POS Systems

A Point of Sale (POS) system refers to the combination of hardware and software that a business uses to centralize all its operations. Any POS system will handle your sales and track your inventory, but the best ones will also help a business manage its employees, improve internal communication, and plan email marketing campaigns or customer loyalty programs.

A POS might be as simple as a single iPad with a quarter-sized card-reader running a POS app for a mall kiosk, or it might cover multiple registers in multiple locations for a big restaurant chain. The two largest industries served by POS are retail stores, such as clothes, electronics or jewelry outlets, and restaurants, which include anything from food trucks to fine dining.

In all cases, the right POS system should pay for itself several times over, since it streamlines every aspect of a business’ typical operations.

Best Restaurant POS Systems

A restaurant-specific POS should allow servers to place orders and communicate with the kitchen, track the stock of individual ingredients, track customer reservations, and track which tables have placed which orders. One of the biggest POS vendors in this space is TouchBistro, though other strong options include Toast, Lavu, Square POS, Lightspeed Restaurant, and Revel. When choosing the right fit for you, consider venue size, number of terminals needed, and if you’ll require any unique features.

Find the Best POS System Price Plan for Your Business

Top Free POS Systems

That’s right, free! There are POS systems out there which won’t cost you a dime, and are usually software-only. However, there’s always a catch, and some free options – like Vend or eHopper – use a “freemium” model which reserves their best features for a paid tier. Other services, like Square, charge a few percentage points of revenue from each sale, while some free services are open-sourced and may be buggy or haphazard. Still, small businesses or hobbyists can probably find a free POS that serves their needs.

Best Retail POS Systems

A merchant taking a sale with Shopify POS chip and swipe readerA good retail POS should accept all forms of payment (cash, credit, and cardless), keep all products well-stocked thanks to automated notifications sent when stock is low, and help employees easily communicate.

A few of the largest and most popular retail POS services include Square, Lightspeed, Shopify, Vend, and Shopkeep. POS services aimed at smaller retail outlets include Erply and SalesVu.

Read's 2019 Guide to the Top 10 Retail POS Systems

POS System Prices

Lightspeed retail POSFive areas can affect the price of a POS: Location size, number of terminals, number of locations, type of industry, and hardware compatibility. Running a small store with one terminal for a year might cost around $1,200 up-front, including both hardware costs and the annual bill for a POS software plan costing around $60-$80 a month. A large location might cost around $6,500 to get started, with the majority going to the hardware needed. We’ve broken down all the cost factors in our POS price guide.

Read's POS System Price Guide.

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POS Systems

Shopify POS Review 2019

Shopify is great across the board, from a 24/7 support team to a fair price to an intuitive interface with a quick learning curve. It's also a great fit for businesses with an online store as well as a physical one. Find the best POS system for your business with

POS Systems

Upserve POS Review (‘Breadcrumb POS')

Upserve is a point-of-sale system designed for restaurant businesses. However, while it has many great features for restaurants — such as impressive hardware options and a built-in kitchen display system — it has a couple of foibles that are worth being aware of.

POS Systems

Best Cash Registers for Small Business

For a small business in 2019, it's crucial to be able to accept payments from anyone. For many people, that means getting a cash register or a POS system. Here are the top five options available for both traditional registers and POS software.

POS Systems

Toast POS Review

Toast POS operates on the Android operating system, and isn't available on iOS. It offers a satisfying array of features, giving it the functionality and flexibility needed to make it a top restaurant POS pick. Our review details pros, cons, tech support and pricing.

POS Systems

Aldelo POS Review

We'll give it to you straight: You'll likely want to pass on Aldelo as a POS service. While it does offer a reasonable range of features and abilities, the system's interface and backend tend to malfunction frequently, it's costly, and the support team isn't the best.

POS Systems

Vend POS Review 2019

The Vend platform is a solid POS software and among the most well-known. It performs well overall, with a strong raft of features, good support options, and fair pricing. Its flexiblity is a strong selling point, as evidenced in its wide range of third-party integrations.

POS Systems

Lightspeed POS Review

Lightspeed's price is a little above the norm for the POS industry, but its strong features, ease of use, and support team more than make up for it. It's a good choice for a small, mid-size or large business that needs a high-quality POS system.

POS Systems

10 Best Restaurant POS Systems

The right POS system can streamline every operation of your restaurant, bar, or cafe, from orders and payments to your entire ingredient inventory. Here’s everything to know about the best restaurant POS systems available today.

POS Systems

10 Best Retail POS Systems

A POS system is not only an essential part of running any successful store in today's world, but it's almost the only system business owners need. Here's our overview of which ten retail POS systems are worth considering.

POS Systems

ShopKeep POS Review 2019

ShopKeep's iPad POS software is aimed at two biggest POS-reliant industries: Retail and restaurants. The vendor also sells hardware options for businesses in need of more than just iPads, from barcode scanners to receipt printers. But are the features worth the price?

POS Systems

TouchBistro POS Review 2019

Founded in Toronto in 2010, TouchBistro has rapidly expanded beyond the city to take over the entire restaurant POS industry, and for good reason. Find out why TouchBistro could be the perfect software for your restaurant or cafe in our 2019 review, plus get a custom price quote.

POS Systems

How Much Does a POS System Cost?

POS systems can be tiny or huge, from a single iPad app to a multi-location hardware and software setup. But whether your business is one person with a tablet, or hundreds of employees, every business owner wants to find the best POS system at the most cost-effective price point.

POS Systems

Best iPad POS Apps

An iPad POS app is a must for small or mid-size businesses and they can power entire restaurant chains. With the right iPad POS app, you can turn your iPad into a register for your business. Learn more about the best POS systems you can run on your iPad.

POS Systems

What Is POS?

What is a POS system? It’s the “Point of Sale” in the retail or ecommerce industry, and the term refers to the software and hardware used to track and record sales and inventory. Here's why POS is essential for businesses, and how you can find the best POS system for you.