Choosing a proper POS system is indeed critical to your business, whether you are just owning a small business or have an established chain wanting to increase profitability. These systems have grown to provide much more than just in-store transaction processing; they now cover the whole retail supply chain, including inventory and logistics, marketing and loyalty, and general business information. Careful thought is required to ensure that you do not wind up with a solution that limits your progress. 

A decent POS system for small business allows you to safely process every sale and has the necessary software to help you handle administrative duties more efficiently. The kind of sales you make and the types of activities you want assistance with are determined by the nature of your business. A busy café may have different demands than a clothes shop, and a small business POS system that works well for a plumber may not be appropriate for a fitness class.

Cost (both initial and continuing), security, PCI compliance, and usability should be the top considerations when selecting the finest POS system for any small business. So, how do you know what to look for in a POS system for a small business when the time comes to make a decision? Continue reading for our guide to finding the best point of sale for your needs.

What is a point-of-sale system?

The term "point of sale" refers to what you use when consumers come to the checkout counter to make a purchase. A point of sale system is a combination of hardware and software that enables you, as a business owner, to ring up transactions quickly and effectively. 

What is a Merchant Service Provider

With today's point-of-sale systems, you can manage your inventory and track sales data with a single click or swipe. Furthermore, if CRM is crucial to your store's needs, these devices will operate in unison with that software as well! View more some of our POS system services: Magento Point of sale system, Woo Point of sale

When do you need a POS system?

Many of the top POS solutions now support various payment methods. According to a recent survey, the number of credit card transactions in the United States increased from 37.3 billion in 2016 to 40.8 billion in 2017. It isn't just plastic, either. Mobile payments might account for $503 billion in transactions by 2020, thanks to the rise of digital wallets such as Apple Pay and Google Pay.

Here are a few more things to think about:

  • In 2023, consumers and companies will do 841 billion non-cash transactions worldwide, a 46 percent increase from 577 billion in 2018.

  • In a recent poll, one in every four respondents stated a preference for cashless payments.

  • Apple Pay and store-branded wallets are the most popular mobile wallets among younger customers.

  • A point-of-sale system allows you to take any payment method your clients want. This reduces friction and makes the purchasing process easier and more pleasant for customers. As a result, revenues are up and users are happy.h2: What are the common features of a POS system?

If you want to take credit and debit card payments as well as have a simplified system for tracking sales, you should probably invest in a POS designed for small businesses. A strong POS system is beneficial to even the smallest of small enterprises.

It's difficult to have an accurate picture of what you're selling unless you have a strong system in place for electronically documenting each sale. Essentially, the more information you have about your business, the more prepared you are to make informed judgments. Furthermore, having a small business POS system makes your business look more genuine, which is especially crucial if you're just getting started.

What Are the Expected Costs of a POS System for Small Business?

POS systems have a high monthly cost, and if you're starting from scratch, you'll also have to invest a lot of money on hardware. Many bigger POS providers give financing or payment plans for combined hardware kits, as well as monthly payment alternatives for your POS software subscriptions. Price ranges include:

  • Monthly POS software prices range from free to $299 per month.

  • Basic hardware bundles range from $299 to $899.

  • Payment processing costs include an exchange charge (a tiny fraction of the transaction) plus $0.10 to $0.30 each transaction.

How We Chose the Best POS Systems for Small Business

Not all point-of-sale systems are created equal. Some models are more particularly suited to small businesses’ requirements than others. A POS terminal, particularly a mobile POS terminal, allows you to take and process payments even when you're on the road. The phrase "POS system" refers to the combination of a POS terminal or POS cash register and various auxiliary devices or accessories. So, while the configuration of your POS system may vary, the benefits and key features to consider are mostly the same.


Here are five considerations to consider while selecting the best one for you:

1. Simplicity of Use

The capacity to accept payments, track sales, streamline inventory management, and analyze client data is the most fundamental feature of POS systems. Your selected POS system should be user-friendly and simple to use, not just for you but also for your employees.

A high-quality POS system should have the most recent version of its operating system as well as a streamlined layout. A simple user interface guarantees that your staff do not need to go through training to understand how to operate the POS equipment.

2. Mobility

The finest POS systems will allow you to easily access information such as recorded sales and inventory data at any time and from any location. Traditional point-of-sale systems confine businesses to a single location, but mobile-enabled POS systems provide limitless options.

A cloud-based POS system allows you to view all of your business information from anywhere on any web browser with the touch of a mouse. Restaurants, for example, must be mobile today since they serve clients across the whole dining area or in different places. Before settling on a POS system, consider how much mobility your company need.

3. Sales Report Generation

POS systems usually offer sales data, however, how this information is presented varies from system to system. You should be able to obtain a comprehensive sales report in an easily accessible and intelligible manner so that you can immediately discover the best-selling goods and modify their cost.

Furthermore, the report allows you to quickly track sales by department, what goods were sold, and when they were sold. This manner, you may change your personnel schedules whenever you want to guarantee that your clients are well-served when they need it the most.

With the sales data report given by your POS system, you may identify your company's most valuable assets and evaluate which areas require additional improvement.

4. Hardware Capacity and Durability

You don't want to waste money and time because your selected POS system keeps crashing or can't be modified to speed up business transactions. The POS hardware's versatility and level of customization should operate in tandem with the features and dependability of the POS software.

In certain situations, POS software is only compatible with hardware from a single manufacturer. You may, however, install your POS software on other devices, like as tablets and smartphones. Feel free to request additional components for your POS equipment, such as barcode scanners, receipt printers, and more.

Invest in a POS system that allows for greater use and flexibility. When your staff utilize equipment that works for them rather than against them, your business will prosper.

5. Security for Business and Customers

No matter how many features your POS system has, they are all useless if the security of your clients' confidential information is not ensured. With payment systems, there is always a security risk.

To guarantee that you are receiving a system that delivers the security you want, begin by researching the most recent industry standards and laws pertaining to financial security. If your POS system does not fulfill the minimal requirements for payment security, it is not worth the investment.

Cyber threats are serious and rising in today's society. Cybersecurity has taken on new significance. Customers want to know that their payment information is secure at all times during the transaction.

Take all required precautions to maintain the highest level of security for your clients' payment information. The nerve core of your small business is your point-of-sale (POS) system. It should be supportive rather than detrimental to your company's credibility and image.

Top 05 Best POS Systems for Small Business

1. Square

Square is our selection for the finest POS system for small-business owners. It's free to get started, simple to use, and packed with valuable features. These advantages make Square an excellent alternative for young business owners that want simple yet strong functionality from the start.

Square POS systems and gadgets, which were founded in 2009, are utilized in small companies ranging from retail stores to eateries. Square is the finest overall POS system for small businesses due to its adaptability and numerous price choices. Combine the Square POS and mPOS systems to give your business a boost by providing an all-in-one solution for accepting payments wherever your clients are.

Square's credit card scanners and point-of-sale mobile software, which works with most Android and Apple devices, make it simple to accept client payments; for example, many Square customers operate their companies on iPads. Customized receipts may be emailed or printed using a receipt printer. You can also retain open tabs, divide checks, and manage your inventory in real-time with Square's point-of-sale software.

Square offers comprehensive reporting and analytics, as well as the ability to issue invoices, track staff shifts and timecards, and manage numerous locations. Square's point-of-sale software also allows you to operate email marketing, customer loyalty programs, and gift card programs.

Now for the drawbacks. Transaction costs with Square Point of Sale might be higher than those charged by other POS providers. If you handle a large number of payments each day, the transaction fees might quickly pile up. However, Square POS does not charge a monthly fee, and the company keeps its transaction costs (for the most part) simple:

  • Payments made by tapping, dipping, or swiping: 2.6 percent + $0.10;

  • Keyed-in and card-on-file payments: 3.5 percent + $0.15 for;

  • Payments made with a Square Register (bought before August 20, 2019): 2.5 percent + $0.10.

Square also has various programs tailored to specific sorts of businesses. For example, Square for Restaurants provides POS software designed particularly for restaurant use. The package costs $60 per month for each site, and an additional $40 per month for any additional POS system you utilize.

Square for Retail plans have the same monthly fees as Square for Restaurants, however they have lower transaction fees (2.5 percent + $010 for in-person purchases).

The fact that these extra plans are optional is a plus. So, if you desire extra capabilities and features, Square makes it simple to add them to your POS at any moment.

Square can also integrate with your small business website. Simply go to your dashboard and link your POS system to your ecommerce hosting platform to increase the value of your services by offering additional services such as loyalty, email marketing, and payroll programs. If you need assistance with your Square POS system, you may contact Square support by phone or email, or you can find solutions in the seller community or through support articles.

2. Shopify POS

Shopify has established a name in the retail industry as a leading web-based POS software. Over 1 million corporate clients worldwide currently use the company's eCommerce, Amazon marketplace, and point-of-sale services. Shopify has been providing e-commerce businesses with capable online shopping services that are simple for store owners to use and create a pleasant digital consumer experience since 2006. Because of its strong virtual features, it is the finest POS for e-commerce.

The company's strong ecommerce connectivity translates into a strong point-of-sale solution for retail brick-and-mortar businesses as well. Shopify POS is a solution that is simple to set up and extremely configurable, making it ideal for small companies and scaling up as your company expands.

To utilize the Shopify POS system, you must first choose a Shopify plan. These packages range in price from $29 to $299 per month and cover your e-commerce website and blog, as well as many other services. Your credit card processing costs are determined by your Shopify plan. Shopify provides three primary options, as well as a scaled-down "Lite" plan for operating retail business just on Facebook. Plans range in terms of monthly cost, payment processing costs, and the scope of offered services. The $29 Basic Shopify plan is a cost-effective choice for small retail enterprises that sell online, in a single retail location, or in-person at pop-up stores and local markets.

The transaction costs with Shopify are also a bit complex. Depending on your plan, online or keyed transactions range from 2.4 percent + 30 to 2.9 percent + 30. Meanwhile, in-person transaction costs range from 2.4 percent to 2.7 percent. 

If you use a payment source other than Shopify Payments, you will be charged a third-party payment provider fee, which can range from 0.5 percent to 2 percent per transaction. So, if you want to utilize a Shopify system and Shopify software, you should avoid Square, PayPal, and other payment gateways.

If you choose the POS Pro version, which costs $89 per month per location, you will have access to additional services such as:

  • Inventory management that is smart

  • Register as many times as you want

  • Features of omnichannel retailing

  • Analytics in-store

3. Vend

Vend, founded in 2010, is a dependable provider of POS systems that are simple to use and compatible with a wide range of equipment. Vend is our top retail POS solution because of its comprehensive inventory management and analytics.

Vend provides three plans, each of which covers one register and one location. All versions have features that are simple to use and beneficial to your retail business, such as:

  • Real-time inventory management

  • Unlimited products and employees

  • Customizable receipts for email or print

  • Total cash management 

  • Inventory control levels

  • Easy-to-personalize reports 

  • A mobile dashboard

  • Functionalities for cash management, returns, refunds, and store credits

The Lite plan has a monthly turnover cap of $20,000, whereas the other programs have no such limit. An extra register will cost you $49 per month if paid yearly, or $59 if paid monthly. Among your plan possibilities are:

  • Lite: This edition includes all basic features and small business statistics for $99 when paid annually or $119 when paid monthly.

  • Pro: Advanced reporting, e-commerce possibilities, and gift card capabilities cost $129 per month when paid yearly, or $159 when paid monthly.

  • Enterprise: Request a bespoke quotation for an enterprise plan, which includes a dedicated account manager and an onboarding program.

You may utilize your existing gear or pick from a plethora of hardware alternatives. Vend provides packages, and you may utilize either a Mac or a Windows machine. This POS software works with virtually all credit card processing firms, as well as popular retail programs such as WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Shopify, etc.

Vend's responsive support systems provide the customer assistance your retail business need, including 24/7 online or in-app live chat help, email, a phone center, and a comprehensive knowledge base.

In a nutshell, Vend offers a scalable solution that allows you to add users, registers, and outlets at no additional expense. This platform will assist you regardless of the complexity or number of locations. It enables for report customisation and may generate reports on inventory, staff performance, and end-of-day reports.

4. LightSpeed

Lightspeed has been transforming their basic POS solution into omnichannel retail solutions since 2005. You can provide personalized assistance everywhere in your business with bespoke hardware packages and mobile iPad capabilities. Its easy-to-use iPad interface makes it the ideal iPad POS system.

When you don't have the appropriate tools, keeping track of your inventory may be a headache. Lightspeed's strong inventory management capabilities combined within a reliable iPad POS system may save you time and headache.Inventory management in Lightspeed makes it simple to track and control your inventory:

  • Create product variants such as size, color, and material.

  • Bundle goods to sell as a group.

  • Monitor inventory levels and SKUs across various locations.

  • You can import up to 10,000 items.

  • Discounts should be automated.

  • Keep track of unit expenses.

  • Be aware of purchasing trends.

With Lightspeed's inventory tools, you can automate a lot of your everyday procedures, taking a lot of the stress out of them.

All options include a free payment terminal, and the system connects with Lightspeed Payments at no additional cost. For in-person payments, you'll pay 2.6 percent plus $0.10, and for card not present payments, you'll pay 2.6 percent plus $0.30. The prices for each plan are for one register, with each additional register costing $29 per month. Choose from the following POS plans:

  • Basic: $69 per month

  • Starter: $99 per month, adds e-commerce

  • Standard: $119 per month, adds accounting features

  • Advanced: $169 per month, adds a loyalty program

  • Pro: $229 per month, adds analytics

Prices are for annual billing. Although particular plan features must be obtained by contacting the provider, each plan contains services such as:

  • Payments for gift cards

  • Inventory control

  • Extensive retail reports are pre-installed.

  • One-on-one onboarding is provided at no cost.

Each plan adds additional features as it upgrades. You receive POS software, payment processing, and a free terminal with Basic. Starter has all of the capabilities of Basic as well as eCommerce tools. Accounting integration is added to Standard, loyalty features are added to Advanced, and extensive analytics are added to Pro. Transaction costs of 2.6 percent + 10 per transaction apply to all programs.

Regardless of your plan, Lightspeed has made it feasible to do worldwide commerce on its platforms. While many POS systems only work in the United States or their native countries, Lightspeed allows you to run businesses in several countries with a single system.

Lightspeed Retail interfaces with email marketing and loyalty programs such as Kangaroo, Mailchimp, and TapMango. You'll also discover a plethora of gear to support your iPad system, such as:

  • A hardware kit for the iPad

  • Desktop hardware package

  • Printers

  • Bluetooth or USB barcode scanners

  • Drawers for cash

  • Terminals for mobile taps

  • Payment terminals that accept EMV

A full support center is available, including webinars, demos, manuals, videos, and limitless 24/7 chat assistance.

5. ShopKeep

ShopKeep is an easy-to-use tablet-based POS software with a plethora of useful features. Thanks to features like raw material inventory monitoring and onscreen tipping, ShopKeep is extremely popular among foodservice and beverage shops. However, it is also suitable for small specialized retail establishments or hybrid enterprises that sell both food and merchandise.

ShopKeep provides important back-end capabilities such as staff time tracking, real-time analytics, eCommerce, and marketing tools in addition to a complete register. ShopKeep is also recognized for providing excellent customer service. There are certain inventory restrictions–the register only allows 3,000 buttons–so it is not suitable for enterprises with huge stocks. ShopKeep does not have full-service restaurant capabilities like table mapping. However, COVID-friendly quick-serve options like as online ordering and curbside pickup are available, and the ShopKeep Pay mobile app works well for both curbside and delivered orders.

This POS connects with the majority of payment processors (including its own popular ShopKeep Payments), giving you the option of bespoke interchange-plus processing or flat-rate processing at 2.5 percent + $0.10. You may take payments remotely with ShopKeep Payments through invoicing, your website, text message, virtual terminal, or even on your smartphone with the ShopKeep Pocket or ShopKeep Pay mobile applications, in addition to in-person credit card and contactless payments.

All plans provide a plethora of useful features, such as:

  • Transactions are unrestricted

  • Text message payments from customers

  • Items in inventory are limitless.

  • Real-time sales figures

  • Inventory matrix

  • Employee management and motivation

  • Inventory data, such as sales trends and inventory value, are available.

All plans include e-commerce, online ordering, and invoicing for a short period. These features are often only available in the Essential or Advanced plans. Except for Advanced, which includes limitless register licenses, each package covers one site with one registration.

To receive the greatest deals, make a single yearly payment. You may pay monthly, but it adds $20 to each of the following plans:

  • Basic: $49 a month includes all basic features and real-time sales data on your phone.

  • Essential: $79 a month for QuickBooks connection, gift card payments, and Mailchimp marketing.

  • Advanced: $179 a month includes priority phone support, a hardware bundle, and a loyalty program.

ShopKeep offers equipment either alone or as part of a package. While the kits are designed for use with iPads, the business also provides all-in-one Android Clover POS systems.

Conclusion

Because different types of companies have varied demands, there is no “one-size-fits-all” strategy to selecting a POS. To discover your ideal POS system that makes the cut, consider what functions are essential, how much you can spend, and what features you foresee requiring in the future. However, CMSMART provides customize services to develop Point of sale systems for small businesses. It will depend on your requirement. Contact Vincent to discuss more your project.

One more thing about the POS system, even if you pick a POS and subsequently decide you don't like it, switching to another POS is quite simple as long as you choose a monthly price plan (rather than an annual commitment) and non-proprietary hardware. Furthermore, most systems include a free trial period so that you may decide on a POS system before committing to it.

Because a POS system is such an important investment, it may be a smart idea to finance it with a small company loan if you can't afford to buy a good system right now. Understanding how difficult and lost it may be to choose a POS system for your small business or finance a POS system, we are here to do our best to help, so please leave a comment on this post and tell us your concern!