- Easy to onboard staff with dedicated training mode
- CRM tools are included on all plans
- Failsafe offline mode, even to accept payments
- Impressive stock management and supports lots of payment partners
- Reports provided by lower tier plans can lack detail
- Not for restaurants
Here at Tech.co, our Research team has spent hours analyzing the POS market in order to find the perfect solution for your business. It's more important than ever, what with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, that your business has a good POS system. Customers are expecting businesses to be able to process cashless transactions as well as online orders, and a POS will help you do just that.
Based on pricing, functionality, usability, and support, Vend POS is our top choice for retail businesses. It's flexible, offers good value for money, works on any web browser, and is packed with features.
What's more, the company even offers a completely free version of its software. In fact, you don't even need a credit card to sign up. You'll get full sales and inventory tracking, as well as personalized customer profiles – in fact, you'll struggle to find a POS that offers so much while asking for absolutely nothing from you.
However, that free plan 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. Vend POS also doesn't support restaurants, bars, or cafes.
Vend's full packages start from $69 per month, which might seem expensive, but you get a great feature set in return. Vend currently serves customers in the US, the UK, New Zealand, India, and South Africa.
Another highlight of Vend POS is its flexible integration options. Users can integrate payment systems such as PayPal, Square, and Shopify, which can be super helpful if you're already using one of these companies to process your transactions.
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 makes it a solid choice.
Vend POS: Core Features
Sales and Payments
When it comes to sales and payments, Vend is one of the most fully-featured POS providers on the market.
Vend's payment processor integrations allow users to process their credit and debit sales through a range of top brands, including Paypal, Shopify, and Square. Gift cards, split payments, and partial payments are all supported by Vend's platform as well.
Staffers can even create custom buttons to more easily accept cash, checks, or other payment forms. You can customize receipts with your business's branding and other useful information, while Vend will also let your staff take payments with mobile portable readers – kind of like they do in Apple Stores.
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. This means that if you sell the last product in-store, it will automatically update as being out of stock on your website.
Managers can import or add products, along with barcode information and variants (since 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 area where Vend's third-party integrations stand out 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.
CRM tools are included on all Vend POS plans, meaning that you can start incentivizing your customers to return time-and-again right from the get-go.
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, while 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 is our favorite retail POS provider.
Vend supports loads of different devices to run its POS software, including Windows PCs, MacOS devices, and iPads. However, it won't work on Android.
You can take a look at the recommended hardware specs here.
However, Vend also sells loads of peripherals – such as barcode scanners, receipt printers, cash drawers, and tablet stands – to help make sure your shop runs smoothly. You can buy these items outright from Vend here.
Vend POS Setup and Customer Support
Vend offers 24/7 global support for its clients via phone, as well as offering email and live chat support.
An online help center can answer more common concerns, while another online hub – called Vend University – lets users complete web courses packed 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. Vend also has a dedicated training mode, which allows new users to get to grips with the system without affecting real-world data.
Support & Training
Live chat: 24/7
The Vend Leanplan costs $69 per month, billed annually. It's aimed at smaller retailers, and offers core POS functions for one register. Additional registers are $49 per register, per month. Monthly turnover is capped at $20,000; if your operation exceeds the limit three times in any 12-month period, you'll be bumped up to the Vend Standard plan.
The Standard plan costs $119 per month, billed annually, with each additional register after the first one costing another $49 per register, per month if billed annually. It offers more advanced reporting and loyalty features, includes all add-ons and ecommerce channels, and supports multiple locations with unlimited turnover.
The Advanced plan costs $199 per month when billed annually, with additional registers still costing $49 per register, per month. It adds customer loyalty features, an advanced analytics suite, and a serial number tracking function that's useful when selling warrenties for specific products.
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, plus a customized onboarding package.
All prices are correct as of 23/1/2023.
Vend POS Rivals
Of course, Vend isn't the only POS system on the market. In fact, it has some big competition from POS giants such as Square and Shopify.
So how does Vend compare? Well, we think it's the best software on the market for retail businesses. It has exceptional sales and inventory tools, as well as impressive hardware compatibility.
However, Vend doesn't work with restaurant businesses. Instead, we'd recommend Square or Shopkeep.
Tech.co rating for retail
Score out of 5 for general retail suitability based on Tech.co's independent market research.
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?
Free (but transaction fees apply)
$69 per month
Works with loads of third-party periperals
Sold by Shopify, but also works with iPads and Android tablets
Sold by Square, available separately or packaged with software. Works with most leading brands and has a great free trial.
Sold by Lightspeed. NOT compatible with weighing scales.
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A super flexible service which will work for almost any business
A great all-round POS solution that excels for online stores
A brilliant POS system for any type of business
A trustworthy choice to strengthen your business
Vend is a great choice for businesses of all sizes, and the fact that it works with a range of third-party hardware makes it a great fit for growing companies.
Vend POS Review – The Verdict
Vend is our favorite POS software for retail businesses.
It's flexible and can integrate well with existing hardware and payment processors. Vend also offers brilliant customer support and a wide range of features. Plus, its generously featured free plan makes it almost a no-brainer for small retail businesses.
If you're still not sold on Vend, you can compare bespoke quotes from all the leading POS providers using our quick, easy, no-obligation price comparison form to find the best deal for your specific needs.
Vend POS FAQs
With Vend, your business will be able to accept customer payments through a variety of means. It will then automatically update your inventory, before working with a payment processor company to make sure you get paid.
However, it is limited to the number of tills, users, and transactions you can operate. Vend's cheapest paid-for version costs $69 per month.
We'd choose Square or Shopkeep instead.
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