The best point of sales (POS) system is a hardware and software package that centralizes payment processing, automates stock monitoring and sales data, and streamlines customer relationship management in brick-and-mortar enterprises. Some of the best POS software is free, while others might cost as much as $200 each month for a single station.
- 1. Square: Best Overall & Free POS System for Small Businesses
- 2. Shopify: Best Multichannel POS
- 3. Lightspeed Retail: Best for Inventory Management
- 4. Vend: Best for Growing Brick-and-Mortar Stores
- 5. Clover: Best for Connecting an Existing Merchant Account
- 6. Toast: Best Restaurant POS System
- 7. Upserve by Lightspeed: Best iPad Restaurant POS
- 8. Revel Systems: Best for High-Volume Restaurants and Grocers
- 9. IT Retail: Best for Small Markets
- 10. POS Nation: Best for Convenience and Liquor Stores
1. Square: Best Overall & Free POS System for Small Businesses
Because of its low cost and easy-to-use software, Square is the ideal POS system for most small businesses. It has choices for general use, retail, restaurants, and appointment-based enterprises. Each option offers a free plan with limitless sales and items. An online store and a $50-$60 monthly subscription with more features.
Square is our top-rated all-around POS system, as well as our top pick for the best point of sales and mobile POS systems. Square Appointments is the highest-scoring POS system for salons and spas, while Square for Retail is our top pick for all-purpose retail POS. There are also modular add-ons such as payroll processing and marketing, as well as configurable hardware alternatives.
View Square’s interface and hardware possibilities by scrolling through the photos below. Square the best point of sales received a 4.48 out of 5 rating in our review. We also examined each of the industry-specific Square items, and they all scored fairly similarly. Square stands out for its low cost and ease of use.
Square Payments lost points since you can’t search around for lower payment rates because you’re locked in. Square doesn’t offer complex inventory or back-office administration like Lightspeed, Shopify, Upserve, or Toast, and many more best point of sales (POS) functions like marketing and loyalty are expensive add-ons.
Square POS Features:
- Built-in payment processing: Accept credit and debit card payments in person or online, contactless payments, phone payments, invoices, recurring or subscription billing, and next-day deposits through invoice or recurring or subscription billing. Square is also one of the few POS systems that charge a fee for rapid deposits.
- Square Appointments: Set up an online booking system, allow consumers to schedule and manage appointments using an online portal, send automated SMS and email reminders, and demand credit cards at the time of booking to cover no-show and cancellation costs.
- Square for Retail: Use a barcode-based interface to access omnichannel sales tools and inventory management capabilities such as barcode generation, vendor management, purchase orders, and comprehensive sales reports.
- Square for Restaurants: Online ordering, order management, kitchen display, conversational ordering, table, and seat management, firing and coursing choices, and menu reporting and administration should all integrate.
- Square Dashboard: In one central cloud-based interface, process transactions, track product sales, see reports and manage teams, taxes, payroll, and more.
- Customer relationship management: Create client profiles and gather and respond to comments from customers. Square Marketing Assistant can spot marketing campaign possibilities, recommend email campaigns based on your customer list and actions, track results, and provide best practices.
- Online-store: To sell online for pickup, shipping, or delivery, create a free website and online store. Add shoppable posts to your current website or social media channels, or create basic online buying pages.
2. Shopify: Best Multichannel POS
Shopify is an eCommerce platform that includes free POS software for selling items at events. Social networking and third-party marketplace selling capabilities. Shopify provides the best point of sales (POS) Pro package for brick-and-mortar businesses, including omnichannel selling capabilities, advanced inventory management, and more thorough analytics.
Sales, inventory, and customer data are all maintained in one place with all Shopify plans, making Shopify the best point of sales for multichannel retailers. Shopify received a 4.47 out of 5 rating in our review, placing it second only to Square. Shopify received a flawless grade in register features and a good score for administration tools, but Square excelled in pricing and simplicity of use.
So, while they scored nearly identically, they had distinct strengths. The most significant disadvantage of Shopify POS is that it requires an eCommerce membership, and many of the best point of sales features require an extra $89 per month upgrade to POS Pro.
Shopify POS Features:
- Omnichannel selling: Offer seamless shopping experiences with purchases online, pick up or return in-store; buy in-store, ship to a customer; and explore in-store, buy online using email carts and QR product codes.
- Products: Add as many items, categories, and collections as you like, as well as various variations.
- Inventory management: Stocky, a smart inventory app, is included with the best point of sales Pro and allows you to make inventory counts. Receive items with a barcode scanner, generate low-stock alerts and detailed inventory reports, predict demand, perform inventory analysis, and examine sale item ideas.
- Customer management: Customers may establish customer profiles with contact information, purchasing patterns, add customer tags, track special requests, develop targeted promos, create marketing material, and improve social media campaigns with capabilities included in all Shopify subscriptions.
- Online sales: Shopify is the most popular eCommerce platform for small businesses. But it also has tools for selling on social media and third-party marketplaces. Adding “Buy” buttons to blogs. Read our Shopify eCommerce review to learn more.
3. Lightspeed Retail: Best for Inventory Management
Lightspeed Retail is the best POS system for product management, especially for businesses with complicated inventory and specialized stores with client orders to manage. Retailers may use the program to build product bundles, categorize products with various variations, and handle purchase orders using an integrated catalogue.
Lightspeed also has one of the most advanced analytics solutions for small organizations, complete with configurable dashboards and reports as well as explanations of what each indicator represents. In our review, Lightspeed received a 4.13 out of 5 ratings. Lightspeed received top marks in the areas of management tools, registration functionality, and customer service.
However, Lightspeed’s total score weigh down by its expensive membership plans and add-ons, which resulted in a poor pricing grade. Lightspeed’s cheapest package is $69 per month, but its most useful features, such as analytics, loyalty, and eCommerce, need more costly subscriptions.
Lightspeed Retail Features:
- Inventory management: Upload up to 10,000 SKUs in one go, manage variations, build bundles, and keep track of unit pricing, layaways, and special orders with bulk uploading. A built-in product library and low-stock notifications help you streamline purchase orders. Because of the built-in supplier network, Lightspeed offers the most comprehensive integrated product ordering on this list.
- Supplier Network: From inside Lightspeed POS, retailers can find goods, place orders, and track stock delivery.
- Reporting and analytics: Lightspeed provides the most sophisticated analytics platform at a price that is affordable for small businesses. It has over 40 built-in reports, allowing merchants to create custom reports and examine data in visual forms like graphs and charts, and provides recommendations on how to understand the data.
- Marketing: A loyalty program is incorporated into Lightspeed. Create a tiered rewards system for in-store and online sales, send one-time discounts for birthdays or VIP customers, and use templates or a drag-and-drop builder to create emails.
- Ecommerce: Lightspeed Ecommerce integrates with the best point of sales systems, has over 50 professional themes, and includes comprehensive shipping and order administration capabilities, as well as marketing, CRM, and SEO solutions.
4. Vend: Best for Growing Brick-and-Mortar Stores
Vend is an iPad and the best point of sales system built specifically for brick-and-mortar businesses. It’s one of the few point-of-sale systems with built-in loyalty programs, store credit, layaway capabilities, offline processing, and simple product catalogue management. Vend connects with other payment processors, allowing companies to compare prices and accept certain payment methods, including PayPal.
Vend received a 3.96 out of 5 rating in our review. It stands out for its simplicity of use and administration features. Vend, like Lightspeed, is, nevertheless, rather expensive when compared to platforms like Square. It also lacks native eCommerce capabilities, necessitating the use of a third-party platform such as Shopify or BigCommerce.
- Register: It’s a user-friendly cloud system that includes offline processing, staff logins, and customizable setups for layaway and on-account sales, shop credit, gift cards, and partial payment.
- Detailed inventory tools: Establish, import, and print bar codes; create a centralized product catalogue; generate custom low-stock alerts, and manage tax rates are just a few of the features available.
- Mobile barcode scanning app: Vend provides a free iOS app for scanning bar codes on the sales floor to do rapid inventory counts, receive shipments, and look up product data. Vend’s reporting data may sync with any modifications made in the app.
- Add-ons and growth tools: Vend has a built-in loyalty program and connects with third-party applications for eCommerce, accounting, staff scheduling, and multichannel inventory management, among other things.
5. Clover: Best for Connecting an Existing Merchant Account
Clover is the best point of sales program that works a little differently from the other POS apps on our list. It is pre-programmed with merchant services and operates on Clover proprietary hardware. Fiserv makes and sells Clover however, there are numerous Clover resellers, including several well-known merchant services. As a result, you have the option of selecting your payment processor and purchasing Clover POS from them.
This solution is perfect for companies who wish to upgrade from a cash register while keeping their existing merchant account. Clover received a 3.79 out of 5 rating from us, with average scores across the board. Clover, like Square, specializes in POS systems for retailers, restaurants, and service providers.
It also has a popular mobile card reader that made our lists of the top mobile processors and best POS mobile apps. Clover’s main flaw is that costs and overall experience vary greatly depending on where you buy the system and the conditions of your agreement.
- Mobile POS: Clover Go is available in a variety of iOS and Android versions. It includes a web-based dashboard for tracking sales, customer, staff, and inventory information in addition to the mobile app and card reader.
- Customer management: Clover, like Square, allows you to create customer profiles based on payment methods. Keep track of client sales history, names, and birthdays, as well as photographs. So you can welcome them by name. Clover, like Square, offers add-on incentive and loyalty programs as well as the option to collect consumer feedback via digital receipts.
- Employee management: Add an infinite number of workers and configure permissions to restrict access to only what each employee requires for their job. Clover also contains the Homebase free version.
- Apps and add-ons: Clover offers more than 200 applications and add-on connectors to satisfy almost every company’s needs. Inventory management, bookkeeping, staff scheduling, internet sales, and invoicing are all popular areas.
6. Toast: Best Restaurant POS System
Toast is a restaurant point-of-sale system created particularly for the foodservice sector. Front-of-house elements like table mapping, menu management, and real-time feedback gathering combine with back-of-house capabilities such as kitchen displays and ingredient-level inventory tracking. Toast is the POS system for most restaurants since it includes online ordering and delivery. Payroll capabilities and a wide range of industry-specific hardware.
Toast received a 4.44 out of 5 rating in our review due to its powerful capabilities packaged into a user-friendly design. A toast is unable to achieve a better score due to add-on costs and the lack of a free trial. Toast does offer a pay-as-you-go option with no monthly software expenses, but all options need a two-year commitment.
Toast POS Features:
- Payment processing: Online menus, smartphone ordering and payments, self-order kiosks, tap, and mobile wallet payments, and QR codes are just a few of Toast’s contactless options. For tableside ordering and payment, mobile pocket-size terminals are also available.
- Front-of-house features: Table mapping and administration, real-time customer feedback gathering, tickets delivered to the kitchen display automatically, and order alerts are among them.
- Reporting and back-office: Toast provides full menu management, including ingredient monitoring, recipe costing, waste and COGS reporting, payroll administration, and sales and performance data, all in real-time.
- Online ordering and delivery: Integrate online ordering (no third-party commissions) with a mobile-responsive site that can customize real-time ingredients, menu updates, and flexible hours and delivery options.
- Workforce management: Toast provides automatic payroll. Simple new-hire onboarding with HR paperwork, staff scheduling, detailed labour reports, and a benefits platform for providing healthcare.
7. Upserve by Lightspeed: Best iPad Restaurant POS
Upserve is the best point of sales system and restaurant management software that combines POS, payments, inventory, customer management, marketing, online ordering, labour management, and reporting into one platform. Upserve’s tablet-based POS is very simple to use, the back office’s browser-based inventory, customer, and personnel management capabilities are among the most comprehensive in a small company restaurant POS.
As a result, it’s our top pick for iPad restaurant POS systems, especially for full-service restaurants, fine dining establishments, and speciality cocktail bars. Upserve received a 3.62 out of 5 rating in this assessment.
While Upserve provides some of the most extensive inventory and administration capabilities for small restaurants, its price score (1.5 out of 5) was notably low, lowering the total score. The minimum monthly fee for one register is $119, but you’ll need to spend $149 to obtain the inventory and reporting capabilities.
Upserve by Lightspeed Features:
- Marketing and CRM: Establish filtered guest lists for targeted promotions, quickly connect waiters with visitors who have tipped them well in the past, track and respond to online reviews, create a loyalty program that recognizes customer payment cards, and see reports by customer segments.
- Ingredient management: Automated inventory management with real-time monitoring and deductions as dishes are sold, one-click buy ordering, automated purchase order receiving, scanner app for in-app inventory counts and delivery scanning, menu, and recipe report to show how each menu item affects your bottom line
- Reporting: All membership tiers include basic sales, labour, product mix, profit and loss, marketing reports, daily logs, reputation management, and a live mobile reporting app. Custom reporting, server insights, menu insights, and recipe pricing are all included in the Pro plans.
- Workforce management: All options include customizable tip pooling, real-time labour cost notifications, and clock-in restrictions. Create and maintain staff schedules on the app, then send them to employees through text or email.
8. Revel Systems: Best for High-Volume Restaurants and Grocers
Self-order kiosks, customer-facing displays, mobile and tableside ordering, and online ordering are all adjustable elements of Revel Systems’ cloud-based foodservice POS. Revel is an excellent match for big, high-volume, or franchise businesses like pizza parlors because of this.
Revel on the finest supermarket POS for larger markets since it has several scanner and scale connections, self-checkout capabilities, perishable inventory management, and SNAP EBT payment processing. Revel received a 3.47 out of 5 in this review for its extensive capabilities. However, hefty costs and a three-year commitment kept it from scoring better.
Revel Systems Features:
- The restaurant features: Detailed table mapping and administration, menu-building tools, integrated kitchen display communication, and integrated online ordering are just a few of the features available.
- Reporting: Real-time ingredient-level inventory tracking, FIFO inventory management, performance indicators, and sales statistics are all available through Revel Insights reporting.
- Back office: Businesses may create a solution that suits their needs thanks to centralized multilocation administration and an open API.
- Customer-facing features: For quick and seamless service, Revel includes elements such as customer display systems, self-order kiosks, and mobile ordering, as well as customer loyalty, gift card, and discount tools.
9. IT Retail: Best for Small Markets
The POS system from IT Retail contains unique features like scale integration for selling products by weight, bottle deposit management, an automated consumer rewards program, and self-checkout choices. The best point of sales is equipped with the tough hardware required in a grocery store and can communicate with a network of delivery drivers.
IT Retail received a 3.82 out of 5 rating in our review. It received a good rating for features and functionality across the board, with a slightly lower rating for cost for add-on and hardware expenses. However, this is not surprising given that IT Retail uses specialized gear that is built to last in high-volume market situations.
IT Retail POS Features:
- Checkout: Customer-display and self-checkout configurations flex checkout choices for production and bulk items, scale integration for selling goods by weight. All major credit and debit cards are accepted EBT food and cash payments, gift cards, WIC, and contactless payments like Apple Pay.
- Inventory management: Using a mobile app, you may create, print, and scan bar code labels, produce purchase orders, receive and count stock, and generate shelf tags.
- CRM tools: Create a personalized loyalty program with scannable loyalty cards, and the POS will automatically monitor available rewards at checkout.
- Online grocery: With Mercato integration, you may enable online ordering and delivery of specialized and fresh products, as well as specialty and fresh items.
10. POS Nation: Best for Convenience and Liquor Stores
The best point of sales Nation is a retail point-of-sale system built for liquor, grocery, convenience, and hardware businesses. POS Nation is a great choice for convenience, liquor, and other corner or mom-and-pop businesses because of unique features including age verification tools, scale connections, lottery ticket sales, case-break inventory monitoring, carton-pack inventory tracking, and rental management.
POS Nation received a 3.49 out of 5 rating in this review. Because of its extensive staff and customer management activities, it received a near-perfect grade for management tools. POS Nation was unable to get a higher grade due to its expensive plans and restricted payment processing alternatives.
Most POS Nation memberships involve a WorldPay agreement, which we do not recommend due to a large number of complaints and hidden costs (learn more in our WorldPay review). It’s worth noting, though, that because the agreement will handle POS Nation, the process may be smoother and more transparent.
POS Nation Features:
- Register tools: POS Nation offers some interface layouts, each of which may be customized with hot-keys and graphical buttons to tailor the checkout screen to your specific needs.
- Speciality product handling: Age verification, mobile checkout, scale connections, integrated lottery ticket sales, and cigar label printing are all built-in features.
- Inventory management: Pricing mix-and-match, case-break, and carton-pack tracking auto-generate purchase orders, mobile in-app stock counts, layaway, barcoding, rental management, and matrix inventory are just a few of the features available.
- Shrinkage protection: Exception reporting, including forced register counts and blind register, counts, to detect excessive voids and odd register activity.
- Reporting: Over 55 pre-built reports that meet with the product and state-specific regulations, including 1014 reporting for Pennsylvania beer distributors, covering sales, customers, staff, accounts receivable, and special reports.
Business owners get more than just a simple method to take payments with the finest POS systems. Businesses may sell items and services anywhere, at any time, thanks to POS trends like mobile-first technology. Because of advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) in POS software, rather than informing businesses how much goods they have on hand, POS systems can now tell them exactly what they need to purchase and in what amounts.
The best point of sales software combines analytics and ease of use at a price range that small companies can afford. Square POS is free to use, and its basic features are so strong that you may not even need the extra add-ons to complete the best point of sales system. Even if you want to add a loyalty program, staff management tools, or payroll, you’ll likely save money compared to competing with the best point of sales systems. Create a free account right now.