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7 Min. Read

3 Best Point of Sale Software (POS) for Small Business

3 Best Point of Sale Software (POS) for Small Business

If you’re running a retail business, you have to have a way to accept payments. Otherwise, how would you get paid? While cash transactions are great, most customers are going to want the ability to pay with electronic methods. To process these sorts of transactions, you’ll need to use software that works for you. While there are plenty of point of sale software options for retail businesses, not all are going to fit best. Learn more about point of sale software and the options available here!

Here’s What We’ll Cover:

What is Point of Sale Software?

What to Look For in POS Software

The 3 Best POS Software Options

Key Takeaways

What is Point of Sale Software?

Point of sale (POS) software is what brick and mortar businesses use to accept and process payments. Most POS software is sold in full systems. There are many different parts of a full POS system, but you’re most likely to see the following components:

  • A card reader equipped for debit cards, credit cards, and contactless payments
  • A cash register equipped with cash drawers
  • A receipt printer for transactions

These are the three basic parts of a POS system. However, in recent years POS systems have developed beyond this. Some companies that develop POS software have increased the flexibility given to businesses.

Mobile POS Software Arrives

Mobile POS software has increased the viability of small businesses that don’t have brick and mortar stores. Using a mobile device with a card reader, many small businesses have been able to accept payments other than cash. Using a mobile app they can process credit cards, debit cards, and other mobile payments. It has changed the way that POS systems are thought about, which has led to other developments in the industry.

Two Types of POS Software

There are two different types of POS software available today. There are on-premise systems and cloud-based systems. On-premise systems are the traditional terminals that you think of in retail stores. A cloud-based POS adds another layer of flexibility to businesses. While payments are still taken in a traditional method, cloud-based POS systems connect your software to the internet. This means that you can access information regarding your POS software from anywhere.

Cloud-based POS software is a rapidly growing option. These systems often connect to your existing POS platforms. However, the features that they offer are far beyond any on-premise solutions offered. With a cloud-based solution you get:

  • Detailed reporting options from anywhere
  • Inventory management for online and physical locations
  • Connectivity to a range of hardware devices
  • More options for app integrations
  • Ongoing technical support from the provider

While on-premise options are still viable, they are steadily being outpaced by cloud-based point of sale platforms.

What to Look For in POS Software

Here are some of the key features that you should be looking for when selecting a POS system for your business:

  • Full inventory management across all locations (physical stores and online marketplaces)
  • Advanced reporting methods and benchmarks
  • Detailed transaction histories for customers and products
  • A range of payment methods
  • The ability to provide refunds, returns, and store-credit options
  • Integration with mobile store apps
  • Seamless integration with current software programs and technology

All of these features will enable your business to operate more powerfully. You never want to shut down to introduce a new POS. The transition to your new system should be easy. This can be accomplished through the software itself, or the company providing it.

The 3 Best POS Software Options

If you’re looking to upgrade your current POS system, or are looking for your first POS platform, consider these options. They are the best options that the market has to offer at this time. They can help you increase your business, and make sales an easy task.

1. Square

No matter what size your business is, Square can provide a package that works for you. They’ve been in business for just about a decade, and are responsible for revolutionizing POS systems. When you sign up to use Square for your business, you’re using something tried and true.

Square offers a base plan that requires no startup costs, and doesn’t tack on monthly fees. They include hardware and software, depending on your needs. They also include payment processing in their packages.

If you’re a small business that primarily functions at markets, Square is for you. They provide the easiest POS system to set up, and have a dedicated mobile card reader. It’s compatible with both iPhone and Android devices, too. They only charge a processing fee of 2.75% per transaction. This is great for businesses that are only periodically using the service. Should your business start to grow, they also offer more traditional POS hardware. This includes a stand, as well as a traditional register. Both of these do require purchase, however.

If you want an easy-to-use cloud-based POS system, Square is your best option. As your business scales, you can also add on other services from Square. They have payroll software in addition to their POS systems.

2. Shopkeep

Shopkeep is similar to Square, but customers tend to find it to be more user-friendly. It also costs slightly less than other POS systems, and comes with great customer support. It’s most appropriate for small retailers rather than all small businesses, though.

This company is interested in seeing your business thrive. As such, they don’t offer any standard packages. To get a quote for your business, you’ll need to give them a call. They walk you through all of the options and upgrades that they believe will serve you and your customers best. As such, prices can vary from business to business.

In addition to their software, Shopkeep also offers hardware options. They provide access to iPad enabled softwares, as well as registers and card readers. Shopkeep is not an entirely cloud-based platform, and some features can only be accessed on-premise.

3. Shopify

Shopify offers plenty of robust software options depending on your business. They are proud to say that they can serve business owners in any forum. This includes online marketplaces, retail stores, or casually at markets. Their packages are tailored to all of these situations and more.

One of the best aspects of Shopify is its inventory management system. Using this POS grants you a complete overview of all of your products, no matter where they’re listed. In addition to being a POS system, they also offer invoicing options. This is an excellent feature if your business sells goods and services.

Shopify offers 24/7 support for their customers, no matter what level they’re at. Their basic package is ideal for social media sellers, while their retail package gives you all the tools you need for a store. They also have plenty of options in between. Should you be in the market for a POS that will scale with your business, Shopify is an excellent option. As your business grows, their fees drop. Basic packages have 2% transaction fees, while advanced packages are as little as 0.5%. Shopify understands that small businesses need support to reach their goals, and they aim to provide it.

Key Takeaways

Choosing a point of sale system can be a daunting task. You need to know exactly what you’re looking for, and what kind of growth you’d like to see. Once you’ve determined your needs, you can then select the best option for you. If you plan on staying small, choosing a provider like Square or Shopify may be your best bet. However, if you plan on expanding into retail spaces, Shopkeep should be your go-to.


If you enjoyed this article and want more like it, check out our resource hub. We have plenty of helpful small business guides available.


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