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POS System For Retail: Our Top 6 Picks

July 01, 2024
Written and researched by experts at AvadaLearn more about our methodology

By Sam Nguyen

CEO Avada Commerce

Key takeaways

  • Shopify POS: Best for Seamless Omnichannel Sales
  • Lightspeed Retail: Best for Detailed Inventory Management
  • Magestore POS: Best for Seamless Integration & Medium Businesses
  • Square POS: Best for Small Businesses and Pop-up Stores
  • Clover POS: Best for Customizability and Versatility
  • eHopper POS: Best for Affordability and Ease-of-use

9 Essential Features Retail Businesses Should Look For in a POS System

A robust POS system is not merely a fancy cash register but a central component of your business operations, from sales tracking and inventory management to customer relationship management.

So, what should you be looking for in a POS system? Here are the key features that you should keep in mind.

1. User-Friendly Interface

Ease of use is of paramount importance when selecting a POS for a retail business system. Staff turnover is often high in retail, and the last thing you need is a system that takes weeks to master. A POS system should feature an intuitive interface that’s easy to navigate, reduces training time, and helps your employees stay productive and efficient.

2. Inventory Management

An effective POS system goes beyond transactions; it should be a powerful tool for inventory management. The system should offer real-time updates about stock levels, alerting you when it’s time to reorder certain items, track product performance, and identify sales trends. This helps eliminate the guesswork from inventory management and prevents costly overstock and out-of-stock situations.

3. Mobility

A stationary POS system can be a bottleneck in today’s fast-paced retail environment. A modern POS system should offer mobility – the ability to take the checkout process to the customer. With mobile POS features, employees can engage customers anywhere in the store, line-busting during peak times and providing a more personalized shopping experience.

4. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Retail is no longer just about selling goods but cultivating relationships. A POS system should have integrated CRM capabilities. This means storing customer data, tracking purchase histories, recognizing buying trends, and facilitating personalized communication. With these insights, you can create targeted marketing campaigns and foster customer loyalty.

5. Scalability

Your POS system should be capable of growing with your business. As you expand, whether opening new locations, adding more products, or needing more advanced features, your POS system should be flexible enough to scale accordingly without incurring excessive costs or downtime.

6. Robust Reporting and Analytics

Numbers tell a story. A POS system should offer robust reporting and analytics capabilities. These insights can inform business decisions, helping you understand sales trends, staff performance, best-selling items, and more. It’s like having a dedicated business analyst at your fingertips.

7. Security

In the age of digital transactions, security cannot be an afterthought. A reliable POS system should offer robust security measures to protect sensitive customer data and payment information. Features such as end-to-end encryption and compliance with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) are critical.

8. Integration Capabilities

In our interconnected business world, your POS system shouldn’t exist in isolation; it should be capable of seamlessly integrating with other software and systems you’re using, like eCommerce platforms, accounting software, email marketing services, and more. Such integration can streamline operations, reduce manual data entry errors, and offer a unified view of your business.

9. Customer Support

No matter how user-friendly or intuitive a POS system may be, there will be times when you need technical assistance. Therefore, choosing a POS system backed by reliable and prompt customer support is vital.

Top 6 POS System for Retail

Shopify POS

Why We Picked It

The sheer versatility, robust feature set, and user-friendly interface make Shopify POS a standout solution for retail. I’ve chosen it for its exceptional ability to cater to small and medium retail store owners’ unique needs, helping them address key pain points and elevate their retail experience.

In my experience, I’ve found that Shopify POS for retail business not only aids in your day-to-day operations but also provides tools for long-term growth and scalability. It’s not just a transaction platform—it’s a comprehensive system to manage your retail store, whether it’s a supermarket, clothing boutique, or home goods shop.

Pricing

Shopify POS pricing ranges from $39 for the Basic plan up to $399 for the Advanced plan. The POS Lite is included at no extra charge, while the POS Pro costs an additional $89 monthly. While the initial investment may seem substantial, the long-term gains and efficiencies that Shopify POS for retail business brings to your business make it a worthy investment.

Key Features

  • Unified commerce: Shopify POS offers seamless integration with your online store if you have one. This unified commerce approach ensures consistent product, order, and customer data across all sales channels, facilitating a seamless omnichannel experience for your customers.
  • Inventory Management: Shopify POS excels in managing inventory across multiple locations. You can easily avoid overstock or out-of-stock scenarios with real-time updates and smart inventory insights.
  • Customer Profiles: The platform automatically creates comprehensive customer profiles, tracking buying behaviors and helping you deliver personalized shopping experiences.
  • Mobile Checkout: With Shopify POS, you can easily take the checkout process to the customer, enhancing their in-store experience and reducing long checkout lines. Staff Management: Assign roles and permissions to your staff members, and track their sales performance, all within Shopify POS for retail.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Comprehensive feature set tailored for retail needs.
  • Integration capabilities with online stores for a seamless retail experience.
  • Exceptional inventory management features.
  • Reliable and prompt customer support.

Cons:

  • Shopify POS Pro comes at an additional cost, which may not suit businesses on a tight budget.

Lightspeed Retail

Why We Picked It

What makes Lightspeed Retail a noteworthy contender in the POS space? From managing a quaint local bookstore to streamlining a bustling supermarket’s operations, Lightspeed Retail offers a comprehensive suite of tools tailored to various retail business models. Its powerful features and intuitive design can effectively address common retail pain points, making it a dependable choice for store owners aiming to level up their operations and profitability.

Pricing

While the cost for a Lightspeed Retail subscription can vary based on your specific needs, plans typically start at $89 per month. This price covers one register and access to fundamental features. For businesses that require additional registers or access to more advanced functionalities, Lightspeed offers flexible, scalable pricing plans.

Key Features

  • Inventory Management: With real-time inventory tracking and analytics, Lightspeed Retail helps you manage your stock levels effectively, preventing costly overstocking or disappointing out-of-stock scenarios.
  • Customer Management: Lightspeed Retail’s built-in CRM features enable you to build and manage customer profiles, understand their shopping habits, and tailor personalized shopping experiences.
  • Employee Management: Assign roles, track hours, and measure sales performance per-employee basis, fostering a productive and efficient workforce.
  • Data Reporting and Analytics: With Lightspeed Retail, you can harness the power of data. Its robust analytics and reporting tools provide valuable insights into sales trends, inventory movement, and overall business performance.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • The exceptionally comprehensive feature set for all-in-one retail management.
  • Omnichannel selling capabilities with seamless integration between in-store and online operations.
  • Excellent inventory management features with real-time tracking.
  • Robust data analytics for informed decision-making.

Cons:

  • The cost of additional registers can add up, which may not be budget-friendly for some businesses. While Lightspeed Retail is generally user-friendly, some advanced features might come with a slight learning curve.

Magestore POS

Why We Picked It

Magestore POS for Magento is an ideal choice for Magento merchants due to its seamless integration, omnichannel capabilities, robust features, advanced reporting, customization options, and reliable support. It ensures real-time data synchronization, enhances the shopping experience, and provides valuable insights for business growth. This POS system is suitable for businesses from medium sizes to large sizes. The evidence is that they have many success cases for such retail businesses. In case you want to scale up your business in the future, it is completely possible to do so thanks to the solution’s customization ability.

Pricing

Magestore doesn’t have a fixed pricing plan for their products because the price depends on many factors such as number of stores, business scale, system complexity, and customization requirements. Magento retailers can easily contact their business consultant to define the most appropriate solution.

Key Features

  • Inventory Management: Because Magestore POS is native to the Magento platform, it helps to sync product information, inventory levels, customer data, and sales orders effortlessly in a streamlined way. Magento merchants can follow up inventory reporting to update stock level alerts and low-stock notifications. Besides, retailers can create barcodes and use it to manage inventory efficiently.
  • Loyalty Program: Retailers can manage Magento loyalty programs including store credit, reward points, and gift cards. Thanks to customer data from the POS system, you can create personalized promotions to drive more sales from your returning customers.
  • Customer Facing Display: This allows your customers engage with POS screen during checkout process, follow product images, prices, promotions or discounts, and pay their orders with multiple payment methods.
  • Self-checkout System: To speed up the checkout process, customers can actively use streamlined self-service option and securely pay their orders.
  • Integration: Magestore POS can seamlessly integrate with other ERP systems (Netsuite, SAP, Microsoft Dynamics), Accounting systems (Quickbooks, Sage, Xero), and shipping and payment menthods.
  • Reporting: With Magestore POS, you can collect customer data, follow up real time sales and inventory reports, and get overall insights for business performance.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Native to Magento platform, ensuring real-time data synchronization, easily integrate with other systems
  • Omnichannel capabilities, allowing management of both online and offline sales from a single platform.
  • Comprehensive features for processing sales, managing inventory, and accepting various payment methods.
  • Advanced reporting and analytics tools for gaining valuable business insights.
  • Customization options to tailor the system to specific business needs.
  • Reliable support and regular updates to address issues and enhance functionality.

Cons:

  • The extensive features and customization options may require some learning and initial setup time.
  • At this time, Magestore POS is specifically designed for Magento, it may not be suitable for businesses using other e-commerce platforms.

Square POS

Why We Picked It

Square POS ticks all the right boxes for a powerful, efficient, user-friendly POS system. Regardless of the nature of your retail store – be it a busy supermarket, a chic fashion boutique, or a cozy bookstore, Square POS has proven to be a robust solution that addresses diverse retail pain points. Its simplicity does not compromise its capability, making it an excellent choice for those desiring high-end features without a steep learning curve.

Pricing

One of the most enticing aspects of Square POS is its pricing structure. Square offers a free version of its POS app with a competitive transaction fee of 2.6% + 10¢ per tap, dip, or swipe. Square for Retail Plus comes at $29 per month per location for more advanced needs, offering a more comprehensive feature set.

Key Features

  • Payment Flexibility: Square POS shines in its ability to accept a wide array of payment methods - from credit and debit cards to mobile payments, ensuring a smooth checkout experience for your customers.
  • Inventory Management: Square’s robust inventory management system allows you to track stock levels in real-time, manage vendors, and generate purchase orders from one central place.
  • Customer Directory: With Square POS, you can create and manage customer profiles, recording their purchase histories and preferences, offering a more personalized shopping experience.
  • Employee Management: From setting up roles and permissions to tracking time and sales, Square POS helps you manage your team effectively.
  • Analytics and Reporting: Square POS offers in-depth insights and reports about your sales, inventory, and customers, equipping you with actionable data to make informed decisions.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Exceptionally user-friendly interface, perfect for businesses looking for a simple yet powerful solution.
  • Versatile payment options, enhancing customer checkout experience.
  • Comprehensive inventory and employee management tools.

Cons:

  • While the free version is a great starting point, access to more advanced features requires a Square for Retail Plus subscription.
  • Square’s transaction fees, while competitive, might accumulate substantially for businesses with high sales volumes.

Clover

Why We Picked It

Clover POS is renowned for its versatility and adaptability, capable of accommodating diverse retail needs. Whether running a high-traffic supermarket or a small boutique store, Clover’s user-friendly interface and powerful features can alleviate common retail pain points. Its extensive customizability makes it a compelling choice for retailers who seek a tailored POS experience.

Pricing

Clover offers a range of pricing options to suit different needs and budgets. The Register Lite plan costs about $15 to nearly $4k monthly.

Key Features

  • Payment Flexibility: Clover POS accepts many payment methods, from magnetic stripe and chip cards to contactless payments, making transactions easy for your customers.
  • Inventory Management: Keep track of your stock levels in real-time, receive low-stock alerts, and manage vendors efficiently with Clover’s comprehensive inventory management tools.
  • Customer Engagement: Clover helps you capture customer information, track purchase history, and manage a loyalty program to foster strong customer relationships.
  • Employee Management: Assign roles, track sales, and manage staff hours with Clover’s built-in employee management capabilities.
  • Robust Reporting: Clover’s advanced analytics and reporting tools help you track your business performance and gain insights to make data-driven decisions.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Highly customizable and adaptable to diverse retail needs.
  • Versatile payment options for a smooth checkout experience.
  • Integrated customer engagement and loyalty tools.
  • Comprehensive analytics and reporting.

Cons:

  • While Clover offers several integrations, certain third-party applications may incur additional fees.
  • Expensive upfront cost.

eHopper POS

Why We Picked It

eHopper POS shines for its simplicity, affordability, and comprehensive feature set. Whether you operate a bustling supermarket or a quaint specialty store, eHopper’s straightforward interface and extensive capabilities are adept at resolving typical retail pain points. Its budget-friendly pricing structure makes it an appealing choice for businesses that aim for maximum value at a manageable cost.

Pricing

One of the key selling points of eHopper is its pricing. The basic package is free, offering essential tools suitable for startups or smaller businesses. The more advanced package, at $39.99 for 2 registers per month, unlocks more advanced features, including inventory management and customer loyalty programs.

Key Features

  • Multi-payment Acceptance: eHopper POS accepts various payment methods, allowing customers to pay how they prefer, thereby enhancing the checkout experience.
  • Inventory Management: eHopper’s advanced inventory management system lets you track stock levels in real-time, manage vendor relations, and categorize items effectively.
  • Customer Management: Build and manage customer profiles, record shopping preferences, and craft personalized experiences with eHopper’s comprehensive CRM capabilities.
  • Employee Management: Manage your staff’s roles, track hours, and measure sales performance to foster an efficient, productive team.
  • Reporting and Analytics: eHopper’s detailed reporting gives you a clear snapshot of your business’s performance, enabling informed decision-making.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • A User-friendly interface, best for businesses seeking a simple yet effective POS system.
  • Affordable pricing plans, making it an ideal choice for small to medium-sized businesses.
  • Comprehensive inventory and employee management features.
  • In-depth reporting and analytics capabilities.

Cons:

  • While eHopper offers a robust feature set, more industry-specific or advanced features may be limited compared to some competitors.

Overall Winner: Shopify POS - The Best POS System For Retail?

After a meticulous comparison and analysis of numerous POS systems, one clear winner emerges that goes above and beyond in catering to the needs of small to medium-sized retail businesses: Shopify POS. This conclusion is based on its impressive feature set, overall user experience, pricing value, scalability, and exceptional customer support.

Unparalleled Features

What truly sets Shopify POS apart is its comprehensive, robust feature set. It’s not just about having a long list of features but offering high-quality, functional capabilities that enhance efficiency and profitability. From a unified commerce platform that allows seamless online and in-store sales management to an exceptional inventory management system, Shopify POS addresses a wide array of retail needs. Its impressive customer and employee management features enable businesses to cultivate strong customer relationships and foster a productive team.

Unmatched User Experience

Ease-of-use is an area where Shopify POS truly shines. The user-friendly interface is designed with both tech-savvy and less technologically inclined users in mind, ensuring an easy learning curve and quick adoption by employees. The intuitive design translates to faster checkouts, fewer errors, and enhanced customer satisfaction - crucial factors that drive retail success.

Value for Money

With Shopify POS, you’re not just paying for a service; you’re making an investment in your business’s growth. It offers several pricing tiers to fit different budgets, starting from a cost-effective $5 per month to more advanced plans. Every dollar spent grants you access to powerful tools that directly contribute to increasing your bottom line, making it a high-value investment.

Scalability

Shopify POS is designed to grow with your business. Whether you’re expanding your physical store count, increasing product lines, or venturing into eCommerce, Shopify POS can seamlessly accommodate your growth. This scalability ensures that your POS system will continue to meet your needs as your business evolves without missing a beat.

Exceptional Customer Support

Regarding customer support, Shopify is renowned for its quick response times and knowledgeable support staff. Whether you need guidance setting up your system, troubleshooting a problem, or learning to use a feature, Shopify’s support team is ready to assist you 24/7.

Our Methodology: How We Evaluated and Picked the Top 5 POS Systems for Retail

Our methodology combines industry expertise with user-focused assessment criteria to identify the top solutions that cater to the nuanced needs of small and medium-sized retail businesses.

Here’s a closer look at our process:

Researching and Analyzing

Our first step was to dissect the features offered by each system. We considered the comprehensiveness and robustness of crucial components like inventory management, customer relationship management (CRM), employee management, and reporting and analytics capabilities. Systems that provide an integrated eCommerce platform or multi-payment acceptance earned extra points for their versatility.

Evaluating and Ranking

Through careful reviews, we gained insights into the actual performance of the POS systems in diverse retail settings and finally shortlisted the best POS candidates for this article.

Bottom Line

That’s our list of the best POS systems for retail businesses. Hopefully, you’ll understand your business needs and find the best POS system for your retail business.


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Sam Nguyen is the CEO and founder of Avada Commerce, an e-commerce solution provider headquartered in Singapore. He is an expert on the Shopify e-commerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems. Sam loves talking about e-commerce and he aims to help over a million online businesses grow and thrive.