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Epos Now

Epos Now POS systems are an effective business management, sales, and payment solution for single-site, multi-site, and online businesses. Popular with retailers and hospitality businesses in many industries, Epos Now POS systems ...Read more about Epos Now

No reviews yet

41 recommendations

Toast POS

FrontRunners 2024

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 (515 reviews)

21 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 (507 reviews)

16 recommendations

Lavu POS

Lavu is a Point of Sale solution designed for use by restaurants, bars, and nightclubs - from full-service, quick-service, and franchise restaurants, to food trucks, coffee shops, and lounges. Users can choose between bar, restaur...Read more about Lavu POS

4.2 (219 reviews)

16 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 about AmberPOS

4.1 (53 reviews)

14 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

No reviews yet

14 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 about Rain POS

4.2 (132 reviews)

13 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)

11 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)

8 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)

8 recommendations

PrecisionERP

PrecisionERP is an all-in-one business software solution seamlessly integrates Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Asset Management functionalities. This unified platform empowers busine...Read more about PrecisionERP

No reviews yet

8 recommendations

KORONA POS

FrontRunners 2024

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)

7 recommendations

HungerRush 360

HungerRush is your trusted partner in the restaurant industry, providing integrated solutions designed to simplify your operations and enhance the overall dining experience. Whether you're standing up your first restaurant or look...Read more about HungerRush 360

3.7 (42 reviews)

7 recommendations

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)

7 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)

7 recommendations

Pomodo POS

Pomodo POS is a point-of-sale (POS) solution that helps businesses manage payments and customers. Users can control which departments, categories, and products show up on a register. The solution assists organizations with invent...Read more about Pomodo POS

No reviews yet

6 recommendations

AIM

FrontRunners 2024

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 about AIM

4.1 (200 reviews)

5 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 (396 reviews)

4 recommendations

IT Retail

IT Retail is a cloud-based point of sale (POS) solution built especially for independently-run grocery stores and retailers. Key features include inventory management, customer management and mobile device support. IT Retail offe...Read more about IT Retail

4.6 (20 reviews)

4 recommendations

Rapid POS

Rapid POS is a certified NCR Counterpoint point-of-sale reseller and systems integrator providing software, hardware, installation, training, and support for retail stores in North America. The POS solution fits the needs of virtu...Read more about Rapid POS

4.5 (10 reviews)

4 recommendations

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: March 16, 2023

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 (<a href=) 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.