Finding software can be overwhelming. We've helped thousands of retailers choose the right web POS software so they can lower technology costs and enable remote data access.

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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

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Recent recommendations: 78 recommendations

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HungerRush

HungerRush is a food delivery solution that enables restaurants of all sizes to streamline operations related to online ordering, loyalty programs, reporting and more. Professionals can utilize the platform to create custom order ... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 77 recommendations

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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

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Recent recommendations: 70 recommendations

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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

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Recent recommendations: 41 recommendations

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Rain POS

Rain retail software is a cloud-based point of sale (POS) and integrated website solution that is Mac OS and Windows compatible. Rain is an all-in-one platform designed for small to medium sized specialty retailers that offer... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 40 recommendations

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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

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Recent recommendations: 32 recommendations

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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

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Recent recommendations: 29 recommendations

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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

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Recent recommendations: 27 recommendations

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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

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Recent recommendations: 16 recommendations

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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

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Recent recommendations: 16 recommendations

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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

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Recent recommendations: 16 recommendations

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Revel Systems

Revel is a cloud-based business platform that integrates operations and customer channels with point-of-sale (POS) functionality in a single dashboard. It is suitable for stores and restaurants of all sizes and provides users with... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 10 recommendations

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Ordorite

Ordorite offers a fully end-to-end management software solution for furniture, bedding and related retailers. The system can manage every aspect of your business from point of sale, inventory control, warehouse management, deliver... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 9 recommendations

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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

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Recent recommendations: 8 recommendations

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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

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Recent recommendations: 7 recommendations

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GiftLogic

GiftLogic is a retail management solution for small businesses. In addition to Point of Sale, the solution includes inventory management, customer management, and e-commerce integrations. GiftLogic is an on-premise solution, and c... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 7 recommendations

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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

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Recent recommendations: 6 recommendations

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HelmBot

HelmBot is a cloud-based solution designed to help small to midsize businesses manage various administrative operations, such as appointment scheduling, project management, marketing automation, inventory tracking and more on a ce... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 5 recommendations

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RockSolid MAX

RockSolid MAX is an easy-to-use software solution that helps home and building supply retailers with outdated or manual systems upgrade technology and get more done. The software is cloud-based so the initial investment is lower, ... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 4 recommendations

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STORIS

STORIS provides integrated retail software solutions for furniture, bedding, and appliance retailers. STORIS has been serving the home furnishings industry for 30 years. STORIS’ technology platform enables retailers to implement a... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 3 recommendations

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Buyers guide


Last Updated: June 4, 2021

Web-based point of sale (POS) software is the Software as a Service (SaaS) solution to a retailer’s needs, and it’s a rapidly growing market, especially as more and more businesses turn to the Web to support their sales and/or marketing strategies.

There are a number of advantages and disadvantages to selecting this deployment model, particularly in the retail software market, so we’ve written this buyer’s guide to help you understand the benefits, potential pitfalls and popular vendors associated cloud point of sale software.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Is Web-Based POS Software?
A Comparison of Top Web-Based POS Solutions
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Benefits and Potential Issues
The Web-Based Vendor Landscape
Market Trends to Understand

What Is Web-Based POS Software?

Traditionally POS systems have all been on-premise, designed to help retailers increase the speed and efficiency of their checkout process and to alleviate much of the administrative burden associated with retail management.

In recent years, however, a number of online solutions have cropped up to perform this same function. These come with many of the advantages typically associated with cloud-based software: lower up-front costs and technical/hardware burdens. Web-based POS software is designed to meet the needs of the retailer, but with minimal hardware installation as compared to a traditional POS.

Screenshot of Lightspeed user interface

Screenshot of Lightspeed user interface

 

A Comparison of Top Web-Based POS Solutions

There are many popular Retail solutions on the market, and it can be hard to understand what distinguishes one product from another and which is right for you. To help you better understand how the top Retail systems stack up against one another, we created a series of side-by-side product comparison pages that break down the details of what each solution offers in terms of pricing, applications, ease of use, support and more:

Top Square Comparisons Top Quickbook POS Comparisons Top Clover Comparisons
Square vs. QuickBook POS
Clover vs. Square
Revel vs. Square
Shopify vs. Square
Square vs. QuickBook POS
QuickBook POS vs. Microsoft POS
Clover vs. Square
Revel vs. Clover
Top Revel Comparisons Top Shopify Comparisons
Revel vs. Clover
Revel vs. Square
Shopify vs. Square
Lightspeed vs. Shopify

What Type of Buyer Are You?

Before digging into software, you will want to know what type of buyer you are. For Web-based POS systems, there’s basically two types of buyer:

Simple systems. Smaller businesses typically want a straightforward POS for customer checkout and inventory management. Many of these systems also have built-in CRM and accounting capabilities to manage everything a small business would need.

Enterprise systems. Larger companies may be looking for a more robust solution that has extra levels of functionality beyond those typically associated with a POS. These may include pricing controls and/or variations, merchandise planning and warehouse or transportation management. Not every enterprise solution will have all of these features, so consider carefully which features you want  and use those criteria to narrow down your search.

Cellular retailers. Businesses that specialize in cell phone and similar telecommunications have a ton of extra features specific to that industry: phone activation, tracking service plans (including family plans with multiple customers on one system), commission and vendor rebate calculations, feature comparisons and so on. These companies will want one of the many systems dedicated to this market.

Like for the cellular industry, specialty retailers may wish to consider the benefits of getting a solution that’s dedicated specifically to their market. These will be best-of-breed solutions with specific functionality that your store needs but may not be available in a generic POS system.

Benefits and Potential Issues

Web-based software solutions are growing in popularity, and for good reason. They come with lower up-front costs and fewer of the maintenance challenges, and these days almost all of the same functionality, making them the perfect choice for smaller businesses in particular.

In the retail market, SaaS has other very significant benefits, namely those discussed under “Market Trends” below: built-in customer portals to transform your brick and mortar shop into an ecommerce store as well; integration with social media to expand your sales and marketing strategy and mobile applications to let the user take the store anywhere it needs to go.

There are two main drawbacks to online POS software. First, are the hardware limitations or add-ons. Most retailers aren’t operating with a standard computer setup, rather you’re using a scanner, a touch-screen and receipt and credit card machines, and all of these require special hardware that then has to integrate with the software. The more of this hardware you want to purchase, the more carefully you should consider whether an on-premise system will make more sense.

Second, Web-based software relies 100% on a strong Internet connection on the store’s end in order to function properly. If the Internet goes down, so does the ability to conduct business in your brick and mortar environment. So a Web-based system is not a great solution if your Internet is spotty or unreliable.

The Web-Based POS Vendor Landscape

This type of buyer … Should look at these systems
Simple systems MMS, SmartWerks, Real Time
Enterprise systems RICS, RunIt Realtime, NetSuite, Jesta Vision Suite, Cegid, Epicor, Microsoft Dynamics
Cellular retailers RetailIQ, Multiflex RMS, Wireless Standard, MMS Wireless

There are also specialty systems available for other specialty retail markets, such as Granbury for restaurants and SWIM for jewelry. Keep in mind that many of the POS and enterprise vendors listed above have multiple different products tailored to specific industries, so as you’re performing your search, be sure to ask what markets they specialize in.

Market Trends to Understand

Though the fundamentals largely remain the same, many facets of Web-based POS systems constantly evolve to meet the changing demands of retail businesses. As you evaluate retail systems, keep these trends in mind. How your vendor fits within these trends could have a big impact on their viability.

  • Mobile. Since many retailers conduct sales at tradeshows and other remote locations, remote checkout applications that let users access sales/inventory data from the tradeshow floor are growing in popularity. This trend has exploded with the development of the iPad and other tablet devices, although there always have been and will be numerous deployment models for this.
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  • Online sales. The tight margins of traditional “brick and mortar” businesses are leading to more and more online sales channels, allowing retailers to develop a Web portal to sell their products online, which can ultimately be much more cost effective. These integrated ecommerce modules run the full range of functionality, integrating the shopping cart with the sales and inventory data. Web-based POS software is particularly well poised to take advantage of this trend.
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  • Social media. As Facebook and Twitter impact the way consumers and businesses interact online, Groupon and LivingSocial are enabling retailers to leverage that and turn it into concrete sales. Connecting your solution to social media is an outstanding way to grow your brand and increase sales, and online systems are designed to support this function.