Point of sale (POS) systems enhance the consumer experience and make it simpler for business owners to oversee inventory, sales, and staff performance, from contactless payments to internet transactions. Also, your POS system facilitates omnichannel experiences, which are smooth changes between in-person, telephone, and internet sales. In fact, 32% of shops prioritise omnichannel experiences with their current POS solution, while 44% of retailers aim to update or replace their POS.
It might be difficult to choose the ideal POS system for your small business. We investigated over two dozen POS options and side-by-side compared them. We evaluated systems based on their usability, available hardware and software, customer support, features, and price alternatives.
The 6 Best POS Systems for Small Businesses in 2023
- Best Overall: Square
- Best Value: eHopper
- Best for Restaurants: TouchBistro
- Best for Retail: Vend
- Best for E-Commerce: Shopify
- Best for Inventory Management: ShopKeep by Lightspeed
BEST OVERALL Square
Small businesses may operate with freedom and have capacity to expand thanks to Square.
- Robust free option for online sales
- Easily track inventory
- Integrated payment system
- Expensive processing fees for businesses with high volumes
- Free option lacks advanced features
- Extra fee for a loyalty program
Small Businesses, including restaurants and retail stores, employ Square POS devices and systems, which were founded in 2009. Square is the top POS system for small businesses overall because to the platform’s adaptability and a range of pricing alternatives. Three options are available from Square, all of which include integrated payments.
The Free Plan charges 2.9% plus $0.30 in credit card processing fees for online purchases, while the Professional Plan charges the same rates but adds other services for $12 per month. Even more features are included in the $26 Performance plan, but the processing price is the same. Premium has lower processing fees of 2.6% + $0.30 and costs $72.
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Most Small Businesses will need a $799 Square register. But, the business also provides iPad stands and portable square readers so you may personalise your configuration. Standard features included in all three packages include:
- Barcode scanning
- Invoice and electronic gift card options
- Instagram selling capabilities
- View low and out of stock inventory
- Sales reports
- Time tracking
- Timecard reporting
BEST VALUE eHopper
Software that is affordable and has all the features a small business owner could possibly require.
- Extremely affordable POS system
- Built-in inventory management
- Works with most tablets
- No gift card management
- Credit card processing fees charged to customers
Even more features are included in the $26 Performance plan, but the processing price is the same. Premium has lower processing fees of 2.6% + $0.30 and costs $72. Most Small Businesses will need a $799 Square register. But, the business also provides iPad stands and portable square readers so you may personalise your configuration. Standard features included in all three packages include:
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- Inventory management
- Print or email receipts
- Tip management
- Reporting options
- Customer management
BEST FOR RESTAURANTS TouchBistro
Cloud-based analytics are provided by TouchBistro to restaurateurs in order to increase food and beverage sales.
- iPad POS system
- Integrated credit card processing
- Easy-to-use interface
- Must use mostly Apple products
- Customer support isn’t always responsive.
Since its launch in 2010, TouchBistro has provided software made exclusively for the restaurant sector. Our top recommendation for the finest restaurant POS system with restaurant inventory management tools and hardware designed specifically for restaurants is TouchBistro. Licenses for the TouchBistro POS software begin at $69 per month. You may assist your operations with a TouchBistro system’s numerous tools and capabilities, which include:
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- Intuitive touch controls for table management
- Remote menu management
- Add recipes to manage inventory costs
- Access data and reports via the cloud portal
Via TouchBistro, you can add services to your restaurant POS system to get more out of it. These services include:
- Reservations system for $229 per month
- Online ordering for $50 a month
- A gift card program for $25 per month
BEST FOR RETAIL Vend
Reliable retail software that your staff members can utilise in a matter of minutes.
- No limits on products
- Works offline (Limited functions)
- Simple interface
- Must buy the upper plan tp have comprehensive software
- Gets costly when adding registers
A 2010 startup, Vend is a reputable supplier of POS systems that are user-friendly and appropriate for a variety of equipment kinds. Vend gets our award for the best POS system for retail because to its sophisticated analytics and inventory management. One register and one location are covered under one of three Vend plans; additional registers and locations can be added for a fee. The following features are available in all versions and help your retail operations:
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- Real-time inventory management
- Unlimited products and employees
- Customizable receipts for email or print
- Total cash management
- Inventory control levels
- Easy-to-personalize reports
- A mobile dashboard
You receive 24/7 support, integrated payments, POS, and API access with all three levels. A summary of the plans and costs:
- Lean: This edition includes all basic features and costs $69 per month when paid annually or $89 when paid monthly.
- Standard: If paid annually, it costs $119 each month; if paid monthly, it costs $149. This includes capabilities for accounting and online shopping.
- Advanced: The monthly payment is $269 when paid monthly or $199 when paid annually. This plan includes sophisticated reporting, loyalty, and other features.
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BEST FOR E-COMMERCE Shopify
Manage sales effortlessly from your mobile dashboard, both offline and online.
- No extra transaction fees above interchange rates
- Abandoned cart recovery comes with every plan
- Plug-and-play hardware
- Only two staff members can access the POS with the Basic plan
- Inventory location are limited
Shopify has offered e-commerce business owners competent online shopping services that are simple for store owners to utilise and create a satisfying digital client experience since 2006. It is the ideal POS for e-commerce because of its powerful virtual capabilities. You must first choose a Shopify plan in order to use the Shopify POS system. These services, which range in price from $29 to $299 a month, cover your blog and e-commerce website in addition to many other features. Your credit card processing costs are determined by your Shopify plan:
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- Basic: In-person rate is 2.7% and online rate is 2.9% + $0.30
- Shopify: In-person rate is 2.5% and online rate is 2.6% + $0.30
- Advanced: In-person rate is 2.4%, and online rate is 2.4% = $0.30
The Shopify POS Lite package, which includes features like:
- Order and product management
- Customer profiles
- Integrated credit card processing
- Quick response (QR) codes
- Custom discounts and discount codes
BEST FOR INVENTORY MANAGEMENT ShopKeep by Lightspeed
ShopKeep by Lightspeed is a popular among small business owners because it offers sophisticated inventory monitoring and an easy interface.
- Low stock phone alerts
- Unlimited inventory items
- Inventory reporting features
- Basic package doesn’t include online payments.
- Can only accept gift cards with upper plans or by purchasing an add-on
ShopKeep by Lightspeed, a cloud-based POS system that was founded in 2008 and bought by Lightspeed in 2021, is a popular choice among small retail establishments like cafés and speciality businesses. ShopKeep is the greatest POS for inventory management, nonetheless, thanks to its amazing inventory capabilities. For qualified merchants, ShopKeep provides three programmes, each of which includes a free credit card reader. You will pay a fixed charge of 2.6% + $0.10 per transaction for credit processing. All plans provide a wealth of fantastic features, such as:
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- Unlimited transactions
- Customer payments via text message
- Unlimited inventory items
- Real-time sales data
- Matrix inventory
- Employee management and rewards
- Inventory reports like sales trends and inventory value
Ecommerce functionalities are only available in plants that are Standard or Advanced. Just one place is covered by each plan. If you need a special package because you have several locations, get in touch with the business. You should make a single yearly payment to receive the best rates. Although the cost is greater, you may pay monthly. As for the plans:
- Lean: All base features, including integrated payments, are available for $69 per month when paid annually or $89 per month when paid monthly.
- Standard: $119 per month for yearly payments or $149 per month for monthly payments. This package includes e-commerce and accountancy tools.
- Advanced: $269 monthly paid monthly or $199 monthly paid yearly. This package includes enhanced reporting and omnichannel loyalty.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is a Point of Sale System?
All of your transaction data is collected by your point of sale (POS) system. Many systems offer options for managing personnel, tracking inventory, and seeing real-time sales data. POS systems provide you many methods to receive payments across your shop, going beyond conventional registers. A POS system helps small business owners better understand their sales patterns, available stock, and clientele. With speedy checkout choices and linked customer programmes, mobile solutions can improve the consumer experience.
What Does a POS System Include?
You are no longer restricted to only a cash register because today it is possible to construct a POS system that works for your store. Hardware that small enterprises often use includes:
- A standalone POS cash register or an iPad system
- Cash drawer
- Receipt printer
- Credit card reader
To improve the browsing and purchasing experiences, you may add self-service kiosks, mobile units, and consumer displays.
What Are the Types of POS Systems?
Although some stores still use standalone systems, many people prefer iPad solutions since they let you carry or put the iPad on a safe stand. For curbside sales or contactless payments, mobile units or self-service kiosks are extremely important, thus many company owners integrate these sorts of units into their current setup. The majority of POS systems have part or all of their functions in the cloud. This enables you to use various devices at your shop or at home to access tools.
How We Chose the Best POS Systems for Small Businesses
We looked at a number of elements, such as membership charges and fees, hardware kinds and prices, payment processing alternatives, and features, to determine the best POS systems for small businesses. We reduced it down to winners in certain categories by the finest POS systems for things like e-commerce, inventory management, and retail applications after scanning through more than two dozen POS vendors.