4 Best POS Systems in 2021

Originally designed to help you manage transactions with your customers, POS systems quickly evolved into very effective tools for tracking inventory and maintaining staff oversight. Some of the most modern software options also provide detailed business reports, helping you accelerate your growth. But every business has a unique set of needs. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the leading names in the industry to help you choose the best POS system.

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Top 4 POS Systems in 2021

1. Square

Square is one of the best restaurant POS systems because it saves you time and helps you run your business. This cloud-based solution is also popular among other businesses, including retail shops. Square is much more than a cash register. In addition to various hardware products, it offers comprehensive software support. You can manage multiple shops, track orders, and accept various payment methods. Moreover, Square is a time-tracking system that comes with analytical tools for assessing the performance of your employees. To help you stay on top of things, the system also sends reports about your most purchased services or products. Full Review

  • Free POS system, charges only processing fees
  • Helps manage restaurants, bars, or shops
  • Integrates with payroll software products

Square is one of the best restaurant POS systems because it saves you time and helps you run your business. This cloud-based solution is also popular among other businesses, including retail shops. Square is much more than a cash register. In addition to various hardware products, it offers comprehensive software support. You can manage multiple shops, track orders, and accept various payment methods. Moreover, Square is a time-tracking system that comes with analytical tools for assessing the performance of your employees. To help you stay on top of things, the system also sends reports about your most purchased services or products. Full Review

2. ShopKeep

The best restaurants require POS systems that can do everything from tracking raw ingredients to managing bookings. ShopKeep stands out thanks to its superior inventory management options. Depending on the pricing plan you choose, you’ll get numerous other tools for managing your online shop, tracking orders, and creating gift cards and loyalty programs. ShopKeep also enables fast and secure payment processing. Its hardware components come in different kits, and you can buy each one separately. Full Review

  • Easy to navigate
  • Fast and secure checkout procedure
  • Excellent inventory management

The best restaurants require POS systems that can do everything from tracking raw ingredients to managing bookings. ShopKeep stands out thanks to its superior inventory management options. Depending on the pricing plan you choose, you’ll get numerous other tools for managing your online shop, tracking orders, and creating gift cards and loyalty programs. ShopKeep also enables fast and secure payment processing. Its hardware components come in different kits, and you can buy each one separately. Full Review

3. QuickBooks

QuickBooks is an excellent retail point of sale software solution. It includes all the features you need to complete payments quickly and securely, organize your shop, and track customer preferences. Moreover, it integrates seamlessly with other QuickBooks software products, including accounting and payroll software. It’s available in three different versions: Basic, Pro, and Multi-Store. Full Review

  • One-time payment
  • Various hardware options
  • Manages inventory for multiple stores

QuickBooks is an excellent retail point of sale software solution. It includes all the features you need to complete payments quickly and securely, organize your shop, and track customer preferences. Moreover, it integrates seamlessly with other QuickBooks software products, including accounting and payroll software. It’s available in three different versions: Basic, Pro, and Multi-Store. Full Review

4. Shopify POS

Shopify is one of the best POS systems for small businesses that want to manage both online shops and physical stores. It acts as a central platform that allows you to connect the stores and unify sales from different locations. It comes with various features designed to enhance the shopping experience for your customers. For example, your customers can pay online and pick up their order at the shop. For every customer, you can create a profile with contact details and a history of purchased articles. Full Review

  • Integration with online shops
  • Detailed business reports
  • Robust POS inventory management tools

Shopify is one of the best POS systems for small businesses that want to manage both online shops and physical stores. It acts as a central platform that allows you to connect the stores and unify sales from different locations. It comes with various features designed to enhance the shopping experience for your customers. For example, your customers can pay online and pick up their order at the shop. For every customer, you can create a profile with contact details and a history of purchased articles. Full Review

Best POS System: Top Choices for Your Business

Square: This point of sale software is best known for its flexibility. Even if you aren’t prepared to purchase some of the hardware, you’re still in for an excellent experience with the vendor’s software functionalities.

ShopKeep: This is an easy-to-use point of sale system that’s perfectly tailored to businesses where lots of employees have to use the system.

QuickBooks: A great online POS system for those who already use other QuickBooks software products. Whether you’re selling clothes, jewelry, or furniture, the software has great inventory management tools.

Shopify: This is one of the best point of sale solutions for business owners who want to use a central platform to track in-store and online sales.

Detailed Reviews

Square POS
Square POS

BEST FOR

overall

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  • Deployment: Cloud-based
  • Inventory management tools: Yes
  • Integration: QuickBooks, Xero, and multiple eCommerce solutions
  • Available support: Email, phone, guides, videos

If you’re looking for a point of sales system for a small business, you’re bound to come across Square. It has versatile hardware components that integrate seamlessly with both Android and iOS devices. The software enables fast and secure payments and has many other functions. It can track inventory, monitor the performance of employees, and track customer preferences.

Processing Payments

Square is a point of sale system that enables you to accept payments in many ways. You can use the vendor’s contactless or chip readers or the online and mobile app payments. If you spend most of your time in the field, you don’t need to worry about payments. Whether your clients are using debit or credit cards, Square’s reader for magstripe ensures a quick payment process.

Checkout Procedure

If you’re looking for the best POS system for a restaurant, Square is the perfect solution. The software is easy to set up, and its user interface serves as an efficient vehicle for managing orders and charging bills. You can customize the menu with the most popular items as well as syncing chefs and waiters while ensuring that your guests get the best possible service.

When the order is done, the guests can split the bill as they wish. With this POS program, you can print bills or send them to your clients via email or SMS.

Team Management

As is the case with all of the best POS software products, the Square POS system is supported by powerful tools and features, so you can get the best results from your team members.  However, many employees you have, you can use this service for free.

Square enables you to track the working hours of your employees. You can track the performance of each worker by seeing who is working overtime and who isn’t working enough.

Customer Management

Whether you use the Square system for your coffee shop or for managing a boutique, it can help you figure out your customers’ preferences. Like most of the best POS systems, Square stores personal information, including the name and contact address. It also displays the list of orders that each customer makes, allowing you to see what people are buying and what’s popular. Once you find out what your regulars like, you can create a loyalty program for them. Note that the price for the loyalty service starts at $45 per month, and it rises based on the number of loyalty visits.

Inventory Management

Square inventory management is another function that is useful for all industries. It enables you to track the status of each product you sell. If your stocks become depleted at any point, the retail POS software notifies you via email, so you can replenish your stock on time.

Analytics

Not only does the software display the status of each item you have in your shop, but it also sends reports on sales. You can see what your best-selling products are and which shops sell the most.

It doesn’t matter where you are, you can use this restaurant POS on your iPad and get valuable insights into your business performance and decide what your next move should be.

Pricing

One of the things that makes this the best point of sale system is the Square POS pricing plan. It’s one of the few companies that allows you to use the software free of charge, but you’ll need to pay processing fees. The rate is 2.6% + 10¢ for any payment method you accept.

Customer Support

Square’s customer support agents are available via telephone for sellers who have fully activated accounts. Otherwise, you can send them an email and expect a reply within 24 hours. The company’s website also includes plenty of guides and video presentations on how to use this POS system.

Pros:  Cons: 
Various hardware options Additional fees for some features
Secure payments Lengthy transaction processing times
Manage shops from anywhere No live chat support

 

ShopKeep
ShopKeep

BEST FOR

small business owners

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  • Deployment: Cloud-based
  • Inventory management tools: Yes
  • Integration: QuickBooks
  • Available support: Email, phone

Launched in 2008, ShopKeep is POS software dedicated to small businesses. The New York-based company has developed a centralized platform that facilitates a fast and reliable payment process. There are a variety of other tools for managing a successful business, including impressive inventory management options. More than 25,000 clients from various industries use this software, including restaurants, bars, and coffee shops.

Processing Payments

ShopKeep offers several hardware bundles that include a cash drawer, iPad enclosure, printer and reader devices, and a barcode scanner. With ShopKeep, you can tailor your POS hardware to your unique business needs and purchase drivers à la carte. According to numerous online reviews, this is the best iPad POS system that you can find on the market. You can also set up mobile and online payments that support debit and credit cards. Popular mobile payment methods, like Apple Pay and Google Pay, are also available.

Checkout Procedure

The aforementioned Shopkeep bundles can be tailored to accommodate many businesses. Depending on your needs, you can choose between several specially designed kits for retailers, restaurants, or quick services. You also have the option of using a third-party payment provider.

Team Management

Many users applaud ShopKeep for its simplicity. The dashboard is intuitive, with neatly organized features and tools. These are definitely some of the reasons why ShopKeep is considered the best POS system for bars and nightclubs that have part-time workers who need to learn how to use the software.

In addition, ShopKeep allows you to manage the level of access that you grant to each of your employees. For instance, if you have seasonal workers, you don’t need to give them access to all of the software’s features, just the ones they need to do their job.

Customer Management

When it comes to customer management, ShopKeep covers all the bases. Firstly, it allows you to create your own website from scratch by using its templates and basic SEO tools. To help you attract new customers, ShopKeep enables you to create Google Ads and advertise your business on Instagram, Facebook, and other social media platforms.

Of course, you can also use this POS system for your retail store gift cards. You can customize them and add your brand name. For regular customers, there is also a loyalty program.

Inventory Management

ShopKeep offers a broad range of inventory management options that are suitable for restaurants, boutiques, and various other businesses. There are no limits on the types of products you can manage, and users rely on ShopKeep to organize everything from raw ingredients to clothes and shoes. You can set the alarm to remind you when you need to restock your shelves with new items. ShopKeep made a name for itself as the best POS for restaurant inventory management by allowing users to track their supplies of liquids, coffee, and sugar.

Analytics

Thanks to ShopKeep’s reporting and analytics tools, you’ll never have to make a business decision based on guesswork. The real-time insights you get from these features will give you a much better understanding of what’s driving your profits and what expenses you need to cut. Thanks to what’s probably the best POS system on the market, you can break down sales by departments or items or track the cash flow for each shift.

Pricing

ShopKeep offers three pricing plans: Basic, Essential, and Advanced. Each of these involves an annual or a monthly subscription. The annual subscription for the Basic plan costs $49/month, but you get a limited number of features with this option. If you plan on using this POS system for retail, you’ll need to sign up for the more expensive packages.

The Essential plan is $79 per month with an annual subscription, while the Advanced plan costs $179 per month. Each plan includes a contactless payment option, eCommerce store, online ordering, QuickBooks integration, and gift cards. With the Advanced plan, you’ll also get options to create customer loyalty programs, social media management tools, and expensive hardware bundles.

Customer Support

One of the things we like about ShopKeep is its support page. Here you can find a rich FAQ section as well as a glossary section that can be really helpful for less experienced retailers. Moreover, the support page includes numerous videos on how to use the ShopKeep POS system for a small business.

Pros:  Cons: 
Point of sale hardware products available à la carte Basic plan has limited features
Quickbooks integration No free trial
Social media management Expensive monthly subscription

 

QuickBooks POS
QuickBooks POS

BEST FOR

small retail businesses

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  • Deployment: Cloud-based
  • Inventory management tools: Yes
  • Integration: QuickBooks apps
  • Available support: Phone, email, support page

QuickBooks offers a comprehensive solution that provides retailers with various software products for successful business management. The company is perhaps best known for its popular bookkeeping software, but QuickBooks also offers a point of sale system for small businesses.

In addition to the software, there is a wide range of QuickBooks point of sale hardware components, from mPOPs and PIN pads to wireless barcode scanners.

Processing Payments

Whatever device you use, the QuickBooks retail POS system enables you to streamline the payment process. All types of credit cards are supported whether you’re swiping, tapping, or inserting. QuickBooks also supports mobile and contactless payments. This adds an additional degree of convenience for your customers, who can pay using Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Samsung Pay.

Much like other retail POS systems, QuickBooks charges payment processing fees. The rates depend on the plan you choose to subscribe to and the payment methods you use.

Checkout Procedure

Earlier in our QuickBooks POS review, we touched on some of the hardware that the company manufactures. Among these devices are wireless barcode scanners that really come in handy when you need to check items from anywhere in the store. To ring up sales, you can use some of the latest QuickBooks tablet options.

As for the QuickBooks software, it’s simple to use. So whatever hardware you choose, the payment procedure will be fast and secure.

Team Management

The QuickBooks POS system for sale integrates with the rest of the company’s software products, including the employee time-tracking app — TSheets. The software helps you manage your staff through effortless time-tracking and faster payroll options. Unlike the Square management app, QuickBooks might not be the perfect fit for those who are looking for more comprehensive tools to assess the productivity of their employees.

Customer Management

QuickBooks POS is primarily designed for small retail outlets, including boutiques and sports equipment stores. Its customer management tools allow you to identify the preferences of shoppers so you can improve the overall shopping experience. You can also create branded gift cards and add coupons and promotions to your website. Just like other POS systems for retail, QuickBooks can help you collect loyalty cards for your regular clients.

Inventory Management

The QuickBooks POS software solution also comes with powerful inventory management tools that you can use to organize your products and keep track of what you have in your store. For example, if you’re selling clothes, you can organize products by brand, size, or color. You can also set up regular inventory updates.

The best part about using the QuickBooks POS service is that you don’t need to be physically present in your store for inventory management. Moreover, you can manage multiple stores using only one POS system software platform.

Analytics

Anyone who uses POS software for their small business needs a solution that comes with powerful analytics and reporting tools. QuickBooks provides decent reports on your customer behavior. Add to that detailed inventory reports, and you’ll be able to identify areas that need improvement so you can increase your revenue.

Pricing

As for the QuickBooks POS cost, there are three pricing options that you can choose from. QuickBooks is not exactly a cheap POS system, but keep in mind that these are one-time purchases and not a monthly subscription and that hardware is sold separately.

The first option is the POS Basic, which costs $1,200. It includes point of sales system features for the checkout process, contactless payments, inventory management, and reporting. However, this plan doesn’t include gift cards and loyalty base creation. You can enjoy those features and many other perks if you get the POS Pro plan for $1,700.

The most comprehensive plan is POS Multi-Store, which costs $1,900. There isn’t much of a difference between the Pro and Multi-Store options, except that the latter enables you to manage the transfer of inventory between shops and provides advanced reporting by store.

Customer Support

If you decide to use QuickBooks POS for your small business, you won’t have a problem setting it up and connecting it with other devices and apps. The website provides a rich selection of guides and articles on how to use this cloud-based POS. You can also get in touch with customer support agents via live chat or call them on weekdays between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. PT.

Pros:  Cons: 
Integration with other QuickBooks products Gift cards and loyalty program not available with the basic plan
Accepts Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay Limited team management options
eCommerce integration Outdated interface

 

 

 

 

 

Shopify
Shopify

BEST FOR

quick and easy connection of online and physical store

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  • Deployment: Cloud-based
  • Inventory management tools: Yes
  • Integration: Long list of apps and software options
  • Available support: Live chat, webinars, video tutorials, Shopify community

Shopify is the best retail POS software for those who want to use a central platform to manage both their online and brick-and-mortar stores. More than one million users are already using Shopify to manage retail shops, process transactions, and advertise their products.

If you’re looking for the best POS hardware products, Shopify’s list might appear inadequate at first. However, the items Shopify does provide are of the highest quality. According to online Shopify POS reviews, connecting eCommerce stores with Shopify point of sale systems is extremely easy. If you already use any other POS, this retail point of sales system will help you transfer your data to its platform quickly.

Processing Payments

Just like many other point of sale systems, Shopify enables your customers to complete any POS payment using various methods, including credit and debit cards, Apple Pay, and Google Play.

Transaction fees vary depending on the pricing plan you choose. With the Basic Plan, the point of sale transaction fee is 2.7% + 0¢ USD. The Shopify Plan has a 2.5% + 0¢ USD transaction fee, and there is an Advanced plan with a fee of 2.4% + 0¢ USD.  The prices apply to in-store payments and all types of credit cards. For online transactions, the flat transaction fee rises from 0¢ USD to 30¢ USD, while the percentage fees increase slightly.

Checkout Procedure

Shopify has a simple POS system that is highly functional. It works on almost every type of device and platform, so you can keep track of sales from your phone or tablet. You can use Shopify’s mobile POS system anywhere in your store and complete transactions faster. There is also the option of creating customizable grids. Each time you look at your points of sales display, you can easily find the top sellers, discounts, and the features you use the most.

Team Management

Shopify also offers plenty of features for tracking the performance of your employees. In order to give them access to the software, you need to create unique PINs for every employee. With the Shopify POS Pro plan, you can create as many employee accounts as you wish.

This POS system for retail stores enables you to track sales by each of your employees so you know who your best sellers are.

Customer Management

Customer management options are also versatile. You can create personal profiles for your clients and learn more about their shopping habits. You can track their order history, see if they have special requests, and take note of which shipping methods they prefer.

Inventory Management

Shopify has a robust POS inventory system that enables users to manage and transfer inventory between multiple stores. You can also view and adjust your inventory any time you want. This management tool helps you avoid selling more stock than you have and pinpoints when you need to order more products.

Analytics

Like other top POS systems, Shopify generates detailed reports on your business. You can get a report that shows only sales data, including lists of your top sellers and the most popular products. You can also get cash flow, finance, and discount reports.

Pricing

You can count on plenty of benefits if you choose to go ahead with your Shopify POS purchase. These include data migration, 24/7 customer support, and help during the onboarding process.

Shopify offers three pricing models: Basic ($29/mo), Shopify ($79/mo), and Advanced ($299/mo). Each of these includes the Shopify POS Lite program, which makes it possible for you to accept in-person payments at markets, pop-ups, and fairs. But if you want the very best retail POS system that has essential omnichannel features for brick-and-mortar businesses, you’ll have to dish out an additional $89 per month for Shopify POS Pro.

Customer Support

Shopify offers various support options for its users. There are video tutorials and webinars that you can watch. With a Shopify account, you can get access to a support agent at any time of day.

Pros:  Cons: 
Fast and secure migration to Shopify POS Additional fees for using other payment providers
Supports various payment options Basic plan has limited POS features
Excellent support center Limited staff management features with Shopify POS Lite

 

 

 

Top POS Systems for Restaurants: Do You Really Need One?

The short answer to this question is yes, you definitely need one. Most businesses can benefit from using POS systems, and that’s certainly the case when it comes to restaurants. The best solutions connect payment processing with team and customer management tools, as well as detailed analytics tools and reporting features. Here are some of the reasons why you should use a POS system.

Serve more guests

Good service is a key ingredient for success in any restaurant or coffee shop. Satisfied guests are the best advertisement for your business.

Organize waiters and chefs

Point of sale systems for restaurants allow you to sync guests’ orders with your kitchen management. This helps you speed up meal preparation while enabling your chefs to organize their staff better.

Accept payments quickly and accurately

POS systems help you avoid long lines at the cash register. They also eliminate human error and enable secure transactions.

Our Methodology for Evaluating Small Business POS System Solutions

POS systems can be programmed to accommodate various businesses, including restaurants, bars, grocery stores, and boutiques. Some providers invest in creating POS systems that have advanced reporting tools, while others design robust tools for managing inventory. However, there are things that each system should have in order to fulfill the most basic needs of any business.

Processing Payments

It wasn’t so long ago when you could only settle your bills using cash or check. Today, the options are much more versatile. You can use various debit and credit cards, which you can either swipe, insert, or tap. Other options are also becoming more popular, including Apple Pay and Google Pay. To stay on top of the game, POS system providers have designed products that support the many different payment options.

Employee Management

Whether you use POS software for a PC or a mobile device, it should be equipped with team management tools. A POS system should also be easy to use and manage, so you don’t need to spend lots of time training employees. The best system allows you to create accounts for your employees and manage their access levels.

Customer Management

We couldn’t imagine a POS system without customer management tools. This ensures that you know everything about the shopping habits of your clients. Track their orders, see which products they prefer buying and when, and grant them access to your loyalty program or sale coupons.

Inventory Management

The best POS restaurant software makes it incredibly easy to view, adjust, and transfer your inventory. The best systems enable you to track and organize each article you have, including your raw materials.

Reporting Tools

How many products did your employees sell today? What is the most popular meal at your restaurant? Who is your best seller? The right POS systems will help you answer all of these questions and provide various reports on your business performance.

Hardware Products

Point of sale companies offer many different products, including cash drawers, terminals, tablet-holders, barcode scanners, and label printers. You can buy them as a bundle or à la carte, but before purchasing anything, make sure to identify the products that are necessary for your business.

Customer Support

Customer support is another important factor to keep in mind when choosing the POS system for your business. Most of the companies on our list provide clients with reliable, fast, and knowledgeable agents who can help you solve any problem. Their websites also offer lots of video guides and tutorials on how to use the POS systems.

Pricing

Finally, we get to the POS system price. Most companies in the industry are transparent about the prices of the various packages on offer. Some have monthly subscriptions, while others offer one-time purchases. You also need to check the transaction fees your payment processor of choice charges.

FAQ

What is a POS system?

A POS system includes both software and hardware components that enable fast and reliable payment processing when customers make purchases.

What is the best POS system for a bar?

ShopKeep is widely considered the best POS system for bars and restaurants. It’s simple to use and provides useful inventory management tools that help you track and organize your supplies.

What POS system do most retailers use?

There are numerous retailer POS software products on the market. Your unique business needs will determine which of those is the best one. Shopify is among the most popular options among retailers because it allows them to manage both physical and online stores.

How does Square POS work?

Much like all modern POS systems, Square is easy to set up and use. Everything is well-organized, so you can find what you need really quickly. Many consider it the best POS system because you can use it on a tablet or mobile phone for orders and payments.