The 5 Best POS Systems in 2018
Whether you are an enterprise IT services company or a small business owner, selecting a point-of-sale (POS) vendor can be confusing. Cutting-edge POS features are essential for driving positive business outcomes. That said, different vendors are better suited to serve different businesses. This all depends on the size of the business and the industries they operate in.
Please note Field Nation did not receive compensation from any of the POS system vendors listed below.
Each of the five systems listed offer:
- 24/7 customer service
- Mobile payments
- Purchase histories
- Cloud-based POS solutions
- Credit-card processing
Square – An Affordable POS System for Small Businesses
Square is a popular POS solution for small businesses, and for good reason. Square offers integrated POS hardware backed by malleable software solutions. Square’s software is adaptable. Their POS solution is compatible with both Android and iOS devices including smartphones and tablets. Square provides real-time sales data, credit card processing, inventory tracking, and a customer directory. Square makes small business payments affordable. Before Square, non-registered merchants could not legally accept credit card payments. Registration was arduous, time-consuming and costly. Small businesses just couldn’t afford it. This solution bridged the gap. Square approaches the modern consumer who carries plastic, not cash. It reduces the complexity of credit card processing. Square drove credit card payment adoption by small businesses.
Based on the size and scale of your business, Square offers four different hardware solutions. The cheapest hardware offering is their mobile magstripe reader. This Square Reader is free at sign-up. Square has no hidden payment processing fees, charging 2.75% per swipe on all major credit cards. Keyed in transactions cost 3.5% + 15 cents. Finally, Square costs 2.9% + 30 cents for e-commerce transactions and invoices. Square Capital provides cash-flow for businesses to scale with new materials, supplies, and equipment.
The most exciting feature of Square might be their data visualization tool, Square Dashboard. Businesses can track businesses bottom line informing commercial decisions. Square makes for a powerful business management system. Square is an affordable solution for small businesses who do not need a more expensive, robust system.
ShopKeep – The Best POS System for iPad Users
Shopkeep is a dynamic retail POS hardware that supports many business models in the retail industry. This easy to use, sleek POS solution is the most highly-rated of its kind on the iOS App Store. ShopKeep primarily supports kiosk pop-up stores and market stalls- though it is also pushing into conventional brick and mortar stores. This likely stems from retailers’ distaste towards the hardware-heavy cash register industry.
ShopKeep is dedicated to small business; particularly those who see value in tailored POS solutions with on-demand features and payments. Proven to save time with automated inventory management, ShopKeep boosts business revenue. ShopKeep cites that their customers experience an average annual sales growth of 8%- higher than the national average.
Unlike bulky traditional POS systems, ShopKeep proves that portability is paramount. They know that their intuitive POS solution can be lightweight. All without falling short on reporting capabilities and analytics. ShopKeep’s POS software costs $69/month unlike Square’s which is free. That said, ShopKeep’s cost per transaction is lower than Square’s. Payment processing fees starting at 1.9% to 2.4% per transaction.
Vend – The Best Retail POS System
What makes Vend an appealing POS solution for retailers? Vend’s retail POS software functions doubles as an inventory management solution. Vend curbs the costs associated with the hardware required for in-store, mobile, and online transactions. Vend is a viable option for businesses who do not want to spend a sizable fortune on expensive hardware. Vend POS is a customer-centric answer to the problems retailers encounter with traditional POS hardware.
Vend works with Windows and iOS- even offline. Retailers can leverage the intuitive Vend Register iPad App. The app makes it simple to track sales online. The Vend POS app requires no contracts or minimums. Users can create custom receipts. They can use inventory management tools. They can even extend gift cards to customers. Vend even provides a simple to use barcode scanner. This enhances the retailer’s inventory tracking capabilities- and it’s free.
Vend’s cloud-based POS system enhances customer loyalty while optimizing reporting capabilities and analytics. Vend supports franchisees and e-commerce too. They even present their most basic package as a 30-day trial to new customers. Plans start at $99 a month, and users can pay month-to-month or yearly.
Toast – A Compelling and Affordable POS System for Restaurants
Toast is unique in that it only supports Android devices. Many restaurateurs prefer Android hardware for its price, customizability, and flexibility. Toast offers features specific to the restaurant industry. They encourage restaurants to use handheld Samsung tablets to take tableside orders. Toast includes functional features quick-service and full-service restaurants alike. For example, servers can split checks or receive notifications when an order is ready. This improves transaction speed and enhances the customers’ dining experiences.
Managers and restaurant owners can also set, change, and customize menus through Toast. With ease, restaurants set their own time-specific menu pricing for happy-hours or weekday specials. Restaurant cashiers, servers or bartenders benefit too. Toast POS displays tip percentages to customers. This feature results in better tips for servers and bartenders.
Of equal importance is Toast’s comprehensive analytics. Toast’s analytics extracts information on-demand and synthesizes data for easy consumption. Tailored financial performance indicators about sales and financial performance come to mind. Altogether, Toast POS software starts at $99/month. Every additional device costs a $50/month.
Revel Systems – POS hardware/software for SMB/Large Enterprises
This digital POS platform is ideal for SMB and Large Enterprise food service and retail businesses. Food-service POS solutions include drive-thru, pizza, restaurant, bakery, deli, coffee shop, and food trucks. Each product line is tailored to the unique business models of the businesses they serve. Retail POS systems include retail, events, wineries, breweries, and fuel stations. Revel even has a software solution for stadiums. Large-scale venues benefit the most from this particular line.
Revel is iPad compatible and has a host of compelling features. Notably, restaurants can apply customizable discounts to their digital menus in real-time. Not only that, Revel has innovative customer relationship management solutions. Using consumer data, Revel keeps track of customer-specific buying habits. Customer loyalty creation with Revel is built with rewards, discounts, and outbound messaging capabilities. All of these features are built to serve unique customers prompting repeat customer visits.
Unfortunately, Revel is a more pricey solution than Toast. There are hefty software and hardware costs involved. Revel software pricing packages are broken down by Express ($79/month), Professional ($99/month) and Enterprise (based on needs). Generally, Revel’s hardware costs for the Express package is about $610+ for a 10” Terminal. Professional packages start at $899+. Since Revel does not publish the details of their pricing, a 5-minute phone call is required. The upside is higher level reporting and a senior dedicated Account Manager. This is often a more viable solution for Mid-sized and Large Enterprise businesses.
POS System Summary
No matter what point of sale system you choose, Field Nation can help you install (and maintain) your POS systems. Don’t wait until after you buy a new POS system to realize your IT systems are not robust enough to support them. Field Nation can with everything from running low-voltage cables to power your POS devices to setting-up internet so they’re connected to the cloud.