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The 10 Best POS Systems for Small Business

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Update time : 2022-11-17

With so many point of sale systems to choose from, it can be difficult to determine which is best for your business. But have no fear, PaymentCloud is here! To help you make one of the most impactful decisions you’ll make as a business owner, we’ve reviewed the top ten POS systems available in the United States. You’ll find each system’s most notable features and pricing detailed below. We also outline the key factors to consider when browsing for your business’s new POS platform.

After reading our comprehensive guide, you’ll be armed with the information you need to find the perfect POS system for your business’s specific needs.

1. Clover: Best for Ease of Use

 

In terms of small business point of sale solutions, Clover’s POS system is our top pick for a variety of reasons. It’s accessible, easy to use, and provides features useful to a broad range of industries and business models.

There are five industry-specific POS systems available from Clover: Full-Service Dining, Quick-Service Dining, Retail Stores, Personal Services, Professional Services, and Home & Field Services. Each industry-specific system comes packed with tools. For example, the Personal Services system allows you to book appointments and store customer credit card data. Additionally, numerous hardware options are available to Clover users, from portable card readers to stationary terminals.

 

Clover’s Most
Notable Features

  • Six industry-specific POS systems
  • Affordable, in-house payment processing
  • Easy-to-use platform
  • Advanced reporting and analytics
  • Several available high-grade hardware options

Pricing

Pricing at Clover is very transparent, with the company offering various processing fee structures and monthly rate options. Generally, card-present transactions incur a processing fee of 2.3 percent + $0.10. Meanwhile, monthly rates go up to $89.85.

For hardware, prices vary significantly depending on the item you’re purchasing. While some hardware is free with the purchase of a POS plan, more advanced hardware can fetch up to $1,649. When compared to Square, the next POS system on our list, the hardware is quite expensive, but it is some of the most advanced and modern-looking hardware available in today’s market.

2. Square: Best for Small Businesses

 

Despite being in the industry for only a little over a decade, Square has already made a name for itself. While Square was founded in 2009, it didn’t begin offering its services to clients until 2010. Its most notable product is its magstripe reader that plugs into smartphone auxiliary outputs. This device revolutionized how many small businesses accept payments. While this popular magstripe reader is still available, Square now also offers a range of other features that are comparable to those offered by SumUp. (While it was not included on this list, SumUp is another excellent point of sale system available on the market today.)

Like Clover, Square offers POS platforms for various niches, including the retail and hospitality industries. Additionally, there are also various other tools available from Square, including appointment booking and loyalty programs.

Note: As a payment service provider, Square does not service high-risk merchants. If your business is considered high risk and you begin processing payments with them, Square may deactivate your account.

 

Square’s Most
Notable Features

  • Affordable processing rates
  • Integrates with your iPhone, iPad, and other compatible devices
  • Excellent in-house hardware options, including their infamous magstripe reader
  • Industry-specific POS systems
  • Mobile features for on-the-go businesses
  • Compatible with a host of third-party apps
  • In-house tools that include appointment booking, text marketing, loyalty programs, and more

Pricing

Here’s the really good news: You can access many of the platform’s features for free! To accept payments and utilize its basic point of sale software, you don’t have to pay any monthly rate. Though, you do still have to pay credit card processing fees.

Its more advanced POS systems aren’t free to use, but pricing at Square is extremely transparent. More cost-effective when compared to Stripe, the standard processing rate is 2.6 percent + $0.10 for card-present transactions. It’s also worth noting that Square doesn’t charge an additional fee for processing international credit cards. Meanwhile, PayPal (one of Square’s most popular competitors) tacks on a fee of 1.5 percent for processing international cards.

Lastly, if you operate a business with significant revenue, Square may negotiate custom pricing.

3. Vend: Best for Multi-Store Operations

 

Vend is a retail-specific point of sale system that’s excellent for managing multiple stores and online platforms. With Vend, you can manage inventory across multiple locations and develop customer profiles. Users can also transfer inventory between locations, making it easy to manage your business’s entire stock from a backend portal.

You can use Vend on a Mac, iPad, or PC. The platform continuously syncs with a cloud system, allowing you to access the back-end reporting data from anywhere. Additionally, it’s simple to connect your current online store to Vend’s platform. It easily integrates with leading eCommerce software platforms, including Shopify and WooCommerce.

Pricing

For a single register at a single location, Vend offers three pricing plans: Lean, Standard, and Advanced. Lean starts at $69 per month, Standard at $119 per month, and Advanced at $199 per month. For additional registers at additional locations, your monthly rate will increase. However, you can access a free trial of Vend’s POS system.

 

Vend’s Most
Notable Features

 

  • Accessible via Mac, iPad, and PC
  • Manage your inventory across multiple locations and move stock between stores
  • Access your reporting anywhere via an online portal
  • Integrate with leading eCommerce platforms
  • Set employee permissions and roles
  • Track employee performance

 

4. Lightspeed: Best for Inventory Management

 

Lightspeed is a point of sale system offering exceptional inventory management tools. In fact, it’s the platform that powers Nordstrom and other leading brands. Vend offers other retail tools, such as eCommerce stores, loyalty programs, and multi-location management.

At Lightspeed, you’ll find advanced POS systems for three specific industries: Retail, Restaurants, and Golf Courses.

Pricing

As Lightspeed owns Vend, these companies offer the same pricing plans: Lean at $69 per month, Standard at $119 per month, and Advanced at $199 per month. However, for restaurants, there are three packages at different prices: Essentials at $39 per month, Plus at $119 per month, and Pro at $289 per month. Lightspeed doesn’t publish pricing information for its golf-specific POS system. You must request a quote.

 

 

Lightspeed’s Most
Notable Features

  • High-grade inventory management tools
  • Loyalty programs for your customers
  • In-house eCommerce platform
  • Features to manage multiple locations, suppliers, and stock
  • In-house SEO tools
  • Industry-specific systems for retail stores, restaurants, and golf businesses

 

5. Revel: Best for Fast Casual Food Service Businesses

 

Revel is a point of sale system specifically catering to five industries: Quick Service, Restaurant, Retail, Pizza, and Coffee Shops. The Revel platform is packed with various premium features, including inventory management, restaurant management, stock management, and custom payment features.

One tool that makes Revel excellent for quick service and fast-casual food businesses is its “Conversational Ordering” capabilities. This allows your staff members to input order customizations into the system in any order, simplifying the execution of complex order requests. By circumventing the typical sequential ordering process, you can decrease the amount of time a customer spends at the register.

Lastly, this platform also offers offline ordering, which means you can take orders even if your connection isn’t working.

Pricing

Revel doesn’t provide a breakdown of their pricing. While monthly pricing starts at $99, you have to contact Revel directly for a quote.

 

Revel’s Most
Notable Features

  • Offline ordering
  • In-house payment processing at a flat rate
  • Inventory and stock management tools
  • Strong security features, including PCI compliance tools
  • Support for five industries: Quick Service, Restaurant, Retail, Pizza, and Coffee Shops
  • Conversational ordering tool that can speed up counter service

 

6. Shopify: Best for eCommerce

 

Having made its reputation by offering eCommerce solutions, Shopify has expanded into point of sale solutions. With a convenient POS system that integrates with your online store, the company aims to be a full-service solution for its clients. The Shopify platform enables you to create staff and customer profiles, manage inventory, set staff permissions, view reports on sales, and, of course, process transactions.

The true strength of this eCommerce giant’s POS system is in its online store capabilities. Shopify allows you to integrate your brick-and-mortar store with its powerful online store tools. It’s never been easier to build a sleek online store synced with a brick-and-mortar location.

Pricing

You can access Shopify Lite for free with all Shopify plans. There are three tiers of Shopify plans: Basic at $29 per month, Shopify at $79 per month, and Advanced at $299 per month. To access its more advanced POS, you can upgrade to Shopify Pro for $89 per month in addition to the cost of your base plan. Finally, to utilize Shopify Payments, the company’s in-house payment processing service, your transactions will incur a fee of 2.4 percent.

 

Shopify’s Most
Notable Features

  • Easy-to-use POS platform
  • Compatible with mobile devices and tablets, but you can also purchase hardware from Shopify
  • Connects with one of the most powerful eCommerce platforms on the planet
  • Manage online and in-store inventory on a single platform
  • In-house payment processing
  • Integrate with a range of third-party software

 

7. QuickBooks Point of Sale: Best for Accounting

 

QuickBooks is one of the world’s most popular accounting software solutions. While QuickBooks integrates with a range of POS systems, the company now offers its own point of sale system. Depending on the plan you choose, you can access premium features such as managing inventory, advanced reporting, multi-store management tools, rewards programs, payroll management, and—obviously!—accounting integration tools.

Pricing

QuickBooks has a different pricing structure than most of the other companies on our list. Instead of charging you on a monthly basis, QuickBooks charges a one-time fee. The Basic plan is $960, Pro is $1360, and Multi-Store is $1520.

 

QuickBook’s Most
Notable Features

  • Integrate seamlessly with the QuickBooks accounting software
  • Payroll management tools
  • Transfer inventory between multiple stores
  • Advanced backend reporting
  • Build loyalty programs and gift card offerings

 

8. TouchBistro: Best for Restaurants & Bars

 

 

Because restaurant owners face unique challenges, TouchBistro provides tools that help navigate serving guests at restaurants and bars. With TouchBistro’s restaurant-specific tools, it’s easy to manage staff, build menus, offer seasonal items, and input orders right from your customer’s table. Other companies on this list have restaurant-specific tools, but it’s hard to overlook TouchBistro’s firm commitment to serving the industry.

Pricing

TouchBistro offers custom quotes based on your business needs, but their prices start at $69 per month.

 

TouchBistro’s Most
Notable Features

  • Advanced staff management tools
  • A floor plan tool to better manage your restaurant’s space
  • Build and adjust custom menus quickly
  • Integrate with a range of third-party platforms
  • Benefit from tableside ordering speeding up your table turnover

 

9. Toast: Best for Small Restaurants

 

Toast is a restaurant-specific point of sale system with a host of valuable tools. Offering a free starter package for restaurants that only need one or two terminals, this is an excellent POS system for smaller restaurants just starting their business journey. With Toast, you can monitor inventory, issue gift cards, and create loyalty programs.

The only downside is that you have to purchase Toast’s in-house hardware to use its POS system. Toast’s hardware is not compatible with other devices.

Pricing

As mentioned above, you can get a starter plan for free. This allows you to operate one or two terminals at no cost. If you want premium features and/or more terminals, Toast charges $165 per month for its Essentials plan.

 

Toast’s Most
Notable Features

  • Restaurant-specific tools, such as tabs, order changing tools, and food delivery
  • Handheld ordering hardware allows you to input tableside orders
  • In-house marketing features to help you grow your small business
  • In-house payroll solutions

 

10. Harbortouch: Best for Retail Stores & Salon’s

 

If you’re seeking a point of sale system for a retail store or salon, Harbortouch is hard to beat. Harbortouch makes it easy to run a store with its high-grade inventory management tools and custom gift card features. The company understands the specific needs of retail business owners and works hard to develop new features as needed.

Pricing

Harbortouch doesn’t provide a breakdown of their pricing. You have to contact Harbortouch directly for a quote.

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