The best POS system for retail stores is Square POS, due to its impressive sales features, slick software, and excellent value for money. But while we're happy to sing its praises, Square POS isn't right for everyone. If you run an online store or are looking to boost customer retention, Clover's built-in loyalty app and e-commerce features could be better suited to your business.
Our recommendations are entirely independent and based on literally hundreds of hours of research, investigating the POS market, to rank and rate the leading providers. But if you're still not sure, we've also developed a quote comparison tool that can match your business needs with prices from the most suitable providers. That way you can compare pricing, fast, with no obligation to buy.
The table below summarizes the key information your store needs to know, and you can read on for more detailed reviews. Whichever provider you choose, the streamlining benefits of a POS can help your retail business thrive, even during the belt-tightening pandemic-ridden times we live in.
Tech.co rating for retail
Score out of 5 based on Tech.co's independent market research.
Best Retail POS for
Tech.co's verdict to help you identify the most suitable choice for your retail business
The typical lowest starting price. The lowest price available for your business will depend on your needs.
Is there a version of the software made specifically for iPad use?
Is there a version of the software made specifically for Android tablet use?
BEST RETAIL POS
Best for ecommerce businesses
Best retail POS system
Great built-in customer loyalty app
Best to track and train employees
Great value for money
Great customization options
Best small business growth features
Best for a quick initial setup
Best for large businesses
$29 per month
Free (but transaction fees apply)
$14.95 per month
$69 per month
Free (but transaction fees apply)
$15 per month
$29 per month
$39 per month
$69 per month
| || || || || || || || || |
| || || || || || || || || |
| || || || || || || || || |
Sold by Shopify, but also works with iPads and Android tablets
Sold by Square, separately or bundled. Works with most leading brands and has a great free trial.
Sells everything from full cash stations to mobile card readers
Works with loads of third-party periperals
Retails a range of hardware solutions including card readers, cash registers, and POS accessories
Broad range, packaged with software for a one-time fee.
Available through third-party vendors
Works with lots of third-party peripherals
Sold by Lightspeed. NOT compatible with weighing scales.
Here's our quick list of the best retail POS providers:
- Square POS – Best retail POS system
- Clover POS – Great built-in customer loyalty app
- Vend POS – Best to track and train employees
- Zettle by PayPal – Great value for money
- SpotOn – Great customization options
- Talech POS – Best small business growth features
- Epos Now – Best for a quick initial setup
- Lightspeed POS – Best for large stores
- Shopify POS – Best for ecommerce businesses
Our dedicated team of researchers have examined the leading retail POS systems on the market to find the perfect solution for your business.
Scoring them out of five, we grade the companies on everything from pricing and features to ease of use.
Note: All pricing plan figures were updated in July 2022.
Editor rating: 4.7/5
Price from: Free (plus processing fees)
Payment processing: Card transactions: 2.6% + 10¢. Keyed-in transactions: 3.5% + 15¢
Square represents fantastic value for any business that needs a POS system. You won't have to pay any monthly fees, just some pretty competitive transaction fees. Square's hardware and software solutions are also slick and easy to use, making it a great option for retail businesses new to POS technology.
With our in-house research team ranking the point of service #1 for retail features and affordability, and highly on help and support, it's no wonder Square stole our top spot. But retail stores aren't the only demographic to benefit from this point of service system — our research suggests Square is the best POS for small businesses, too.
Square POS features
Square lets you accept Visa, Mastercard, and AmEx cards all at the same rate. Plus, you can accept contactless transactions through Apple and Google Pay. Digital and physical gift cards, as well as online orders, also aren't a problem.
Square has strong sales reporting features that let you track profit and loss, inventory, and more from your app's dashboard view. It also has a huge App Marketplace, which lets you connect loads of third-party services to your POS. For example, you can add Square to a BigCommerce or Wix website or even to Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software Mailchimp.
Square also has its own ecommerce platform, Square Online, which can help you bring online ordering to your retail business — something super important at the moment.
Square POS pricing
Square's main pricing plan has no monthly fees at all. Instead, you simply pay transaction fees of 2.6% plus 10 cents on each card-based or contactless transaction. Keyed-in card transactions cost slightly more at 3.5% plus 15 cents. Finally, online sales are charged at 2.9% plus 30 cents.
This makes Square really affordable to get started with as you won't need to pay until you start making money yourself. What's more, Square even throws in a free card reader to help you get your business off the ground.
Square also offers a dedicated retail plan which brings more features than you get on the free plan. Square for Retail Plus costs $60 per month, per location. Transaction fees are reduced to 2.5% plus 10 cents for in-person sales and 2.9% plus 30 cents for online sales. You'll be able to exchange products and gain access to improved inventory and reporting tools, plus Square Team Management, a tool which can help sort out your employees.
You can find out more about Square and its unique pricing structure in our full Square POS pricing guide.
- Free to get started
- Slick and stylish hardware
- Serves businesses of all sizes and in all sectors
- Strong analytics, inventory, and third-party integrations
- Some necessary features for mid-sized businesses cost more
- 3.5% + 15¢ charge for keyed-in transactions
- Support options vary by plan
2. Clover POS – Great Built-in Loyalty App
Editor rating: 4.5/5
Price from: $4.95/ month
Payment processing: Card transactions: 2.3% + 10¢. Keyed-in transactions: 3.5% + 10¢
Clover POS is a great choice for stores that want to start taking online orders, but already have a website. You’ll be able to add online ordering easily to an existing website, with an intuitive dashboard and mobile app. Clover offers a steller built-in loyalty app to, making it easier for businesses to reward and retain loyal customers.
Clover POS features
Clover lets you accept Visa, Mastercard, and AmEx cards, as well as Google Pay, Apple Pay, and gift cards. It also offers digital receipts and one-touch tipping which could come in handy for your staff.
Clover POS includes core features such as sales reports, inventory, and customer loyalty tools. It also offers employee tracking, which comes with shift and payroll management, and customizable permission levels to prevent fraud and theft. Clover also emphasizes the security of its transaction handling.
Clover's in-built loyalty solution, Clover Rewards, is a unique mobile application that allows businesses to reward repeat customers with perks. The app is simple to use, and all customers need to do to qualify is enter their first name when transacting. With rewards that can be tailored to align with your business, this app really separates Clover from its competition, and it can be a great tool to encourage repeat buying.
The POS also allows you to track sales performance in real time and see your sales across different locations, while offering a range of third-party integrations covering everything from payroll apps to recruitment.
Clover sells its own branded hardware, including a chip and contactless payment reader for $69, as well as larger product bundles.
Clover POS pricing
Clover offers a free trial as well as three retail pricing plans.
Clover Payments Plus
The cheapest plan costs $4.95 per month and gives you cloud-based payment processing as well as employee and customer management tools. However, it doesn't offer inventory or order management features.
Clover Register Lite
Designed for businesses with sales of less than $50,000 per year, the Register Lite plan costs $9.95 per month and will charge you 2.7% + 10 cents for all transactions.
However, this plan is limited to customers that use the Clover Go, Flex, or Mini card reader and payment terminal devices.
For $39.95 per month plus 2.3% + 10 cents, the Register plan brings improved inventory and order management tools, as well as product variants.
Clover's pricing plans are confusing and, if we were you, we'd definitely check out our pricing comparison tool to make sure that Clover is the right fit for your business.
- Great for companies that started online but need a physical presense
- Good range of hardware options
- 30-day free trial
- Need pre-existing website unlike Shopify, for example
- Additional features cost extra and can become expensive
- No inter-store transactions
Vend offers particularly good value for retailers, with a competitive training mode for new workers, real-time reporting, and integration options with a range of popular third-party providers. It also offers unlimited users across all plans, except the free version.
However, our research suggests its till features aren't as strong as the other providers on this list, and it doesn't offer delivery support. This prevents Vend from beating our retail frontrunners Square and Clover.
Vend POS features
Vend has brilliant sales and payments features. It can accept cash, checks, debit, and credit card transactions, and integrates with a host of popular payment processing companies including PayPal, Shopify, and Square.
It has a strong training mode for new staff members that allows users to trial the software without accessing the system's sales history, settings, or status page. The feature is a great way to familiarize workers with the POS system without jeopardizing store data.
Vend also includes CRM tools on all of its POS plans. You can build customer profiles which can give you an understanding of customer purchase history, loyalty, and available balance. You'll then be able to use the these profiles to send out promotions and marketing communications to customers in order to entice them back.
If you're interested in keeping track of your store's performance, Vend's real-time reporting feature helps you keep tabs on sales, inventory levels, and profit margins — making it easier for users to make informed business decisions.
Vend's system is cloud-based, and it can work on Windows PCs, MacOS and iPad devices. Sadly, it won't work on Android.
Vend POS pricing
Vend offers four pricing plans, as well as a completely free plan.
Vend Free lets you use one register, with one user account, selling 10 products, to a maximum of 1,000 customers.
After you hit that limit, you'll need to move to one of the paid-for plans. It's a nice option for getting started up with the POS but, when it comes to free options, we prefer Square.
Vend Lean costs $69 per month. You'll get a free cash register, and your business will be limited to $20,000 in transactions per month. It also gives you unlimited users, but you'll be restricted to operating in a single location.
The Standard plan costs $119 per month and offers more advanced reporting features. Plus, it brings more ecommerce integrations and third-party add-ons. What's more, it supports multiple locations and lets you have an unlimited turnover.
The Advanced plan costs $199 per month, and includes a loyalty program, advanced analytics, and support for serial number tracking, which is needed for those selling warranties on any products.
The Enterprise plan doesn't have a fixed price. Instead, Vend will give you a bespoke price based on the features that your business requires. The Enterprise plan will also give you a dedicated account manager and a customized onboarding package to make setting the system up easier.
Find out more about Vend in our full review
- Suits businesses of all sizes
- Works with loads of third party hardware and software options
- 24/7 support
- Strong ecommerce integration
- Reporting on lower pricing tiers can lack detail
4. Zettle by PayPal – Great Value for Money
Editor rating: 4.3
Price from: Free (transaction fees apply)
Payment processing: Card transactions: 2.9% + 9¢. Keyed-in transactions: 3.49% + 9¢
While Zettle may not have achieved as much name recognition as other providers on this list, it's been assisting retail businesses for over ten years. In fact, the trailblazing point of service even produced the world's very first mini chip card reader and software.
This tech-savvy POS was designed to make selling retailing goods as simple as possible, and it's completely free to set up. Due to its minimal start-up costs and reasonable transaction fees, our research suggests Zettle is the most affordable POS on the market.
Despite Zettle's generous user limits and value for money, our research doesn't rank Zettle favorably for business management or development features. Therefore if you're looking for a POS with strong reporting and loyalty tools, you might benefit more from another system.
Zettle by PayPal features
If your business sells goods both online and in-store, Zettle omnichannel tools make this process simple and fuss-free. The Zettle app is able to connect seamlessly to your online store, allowing you to sell products across channels from one easy-to-use platform. Also, by using Zettle's useful e-commerce integration, retailers can also create their own webshops and sell on social media.
Zettle's flexible payment features make light work out of taking payments. The point of service accepts all mainstream payment types, including Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and mobile payment. It also has no limit on cash payments and lets users deposit their earnings from app to bank within two business days.
If your store handles a large number of items, Zettle's user-friendly product library makes it easy to organize and select products. Managers can also build import products into the system from Excel documents, and edit stock levels directly in the app. Zettle's POS also updates stock levels automatically so manual upkeep can be kept to a minimum.
What's more, unlike many providers, Zettle doesn't feature a user limit — meaning each of its plans is available to an unlimited number of users. This, combined with the system's affordable price point, makes the system suitable for a large number of stores.
Zettle's POS offering is strong. Use our bespoke pricing comparison tool to find out if it's the best option for your business.
Zettle by PayPal pricing
Since Zettle’s POS app is completely free to set up, it's cheap to get the system up and running. Zettle, however, charges businesses per transaction. This means that costs can accumulate over time.
We break down Zettle by PayPal's transaction fees below:
- 2.29% + 9 cents for each card-based sale
- 3.49% + 9 cents for each manual card entry transaction
- 1.9% + 10 cents for every QR code transaction $10.01 and above
- 2.4% + 5 cents for every QR code transaction $10.00 and below
Zettle also offers card readers at $29, with the price increasing to $79 for each additional reader.
- No monthly fees
- Reasonable transaction fees
- Unlimited users
- No add-on features are available
- No CRM or offline mode
- Limited amount of integrations
5. SpotOn – Most Customizable POS System
Editor rating: 4.2
Price from: $15 per month
Payment processing: Variable – relies on third-party provider
No matter your business's specialism, chances are you could benefit from SpotOn's flexible point-of-service solution. The provider lets you tailor your POS to what you're selling, giving you access to a personalized retail management system that makes it easier to sell goods to your target demographic.
However, while SpotOn is reasonably priced and has no user limit, many of the POS's features are only available as paid add-ons. This, unfortunately, prevents SpotOn from appearing any higher on our list.
Inventory management can be one of the biggest struggles for retail stores. Luckily, with SponOns' product catalog, users can track their sales by channel, and monitor their financial performance at the same time. The tool also lets retail workers keep track of their businesses online and in-person sales simultaneously. This can be a lifesaver for click-and-mortar businesses.
As we touched on, SponOn's offering can also be customized to just about every retail business under the sun. From home decor to sporting goods, SpotOns business profiles are just about as niche as it gets. By picking a POS mode that's right for your business, you have access to a much wide selection of industry-specific tools. This feature is undoubtedly one of SpotOns greatest strengths.
Aside from customizable software, SponOn also offers an excellent training mode which makes it easy for new staff members to familiarize themselves with the software. When the setting is activated, users can create orders, edit information, and apply discounts – but are prevented from accessing areas of the POS reserved for senior staffers. The Training Mode also offers Walkthroughs to help new workers navigate the software for the first time.
If it's CRM tools you're after, SpotOn also has you covered. The provider's digital loyalty program lets you enroll buyers during checkout and reward loyalty with custom rewards. The tool is also super easy to apply, helping you to drive up repeat visits with minimal effort.
SpotOn's retail POS is available at three different price points.
If your business's point of service needs are minimal, SpotOn Poynt is available at $15 per month. Its ‘POS mode' allows users to browse the system's full product catalog, and ‘terminal mode' lets users run quick transactions without sifting through the full list of products. SpotOn Poynt also integrates with decent marketing and customer loyalty services, although these are only available at a premium.
For retail businesses in need of an additional hardware solution, SpotOn Register retails at $65 per month. The package includes a 13.3″ terminal, payment processor, barcode scanner, pin pad, and cash draw – everything you need to get up and running. SpotOn Register also features POS software that offers reporting, inventory, marketing, and loyalty tools, and supports multiple payment methods.
If you're looking for a slightly scaled-back version of SpotOn Register, SpotOn Register costs $45 per month. The plan offers the same software as SpotOn Register but provides users with an 8″ touchscreen terminal, built-in receipt printer, and card reader instead of the full hardware package.
Overwhelmed with confusing pricing plans? Use our pricing comparison tool to receive bespoke POS quotes.
- Good range of retail features
- Customizable POS options
- Charges extra for lots of features
- Pricier than similar systems
6. Talech POS – Best Business Growth Features
Editor rating: 4.1/5
Price from: $29/month
Payment processing: Variable – relies on third-party provider
Talech is a strong retail POS with great business and stock management tools. The system offers some of the best customer loyalty and marketing tools around — helping it to earn its title as the best POS for business growth features. However, despite being a strong solution, it's a bit more expensive than its competitors so may be less accessible to smaller businesses.
Talech POS features
Talech automatically tallies up the cost of every product you sell, factoring in taxes and special offers to make transactions quicker. This means that you can spend more time engaging with your customers and less time prodding away at a tablet.
Talech also has strong inventory management. It will let you know when products are running low, for example, and it can sync your inventories across multiple stores. Products can be uploaded and edited in batches, which should make your life easier. Plus, it can even track inventory based on weight, which could be useful if you sell materials wholesale.
According to our research, Talech also excels when it comes to business growth features. Talech's CRM tools track customer visits, the items they buy, and the time that has elapsed since their last purchase. This also allows you to fire off marketing comms to your customers, enticing them back with new offers and encouraging repeat visits.
Talech even lets you manage staff shifts with its “clock-in” feature. As a manager, you'll be able to set overtime rules and track individual employee performances, including the sales a person makes.
Should you encounter any problems with Talech, it offers a variety of support options. This includes 24/7 email and live chat support, as well as a searchable online help center.
Talech POS pricing
Talech offers four pricing plans: Starter, Standard, Premium, and Enterprise. It also offers a free demo, rather than a free trial. Talech bases its pricing on the number of devices you register to use its software, rather than the users or locations that you need.
This introductory plan costs $29 per month per device. You'll also be limited to five employees, and you'll only be able to sell 100 products. However, you'll still get access to product inventory tracking, employee permissions, basic order management, partial and full refunds, customer history tracking, and basic reporting functions.
The Standard plan costs $69 per month for the first device, with each subsequent device costing $29 per month. You get unlimited employees and product listings on this plan, too. You also get barcode label printing, clock-in and timesheets, automatic discounts, exchanges, store credit, and more advanced reporting.
This plan costs $99 per month for the first device, then $29 per month for each subsequent device. You get access to online ordering, inventory alerts, and purchase orders.
There are a range of other features, but they're more closely related to restaurant businesses. Check out our full Talech POS review for more information.
This plan is only available to larger businesses, and you'll need to get a quote directly from Talech on the prices.
- Granular product settings
- Great support for customer exchanges and refunds
- Easy-to-use interface
- No ecommerce integration
- Feature set not as broad as competitors
- Low customer satisfaction score
7. Epos Now – Best for a Quick Initial Setup
Editor rating: 4/5
Price from: $39/month
Payment processing: Variable – relies on third-party provider
Epos Now prides itself on a quick setup. In fact, the company claims your business can be up and running in just 15 minutes.
Epos Now features
Epos Now will help manage your inventory and track online and offline sales. It can also print invoices and read barcodes.
One of Epos's top-selling points is its quick setup process. Thanks to its streamlined software, the point-of-service system can be up and running in under 15 minutes.
Epos Now also includes a customer loyalty feature and offers more than 80 third-party integrations. For example, you can choose Xero for accounting automation or Mailchimp for email marketing. It can also track your staff performance and offer real-time reports on sales performance, inventory levels, and more.
The point of service also comes with a range of versatile hardware options from EPOS systems to printers and everything in between. All Epos technology is also fully compatible with mobile devices. However, with the price of hardware packages starting at $449, these devices may be inaccessible to many smaller retail stores.
Epos Now pricing
Epos Now’s prices start at just $39 per month, and you can add an additional cash register for $24 per month. The service doesn't include built-in payment processing services, but supports a range of third-party options that will all charge a fee for each transaction.
- Quick and easy set up
- Simple interface makes it easy to train staff
- Widely compatible with barcode scanners and receipt printers
- Lacks complexity in reporting
- Paid customer support and no knowledgebase
- No kiosk option or CRM
8. Lightspeed POS – Best for Large Stores
Editor rating: 4/5
Price from: $69/month
Payment processing: Card transactions: 2.6% + 10¢. Keyed-in transactions: 2.6% + 30¢
Due to Lightspeed's competitive stock management tools, and relatively low cost for adding extra terminals, this POS is ideally suited to large stores or groups of stores, especially those with varied barcoded products, such as jewelry stores, repair shops, and sports equipment suppliers. Thanks to recent acquisitions of ShopKeep and Vend, Lightspeed is set to keep improving its offering, too, and may soon start to move its way up our list.
Lightspeed POS features
There's no denying it, Lightspeed is ahead of its game when it comes to inventory management. Managers can import items or order from pre-loaded catalogs, and they can also group products by type. Users can even add more granular details, including style, size, and color.
Due to these advanced tools, Lightspeed would be a good fit for most retail businesses, but could be overkill for small businesses with just a handful of products to manage. The software is much more geared towards larger businesses with complex inventories. We can help you identify the solution your business needs with our bespoke questionnaire.
Our research also suggests Lightspeed POS offers some of the best loyalty and CRM and marketing features on the market. Lightspeed Loyalty is an integrated omnichannel rewards system that helps businesses create targeted marketing campaigns. By using the tool, businesses can boost their performance across multiple selling channels.
However, despite the provider's clear advantages the POS does come with a few caveats. Lightspeed is not suitable for stores without storefronts (such as dropshipping companies) or those requiring weighing scales, fractional quantities, or expiry dates for products.
It's also not available for businesses selling motorized vehicles, including boats, or for service-based businesses, and it doesn't have a training mode.
Lightspeed POS pricing
Lightspeed's pricing plans start from as little as $69 per month for the Basic plan, but most businesses will find they need the Starter plan which costs slightly more at $99 per month.
For retailers in the US and Canada, Lightspeed offers its own built-in payment process system, which charges a fee of 2.6% plus 10 cents for each card transaction, and 2.6% + $0.30 for card-not-present (CNP) transactions. Third-party payment processors are also supported.
The Starter plan includes one cash register with up to five employee accounts, easy onboarding features, basic analytics, and 24/7 support. While the features you get on the Lightspeed POS Starter plan are good, you only get one cash register, making it a bit pricier than the competition.
Then there's the $119 per month Standard plan which lets you integrate a third-party accounting platform. The Advanced plan costs $169 per month and you get customer loyalty features. The Pro plan costs $229 per month and lets you analyze sales data.
Finally, there's the Lightspeed Enterprise plan which features bespoke pricing and features, though you'll need to get in touch with Lightspeed to find out more about this option.
Businesses are also able to add licenses at $29 per terminal — a cheaper price point than most other providers offer.
Instead, we'd take a look at our bespoke pricing questionnaire which will give you quotes from all of the leading POS providers on the market.
- Ideal for retail stores with barcoded inventory
- Straightforward pricing
- Slightly more expensive than some rivals
- Harder to use for restaurants, florists and businesses without barcodes
- Doesn't integrate with weighing scales
9. Shopify POS – Best for Online Stores
Editor rating: 3.7/5
Price from: $29/month
Payment processing: Card transactions: 2.5%. Online transactions: 2.6% + 30¢
Shopify is normally regarded as an ecommerce company, but it also offers a Retail POS System with fantastic online store integrations. It's a good fit for any business that's currently focused on ecommerce but is looking to expand into a brick-and-mortar POS.
Shopify POS features
Shopify isn't just an ecommerce platform with some POS features — it offers the full experience from sales to employee management. Shopify also has excellent sales analytics, and you’ll be able to issue discount codes. You can even manage your operations on the go with the Shopify POS mobile app.
Shopify also shines when it comes to stock control. The provider's inventory management tools let you create, edit and review stock levels in a few clicks. In fact, our research rates Shopify #1 for stock management, above frontrunners like Clover and Square.
Shopify POS is a great option for businesses that want to sell both online and through brick-and-mortar stores. And with 24/7 email, live chat, and phone customer support available, you’ll always be able to solve any problems you run into.
While Shopify offers a decent array of POS features at an affordable price point, lots of tools are only available as third-party integrations. Therefore, if you're business is looking to unlock additional CRM, accounting, or marketing features, monthly costs could escalate quickly.
But how does Shopify compare to a more traditional POS provider? Find out in our Lightspeed vs Shopify guide.
Shopify POS pricing
Shopify requires you to sign up for an ecommerce plan before you can access its POS system. Fortunately, these plans start from $29 per month and you won't need to pay anything extra to add Shopify POS Lite.
With Shopify POS Lite, you'll get access to the Shopify Payments processing tool which gives you in-person credit card rates starting from 2.7%. You also get customizable checkouts, custom discounts, and global search across your store and storage to check product availability, automatic tax calculation, refunds, unlimited products, multi-location inventory, customer loyalty, and analytics.
All told, Shopify POS Lite represents very good value for money.
It also offers Shopify POS Pro, which costs an additional $89 per month per location but is included with all Shopify Plus ecommerce plans. You get some slightly more high-end features including automatic discounts and click-and-collect features, and customers will be able to buy in-store and have products shipped to their homes (helpful if you sell heavy stuff).
Shopify's POS pricing can seem confusing but, trust us, it's a pretty good deal.
- Very strong ecommerce integration
- 24/7 support via phone, live chat, and email
- Works with lots of different hardware options
- Exclusively-focused on retail and ecommerce
- Charges transaction fees unless you're using Shopify's own Payments processing system
- No offline mode
Retail POS System Prices
Small businesses should expect to pay somewhere between $40 and $100 per month for a POS system with a single cash register. Larger businesses, on the other hand, might be looking at costs between $100 and $300 per month, with additional one-time hardware purchases typically costing in excess of $2,500 per location.
POS platforms with ecommerce integrations can cost more, but there are a range of systems such as Shopify and Square POS which make creating online stores easy and extremely affordable. If you don't yet have a website to sell your products now is the time to get one.
While the month-to-month pricing, as well as transaction fees, can seem high, the right system will make your business far more efficient.
The best Retail POS Systems will actually make your business money in the long run, despite any initial setup and month-to-month costs. It's only choosing the wrong one that could be time consuming and expensive. To get matched with the right system for your business, Tech.co has developed a custom questionnaire which helped more than 3,000 American businesses find the right POS provider last year.
What is a Retail POS System?
A Point Of Sale (POS) System is the combination of hardware and software that is used to sell stuff to customers, and organize the processes related to sales. It is an essential part of running any successful store or restaurant in today's world. Find out more in our best POS systems for restaurants guide.
A good POS system will log the number and value of the sales you’ve made, as well as tracking your inventory and letting you know when to restock. It’ll also help you analyze sales and refunds so you can maximize profits.
The best Point of Sale Systems provide features that enable you to make more sales, both in person and online, as well as manage your staff and customer base – all while identifying smarter ways of working.
Why Do You Need a Retail POS System for Your Store?
A Retail POS System will help you cut your store's costs while also improving sales performance. With a good POS system, you'll be able to optimize your inventory, manage your employees more efficiently, and perform deep analysis into your sales trends.
Plus, you'll be able to accept payments regardless of whether they come via credit or debit card, cash, check, gift card, or even the web. The right POS system will easily pay for itself over time, as it boosts productivity, customer satisfaction and loyalty – all important factors for small businesses facing far less foot traffic in the wake of the COVID pandemic.
That's why it's super important to make sure you're getting a good POS system that suits your business. Here at Tech.co, we've developed a quick and straightforward questionnaire which can help you find the ideal POS provider for your company's needs.
The Shopify retail POS in use
Needless to say, any Retail POS System will be able to receive and manage payments. However, the leading providers also offer features that some of the lesser-known providers simply can’t match.
The best Retail POS Systems will offer:
- Sales management – Perform speedy checkouts, with every transaction logged and accounted for
- Inventory management – Keep an itemized inventory that automatically updates after each sale, and may even send you reminders to restock
- Employee management – Create schedules and track employee performance, and allow employees to clock in and clock out
- Reporting and analytics – Build and create reports which can help you optimize sales, promotions, inventories, and more
- Customer relationship management – Offer discounts to loyal customers, or promotions to draw in customers you haven’t heard from in a while. A POS gift card program can also help retain customers
The Vend retail POS, with Square card reader
Retail POS System Hardware Accessories
Retail POS Systems don't just run on their own, as the entire system requires some hardware as well. The POS hardware market is projected to reach $9.54 billion by 2025, which means you're going to have to get on board eventually. To run a modern Retail POS System, you’ll likely need the following:
- Tablets – These can serve as your main interface. Most POS suppliers support iPads, but not all support Android
- Monitors – If you want more screen space to manage your store – for example, at the checkout area – you’ll need a dedicated monitor or two
- Card readers – You can get standalone devices, or snazzy card readers that plug into your tablet, for chip and pin or contactless transactions. Setup is easy, and some POS providers include the readers in their pricing plans
- Receipt printers – If you want to print off customer receipts on site, you’ll need the kit for that. These might be helpful for big-ticket items, but most POS providers give you the ability to email receipts
- Tablet stands and docks – These will make it easier for customers to pay, or enter details for email receipts. They’re also useful if your staff carry around their tablets a lot
- Self-service kiosks – A large self-service kiosk can help customers serve themselves, saving your staff time
Of course, the amount of hardware accessories required will vary based on your business’s size and type. A simple brick-and-mortar store might not need a self-service kiosk, but a large health and wellness spa might.
For some businesses, you're going to need to get more than one piece of hardware to adequately handle the load, but be aware of increasing costs. Having staff carrying around iPads can make your business look more professional and save time with customer queries, but there is, obviously, a cost premium per device.
Verdict – Best Retail POS System
The best retail POS system on the market is Square POS. It offers brilliant features across the board and is surprisingly affordable, too. Not only is it easy to use, it also offers its own ecommerce platform, helping you to bring online ordering to your business — plus, strong analytics and reporting tools to help you manage your orders, too.
While our research team ranked Square #1 for retail features, affordability, and very high on help and support, we also know that Square POS isn't for everyone. For example, if you run an online store, Clover's built-in loyalty app and e-commerce features may be better suited to your needs.
The point is, there are lots of choices out there — the best of which we cover extensively on this list, but the decision is down to you. Now that you’ve got all the info on the leading Retail POS Systems, it’s time to choose one.
Our POS comparison tool will give you obligation-free quotes from the biggest POS providers on the market, and is the best way to get started with a new provider.
Tech.co is reader-supported. Using Tech.co's comparison form, you can receive quotes from various suppliers, tailored to the needs of your business. If you enter into a contract with a provider, we may receive a payment for the introduction. Equally, if you make a purchase through the links on our site, we may earn a commission. This helps Tech.co provide free advice and reviews and carries no additional cost to you. Most importantly, it doesn’t affect our editorial independence. Click to return to top of page