October 29, 2018
The most flexible POS solution for tiny business and massive operations alike.
The Vend platform is a solid POS software solution and among the most well-known. It performs well overall, with a strong raft of features, good support options, and fair pricing. Its flexibility is a strong selling point, as evidenced in its wide range of third-party integrations and equally wide range of compatible hardware solutions.
Serves all business sizes
Vend’s cloud-based POS software will run on any web browser as well as on its iPad app, Vend Register.
The New Zealand-based company offers a free version of its POS service that’s a particularly good fit for tiny businesses or even for hobbists. Why? Because the features offered are more useful and in-depth than most free options (sales and inventory tracking, as well as personalized customer profiles), but it is limited to just one register, one user, 10 products, and just 1,000 total customers. Once you hit that limit, you’ll need to move to a paying plan, though their prices are reasonable.
Another highlight of Vend POS is its flexible integration options. Users can integrate payment systems including PayPal, Square or Shopify (although the latter two processors even have their own POS software). This makes Vend an attractive option for a business that is already comfortable with these payment processors. Vend is also flexible with hardware options, and works with many hardware solutions that businesses might already own. For an entrepreneur who enjoys great control over their services and likes tinkering with ways to streamline efficiency, Vend’s range of integrations make it a solid choice.
This review covers the main features to expect from Vend POS, before highlighting their hardware support, discussing their training options and installation team, and explaining how their three price plans work.
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Vend POS: Core Features
Sales and Payments
Vend’s payment processor integrations allow users to process their credit and debit sales through top brands including Paypal, Shopify, and Square. Gift cards, split payments, and partial payments are all supported with Vend’s platform. Staffers can even create custom buttons to more easily accept cash, checks, or other payment forms.
Vend offers a robust suite of inventory features. The service uses one central product catalog that syncs across all channels, to ensure pricing and stock counts stay the same regardless of discounts or markups. Managers can import or add products along with barcode information and variants (one product can come in multiple sizes, colors, or materials). Stock orders can also be automated in order to ensure fast-selling products never run out.
Another stand-out area for Vend’s third-party integrations is ecommerce. Users with Shopify or WooCommerce accounts can take advantage of those services’ online stores, connecting them to the Vend POS to deliver a streamlined omnichannel sales experience to their customers. Products, inventory, customers and sales can all be synced up to Vend within minutes, or users can create their online store from scratch and connect it to Vend immediately.
Customer profiles can be created in order to help managers better understand the habits and interests of their regulars. Profiles log the customer’s purchase history, loyalty account, and available balance. Custom loyalty programs can be created to retain customers. In another example of Vend’s flexibility, existing customer lists can be imported through a CSV upload.
Yes, Vend’s third-party integrations cover even more than ecommerce and payments. Here are a few more common POS features that Vend users can access through Vend’s interface:
- Employee management — Add staff scheduling functions with Deputy
- Appointment management — Schedule customer appointments with Timely
- Sales channels — Add Amazon or eBay sales channels to your ecommerce options
- Accounting features — Quickly process store data with Xero or Quickbooks Online
- Email marketing — Log and manage customer email addresses with MailSync
Vend ranks 4th in our list of the best retail POS providers.
Video: Check Your Vend Compatibility
Vend’s software is compatible with retail staples such as most brand-name receipt printers, tablets, and mobile barcode scanners. To make sure it’ll work with your existing hardware, read through Vend’s list of recommended specs. Then, watch this video for a visual rundown of how to install Vend POS and payment processing on the hardware you have.
As an added bonus, this tutorial is narrated in a delightful New Zealand accent. I particularly enjoyed hearing “network” pronounced just after the 30 second mark.
Set Up and Customer Support
Vend offers 24/7 global support for its clients via email and live chat. An online help center can answer the more common concerns, while another online hub, called Vend University, lets users complete web courses with webinars, resources, and meetups.
Dedicated Launch Specialists can walk new Vend POS users through the setup process with enhanced training programs. A local Vend Expert may also be available, depending on your location.
Support & Training
Live chat: 24/7
Vend POS Plans and Pricing
Vend offers three paid service plan tiers in addition to their limited free option. The paid tiers are Lite, Pro, and Enterprise, with Pro being the most popular.
The Vend Lite plan costs $99/month, billed annually. It is aimed at smaller retailers and offers core POS functions for one register. Additional registers are $49/register/month, but the Lite plan is capped at just one location. Monthly turnover is capped at $20,000 USD: If your operation exceeds the limit three times in any 12-month period, you’ll be bumped up to the Vend Pro plan.
The Pro plan costs $129/month, billed annually, with each additional register after the first one costing another $49/register/month if billed annually. It offers more advanced reporting and loyalty features, and includes all add-ons and ecommerce channels, and supports multiple locations with unlimited turnover.
Finally, the Enterprise plan: Users will need to request a quote from Vend to learn the exact cost for their business. This plan includes a dedicated account manager and a customized onboarding package.
Vend is a recommended POS system. It’s a good fit for small businesses that need a flexible software that can integrate well both with their current hardware and with their current payment processor. It’s also a good fit for larger businesses that need a fairly priced, well-supported solution with a broad range of features.
See how Vend POS compares
to other leading Point of Sale providers.
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