Best POS Systems for Small Businesses

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Best POS Systems for Small Businesses

Table of Contents

Defining POS system

A brief knowledge of POS can help you a lot in understanding the need of it for your Small Business. A Point of Sale (POS) system is the point where customers can complete their payment in exchange for the goods they purchased. Nowadays, POS comes with so many features that just defining it by this definition is unfair, they are even sometimes referred as retail management systems

Everything to know about POS

  • The need for POS

It is important to manage your time effectively when it comes to running a business, especially asmaller one. Many basic tasks like naming and organizing your products for the ease of customer can take up a major chunk of your busy schedule, but with proper tools like a good POS software, it can be done much quicker.

To make a small business run, its is important that you analyze the data of your sales and you should know about your best-selling items so that you can promote them more. But all of this can take a lot of time. However, a POS system with its powerful data analyzing and real-time reporting capabilities, can help you with this task in no time.

Many customers do not prefer to use the same form of payment. For their ease, it is important that your business can accept different from of payments to leave a good impression on your customer. A POS software solves this problem by offering multiple payment methods.

Advantages offered POS system

An effective and quick way to run your business

Having a POS system can help you manage and quickly complete your tasks with efficiency as compared to traditional ways of doing it.

  • Ease of use

There is a reason for the world becoming more digital day by day. It is an easier way to do things and can be done by any person with little know how of technology. This will surely help in smooth running of your business.

  • Payment acceptance in different forms

Nowadays, customers have so many different payment options to choose from. So, it is not necessary that everyone uses one form of payment. Thus, it is important for your business to have wide range of payment acceptance available for the ease of customers as you do not want to lose business. 

  • Higher accuracy

Traditionally, you have to punch in the details of every transaction in your computer by yourself. It required you to enter the data in the system manually due to which there was a chance of human error. But with POS, it is done automatically on the system as soon as the transaction is made which greatly increases the accuracy of the business data compiled on your system.

  • Accounting made simple

With a POS system, you do not have to go through tons of receipts to fulfill you accounting needs as it was the requirement of having a traditional cash register. A POS system makes this process easy and feasible considering the little amount of time you have.

  • Inventory management

As POS is much more than your traditional cash register, it can offer you powerful data analyzing capabilities along with robust inventory management feature which will save you a lot of time.

  • Employee management

For a business that is still in its early phases, you would want to make sure that the employees are working properly and they are given proper share of their efforts. A POS system can help you in this regard. It has individual employee profiles in which they can time in and out when they come and leave from work. It can also manage their payments and bonuses. Some POS systems also allow you to give orders to your employees from your tablet.

  • Reporting

A basic feature offered by many POS software is the reporting option. You can keep a close eye on your profits, sales and expenses instantaneously with its real-time reporting feature.

  • Quick service

It makes shopping less frustrating for the customers by speeding up the checkout time and leaving a good impression with them.

  • Receipts

POS provides much more details to a customer than a traditional paper receipt e.g. item details, its price, the money you saved with the coupon etc.

Things to look for while selecting a POS

The set-up cost

This factor should always be kept in mind because a POS requires a compatible hardware to work with. So, if you do not have a suitable hardware to run your POS, you need to purchase new one which can increase the initial cost of setting up a POS system.

  • User friendly interface

It is important that the interface offered by the POS is simple and easy to use as the target audience of this software is not familiar with the depth of technology. User-friendly interface will require less training for the employees to master it.

  • Reporting

It should offer reporting options and produce sales reports in real-time. The POS system should also have powerful data analyzing capabilities run these operations smoothly.

  • Integration

This feature can save you time and the need for having someone do all the functions like managing your customer data, accounting information and sales figures which are now stored in one central system and can be accessed anytime.

  • Cloud-based

According to your preference, a POS system can offer you cloud data storage. All the data on your system is stored on heavily secured remote server which can be accessed through internet from anywhere, at any time.

  • Customer Support

When you have a business running entirely on a POS software, it can be dangerous for you if it malfunctions. To minimize the risk of losing your business, it is important that you have quick and effective customer support available 24/7.

POS systems available in the market

Square is a POS application that is available on both, Google Play and the App store. It is a feature-rich POS system that is designed to run on a tablet or a smartphone.

Square POS requires no subscription fee and offers online payment processing, sales reports, inventory and digital receipts and analytics information. Ithas an offline mode by which it can function even when the internet is down by keeping the record of transactions locally and uploading it on the cloud storage when there is an active internet connection.

Square POS offers competitive rates and only charges a minimal fee per transaction. This POS system is basically designed to help in managing businesses of all sorts especially those with multiple locations.

PROS CONS
Android and iOS compatibility Big companies with huge transactions are at a disadvantage
Suitable hardware options to select from Regular updates necessary
Has an offline mode Transactions can be slow sometimes
Simple pricing Not suitable for high risk industries
Excellent customer support Processing fee can be high

Revel POS is a cloud-based software that offers multiple functionalities like inventory management, customer management and social media management. Moreover, it provides the owner with custom POS solutions for the service, entertainment, grocery, restaurant and retail industries, with real time tracking of order history, customer lists, sales figures with payment and sales summaries.

Revel states that it can bring, “Added value to your business, from generating more revenue, to improving efficiencies, to delighting your customers.”

An iOS-based software with a simple and easy to use interface, Revel provides a must have POS solution to those who are interested in its full-service suite. If you own a well-established business like a restaurant, bar, pizza joint, or even a retail establishment, and you are comfortable with affording its high up-front costs that may look expensive first, Revel can be a good answer to your business problems.

Still, if we consider the initial set up cost, it might not be the best solution for small businesses that are still in their early phase.

PROS CONS
Extraordinary reporting Complex set-up
Easy-to-use interface No free trial
Kiosk functionality Expensive
24/7 customer reporting Infrequent glitches
Strong integrations  
Powerful and customizable system  

Lightspeed POS provides you with cloud storage and extensive network of integrations. With the features it offers, it gives you the ability to go completely paperless. It requires minimal investment in hardware. This iPad POS system allows you to run your business smoothly as you can instantly access and analyze your data anywhere, at any time. In addition to that, you can use all the tools provided by this POS and manage your business remotely.

It is a feature-loaded POS system with a relatively simple software structure and a straightforward interface. With having additional useful functions as mobile ordering and ecommerce, it has everything you would expect to find in POS system specially designed for restaurants.

It is also suitable for retailers in industries such as apparel, footwear, bicycle, jewelry, pet, sporting goods and home decor.

However, it does not do well with detailed inventory management. Moreover, it requires internet to process card payments. Other than these problems, Lightspeed seems to be a good choice for your restaurant.

PROS CONS
Depth of reporting Poorly organized special orders
Fully customizable Not suitable for large, busy businesses
Detailed employee management 5 employees and 1 register allowed in basic plan
Good customer service Inventory not detailed
Easy integration Payments can not be processed while offline
Supports online sales  

ShopKeep is an iOS-based POS system with a simple and easy to use interface. It a powerful POS software that offers features like sales data, employee management, and order management at a very reasonable rate.

It is a cloud-based POS system which provides you with multiple payment accepting options, print kitchen tickets, split checks and take custom food orders.

The one feature that makes it stand out from the rest is its inventory management. ShopKeep is a POS solution aimed at small business owners that offers deep inventory management options. Its pricing is entirely quote-based, meaning that you may have to pay differently than other small business owners for the same amount of service.

ShopKeep also offers you a detailed real-time reporting feature that allows you to know the products that are selling the most and even the information about sales data by the hour.

PROS CONS
Can use any processor No API
Strong and detailed inventory management No multi-location support
Smooth checkout process Inadequate financial supporting
Weight-scale support No free trial
Tipping support Increased cost with add-ons
Easy-to-use interface Occasional bugs

Vend is a cloud-based POS system that is compatible with iPad, PC and Mac. It is feature-loaded POS that also offers a 14-day trial and even a free version is available. Retailers that carry inventory, such as clothing, sports equipment and furniture can benefit from Vend. It also works ideally for salons and other health and beauty companies.

Vend allows the users to accept payments, track and provide loyalty benefits to their customers. It also enables them to manage inventory efficiently and run business analytics for real-time insights into business performance.

It is especially designed to handle complex inventory needs. Vend is more inclined towards the retail business then it is towards the restaurant business. With the likes of Disney and NASA in their client list, Vend is best for any retail shop, small or large, with complex inventories.

PROS CONS
User friendly Pricey add-ons
Cost efficient Not as powerful as other systems
Wide integration options Tedious product search
Loyalty program Weak restaurant functionality
Flexible platform  

Final Verdict

Even though all the above-mentioned POS provide a satisfying experience to their customers but we should keep in mind that we are talking about small businesses. For that purpose, it is clearly obvious that Square POS is the option you should go to.

For small business, it is important to spend money carefully. As Square POS has no subscription fee, it is the perfect choice. It only charges you a minimal fee with every transaction. Moreover, it is compatible with both Android and iOS, making it easy for customers to use without the need of buying new operating system. Due to all these reasons, Square POS is the clear winner.

Taylor Goldstein

Taylor Goldstein

Hey, my name is Taylor Goldstein and I am the creator / editor of the "POSsmartly" website. I have been a CTO and VP Technology in couple of a big brands, and my mission now is tocriticises this misunderstood field of tehc pieces.

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