A POS system can make a tremendous difference in your business. Instead of creating sales reports and managing inventory manually, POS software can automate such tasks and help you oversee your business from multiple angles.
While many POS systems have a few basic features in common, they are not all the same. How do you know which platform will work best for you? Even if you find a software that has all the features you’re looking for, you still want something that works quickly and gives you a good value for your money. Here are a few of the top POS systems on the market reviewed:
Vend is a robust POS sales system that can help you scale your business upward. Do you run both a brick-and-mortar location as well as an eCommerce website? Vend can connect them so that you aren’t operating each side as if they are separate stores.
You don’t even need to have an online store already; Vend can assist you with creating one without any programming knowledge. Likewise, businesses with more than one site can benefit from using Vend to create a shared database.
Vend requires minimal equipment but can incorporate hardware like barcode scanners and receipt printers if you need them. Vend is designed to work for a wide range of niche retailers, such as nonprofits, clothing, jewelry, food and drink, homeware, sports, shoes, and more. However, Vend specializes in retail, not restaurants and other business types. It is also incompatible with Android and Windows systems.
A traditional cash register can only process cash and card payments, but POS systems like ShopKeep can also accept mobile payments like PayPal and EMV cards.
Cloud-based systems make some people nervous because they store data on remote servers, but ShopKeep works alongside MagTek to provide encrypted card readers so that customers’ card data is safe (these swipers and ShopKeep’s software together comply with PCI DSS regulations).
ShopKeep is heavily customizable for both retailers and restaurants, so it offers a variety of features including tableside ordering, gift card generation, inventory management, sales reports, and CRM software. The platform also easily integrates with Quickbooks if you use the latter for accounting. Shopkeep does not work with Windows, though, nor does it offer payroll metrics.
Formerly known as Breadcrumb, Upserve is a comprehensive POS system specifically for restaurants and hospitality establishments. It has almost everything a restaurant needs, including a shift preparation function, comp tracking, loyalty programs, menu analytics, and even a reputation management tool.
Upserve includes standard features you would expect out of any foodservice POS software too, of course, such as the ability to split checks and customize dining area layouts. It can also integrate with delivery apps like GrubHub.
Restaurants can use Upserve to expedite their operations. Ten minutes is a long wait time to a customer, and it adds up throughout the day if the order process isn’t streamlined between on-site, phone, and online requests. Upserve can reduce time to table on orders so that customers get their food faster—and you can serve more and increase revenue. The platform makes your employees’ jobs easier, too, because keeping track of where orders go and splitting checks is simple.
Upserve is also incompatible with Windows and cannot export data to Quickbooks.
Square also works for both retailers and restaurants, so it offers features like tableside ordering and the ability to open customer tabs. The platform includes a customer feedback feature so that customers can describe their experiences, and you can open a direct chat with them. It’s also useful for reviewing sales metrics; while you may have created monthly sales reports in the past, Square can provide you with real-time data about how your business is performing.
Unlike many other platforms, Square charges a flat fee of 2.6 percent plus ten cents per transaction instead of a monthly fee. Square also offers two options: Stand and Register. Sand is the option that includes restaurant features, while Register is more expensive to install and is retail-only (though it includes dual screens).
Lightspeed offers versions of its software for retailers and restaurateurs. On the retail side, Lightspeed is particularly helpful for managing inventory. Running inventory is a necessary but tedious task whether you have a small back room or a warehouse, and it’s critical to keep careful track of everything coming in and going out.
Lightspeed’s inventory management software enables you to sell bundles of products, trace where products are in the supply chain, order from integrated catalogs, and avoid ordering excess product that won’t sell.
On the restaurant side, Lightspeed allows custom floor plans and related features. Even though it’s a cloud-based system, Lightspeed can work offline, allowing you to conduct business even if the internet goes down. The platform does not offer marketing metrics, but it does generate sales reports.
When shopping for a POS system, remember to read customer reviews, inquire about everything included in the price (such as features, customer service, and onboarding assistance), and make sure you are getting the best value for your money. What POS systems are you considering?