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Best POS Systems For Retail Compared By a Pro

7 Nov 2022

As a retail business owner, you need a point of sale (POS) system that can do it all: from inventory management to customer loyalty programs. But with so many options on the market, it can be hard to decide which retail POS system is right for your business.

To help you make a decision, we've put together a list of the best retail POS systems on the market based on features, price, and ease of use. This guide will cover the following:

  • The different retail stores that will benefit from retail POS systems
  • The best retail POS systems for your business
  • Tips for choosing the best POS system for retail businesses
  • The benefits of using POS systems for retail businesses

And more!

Let's get started.

What is a POS system?

Before we dive in, let's quickly answer the question: what is a POS system? A POS system, also known as retail POS software, is a tool mainly used for businesses in the retail and hospitality industry. You can think of it as a cash register turned up to eleven– it does everything that your old cash register could do and then some.

For example, suppose you own a boutique clothing store. Instead of manually entering every sale into your paper ledger, you could use a POS system to scan barcodes, process payments, and store customer information. In addition to making sales easier, using a POS system can also help you manage inventory, track customers for loyalty programs, and produce detailed analytics about your business.

TIP: Check out our pos systems for small business owners.

POS software vs. hardware

When you're shopping for POS systems, it's important to understand the difference between software and hardware. The software is the actual program used to run the POS system – this is where you track sales, review analytics, and manage customer data. The hardware of a POS system includes the computer or tablet used to access the software as well as any add-ons (cash drawers, printers, etc.).

When it comes to choosing the right POS system for your business, you'll want to consider both the software and hardware. You may be able to find a good package deal that includes everything you need, so you don't have to shop around separately for each component. However, if you prefer to purchase each piece of hardware separately, you can also find individual components on the market.

TIP: Curious about what hardware you can get for your pos device? Check out our sleek and stylish accessories.

Retail POS features

Inventory management:

With the inventory management feature, businesses can keep track of their inventory in real-time, so they always know what products are in stock and need to be reordered. That means no running out of stock that your customers need and no over-ordering.

Employee management:

Businesses can manage their employees by tracking employee sales, hours worked, and vacation days. You can even make a fun game out of this by introducing employee contests for best-performing team members or an employee of the month scheme.

Process and track sales:

Small business owners can process and track sales. This data can be used to analyse customer behaviour and make strategic decisions about pricing, promotions, and more.

Issue receipts and invoices:

Retail owners can issue receipts and invoices, which can be helpful for tracking sales and keeping organised records.

Track customers:

Business owners can track customers and their purchase history. This data can be used to create loyalty programs and target marketing campaigns.

Analyse data:

Businesses track and analyse data to make better business decisions.

TIP: Check out our hospitality POS systems guide if you're looking for a POS for your hotel, restaurant, food truck, or cafe!

What type of retail store needs a POS?

While POS systems can be beneficial for any retail company, here are just a few examples of the types of retail stores that will benefit most from using a POS system for retail:

  • Clothing Stores: POS systems can help clothing stores track items in stock, process payments quickly, and upsell customers. Most POSsystems have this feature but be sure to do your research before to ensure this retail POS feature is integrated into the system.
  • Furniture Stores: Retailers selling furniture can use a retail POS system to manage their inventory and keep track of customer orders
  • Jewellery Stores: Jewellery stores need to have a secure payment processing system. With a retail POS system, they can quickly and easily process payments while keeping customer information secure.
  • Grocery Stores: Grocery stores need to be able to keep accurate records of inventory and manage food safety regulations. A retail POS system can help them do this with ease.
  • Bookstores: Bookstores require efficient management of their inventory, tracking of customer purchases, and loyalty programs to increase sales. With a retail POS solution, bookstores can do all of this and more.
  • Electronics Stores: Electronics stores need to be able to keep stock of their products, and POS systems can help them stay organised and up-to-date.
  • Barber Shops: Barber shops can use a retail POS system to manage appointments, track customer visits, process payments, and more
  • Vape Shops: Vape shops need a secure and reliable payment processing system. With retail POS systems, vape shop owners can accept payments quickly and securely.
  • Bike Shops: Bike shops need to be able to track inventory, process payments, and manage customer orders. Retail POS systems can help bike shop owners do all of this in an efficient and secure way.
  • Car Washes: Car washes need a POS system to help manage the scheduling process, accept payments and keep track of customer loyalty programs.

Now that we've gone over what retail POS systems are and who can benefit from using one let's take a look at some of the best retail POS systems on the market.

#1. Epos Now

Taking the top spot on our list is Epos Now. This system for retail is known for its ease of use, making it a great choice for businesses with limited tech experience.

Benefits:

  • User-friendly interface: Epos Now's POS systems for retail businesses are designed with a simple, easy-to-use interface. This makes it a great choice for businesses that don't have a lot of tech experience.
  • Cloud-based: Epos Now's retail POS system is cloud-based, so you can access it from anywhere. That means you can manage your retail store from your home, on the go, or even while you're on vacation.
  • POS hardware: Epos Now offers a wide range of POS hardware, from retail-specific devices to all-in-one systems. This makes it easy to find the right system for your business.
  • Completely flexible: Epos now systems scale easily as your business grows. So, whether you have one retail store or 100, Epos Now can grow with you.

What features do Epos Now POS systems for retail offer?

Epos Now's retail system comes with all the POS features you need to manage your business, including:

Inventory management:

Epos Now's retail POS includes inventory management tools to help you keep track of your stock. You can create product catalogues, set reorder points, and track sales data.

So how can you use this feature in your particular retail store?

Suppose you own a flower shop. With Epos Now, you can manage inventory on your POS and create a catalogue of all the flowers and plants you sell. Then, when an order comes in, you can quickly check to see if you have the item in stock. If you don't, you can set a reorder point so that you'll know when it's time to restock your inventory.

If you're a clothing boutique owner, you can use Epos Now's inventory management feature on the POS to keep track of the sizes and colours of clothing items you have in stock. That way, you can quickly check inventory when a customer asks if you have a particular item, and your customers don't have to wait long for their items.

Detailed analytics and reports

Epos Now's retail point-of-sale system comes with a number of detailed reports and analytics tools. You can use these tools to generate:

  • A total sales report: This report shows you how much revenue your business is generating.
  • A time comparison report: discover how your business is performing in a particular time period.
  • A sales by product report: This report provides detailed information on which products are selling and which ones are collecting dust on your shelves
  • Non-selling stock report: which items have been in your retail store for a long time and haven't sold? This report will help you decide what to do with these items.
  • Hourly sales trend report: This report shows you the sales trends for your retail company by hour.
  • Custom reports: You can also create custom reports to track the data that's most important to you.

So how can you use this feature in your particular retail store?

Let's say you own a barber shop. You can use Epos Now's POS to track which days and times are the busiest. If most of your customers come in on Saturdays, you can schedule more staff for those days.

If you own a bookstore, you can use Epos Now retail system to track which books aren't doing so well. Then, you can decide whether to discount those items or take them off your shelves altogether.

Suppose you own a clothing boutique. You can use reports to reveal the top-performing employees in your store. Then, you can give them a bonus or award to show your appreciation.

Integrates with a full suite of apps

Epos Now retail POS system integrates with several apps, including

  • Shopify: sync your physical and eCommerce store
  • BigCommerce: With BigCommerce, you can do everything from integrating product catalogues to inventory management and sales reporting. 
  • Quickbooks: quickly export your sales data and save, on average, 8 hours of work per month on your accounts.
  • Multi-site manager: Manage multiple stores in multiple locations through one single system with Epos Now's multi-site manager.
  • Epos Now Loyalty: Increase revenue and encourage repeat business with your own customizable loyalty programs with this customer relationship management integration.

With these integrations, you can manage your business from one central location. So how can you use this feature in your particular retail store?

Let's say you own a retail store and an online store. With Epos Now retail POS system, you can manage both from one central location. For example, you can create a product in your retail POS, which will automatically appear in your online store. Or, if you make a sale in your online store, it will be reflected in your retail POS system.

This is just a short list of examples of how you can use Epos Now retail POS system to manage your retail business. For more information, please visit our website or contact us today. We would be happy to help you get started with Epos Now retail POS system.

Has its own payments processing

Unlike a lot of its competitors that use third party payment processors, Epos Now has its own built-in payments processing.

This means that you can accept credit and debit cards, as well as contactless payments, without signing up with separate payment processors.

Epos Now Payments seamlessly integrates into your POS, providing everything from a single portal, all managed by one provider. With no costly payment processing fees and no complicated set, ups it's a brilliant choice for your retail company.

Tip: Check out our payment processing services here.

One system at the core of your business

Whether you run a car wash, a flower shop, a clothing boutique or a grocery store, build it for success with dedicated retail POS systems.

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Alternatives to Epos Now retail POS system

Let's look at the other retail POS systems that you could consider for your retail company. Here are some of the best pos providers for retail pos systems in the market:

Shopify POS:

A retail POS system that's easy to set up and use. It integrates with Shopify's eCommerce platform, making it a good choice for online and in-store businesses.

Benefits:

  • Customizable checkout: You can add, remove, or rearrange the fields in your checkout process to suit your business.
  • Inventory management: Shopify POS includes inventory management features, so you can keep track of your stock levels and reorder products as needed.
  • Unified reports from online and in-store sales: With Shopify POS, you can see all of your sales data in one place. This makes it easy to track your progress and make informed business decisions.

Payment processing:

Shopify integrates with its own payment processor, Shopify Payments. Retailers do not need to pay transaction fees, and payment processing fees are between 2.4% and 2.7% per transaction. You can also opt for a third party payment processor.

Lightspeed POS:

Another competitor retail POS system. Lightspeed is a cloud-based solution that's suitable for businesses of all sizes.

Benefits:

  • Cloud-based POS software: Lightspeed POS is cloud-based, so you can access it from anywhere.
  • Inventory management: With Lightspeed POS, you can keep track of your stock levels using the built-in inventory management tools.
  • Customizable floor plans: You can create custom floor plans to optimise your store layout.

Payment processing:

Similarly to Epos Now, Lightspeed has an in-house payments processor. Retailers pay a processing fee of 2.6%. In terms of transaction fees, business owners pay a $0.10 flat fee per card-present transaction.

Square POS:

Square for retail offers a point-of-sale solution that fits any retail company. It's easy to use and comes with a number of POS features, including inventory management, reporting, and CRM.

Benefits:

  • Customer management software: With Square POS, you can keep track of your customers and sales using its powerful pos software.
  • In-depth reports: A Square for retail POS provides detailed reports on your sales, inventory, and customers.
  • Integrations: A Square for retail POS integrates with a number of third-party applications, making it easy to manage your business from one central location.

Payment processing:

Square is very affordable as it makes its money on payment processing fees, meaning retailers must process payments via Square's own payment processor.

The transaction fees for online payments and invoices is 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction.

Revel POS

Revel is equipped with robust POS features to help your retail organisation succeed.

Benefits:

  • Offline payment mode: With Revel POS, you can accept payments offline. This is ideal for businesses that don't always have an internet connection but still need payment processing capabilities.
  • Online ordering: Revel POS integrates with third-party online ordering platforms, so you can take orders from your customers online.
  • Intelligent reporting suite: Revel's reporting tools give you insights into your labour versus sales, employee activity, and more.

Payment processing:

With the company's payment processing solution, Revel Advantage, customers pay a fee of 2.49% plus transaction fees. You can choose to work with third party payment processors, however, this will affect your monthly fees in terms of subscription.

Vend POS

Vend POS is targeted at small and medium retailers. It has a number of features, including inventory management, customer loyalty, and reporting.

Benefits:

  • API access on every monthly plan: retailers can integrate their POS with a website, handle employee management, and more.
  • Excellent loyalty package: Vend includes a loyalty program that encourages customers to come back to your store.
  • Sell on mac or on PC: Vend's web-based POS system makes it easy to sell in-store, whether you're using a Mac or PC.

Payment processing:

Vend does not have its own in-house payment processor. Instead, it integrates with Lightspeed Payments. There are also a number of other third-party payment processors customers can use, such as Paypal or Worldpay.

Tips for Choosing the Best Retail POS Systems for Your Business

When you're choosing a pos system for your retail business, there are a few things to keep in mind. We will run through the top considerations to help you make the best decision for your business.

1. Make sure the system is compatible with your devices.

You'll need to make sure the pos system you choose is compatible with the devices you're using in your store. Most systems will work with common operating systems like Windows and iOS, but it's always best to check before you buy.

Suppose you run a vape store. The devices you'll need might differ from those needed by a clothing store. Make sure the POS system you choose is compatible with any specialised hardware you use.

2. Consider the features you need

Think about the features you need in a pos system and make sure the one you choose has them all. Common features include inventory management (tracking inventory), employee management, reporting, and integrations.

For example, running a boutique will require a POS system that can handle customer loyalty and gift cards. Whereas, if you run a barber shop, you'll need a POS system with built-in appointment booking features.

3. Compare pricing plans

What's the cheapest retail pos system on the market? The answer might surprise you. Some POSsystems are actually very affordable, while others can be quite pricey. From monthly hardware fees to transaction and payment processing fees, be sure to compare pricing plans before you make your final decision.

At Epos Now, we have no upfront cost. You pay a low monthly subscription fee for the hardware and software. This makes Epos Now one of the most affordable pos systems on the market. However, some pos systems require you to also pay a one-off fee for the hardware or an additional charge for payment processing.

4. Read the reviews

When you're looking for the best retail POS systems, be sure to read the reviews. This will give you a good idea of what other retail businesses think about the POS system you're considering. You can find reviews online or in business magazines.

TIP: Trustpilot is a great resource for getting honest and impartial reviews. It has thousands of user reviews that you can browse before making your purchase.

5. Look at what accessories are available

Some POSsystems come with a range of accessories, such as barcode scanners, cash drawers and receipt printers. Others don't have any accessories available. If you need accessories for your POS system, be sure to check that they're available before you make your purchase.

As mentioned earlier, your business needs will be dependent on the type of store you run. Consider what kind of accessories you'll need and check that the pos system you choose has the right ones available. If you run a bookstore, for example, you'll need a barcode scanner and receipt printer.

6. Decide whether you want a cloud-based POS system or not.

There are two main types of pos systems: cloud-based and on-premise. Cloud-based POS systems are usually more affordable and easier to set up, but they require an internet connection to work. On-premise systems are more expensive but don't require an internet connection.

Before you make your decision, consider whether you'll need to access the system from multiple locations. If you do, then a cloud-based POS system might be your best choice. On the other hand, an on-premise system may be an option if you're only using it in one location.

7. Consider the scalability of the POS system

As your business grows, you'll need a POS system that can scale with you. Make sure the POS system you choose can grow with your business. Otherwise, you'll have to replace it sooner than you'd like.

With this in mind, look for a POS device that offers additional features as your business grows. The more features it has, the better. Look for loyalty and gift card programs, inventory tracking, employee management, and integrations with other systems or apps.

8. Get a demo of the POS system.

Once you've narrowed down your choices, be sure to get a demo of the POS system before you make your final decision. This will allow you to see how the system works, whether they offer free POS software and if it's a good fit for your business.

Things you should run through in the demo include the setup process, how the system interfaces with other apps or systems, how user-friendly it is and whether they offer good customer service.

9. Ask about support and training.

When you're choosing a POS system, be sure to ask about support and training. Some systems come with 24/7 support, while others only offer limited support. You'll also want to find out what kind of training is available for the POS system you're considering.

Some tips for ensuring a business' support and training team is up to scratch:

  • Check that they offer online support as well as telephone and email
  • Ask about the experience of their support team.
  • See if they have a knowledge base or tutorial videos you can access
  • Find out what kind of training they offer (in-person, online, etc.)
  • Ask how long they've been in business and what their customer retention rate is.

10. Read the fine print.

Before you buy a pos system, be sure to read the fine print. This includes the terms and conditions, as well as the warranty. You'll want to make sure you understand everything before you make your purchase.

Some things to look out for include additional fees, returns and refund restrictions, and hidden costs. Also, look for clauses that limit your ability to change or cancel your contract if you're not happy with the system.

These are important things to remember when choosing a retail pos system for your business. Be sure to research, read the reviews, and ask lots of questions before making your final decision.

Final thoughts

So there you have it. Everything you need to find the best POS system for your retail business, including a list of reputable pos providers, what to look for, and what to avoid.

With this information in hand, you can be sure you're finding the best retail POS systems for your small business.

Good luck!

Curious about more reviews? Check out these comparison pieces we prepared:

 

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