3 Top-Rated Affordable POS Software

By: Saumya Srivastava on April 26, 2024

Do away with long checkout lines and an overwhelmed sales team by investing in point of sale software (POS). The tool frees your in-store sales teams’ time and lets them focus on enhancing customer experience. You can track your store performance, including inventory, cash flow, average sales, and other key metrics to boost the bottom time of your small business.

If you’re a small business running on a tight budget or have just started out your retail outlet, this article lists three top-rated affordable point of sale software based on verified user reviews and pricing found on vendor websites. Per our research, we’ve considered products with base plans priced less than $49 per month as affordable software and arranged them in ascending order of their prices. Read more.

The software tools in this article offer point of sale capabilities to enable payments, manage inventory, generate catalogs, and create custom store performance reports.

What is a base software plan?

A base plan is the most affordable pricing tier offered by a software provider. Besides having the lowest price, base plans provide access to all core software features. However, they may have limitations compared to higher-tier plans in terms of the available functionality, storage capacity, number of user seats, support options, etc.

We selected products for this article based on their average ratings between March 2022 - March 2024, which may differ from their current overall average ratings.

1. Shopify POS

Shopify POS offers in-person selling with features to process payments, manage inventory, and track sales. The tool allows selling on social media and messaging apps, such as Facebook, Instagram, or WhatsApp. Customers can select the item and use the Shopify payments checkout to purchase directly through chat. Shopify POS also allows building a basic online store, customizing its colors, and adding the brand logo. 

The base price plan for Shopify POS offers a single POS login for in-person selling with debit or credit card processing fees starting from 5% for third-party payment providers and limited product listings. Switching to a higher plan allows selling in-person, online, on social media, and through digital marketplaces. A higher subscription plan also offers 2% debit or credit card processing fees and unlimited POS logins for a single POS location.

Base plan features:*

  • Linkpop page: Create a Linkpop page that takes the social media page visitors directly to a list of top products for online ordering. Include the page link in the user's social media profile description or website link. 

  • Order management: Display all the orders on the ‘Order Screen’. Users can review details, such as item purchases, customer information, and total price. The feature also allows users to add notes to orders for future reference on specific customer requirements. 

  • Analytics: Access daily sales reports within the Shopify POS application. The reports include net sales (total sales minus returns) for the current day, a comparison of the same day’s sales in two weeks, average order value and comparison, and top product variants sold daily. 

Starting price: $5 per month for selling on social

Cost to upgrade: $54 per month for selling at retail

Billing cycle: Monthly

Pricing converted from INR to USD using xe.com

Customer support options: FAQs, help center, user community, and blog

Who should consider Shopify POS?

Shopify POS benefits small retailers starting online selling or small businesses looking to establish a basic online ordering store alongside their physical store. It helps manage in-person sales, inventory across stores, and sales performance. The integrated payments portal simplifies processing payments on social media channels and chatting applications.

Shopify POS

Shopify POS

4.65 out of 5 stars

141 reviews

Pro tip

Check if the software subscription and device operation costs (maintenance, setup, etc) together aren’t higher than the ownership cost. This ensures you get good value for money that aligns with your budgetary constraints instead of simply putting money into low-cost devices.

2. SpotOn

POS capabilities within SpotOn software offer an integrated dashboard for managing marketing, reporting, customer reviews, invoicing, and virtual terminal activities. Users can create and launch targeted email marketing campaigns, gain insights into business performance through comprehensive reports, monitor and respond to online reviews across connected platforms, and create and send professional invoices to customers via email. 

SpotOn’s base plan offers a countertop POS terminal with a 15.6” touchscreen and 8” customer-facing display or a 5.5” handheld POS. Both come with built-in payment processing. Users can contact the POS provider via email to switch to a higher plan with advanced features and capabilities.

Base plan features:*

  • Custom product catalog: Add individual products to the catalog, including descriptions and variations, such as color, size, price, and images. The feature allows organizing products into categories and subcategories for browsing by customers on the POS system.

  • Countertop POS: Install the countertop POS with SpotOn software to process transactions, manage inventory, and generate reports on the countertop itself.

  • Customer loyalty program: Design a loyalty program that rewards customers for purchases. Users can offer points, discounts, or free items based on spending threshold. The feature allows setting up automated rewards for actions, such as signing up, making a purchase, or visiting on a birthday or anniversary.

Starting price: $25 per month

Cost to upgrade: Available upon request from the vendor

Billing cycle: Annual

Customer support options: Help center, chat, blog, and FAQs

Who should consider SpotOn?

In-store sellers looking to enhance customer experience and loyalty with points and discounts leverage SpotOn’s countertop POS’ built-in customer loyalty program. The POS can also be used to manage inventory, generate store performance reports, customize the product catalog for changes or additions, and process payments without switching between applications or counters.

SpotOn

SpotOn

4.34 out of 5 stars

312 reviews

Pro tip

Opt for POS tools where store performance reports can be accessed on mobile devices without any lag. This mobile POS system compatibility enables on-the-go access to stored data, leading to efficient and on-time decision-making.

3. PHP Point of Sale

PHP Point of Sale system comes with an offline mode, allowing users to process sales even when the internet connection is unavailable. Users must log in as administrators and enable offline mode in the store configuration settings. When the application detects the device is offline, it automatically switches to offline mode. The sync runs in the background once daily after the browser is open and logged in.

The base plan for the PHP Point of Sale system offers a cloud/hosted version of the software to handle the POS system's backup, upgrades, and hosting. Upgrading to a higher plan enables downloading the software on a preferred device.

Base plan features:*

  • Currency exchange: Accept any country’s denomination while selling or returning. The feature utilizes its exchange rate repository to find the latest exchange rates and convert the input currency as desired. 

  • Barcode label printing: Create barcode labels for products that arrive at the store after the return or on demand. The labels include brand name and logo, product name, description, item count, weight, manufacturer, and country of origin.

  • Multilingual: Use the software interface in 11 languages, such as English, Spanish, French, or German, for both customers and the staff. 

Starting price: $32.50 per month

Cost to upgrade: Available upon request from the vendor

Billing cycle: Annual

Customer support options: FAQs, help center, phone calls and emails

Who should consider PHP Point of Sale?

PHP POS tool’s offline mode allows continued sales processing orders and does not let temporary disruptions affect store productivity in areas with unreliable internet access. Additionally, stores with international clientele leverage multilingual interfaces (staff and customer-facing) in 11 languages to address a wider audience with currency exchange support.

PHP Point of Sale

PHP Point of Sale

4.69 out of 5 stars

341 reviews

Pro tip

Consider sales POS system software with customization and integration options to pair with other store software. For example, the selected tool should seamlessly integrate with your accounting software, ecommerce portal, or website-building tool and let you add specific functionalities, features, or dashboards for specific team needs.

Top 5 POS software features users rate as highly critical

All the products listed in this article include the features mentioned below. To identify these, we asked users to rate, on a scale of “low importance” to “critical,” how important different features are for POS software. The features showcased are those that the highest percentage of reviewers rated as “highly important” or “critical” over the past two years (as of March 22, 2024).

Feature name

Criticality rating (%)

Description

Payment processing

88%

Accept, record, and reconcile financial transactions using the payment processor POS system with a set payment processing fee.

Electronic payments

85%

Initiate transactions or payments for goods and services through a POS machine, such as a card reader or mobile wallet.

Sales reports

82%

Generate store performance reports specific to sales analysis for trends and strategies.

Order management

73%

Organize, track, monitor, and execute customer orders for purchases.

Inventory management

67%

Track and manage the quantity of resources on hand to maintain proper supply.

How much does POS software cost?

A POS tool can cost as low as $4.79 per month or up to $249+ per month, depending on various factors—features, number of users, POS machine and software, payment processing charges, deployment and installation options. Most POS solutions typically include the following pricing plans:

  • Free trial: No-cost plans ranging from 14 to 30 days, giving users access to all or limited software features. These are ideal for businesses that wish to try out a tool before purchasing it.

  • Free version: A free plan offers access to basic features, such as payment processing and sales reports. A free POS software plan is ideal for small business owners with a limited budget.

  • Entry-level: Starts at $4.79 per month and offers retail POS, inventory management, order management, multilingual support, currency exchange, and countertop POS These are ideal for small businesses and teams with basic POS platform needs.

  • Mid-tier: Range from $37.4 to $169 per month and offers features such as accounting, a custom ecommerce website, social media selling, and a customizable dashboard. These are ideal for small businesses and teams that have outgrown basic POS solutions and don’t require the full range of functionality offered by enterprise-level tools.

  • High-end: Advanced software plans go up to or over $249 per month and offer unlimited entry-level and mid-tier features with cloud storage and priority support. These advanced features are ideal for larger businesses spread across the globe.

Hidden costs associated with affordable POS software

Besides the software license, additional costs include:

  • Implementation and training: Include data migration, customization, and employee training. These can be substantial, especially for complex systems or large organizations.

  • Hardware and software: There might be separate annual or a monthly fee for the POS hardware itself and the software plan.

  • Add-ons: Additional costs may be incurred for including add-ons and integration offered by the software vendor.

Frequently asked questions when selecting POS software

Here are some questions to ask software providers before making a final purchase of the best POS system software:

  • Does the base software subscription plan handle basic sales, inventory, and receipt printing?

Most base POS solution plans offer sales reports, inventory management, and receipt printing. However, these capabilities come with limitations regarding the number of reports generated, inventory size, and printed receipts. POS software buyers need to check if the set limit meets their team’s requirements. If not, they need to check the additional cost to increase the limit or switch to a higher-price plan. 

  • Does the base plan allow adding inventory products without an additional fee?

Inventory management is a part of the base POS solution plan; however, with a limited number of products. Buyers must check and match the available product count with the store’s inventory. With the increasing inventory size, buyers may have to pay extra for each new product added to switch to the next best POS system plan available with the vendor. 

  • Can the base plan software track cash flow and basic sales reports?

Most POS software base plans allow tracking cash flow and generating sales reports. However, there is a limit associated with these capabilities regarding the number of reports, customization, and maintaining the cash flow history (daily, weekly, monthly, or annually).


Methodology

To be considered for this list, products had to:

  • Each product should be a part of Software Advice’s Frontrunners Report 2024 for POS software.

  • Include payment processing and sales reports as core features.

  • Must meet our market definition for POS software: “Point of Sale (POS) software automates the capture of financial and sales transactions.

  • We assessed all products that met the first three criteria for their monthly pricing and considered the products with publicly available pricing information. Based on the assessment, the average price was calculated to be $49. Products with a monthly subscription price lower than $49 were then shortlisted to be included in this list and arranged in ascending order.

*Our research team identified these features from vendor websites (as of March 22, 2024) based on their analysis of what users find valuable in or expect from POS software. This list is not exhaustive. For additional features, refer to the vendor's website.  

Products evaluated for the pricing calculation were taken from Software Advice’s POS software directory. The pricing ranges exclude freemium versions of the products. The features highlighted were identified based on their relevance and the percentage of products in the Software Advice directory that offer them.

Editorial independence: We select and rank products based on an objective methodology developed by our research team. While some vendors may pay us when they receive web traffic or leads, this has no influence on our methodology.