The 12 Best POS Systems for Small Businesses: Our Top Picks for 2023
A POS system allows you to accept customer payments, track your sales, and manage your small business. See our picks for the best POS systems in 2023.
Describe a POS system.
A POS system, often known as a point-of-sale system, streamlines retail sales transactions. A cash register is a well-known example of a POS system. A barcode scanner, card reader, cash drawer, and receipt printer are common components of modern POS systems, which are a combination of hardware and software. A touchscreen is frequently used as the user interface. The most basic point-of-sale devices nowadays are a tablet and a credit card reader.
- You may track your sales and take payments from customers using a POS system.
- Businesses with more complicated requirements could additionally require a method of managing their goods, clients, and employees.
- Look for a POS system that can handle all of your company’s demands and is simple to use.
- Small company owners and retailers seeking for the best POS system can refer to our information.
A firm used to be able to ring up clients and receive payments using just a cash register. However, modern firms also require a mechanism to accept payments, monitor sales, control inventory, and provide reports. All of it may be taken care of by the appropriate POS system.
It might be challenging to choose which POS system would work best for your company, whether you’re searching for your first one or an upgrade. For you, we performed the evaluation of POS systems. We took into account aspects like cost, usability, and general usefulness when conducting our assessment. We also searched for simple-to-install cloud-based alternatives. Find out more about our best selections for POS systems for small businesses by reading on.
TouchBistro: Best POS System for Guest Experience
Our choice for the greatest guest experience is TouchBistro, another POS supplier that serves the restaurant industry. The organization provides a wide range of products, such as features for inventory management and tableside and self-service ordering for your consumers.
Editor’s evaluation: 94/100
TouchBistro’s monthly fee is $69, but you may upgrade to add more services to meet your needs, like an online reservation system, online ordering capabilities, gift card features, and reward programs.
The mobile-friendly POS software may be used with an iPad, iPad Mini, or iPad Pro. Additionally, it supports third-party POS devices including cash registers, receipt printers, and barcode scanners. This lowers your add-on expenditures, but you’ll need to get in touch with the business to find out if TouchBistro works with the gear you have or desire.
Tracking your inventory levels, table turnover, and client accounts are all made simple by the system. You may use the program to inform chefs and servers of recipe adjustments if you run out of a certain food item.
By assigning responsibilities, monitoring attendance and performance, and storing employee profiles, TouchBistro can also help you manage your team. The program allows you to run more than 50 different reports, and customer assistance is offered around-the-clock.
Clover POS: Best POS Hardware Options
Many various types of businesses, but especially those who desire a broad range of POS hardware, should choose Clover. If you just need a small amount of hardware, you may start with a Clover Go card reader and upgrade to a full POS system as your requirements grow.
Editor’s evaluation: 89/100
The simplicity of setting up and utilizing Clover hardware is one of its benefits. As soon as you pull the hardware out of the package, it is ready to use, and everything syncs up with the Clover dashboard without a hitch.
With Clover’s all-in-one POS system, you can run your company from any location. You may generate orders, take payments, and send text receipts to your clients using the Clover Go app. You may view an exhaustive history of your transactions at the conclusion of each business day.
Clover becomes an even more potent option for your company when you combine it with the dozens of apps offered on the Clover App Market. Clover lets you keep track of your inventory, manage your customers and staff, and generate reports. Through Synchrony Set Pay, Clover retailers may also accept installment payments. This “buy now pay later” (BNPL) choice might aid companies in growing their clientele. On the Clover App Market, consumers may get the Synchrony app.
The price on Clover’s website might be perplexing, which is a drawback. Your first 30 days are free, but if you want more details, you’ll need to chat with a sales representative.
Toast: Best POS System for Restaurants of All Sizes
Toast is a complete point-of-sale system that assists harried restaurant operators in accepting and monitoring their purchases. The program includes all of the front-of-house, back-of-house, and customer-facing technologies you require to handle the sales at your restaurant. Toast provides catering services for establishments of all sizes, including chain restaurants, casual eateries, upmarket restaurants, pubs, and nightclubs.
Editor’s evaluation: 93/100
Toast allows you to accept contactless payments as well as credit and debit card purchases. The system has functions for online ordering, personnel scheduling, and marketing. You may access a wide range of other apps thanks to Toast’s large partner network.
The extensive selection of online ordering options offered by Toast is one of its distinguishing features. Based on the features you want; Toast customers can select from a variety of online ordering and delivery alternatives.
Lightspeed: Best POS System for Retail
One of the top POS service providers for companies in the retail and restaurant sectors is Lightspeed. We selected it as the top POS for retail because it offers a strong collection of features designed with businesses in mind, including as sophisticated inventory and loyalty management systems.
Editor’s evaluation: 94/100
The e-commerce platform Shop Keep, which enables shops to sell their items online, was bought by Lightspeed in 2020. Lightspeed is continuing to grow its footprint in the e-commerce industry. Lightspeed eCom, a platform that enables business owners to launch an online store, market their goods on social media, and manage numerous stores from a single dashboard, is now a service offered by the company.
Retail clients can select from four tiers of POS plans, with monthly costs ranging from $69 to $199. Other POS providers do not offer a free terminal, however all Lightspeed subscriptions do.
Square POS: Best POS System for Brick-and-Mortar Businesses
In order to help businesses, accept payments from customers, Square provides POS hardware and software solutions. Although it’s a fantastic choice for service-based organizations as well, its POS programs are targeted toward restaurants and retail establishments.
Editor’s evaluation: 90/100
GoDaddy POS: Best POS System for Tracking Sales
GoDaddy is our favorite selection for tracking online and in-person sales. It’s a terrific alternative for retail enterprises that wish to put up a website and accept consumer payments.
Editor’s evaluation: 93/100
Upserve: Best POS System for Small Restaurants
Small eateries including coffee shops, cafés, delis, and bakeries can use the POS system Upserve. Inventory management capabilities of the program include vendor management, one-click ordering, and low-inventory notifications. To increase sales and profitability, you may also employ technologies like recipe costing and menu optimization.
Editor’s evaluation: 93/100
CardConnect: Best POS System for Payment Methods
CardConnect is not your typical point-of-sale system. Instead, it provides a range of merchant services for companies, such as Card Pointe (for companies), Clover (for small shops), Gateway and Plugins (for e-commerce), Bolt (for software), CoPilot (for partners), and Contactless Payments (for software).
Editor’s evaluation: 89/100
Epos Now: Best POS System for Ease of Use
With its main office in the UK, Epos Now offers POS services to clients all around the world. Walt Disney Pictures, Universal Studios, and Yankee Candle are some of its current clients. Because it provides a wealth of convenience features and one-on-one onboarding, we determined that Epos Now is the POS system that is the simplest to use.
Editor’s evaluation: 95/100
Lavu: Best POS System for Customizations
For restaurants of all sizes, Lavu is an iPad-based POS system that offers extensive customization. It’s a great choice in especially for wineries, food trucks, pizza restaurants, and coffee shops. You may choose from a variety of POS hardware and accessories when you sign up for Lavu, including terminals, kitchen display systems, cash drawers, and networking equipment.
Editor’s evaluation: 92/100
Revel Systems: Best POS System for Established Restaurants
Revel is a cloud-based POS system for restaurants and retailers. It has many useful POS functions, but its customer loyalty programs are what really stand out. Revel lets you set up a custom program for how your customers earn loyalty points and rewards. This in-house loyalty rewards program can easily integrate with your POS system – and it’s just as easy to incorporate if you use a third-party loyalty program. You can also use the software to track customer data and gain valuable insights on your customers’ purchasing habits.
Editor’s evaluation: 91/100
Helcim POS: Best POS System for Transparent Pricing
On its all-in-one POS platform, Helcim provides reasonable pricing for small enterprises. We really like it’s clear and straightforward price structure. You will obtain competitive interchange pricing for all of your credit card transactions, and there are no commitments or monthly fees. Helcim charges typical processing rates of 1.92% plus 8 cents for in-person purchases and 2.38% plus 25 cents for keyed-in and online transactions. The interchange rate varies depending on the credit card issuer and the volume of card transactions your firm handles.
Editor’s evaluation: 88/100
Costs of POS systems
Three primary expenses are often associated with purchasing a POS system: a one-time hardware price, a monthly or yearly software subscription, and a fee for handling payments. There can be extra fees for services like marketing, online purchasing, or customer gift cards, depending on the vendor you choose.
- Hardware: While POS hardware generally costs $799, you may spend up to $1,500 on it. The number of registers and any peripherals you need will determine the actual cost. If you already possess this kind of gear, selecting a POS provider that permits third-party hardware connections might help you save money.
- Software: The monthly prices for the software package vary from free to $150. If you have many workers, need to monitor a lot of inventory, or want a lot of add-on capabilities, you could have to pay more for a more expensive plan.
- Processing: Each payment transaction has a processing charge that ranges from 1.5% to 3.5%. Depending on whether the transaction is made in person or online, the costs often change somewhat.
SELECTION OF A POS SYSTEM
You must decide what kind of system you want, what features you need, and how much you can spend before selecting a POS system. To reduce your alternatives, ask yourself the following questions.
Do you prefer a server-based or cloud-based system?
Mobile, user-friendly, and often less costly than server-based POS systems are cloud-based solutions. You may access your reports and other back-office functions from anywhere using cloud-hosted solutions. You don’t need to set up, manage, and protect a local server since your data is stored on the cloud. However, if you don’t have dependable internet connectivity, you could choose a server-based approach. Instead of hosting your data in the cloud, these POS systems are installed on a server and store your data locally. The benefit is that your POS system can operate without an internet connection. However, because you are in charge of the security and backups, you can incur extra IT and maintenance expenditures.
Do you need POS software for a restaurant or a store?
The majority of POS companies provide separate software versions for restaurants and stores. Some retail versions additionally include add-ons or interfaces that adapt the POS for service-based businesses. Other vendors provide simply POS software for restaurants or stores, specializing on one industry
Make careful to choose the best POS software for your needs. For instance, restaurant POS systems vary greatly from retail POS systems and are often incompatible with the demands of a retail context. The improper POS system might cost your company a lot of time and money, as well as force your personnel to come up with workarounds that make the whole process difficult and ineffective.
Which smartphones do you prefer, Apple or Android?
While some mobile POS systems support both iOS and Android tablets and PCs, others only support just one. The fact that iPad-based solutions are renowned for being user-friendly, reliable, and secure is their key benefit. The biggest disadvantage is that they often cost more. Currently use Apple
The cost will probably be lower if you use Android devices, and these platforms allow for more customisation. However, there aren’t many Android POS systems, so your choices will be limited.
WHAT POS SYSTEM ELEMENTS ARE ESSENTIAL TO YOUR BUSINESS?
The correct POS features will simplify and streamline your business’s operations. Here are a few characteristics of a POS system to look for.
The majority of firms start their search for a POS system because they want a means of processing consumer transactions. Numerous point-of-sale systems enable you to accept online and contactless payments in addition to credit and debit card purchases. In the process, you’ll get thorough insights on your daily sales, ensuring that you always know how your company is doing.
Other POS systems may monitor inventories down to the level of ingredients or components, while more basic ones may merely offer a product catalog. To make placing repeat orders easier, some plans provide capabilities for vendor management and buy ordering. Think about if basic inventory tools will be enough or whether you want additional capabilities to maintain a suitable supply for your company.
Different customer management functions may be found in POS systems. Some let you collect simple data, including the email addresses of your clients, allowing you to create an email marketing contact list. Some allow you to construct customer profiles with contact details, purchase history, preferences, birthdays, and comments using CRM tools.
You must honor your top clients if you want a devoted consumer base. A POS system’s integrated loyalty software makes it possible. The best POS systems can keep tabs on information about your customers’ eating and shopping interests, and they can also assist you in building loyalty and rewards programs based on that information. Depending on how often a consumer visits your business and the goods or services they buy, you may tailor incentives.
Usually, you can control your workers’ access to different functions and data in the POS system after adding them. While some systems allow you to set the restrictions for individual employee, others provide role-based access controls. Some allow your staff to clock in and out using the POS system since they feature built-in timeclocks. Others may handle tips or keep track of sales made by certain staff.
Although all POS systems include reporting features, some of them are minimal, offering just a few predefined reports and little room for customization. Others are more sophisticated, offering a wide range of reporting choices and filters to aid in the analysis of data related to your workforce, customers, inventory, and sales.
The finest systems provide real-time information that can be accessed through a browser or mobile app on any device. Make sure a POS system contains the particular reports you want to manage your company effectively before making a purchase. 5 POS Reports Every Business Owner Should Run is a related article.
Integrations and Add-ons
Although POS systems may include a large number of capabilities, your small company may not need all of them. Add-ons and third-party integrations may be useful in this situation. For instance, you could wish to integrate your accounting software with the sales data, employ a certain email marketing platform, or provide a client loyalty program from a particular vendor. The top POS systems provide you a wide range of options for integration and add-ons so you won’t be constrained as your company expands.
Even if your company has erratic hours or you’re working on the weekend, you should be able to get in touch with your POS provider whenever you need assistance with the system. Whether you want to communicate by phone, email, live chat, or social media, look for a POS supplier that is simple to contact. Even 24/7 assistance is provided by the greatest businesses.
THE BENEFITS OF POS SYSTEMS
- One-stop shop: A POS system enables you to handle a variety of business-related tasks from a single spot. From your POS app, you can keep tabs on your sales, inventory, clients, and reports.
- Cloud-based software: Since the majority of POS systems are housed in the cloud, you can view your data from any location and conduct customer transactions there as well.
- improved client service: Numerous POS systems incorporate cutting-edge features including customer loyalty programs, e-commerce capabilities, and inventory management. You can provide your consumers better, more individualized service thanks to these features.
- greater understanding of your company: You may learn specifics about the performance of your company from the data that your POS system gathers. You may see specific data on your clients’ purchasing patterns and your top-performing staff, for example, in addition to your general sales statistics.
- greater automation: You may lessen the effect of employee shortages on your company by embracing the automation provided by many POS systems. Your team may concentrate on other duties that may need more attention by using these technologies to aid with important chores like inventory management, payroll, reservations, orders, and payments. Operations may be streamlined and optimized with the use of automation.
ASKED QUESTIONS REGARDING POS SYSTEMS
A point-of-sale system is what?
A point-of-sale (POS) system keeps track of the goods or services a client plans to buy, adds up the cost of the items, computes tax, accepts several payment methods, and creates a receipt.
In comparison to a cash register, a POS system includes more sophisticated capabilities that make it simpler for businesses to handle sales data, inventory, clients, and staff. Software, hardware, and a credit card processor make up its three parts.
What kinds of companies employ point-of-sale systems?
POS systems enable almost every company to collect and handle consumer payments in some fashion. However, the most frequent users of these systems are customer-facing enterprises like restaurants and stores.
When is a POS system necessary for your company?
No matter how modest your company is, as soon as you start selling products or services in person, your firm requires a POS system. A POS system streamlines the checkout process for both you and your customers, cutting down on time spent ringing up sales and lowering the possibility of human mistake, such as calculation errors.
A POS system can monitor the things you have in stock and some may even issue purchase orders, which helps in inventory management. Sales from your physical retail shop or e-commerce platform may be tracked in real time via POS systems with sophisticated inventory management features, or across many locations.
Real-time data identifies your best-selling products so you may replenish them and run discounts on the less successful ones. In order to improve your personnel, it may also assist you in identifying your busy and quiet hours, days, and seasons.