Retail POS Systems

A retail POS system is any technology that includes software where a retail transaction is completed. It provides capabilities such as scanning a barcode, making a purchase order or printing a receipt. Features include inventory management, sales reporting, and analytics. The software also helps retailers nurture relationships with customers by providing customer relationship management (CRM) tools.

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Showing 1 - 20 of 819 products
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Showing 1 - 20 of 819 products

Square Point of Sale

Square Point of Sale is a mobile POS system available for iOS and Android devices. Key capabilities of the Square POS system include online payment processing, sales reports, inventory tracking, digital receipts, Square marketing ...Read more

73 recommendations

HungerRush

Run a better restaurant with the all-in-one, cloud-based POS system that helps you delight customers, streamline operations, and grow faster than ever. HungerRush 360 helps you create digital experiences your guests will love, so ...Read more

3.58 (31 reviews)

53 recommendations

Toast POS

Toast POS is a flexible system built exclusively for restaurants and the food service industry. Offering tools like online ordering, delivery, takeout, mobile app ordering, contactless payments, and e-gift card purchasing, this so...Read more

52 recommendations

TouchBistro

TouchBistro is an all-in-one POS and restaurant management system that makes running a restaurant easier. Providing the most essential front of house, back of house, and guest engagement solutions on one powerful platform, TouchBi...Read more

46 recommendations

Epos Now

Epos Now is a retail management system for small to mid-sized businesses. In addition to its Point of Sale module, the solution also offers integrated Inventory Management, Customer Management, and Retail Accounting, including gen...Read more

35 recommendations

Lightspeed Retail

Lightspeed Retail is a cloud-based POS solution that is suitable for retailers in industries such as apparel, footwear, bike, jewelry, pet, sporting goods and home decor. The solution offers retailers tools including inventory man...Read more

29 recommendations

Rain POS

Rain is an all-in-one point-of-sale, website, and marketing system for small to midsized retailers. Music, dive, sporting goods, paddle, craft, sewing, quilting, and clothing boutiques will find Rain is an excellent fit for their...Read more

26 recommendations

AmberPOS

Pacific Amber’s AmberPOS offers a point of sale software solutions to a variety of retail specialties, ranging from small to midsized, in the United States and Canada. In addition to point of sale functionality, AmberPOS incl...Read more

4.10 (52 reviews)

21 recommendations

NetSuite

With an integrated system that includes ERP, financials, commerce, inventory management, HR, PSA, supply chain management, CRM and more – NetSuite enables fast-growing businesses across all industries to work more effectively by a...Read more

19 recommendations

SpotOn Restaurant

SpotOn Restaurant is a cloud-based point-of-sale solution that enables businesses to streamline processes related to food ordering, tableside payments, customer retention and more. The online ordering functionality enables busines...Read more

15 recommendations

Software pricing tips

Read our Retail Buyers Guide

Subscription models

  • Per employee/per month: This model allows you to pay a monthly fee for each of your employees.
  • Per user/per month: Users pay a monthly fee for users—normally administrative users—rather than all employees.

Perpetual license

  • This involves paying an upfront sum for the license to own the software and use it indefinitely.
  • This is the more traditional model and is most common with on-premise applications and with larger businesses.

Rated best value for money

CAP Retail Point of Sale

CAP Retail Point of Sale is built to support retailers, including specialty businesses such as tobacco and vape shops, liquor, wine and beer stores, lawn and garden centers, hardware stores, convenience stores, groceries and marke...Read more

12 recommendations

Linga rOS System

LINGA is an enterprise-ready cloud-based business platform with 20+ applications in addition to Point of Sale (POS). With over 17 years in the restaurant and retail markets, LINGA POS offers businesses hardware, software technolog...Read more

3.45 (30 reviews)

12 recommendations

Agiliron

Agiliron cloud-based point-of-sale (POS) solution is designed to serve both in-store and mobile businesses as well as online sales channels. The system offers a host of features that work in tandem with the point-of-sale solution,...Read more

4.41 (28 reviews)

12 recommendations

KORONA

KORONA provides point of sale software, inventory management, and CRM services for all types of retailers, such as convenience stores, liquor shops, and QSRs. The POS software also caters to museums, theme parks, and wineries with...Read more

4.62 (41 reviews)

11 recommendations

COMCASH Retail ERP

COMCASH ERP is a cloud-based retail management solution that caters to multi-channel and multi-location retailers. The point of sale module utilizes multi-touch capabilities allowing users to navigate the menu similarly to th...Read more

4.35 (27 reviews)

10 recommendations

Epicor Retail Solutions

Epicor retail POS and business management solutions are designed to help independent retailers work smarter, not harder. With more than 45 years of experience built-in, Epicor retail solutions help retailers in nearly 8,000 locati...Read more

4.50 (4 reviews)

10 recommendations

AIM

AIM is a secure end-to-end point of sale (POS) business solution that can be used in any retail environment. This retail management solution features customizable menus and screens, inventory management, complete POS activity and ...Read more

9 recommendations

SimpleConsign

SimpleConsign by Traxia offers a web-based single or multi-store solution for consignment stores, resellers, small retailers, antique malls, and art galleries. No download is required, and set up, data conversion and backups are i...Read more

7 recommendations

Hippos POS

Hippos is an on premise point of sale (POS) can be operated with or without the internet. The internet is only used to sync data between the POS and Cloud (web portal). Hippos solution is designed for cafes, bakeries, quick and fu...Read more

No reviews yet

7 recommendations

Shopify

Shopify is a web-based e-commerce platform that offers a mobile POS (mPOS) system. The mPOS enables users to manage their business and complete transactions in-store as well as at markets, pop-ups, and trade shows. The e-commerce ...Read more

6 recommendations

Popular Retail Comparisons

pricing guide

2021 Retail Pricing Guide

Learn about the key aspects of accurate software pricing before you make your purchase decision.

  • Pricing models & ranges

  • Unexpected costs

  • Pricing of popular systems

Download now

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: September 16, 2021

Here's what we'll cover:

What is a retail point of sale (POS) system?
Benefits of retail POS software
Competitive advantages of using retail POS software
Business sizes using retail POS software
Software related to retail POS
Features guide
Pricing guide
FAQs
Tips & tools

What is a retail point of sale (POS) system?

 

A retail POS system is any technology that includes software where a retail transaction is completed. It provides capabilities such as scanning a barcode, making a purchase order or printing a receipt. Features include inventory management, sales reporting, and analytics. The software also helps retailers nurture relationships with customers by providing customer relationship management (CRM) tools.

Benefits of retail POS software

Retail POS systems bring many benefits to retailers aside from simply completing transactions. These include:

  • Sales reporting and analytics: Provides retailers with insight into their sales, helping them make informed decisions that strengthen the business.
  • Inventory management: Automates stock control and helps retailers determine optimal product counts and when and how to reorder top selling products.
  • Customer management capabilities: Help retailers automatically record and track valuable customer information, enabling stronger relationships and encouraging repeat business.

Competitive advantages of using retail POS software

Surprisingly, many retailers we work with at Software Advice have survived without software. In fact, 64 percent of single-store retailers we work with are operating without retail POS systems in place.

But Excel spreadsheets can only go so far in supporting the operational processes retailers need to accomplish every day. As retailers grow, software can:

  • Scale the business: Key insights provided by a POS solution can help retailers identify the strong points of their business. This information can be used to pinpoint top-selling products and the most valuable customers to focus on in order to scale.
  • Operate more efficiently: The operational efficiencies and automations provided by retail POS systems enable shop owners, operators and managers to spend more time training employees and interacting with customers.

Business sizes using retail POS software

The POS market easily accommodates retailer demographics ranging from small retail store operations to large enterprise retailers.

  • Small: If you operate a single store, or even just do pop-up events, you're likely best suited for a basic POS system with limited hardware and advanced features.
  • Medium: If you operate a growing, high-volume single store or up to five stores, you're best suited for a POS system that enables multiple location management and features advanced reporting and analytics.
  • Large, enterprise: If you operate a chain of five or more stores, you're best suited for an enterprise POS system with enterprise resource planning support, including warehousing, shipping logistics and advanced analytics.

Software related to retail POS

Many retail POS systems on the market today offer retailers with all the critical capabilities packaged into one solution. However, if a core capability that retailers need is missing from their POS system, they'll want to look to specialized software to fill the void. Popular specialized software includes:

Aside from software for specialized functionalities, retailers might want to consider software designed specifically for the unique needs of their business. For example:

  • Restaurant and foodservice business owners often require restaurant software to process orders, print tickets, analyze ingredient availability and determine how much to charge for meals.
  • Jewelers might need jewelry POS software to manage repairs and quotes, in addition to processing sales and inventory tracking.
  • Consignment, pawn shop and resale store owners need specialized software since they don't own their inventories. These retailers need software with functionality tailored to their store types.

Features guide

Common retail POS feature overview

Here are four common features that most POS systems offer:

retail POS common features

For greater features detail, check out our "What Is A Point of Sale System?" article.

Feature details and examples

Here are some examples showing the top common features of POS solutions:

Reporting and analytics: Highlights key data. Enables insight into sales data. Supports data filtering options for pinpoint analysis.

Reporting and analysis by Lightspeed Retail (Source)

Customer management: Helps retain valuable customers. Create and manage customer profiles. Track valuable contact information and purchase histories. Send personalized marketing and deals.

Customer profile in Rain POS (Source)

Inventory management: Automates the management of supply levels. Deducts inventory as sales are completed and provides alerts when inventory levels reach pre-defined thresholds. Also provides reports on inventory movement trends.

Inventory management in Agiliron (Source)

Employee management: Optimizes scheduling and tracks commissions (when applicable). Provides employee logins to enable clocking in/out for shifts.

Employee management by ShopKeep (Source)

Payment processing: Accepts payments from multiple modes such as credit card, debit card, e-wallet, and cash.

 

Processing payments in Epos Now (Source)

Some retail POS solutions also offer the following advanced features:

  • Ecommerce: Many of the top POS players on the market today offer some form of e-commerce integration, either within their system or through a specialized e-commerce platform.
  • Accounting: Manages the process of generating customer invoices and receiving payments as well as tracking all payments made to partners and vendors.
  • Purchase orders: Tracks items and amounts ordered, including date of order, shipping information and progress.
  • Loyalty program: Manages and tracks customer loyalty by providing rewards or points for purchase frequency or other incentive goals.
  • Targeted marketing: Allows retailers to segment customers and create mailing lists based on custom criteria such as items purchased, total amount spent etc.
  • Loss prevention: Monitors inventory levels and purchase orders and reports discrepancies or missing quantities.
  • Variable pricing: Allows managers to automate the process by which varied prices are assigned to products, typically based on walk-in/phone orders, time of day or season.

Retail POS buyers' top requested features

Our advisors at Software Advice have helped thousands of SMB retailers find the best POS system for their unique business needs. We're able to analyze these consultations to determine trends in POS needs.

According to this analysis, these are the top requested POS solution features by your SMB retail peers:

The retail POS software features you really need

Depending on the number of stores your business is operating, certain software capabilities take priority over others. Here are some must-have retail POS features for retailers at different stages of business:

Independent retailers not operating an actual store Payment processing: Just need the bare-bone ability for retailers to manage transactions and checkout customers.
Single-store retailers Sales reporting: Identify key performance indicators within the sale system and pinpoint top selling items to help drive more business.
Multi-store retailers Multi-store merchandise management: Enables creation of the optimal balance of SKUs. Provides analytical tools to plan merchandise based on sales histories, trends and forecasts.
Enterprise retailers Shipping and transportation management: Helps organizations efficiently transport inventory from distribution centers to store locations and customers. Enables enterprises to plan shipments via air, land or sea with their own or via third-party fleets.

Pricing guide

For an accurate snapshot of what retail POS systems cost, download our Pricing Guide.


FAQs

What questions should I ask vendors when evaluating retail POS products?

Here are some key questions you need each vendor to answer when evaluating their POS offerings:

Does the functionality of the system suit your specific business needs?

Create a list of must-have functionality that you need your new POS system to do. Walk through each of these with each vendor and record how many each system offers.

How much does the software really cost?

You don't want to be sold on a system based on inaccurate pricing. Figure out how much each system will cost over the next three months, six months and year.

Is your only option to sign a contract?

You don't want to be stuck paying for an inadequate system, so see if there's a monthly subscription you can agree to rather than committing to paying for a system for a year or more.

Are there any hidden fees?

Many POS system costs include payment processing fees. Some even include fees for upgrading or for tech support. Figure out all the potential costs before committing to a system.

Is any POS hardware proprietary?

POS hardware is often just as important for a retailer as the software it supports. Determine if you're required to purchase hardware through POS vendors (which is often marked up).

Do I have options for my merchant service provider?

Merchant service providers (MSP) are a critical partner for SMB retailers. Some POS systems allow you to work with whichever MSP you prefer, while others require you to work with their partner MSPs.

What hardware do I need for my retail POS system?

These are the critical hardware tools you need to get the most out of your POS system:

Register screen: Displays transaction information and product database. Visual hub of a POS system. iPads and other tablets are replacing bulky, traditional monitors.

Barcode scanner: Automatically pulls product details, and adds price to transaction total. Adjusts inventory level once transaction is complete.

Credit card reader: Processes credit, debit and gift cards. Most new readers accept EMV readers as well as enable mobile payments (Apple Pay, Android Pay).

Receipt printer: Paper receipts provide customers with data on their purchase. Phasing out in exchange for email and text receipts.

Cash drawer: A secure place to house cash from payments.


Tips & tools

Build a business case for retail POS software

If you're having trouble justifying the purchase of a new POS system for your business, take a look at this narrative to see how beneficial such a system can be.

Relevant articles

Here are some recent articles about retail POS systems you should check out:

Popular Retail POS System Comparisons

There are many POS systems on the market that might work for your business, so we've included the following pages for you to see detailed comparisons of a few top systems: