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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 about Rain POS

4.2 (131 reviews)

53 recommendations

Epos Now

Epos Now POS system is an effective business management, sales, and payment system for single-site, multi-site and online businesses. The system offers an extensive range of management and sales tools, with the option to expand t...Read more about Epos Now

3.3 (368 reviews)

51 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 about NetSuite

4.1 (1450 reviews)

43 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 about AmberPOS

4.1 (53 reviews)

30 recommendations

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Bravo Store Systems

Bravo Store Systems empowers small businesses innovative point of sale solutions. Bravo is the leading provider of an all in one Point of Sale (POS) solutions tailored for a diverse range of industries. With a deep understanding...Read more about Bravo Store Systems

4.7 (40 reviews)

26 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 about Toast POS

4.2 (505 reviews)

24 recommendations

KORONA POS

KORONA POS 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 ...Read more about KORONA POS

4.7 (66 reviews)

24 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 about TouchBistro

3.9 (395 reviews)

22 recommendations

CAKE POS

CAKE provides an easy-to-use POS that owners will learn like a pro in a short amount of time. The restaurant management system takes care of everything in one place with integrated online ordering, curbside pickup, reservations, ...Read more about CAKE POS

4.6 (505 reviews)

19 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 about Agiliron

No reviews yet

19 recommendations

DaySmart Salon

DaySmart Salon (formerly Salon Iris) offers packages designed to fit the needs of beauty businesses of all sizes. Simple subscription plans enable savvy salon managers to optimize their day-to-day operations and expand their br...Read more about DaySmart Salon

4.3 (349 reviews)

16 recommendations

Epicor for Retail

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 about Epicor for Retail

4.0 (5 reviews)

14 recommendations

Envision Salon & Spa

Envision Salon & Spa software is an all-in-one business management solution. Envision provides features such as review management, appointment setting, inventory management, reporting, and so much more. Envision Salon & Spa helps ...Read more about Envision Salon & Spa

4.1 (39 reviews)

13 recommendations

Liberty Consignment

With the Liberty Consignment Software, your success is our mission. Resaleworld.com has been instrumental in the Resale industry for over 30 years, and continues to design and develop a comprehensive software product that has help...Read more about Liberty Consignment

4.6 (146 reviews)

12 recommendations

BrewPOS

BrewPOS is a Windows IOT solution for restaurants designed to intuitively manage the daily functions for your restaurant. Open Tabs with EMV chip cards and close them without the customer present. Never keep a credit card behind t...Read more about BrewPOS

4.9 (7 reviews)

12 recommendations

Meevo

Meevo is the award-winning salon and spa software powered by Millennium built specifically for the beauty industry to simplify client management, improve business operations, and enhance your marketing strategies. Crush your goa...Read more about Meevo

No reviews yet

12 recommendations

Phorest

Phorest is a salon management software solution designed for small and midsize businesses that features appointment bookings, point-of-sale, inventory management and reporting. The software offers cloud-based deployment and a salo...Read more about Phorest

4.8 (362 reviews)

11 recommendations

Windward System Five

Windward Software's Windward System Five helps small to midsize businesses manage their operations by providing an integrated point of sale and accounting solution with real-time inventory management. Windward System Five is ...Read more about Windward System Five

3.8 (188 reviews)

10 recommendations

Rezku POS

Rezku is the premier POS, used by successful restaurants, bars and pizzerias to compete at a higher level, earn new business and eliminate headaches. Rezku comes complete with everything modern food and beverage concepts need for...Read more about Rezku POS

4.5 (27 reviews)

10 recommendations

Paladin Point of Sale and Inventory Management

For over 40 years, Paladin Data Corp. has been helping independent retail businesses run better. Paladin point of sale (POS) and inventory management software automates time-consuming inventory chores and provides business owners ...Read more about Paladin Point of Sale and Inventory Management

4.6 (21 reviews)

10 recommendations

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: March 16, 2023

Over the past decade, technology has brought disruption in customer expectations, as can be seen in the following statistics:

  • Sixty-five percent of the customers prefer to purchase products from businesses that know their purchase history and therefore provide better product recommendations.

  • Eighty-one percent of customers expect businesses to provide them with relevant offers and discounts.

Today's complex customer expectations can only be met with the right technology. For this reason, small businesses need to invest in the point-of-sale (POS) software that best helps them:

  • Record customer transactions and purchase history

  • Recommend products based on the customers' purchase preferences

  • Support payment methods such as online and credit card

  • Offer discounts to customers based on sales trends and purchase history

To meet the expectations of today's customers, small businesses must invest in point-of-sale (POS) tools that help them analyze customer transactions and provide discounts and recommendations accordingly.

To give you an understanding of small business POS market, we've created this guide that includes necessary information related to the purchase of a POS solution.

Here's what we'll cover:

What Is Small Business POS Software?

Common Features of Small Business POS Software

What Type of Buyer Are You?

Popular Small Business POS System Comparisons

Market Trends to Understand

What Is Small Business POS Software?

Small business POS software is a retail management solution that helps small retailers and other businesses manage their point of sale (POS) operations, including customer records, inventory, purchases and other transactions.

This type of software assists store operators in creating product entries, calculating total costs and taxes, creating bills and accepting payments.

POS software also integrates with useful retail hardware such as terminals, barcode scanners, card readers and iPads and other tablets.

There are four main types of POS solutions on the market:

  • Tablet POS: A cloud-based application that helps you manage transactions from a tablet device.

  • Mobile POS: Delivered through a mobile application, mobile POS helps manage retail transactions using smartphone devices.

  • Terminal POS: Helps you manage transactions from a check-out counter. These can be delivered either as cloud-based or as on-premise systems.

  • Online POS: This software is delivered via the cloud and can be accessed from a web browser by signing into the POS account.

Common Features of Small Business POS Software

Before you make a final purchase decision, you'll need an understanding of the features included in a POS solution. In this section, we're describing the most common POS software features to look for.

Order management

Track and manage customer orders across all your business locations. Define stock keeping unit (SKU) codes and receive automatic prompts to reorder when inventory levels go below the set minimum.

Inventory management

Receive real-time reports on inventory levels. Transactions are synced in real time as soon as an in-store or online sale is made.

Customer management

Manage the customer registration process and add customer data to the database at the point of purchase. Marketers and business owners can use this information to create upselling and cross-selling campaigns.

Shift management

Schedule available staff and log their attendance and work hours. This functionality also allows managers to track employee clock-in/out times, leave and shift-swap requests.

Reporting

Generate real-time reports on sales, employee performance and inventory levels.

Payment management

Integrate with card readers and other payment devices to support multiple modes such as cash, credit cards and debit cards. POS software also generates invoices and sends email receipts to customers once a transaction is complete.

Sales-log-in-Square-POS

Sales log in Square POS (Source)

What Type of Buyer Are You?

In this section, we've classified small retail businesses into three categories, each having different characteristics and unique POS software needs:

Single store business. Due to limited resources and staff, single-location business owners have to manage a number of business functions on their own. They must schedule employees, prepare sales reports, track inventory, manage payroll and calculate business taxes.

For this reason, if you operate a single-location store, you should invest in a POS solution that helps you automate operational tasks. Look for a product that includes inventory tracking, reporting and employee scheduling functionalities, as well as the ability to integrate with your accounting platform.

Multilocation chain. If you operate your business across multiple locations, managing inventory is a big challenge because you have to track sales, profits and purchases across each of these locations.

For this reason, POS software buyers that operate more than one store should invest in a product that specifically offers multilocation support. These products enable users to manage purchases across each business location, monitor inventory levels in real time and track sales and profits across all the locations.

Combined brick-and-mortar and online business. Businesses that sell their products both in store and online have significantly different needs compared to businesses that sell exclusively from physical stores. They have to manage their website, product listings on marketplaces (such as Amazon and eBay), online orders and online payments. They must also track in-store inventory in tandem with online orders.

For this reason, if you run a retail business that sells products online, you need to invest in a POS solution that offers e-commerce integration and website management functionality. You should also look for marketplace integrations such as Amazon.com and eBay that help you manage product listings and sales on these channels.

Popular Small Business POS System Comparisons

Market Trends to Understand

Artificial intelligence (AI) to power product recommendations in the future. "Product recommendations" is one of the most important parameters that today's customers value. In response, small businesses have started exploring AI technology to provide better and more relevant recommendations. An AI-powered recommendation engine processes a number of factors such as purchase history, retail trends and season to provide the most appropriate product recommendations. We expect to see an increase in adoption of AI-powered recommendation engines by 2020.

Digital receipts to replace paper invoices. The relevance of paper receipts is diminishing rapidly: Nine out of 10 paper receipts generated today end up getting scrapped. This trend is driving the rapid adoption of digital receipts in retail businesses. As digital receipts completely replace paper-based receipts, we expect digital receipts to become a core feature in all small business POS solutions by 2021.

IoT will completely disrupt customer expectations. With the proliferation of smart devices, IoT is already disrupting customers' purchase preferences. For instance, using IoT-based products such as Amazon Dash, consumers can place orders on Amazon.com using voice commands. Retailers have also started leveraging IoT devices to offer personalized discounts to customers based on the section of the store they're in. With these developments and the increasing adoption of smart devices, we can expect this trend to disrupt the retail industry significantly by 2023.