readers in many circumstances. If you want to let your customers pay with debit cards, POS PIN pads are essential so the customer can enter their debit card PIN to complete the transaction.
The Five Best Vape Shop POS Systems
Here we break down our top five list with explanations of each system and why we chose these systems as the best options for vape shops.
1. Lightspeed – Best Overall POS System
Lightspeed POS is our top pick for a variety of reasons. It is more than a simple POS system. Rather, it is a comprehensive store management platform. Some of its most popular features include awesome inventory management, data analysis, and reporting, sales processing, and employee management.
Users praise the system for its back-office features and ease of use. They also love the fact that Lightspeed can integrate vape catalogs into the system automatically.
Finally, the system is very user-friendly and the company’s customer support is stellar. This shortens the learning curve and ensures that vape shops are successfully using the system to achieve their business goals.
2. ShopKeep – Best Multi-Feature System
ShopKeep comes in at number two on our list because it delivers a very diverse feature set and can be easily leveraged by vape shops. It was made with small businesses in mind but can be scaled up to accommodate larger businesses as well.
The system is loaded with virtually all the features vape shops need to keep things running smoothly. With powerful inventory and reporting features, as well as the ability to customize and automate just about any process or task, it consistently catches the attention of vape shop owners.
Plus, ShopKeep receives glowing reviews from users, which is a key deciding factor in purchase decisions. Users also report the system to be extremely easy to install, set up, and start using.
3. Vend – Best System for Loyalty Programs and Business Growth
Vape shop customers are the type of customers that return periodically to purchase more of an item they ran out of. Vape shops that reward customers for repeat business experience more repeat business—it’s common sense.
Vend’s loyalty program functionality is a huge hit with vape shops because it allows them to reward repeat customers and encourages them to return again and again.
It also includes offline functionality so that vape shops can continue operating if their internet signal drops. This prevents downtimes during which the store may have to close its doors until the internet signal returns.
The system also includes complex inventory management features that make inventory tracking a breeze. This saves time that can be used to grow your business.
Best-in-class customer service features allow vape shops to form closer relationships with customers, which also leads to repeat business and customer satisfaction—two things that are essential for business growth.
4. Clover – Best System for Add-On Apps
Clover comes equipped with the features that most vape shops need. They also sell entire POS system bundles with hardware components such as display monitors, scanners, and card readers in the same package.
That bundled package, which includes software as well, costs around $1,350.
However, Clover does not require customers to purchase a bundle; patrons can piece together their own system by selecting the software tier and hardware components that will best serve their needs.
It is user-friendly with an intuitive user interface. But what truly sets Clover apart from the competition is the number of add-on apps vape shop owners can add to their system.
This lets them create a customized system that aligns perfectly with their needs—giving them what they need and not charging them for what they don’t.
The result is one of the most user-friendly vape shop POS systems available, which is how Clover has solidified its brand as one of the best in the market.
5. Square Point of Sale – Most Affordable Vape Shop POS System
Square POS is a very reliable and versatile vape shop POS system. It is one of the most popular names in the industry.
It is a cloud-based system that relies on a tablet or smartphone as the central brain of the system. It offers its own POS hardware components—such as cash registers and various types of card readers that connect directly to your mobile device.
It also integrates easily with POS hardware components from many other providers, making it easy to configure your ideal POS system by purchasing the hardware components you need from the vendors you trust.
With Square, you can process payments from just about anywhere. It can also track inventory, keep tabs on sales, and send digital receipts to patrons.
Its card reader is equipped to read credit or debit cards. Plus, Square delivers some of the most powerful data analysis and reporting in the market.
However, perhaps the best-selling point Square can boast is that its software is free to use and includes a free card reader to boot—additional card readers are only $10 each.
The only fees you pay are credit card payment processing fees, which are about 2.5% of the purchase plus 10 cents. It’s hard to beat a super robust system whose software is free to download and use.
If you want add-on features such as loyalty programs, you must pay for those. Regardless, Square POS is hands down the best POS system for vape shops on a tight budget.
Need Your Own Vape Shop POS System?
With the information above, you should be able to easily evaluate your options, create a list of needs, and find the system that matches your needs and budget.
Your list of needs is particularly important because it’s painful to invest and install a system only to then realize that the system doesn’t provide a feature that is essential to running your business.
Simply do your research and due diligence—much of which can be done on review sites like this. Take your time so you find the perfect system rather than purchasing one in a hurry and later realizing it was the wrong system to buy.