Top 5 Best POS Systems of 2023
What is a POS system?
A point-of-sale system, or POS system, is a group of hardware, software, and payment processing tools that retailers use to conduct in-person transactions. A point-of-sale (POS) system controls consumer purchases, receives payments, and issues receipts.
a retail outlet is also the location of a retail transaction between a merchant and a customer. Here, the retailer determines the sale price for the customer, logs the transaction, and offers payment choices. POS systems are commonly used by retailers to carry out these tasks. Among other things, contemporary POS systems also provide reports, aid in inventory management, and monitor employee hours.
How Does a POS System Work?
A POS system determines the customer’s purchase total, includes sales tax, processes the payment, and records the transaction’s time and date. Many POS systems create a paper or digital receipt and update inventory records after the transaction is complete. POS systems are the contemporary equivalent of traditional cash registers.
Hardware, software, and payment processing services are typically the three primary parts of a POS system.
Although hardware is frequently a part of POS systems, it is not always required. For instance, companies that primarily conduct business online wouldn’t need POS hardware.
The following list of POS hardware options: • Credit and debit card readers.
- Money drawers.
- Printers for receipts.
- Tablets or other touch-screen displays.
- Scanners for barcodes.
- Kiosks for self-ordering.
- Printers for kitchens.
- Printers for labels.
POS system software that is installed on-site
This software, also referred to as a legacy system, can only be used on the POS terminal where it is installed. It simplifies the payment processing procedure, keeps track of sales and labor data, and ideally synchronizes with accounting software. For very small firms with just one POS terminal and a focus on in-store sales, this strategy frequently works.
Software for POS systems that is hosted in the cloud syncs data from many POS terminals and often provides access from both mobile and desktop devices. For organizations that operate online, on the go, have many locations, or have terminals at different locations, cloud-based POS software may be the better option because it offers more flexibility. Popular POS providers with cloud-based platforms include Clover, Square, Toast, and Shopify.
Services for processing payments
A payment processor acts as a go-between for debit and credit card transactions between the merchant, the customer, and the banks. A lot of POS systems have an internal payment processor that manages card transactions. Services for credit card processing may have additional costs.
How to Choose the Best POS System?
After discussing the fundamentals of point-of-sale systems and who they are for, let’s take a closer look at some of the key factors you should bear in mind when choosing a solution for your company.
Identify and resolve your company’s needs.
It can be tempting to start your search for POS providers right once, but it’s best to first conduct some internal research and determine your needs. By doing this, you will be able to clearly identify what you require (and do not require), which will make your search much simpler.
Flaws of the current system
If you currently use a POS system and want to replace it, start by evaluating its drawbacks. What elements of the solution are lacking? What are some things you wish you could do with it? What bothers you the most?
When you’re looking for solutions on the market, take notice of the answers to these questions and use them. You might consider it while evaluating options later, for instance, if one of the drawbacks of your system is that it cannot accept gift cards.
Talking to your team about your POS system is also beneficial. Ask your cashiers and other employees the aforementioned questions, and then record their responses.
If you already have a setup and are satisfied with your hardware, focus on solutions that fit with it. Point-of-sale equipment can be a significant investment.
Consider that your point of sale system is an iPad. In this situation, you should search for iPad-friendly solutions.
Make sure the POS system you chose is compatible with items like printers, drawers, credit card terminals, and barcode scanners by taking note of them.
Applications or software you use
The same is true of any programs or software you may be utilizing. If you’re satisfied with your CRM, e-commerce platforms, accounting software, etc., make sure the point-of-sale solution integrates with those programs.
You require a solution that works inside your budget for obvious reasons. Retail POS software and restaurant POS systems come in a variety of price ranges and billing plans.
Some systems have a monthly subscription price, which can run anywhere from $29 to well over $500. There are POS solution vendors who offer both, in addition to other providers who deduct a portion of your sales.
Your needs and financial situation will determine the finest POS system. However, often, the costs you’ll incur depend on things like:
- Specifications and capabilities
- number of places
- Users in number
- volume of transactions
- in-store size
- Size of the customer database
Best POS Systems of 2023
One of the most well-known platforms for creating online stores is Shopify. It gives consumers the option of building on pre-made themes (without having to learn how to code) or giving developers access to CSS, HTML, and Liquid, Shopify’s own coding language. Users don’t need to buy web hosting or software because it’s a hosted platform.
Shopify offers five distinct plan tiers, with the Starter plan costing $5 per month and the customizable Shopify Plus costing over $2k per month. Even though the Starter plan appears to be a great deal, you can only use it to sell on messaging and social media platforms. The most popular plans are Basic,
Shopify, and Advanced ($29, $79, and $299, respectively), are the middle tiers. As you advance up the levels, transaction and credit card costs, as well as delivery savings, become less expensive and start out more expensive on the simplest plans.
Shopify offers 93 additional premium themes for purchase, with prices ranging normally between $200 and $350, along with 9 customizable free themes. You can also create your own, although doing so will require technical expertise.
Regardless of the theme you select, Shopify’s user interface is simple to understand and use, enabling you to set up various platforms or sales channels on which to sell your products.
It’s important to remember that although Shopify is mostly recognized for its online platforms, it also provides POS hardware and software designed for brick-and-mortar businesses.
This includes innovative all-in-one solutions like Shopify POS Go as well as card readers, receipt printers, barcode scanners, and tills, all of which need to be connected to a tablet or smartphone.
eHopper provides low-cost point-of-sale software designed for both retail and restaurant applications, however, the latter may be missing some functionality. Its free plan, Essential, offers a free e-commerce website, a payment terminal, and software along with free processing through a cash discount or credit surcharge,
which effectively charges your consumers the processing fee. Keep in mind that Essential is not a good option for a larger business because it only supports 1 POS, 300 transactions per month, and 50 goods.
However, you get two licenses, limitless items, training, implementation support, Quickbooks integration,
low stock notifications, and a barcode manager with eHopper’s premium OmniChannel plan ($39.99/m). Additionally, it has a simple design with tabs and drop-down options that are simple to use and make it simple to amend orders, adjust inventory, give refunds, clock in and out, and process sales.
With many options for full or fast-service meals, retail, personal services, professional services, or home and field services, Clover is a simple-to-use POS system created for small and mid-sized enterprises.
Customers must first purchase Clover hardware (either through the company’s website or through a different First Data partner) and sign up for a merchant account. There are two versions of the Clover software:
- Register Lite and Register.
Its most affordable package, Register Lite, costs $9.95/m after a trial of 30 days. You may add third-party apps from the Clover App Market, track sales, view reports, and configure user permissions.
The more expensive Register tier of Clover likewise offers a one-month free trial before charging $39.95/m. This subscription offers advanced reporting, inventory management, and customer loyalty programs in addition to what’s offered by Register Lite.
Granular reporting capabilities and strong analysis tools set Clover apart from the competition. To better understand what you’re selling and when you may utilize Clover to break down sales by revenue class and category. While past period data makes it simple to identify trend lines, source of order reporting allows you to break down your sales by location and channel.
Revel Systems delivers a complete solution that includes a number of capabilities baked into a single integrated restaurant management software system for owners and managers of eateries.
Revel software is only at this time accessible for the iPad. However, Revel can integrate with a wide range of printers and payment systems.
Revel’s users can manage loyalty programs, schedule personnel, and do a number of additional customer relations management tasks in addition to the standard sales function.
Revel Systems provides two choices:
- Revels Essentials is designed with small companies and independent franchise operators in mind. A variety of capabilities, including an employee administration tool and an inventory management system, are included with Revels Essentials. Additionally, it performs analytics and reporting. These give consumers an in-depth analysis of sales, inventories, and payroll.
- Larger restaurant chains can use a standardized workflow provided by Revels Enterprise. Remote management of numerous locations is made possible by cloud integration for business owners.
- Retail Free and Point of Sale are two of Square’s two free plans, and both are great choices for constrained business owners. Square is a desirable choice for individuals who wish to test-drive their POS system before committing to the paid plan because of this as well. Another option is Square for Retail Plus, which costs only $60 per month per location.
With a variety of features, Square’s plans are a reliable all-in-one software solution for small enterprises. It also creates statistics to track sales data and trends in addition to accepting a range of payment choices, including CashApp and AfterPay as a result of the latter’s acquisition in 2021.
Square allows product modification (for instance, you may charge for adding guacamole to a burrito), delivery surface integration, and configurable interfaces. You have more options with Square than just digital wallets or credit cards. Additionally, the platform supports cash payments, which is essential for many small enterprises. Users, items, and transactions are limitless in both of the free plans.
Other beneficial characteristics include:
- scheduling software
- Payroll administration
- Payables features
- The ability of e-commerce platforms
- transaction processing
- customer services
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