For small or startup businesses on a limited budget, starting with a free retail point of sale (POS) software can be cost effective and cover most of your basic business needs. To help you decide which POS system is most suited to your retail business, we’ve compiled a list of free and open-source retail POS software and highlighted their key features.
The following are presented in alphabetical order and are based on rankings from search results on Google the week of December 16-20, 2019.
Free retail POS software
Most free retail POS software earn their revenue by offering a basic free version that is upgradeable with premium features. As such, it is worth noting that the set of features offered by the systems below may be limited in their capabilities.
eHopper is a cloud-based retail POS targeted at small retailers who have a limited budget but do not want to compromise on the quality of their software.
Best for: Small retailers looking for an easy-to-use and consolidated platform for order tracking, inventory management, and customer management. The system is best suited for retailers who require just a POS and register or an integration to QuickBooks.
- Offers applications like order tracking, inventory management, customer and tip management.
- Provides back-end store management features such as payment processing, reporting, staff management, and order and inventory processing.
- Allows split or full payments as well as the ability to print and email receipts.
- Available on Windows PCs, Android tablets, iPad, and Poynt Smart terminals.
Erply is a cloud-based retail POS for small and midsize businesses that want more versatility in their systems. The software operates on any hardware (e.g., printers or cash drawers) and operating system.
Best for: Small and midsize retailers that want a rich set of features (e.g., inventory management or customer relationship management) and flexibility to customize the system themselves.
- 30-day free trial.
- Comes with tools like inventory management, customer management, loyalty programs, promotional campaign management, and more.
- Has an offline mode.
- Available on Windows, iPad, and Android.
Vend is a cloud-based retail POS for retailers of varying types and sizes. It provides a robust set of inventory, sales, and customer management tools and is compatible with standard hardware platforms, such as printers, cash drawers, and bar code scanners.
Best for: Retailers that want their POS to manage inventory, customer transactions, and sales reporting.
- Provides inventory management, customer management, sales reporting, and integrations with Shopify.
- Offers the ability to operate with a variety of in-store hardware (e.g., receipt printers, bar code scanners, and cash drawers).
- Available on Macs, PCs, iPads, and has a dedicated iPad app.
Open-source retail POS software
Having an open-source retail software allows you to build a completely customized system for the needs of your retail operations. Some also allow easy integration with a variety of POS hardware. If you have a developer on your team with the knowledge and skills to configure and customize the source code, then this is an option to consider.
uniCenta is an open-source, multi-location, and multi-terminal POS system designed for small and midsize retailers and hospitality businesses. It provides features such as sales reporting, inventory management, as well as customer and employee management.
Best for: Retailers who want the flexibility to integrate and connect with third-party products with the goal to expand beyond the regular feature set of a POS system.
- Offers a free version on a trial-basis. Pricing starts at $49/month after a year.
- Provides features such as inventory management, reporting, CRM, and employee management.
- Formatted for any type of hardware—PC, Linux, Mac, or mobile.
- Ability to use application and source code.
- No license fee required and no vendor lock-in.
- Ability to install software on as many terminals and locations as needed.
- Provides offline transactions and customizable data fields.
- Offers shopping cart integration for ecommerce.
WallacePOS is an open-source, web-based POS system that’s compatible with a wide range of POS hardware and operating systems such as receipt printers, cash drawers, and bar code scanners.
Best for: Retailers that want to customize their own software and have easy integration with a variety of POS hardware.
- Offers features such as inventory, stock, and customer management.
- No software installations needed—just a URL address to get started.
- Multi-purpose and functional design to suit different types of retailers.
- Has an offline mode.
- Supports a range of standard POS hardware.
Why you should also consider paid systems
Cost is understandably a concern when shopping for a POS system. Having said that, investing in the right POS system early on can not only save you a lot of money down the road, but also time and effort in hours.
The right POS system can transform your retail business. Seasoned retailers will be the first to acknowledge the benefits of a paid POS; it makes it easier to run your business, and it gives you opportunities to increase your bottom line. It’s worth exploring the benefits that a paid retail POS software can offer you versus a free retail POS software.
Our expert software advisors are here to help. Schedule an appointment with an advisor for a quick 15 minute chat to discuss the needs of your retail store.