5 Best POS Systems: A Guide for Retailers

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Selecting the best POS system requires careful consideration of various factors. These include specific business needs, industry requirements, and scalability. In addition, retailers must look for user-friendliness, integration capabilities, and competitive pricing structures.

Businesses can identify a POS system that aligns with their goals and optimizes operations by conducting thorough research, comparing different solutions, and prioritizing essential functionalities. Read on for a thorough ranking of the top 5 best POS systems and why we included them.

5 Best POS Systems – A Quick Look

  1. KORONA POS: Best for retail inventory management.
  2. Square POS: Best for startup retailers.
  3. Toast: Best for restaurants.
  4. Shopify POS: Best for eCommerce integration.
  5. Lightspeed POS: Best for clothing and apparel vendors.

#1 KORONA POS: Best For Advanced Inventory Management

KORONA POS overview

Effectively managing intricate inventories is effortless with KORONA POS. Equipped with a range of features, it simplifies handling SKUs, categories, promotions, bundled deals, and beyond.

With KORONA POS, you can establish par levels, monitor usage patterns, and receive timely low-stock alerts, ensuring you never run short of high-demand items.

korona pos logo

Pros

  • Scalability and multi-store
  • Integration friendly
  • Payment processing agnostic

Cons

  • Not for all verticals
  • Learning curve for all features

KORONA POS Pricing

Core

$59/mo

Retail

$69/mo

Enterprise

Custom

Key Features

  • Order level optimization enables retail businesses to analyze and fine-tune inventory to enhance efficiency, reduce costs, avoid stockouts, and optimize fulfillment processes.
  • Advanced reporting and analytics give retailers real-time insights into sales trends, stock levels, and product performance.
  • Integrates with RFID technology, enabling efficient inventory tracking through automated identification and data capture.
  • Equipped with built-in KPIs and ABC analysis, KORONA POS offers comprehensive breakdowns for product categorization, merchandising, and profitability.

Pros

  • Scalability and Multi-store

KORONA POS has some of the best point of sale software for scalability. The system is built for expansion and multilocation tracking. No matter how many storefronts or warehouses you may have, KORONA POS centralizes your data and makes transferring products a breeze.

  • Payment Processing Agnostic

Businesses can choose their preferred payment processor without being tied to a specific provider. This flexibility empowers retailers to seek out the most competitively priced solution.

  • Integration Friendly

KORONA POS partners with vertical-specific platforms to boost efficiency, automation, and retention. These integrations include applications for eCommerce, loyalty programs, accounting, and more.

Cons

  • Learning Curve for All Features

Because of its vast array of features and customization options, KORONA POS can take a bit longer to learn.

  • Not For All Verticals

KORONA POS is specially designed for retail. However, the system is not for all verticals, namely restaurants with full table service and apparel retailers that need size matrices.

Pricing

  • KORONA POS Core: A simple plan for standard business operations priced at $59/month.
  • KORONA POS Retail: An advanced plan with inventory management and more automation priced at $69/month

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#2 Square POS: Best For Startup Businesses

Square POS overview

Square benefits startup retailers due to its user-friendly interface, streamlining payment processing and inventory management, and saving time and effort.

Additionally, Square offers affordable subscription pricing, making it accessible for small businesses with tight budgets.

square pos logo

Pros

  • Decent reporting features
  • Flexible hardware options
  • eCommerce ready

Cons

  • No processing flexibility
  • Support is not as hands-on

Square POS Pricing

Retail Free

$0/mo 2.6% plus $0.10 for most transactions

Retail Plus

$89/mo per location

Key Features

  • Square is one of the more plug-and-play style solutions. The turnkey setup and installation require minimal interaction with support.
  • Easy training and an intuitive interface allow businesses to get up and running with minimal staff onboarding.
  • Square charges retailers lower start-up costs than most other point of sale companies. Technically, you can get a free subscription, paying for the service through processing fees.
  • The payment system is completely integrated. Once you’re set up with Square, you’re set up with their payment processing.

Pros

  • Decent Reporting Features

Square POS offers decent analytics and reporting features suitable for businesses that don’t require highly detailed insights. Its user-friendly interface provides essential data on sales and transactions without overwhelming businesses with overly complex reporting options.

  • Flexible Hardware Options

Square POS is compatible with various hardware options, including tablets, smartphones, and more, offering flexibility to businesses in choosing their preferred devices. This compatibility enables seamless integration into existing setups and allows for convenient point-of-sale operations in diverse environments.

  • eCommerce Ready

Square integrates with eCommerce platforms, providing businesses with the capability to expand their online presence. With built-in tools and easy integration options, Square lets businesses manage online and offline sales channels efficiently.

Cons

  • No Processing Flexibility

Square processing fees are built-in and non-negotiable. If you want to shop around for lower rates, you must choose a different provider.

  • Support Not as Hands-On

Most correspondence Square provides is through email, social platforms, and message boards. Other POS providers, such as KORONA POS, are much more active with 24/7 in-house personnel.

Pricing

Square has three main pricing tiers:

  • Free: The most basic plan with some essential features and the highest cost per transaction.
  • Plus: A more robust plan with more advanced inventory and employee management, in addition to other tools.
  • Custom: For businesses doing over $250K in sales, Square offers individualized pricing plans with advanced features and negotiated rates.

#3 Toast: Best POS for restaurants.

Toast POS overview


Toast stands out as the premier restaurant POS system thanks to its comprehensive features tailored specifically for the food service industry.

With intuitive order management, customizable menu options, and seamless integration with third-party apps, Toast streamlines operations and enhances efficiency.

toast pos logo

Pros

  • Mobile accessibility
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Solid inventory management

Cons

  • Limited offline functionality
  • Poor customer support

Toast POS Pricing

Quick Start Bundle:

$0/mo

Core

$69/mo

Custom Pricing

Custom

Key Features

  • Restaurants can customize the POS to meet their specific menu configurations and loyalty programs, providing a tailored experience for staff and customers.
  • Integration with various restaurant operations, including point-of-sale online ordering and kitchen management systems, streamlines workflows and service efficiency.
  • Toast provides robust restaurant sales reporting and analytics tools, helping hospitality businesses gain valuable insights into sales trends, customer preferences, and operational performance.
  • The cloud-based platform ensures scalability to accommodate the growth of restaurants while providing reliability and uptime, even during peak hours, ensuring uninterrupted service and customer satisfaction.

Pros

  • Mobile Accessibility

With Toast’s mobile POS capabilities, staff can take orders, process payments, and access key functionalities anywhere in the restaurant, enabling faster table turnover and enhancing overall service speed.

  • Cost-Effectiveness

Despite its comprehensive feature set, Toast POS offers competitive pricing and transparent plans, allowing restaurants to access advanced functionalities without breaking the bank.

  • Solid Inventory Management

Toast POS includes robust inventory management features that help restaurants track stock levels, monitor ingredient usage, and automate reordering processes, reducing waste and optimizing inventory turnover.

Cons

  • Limited Offline Functionality

While Toast POS offers some offline capabilities, such as offline mode for order taking, its full suite of features may not be accessible without an internet connection, which could be problematic during internet outages.

  • Poor Customer Support

Many clients reported that Toast customer support is seriously lacking. From ignoring customers to charging extra for adequate consumer care, there is no shortage of complaints on Reddit and Software Advice.

Pricing

Toast POS offers three different tiered options. These are:

  • Quick Start Bundle: $0/month with limited features and limited hardware options. Does have basic restaurant tools and is recommended for smaller operations like single-location cafes.
  • Core: $69/month includes customer care, hardware flexibility, mobile payments and more.
  • Custom Pricing: Ideal for all restaurants ready to drive more revenue and optimize operations with the full Toast platform.

#4 Shopify POS: Best for eCommerce integration.

shopify POS overview

Shopify is the top POS system for eCommerce integration due to its unparalleled versatility and scalability.

With seamless synchronization between online storefronts and brick-and-mortar operations, Shopify simplifies inventory management and order fulfillment, ensuring a cohesive customer experience across all channels.

shopify pos logo

Pros

  • Easy to get started
  • Integration options
  • Good technical support

Cons

  • Short free trial
  • Less interface flexibility

Shopify POS Pricing

Basic

$32/mo

Shopify

$92/mo

Advanced Shopify

$299/mo

Key Features

  • POS integration with Shopify’s robust ecommerce platform, ensuring smooth inventory, orders, and customer data synchronization between online and offline channels.
  • Actionable insight reporting into eCommerce performance enables informed decisions to optimize sales strategies, inventory management, and overall operations.
  • Deliver a cohesive shopping journey by managing sales, marketing, and customer interactions across various eCommerce channels, including online storefronts and mobile commerce.

Pros

  • Easy to Get Started

The intuitive interface and straightforward setup process allow businesses to start selling both online and in-store in no time. Its user-friendly design and seamless integration with Shopify’s eCommerce platform ensure a smooth transition for merchants.

  • Integration Options

With various trusted partners offering complementary services and features, Shopify POS users can confidently enhance their operations and customer experience.

  • Good Technical Support

Customer reviews are generally positive towards Shopify POS support, mentioning that they have used phone, chat, and email to get assistance.

Cons

  • Really Short Free Trial

Shopify POS free trial only lasts three days. This period is significantly shorter than many other competitors.

  • Less Interface Flexibility

Retailers often like to modify interfaces to optimize workflow. Many users have reported that the dashboard is a bit rigid, lacking customization options.

Pricing

  • Basic: $32 USD/month: Ideal for new businesses and entrepreneurs starting with online selling.
  • Shopify: $92 USD/mo: Ideal for growing businesses with more complex needs.
  • Advanced Shopify: $299 USD/month: Ideal for Established businesses with high sales volume.

#5 Lightspeed POS: Best for clothing and apparel vendors.

Lightspeed POS overview

Lightspeed emerges as the premier POS system for apparel retailers owing to its specialized features tailored specifically for the fashion industry.

With robust inventory management capabilities, including size and color variants, Lightspeed enables retailers to track and organize their merchandise efficiently.

lightspeed pos logo

Pros

  • Solid support
  • Strong inventory management

Cons

  • eCommerce integration lacking
  • More expensive than competitors

Lightspeed Pricing

Lean

$69/mo

Standard

$119/mo

Advanced

$199/mo

Key Features

  • Advanced inventory management tools allow businesses to track sizes, colors, styles, and variants.
  • Minimize stockouts and ensure you have the right products and sizes available to meet customer demand.
  • Integrated customer relationship management (CRM) tools empower apparel retailers to create personalized shopping experiences that drive customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Pros

  • Solid Support

Lightspeed is renowned for its support system, offering various channels, including live chat, phone support, and email tickets. The provider also offers one-on-one onboarding assistance.

  • Strong Inventory Management

Lightspeed boasts robust inventory management capabilities, allowing businesses to easily track stock levels, manage suppliers, and optimize reordering processes. With customizable product categorization and automated inventory alerts, businesses can maintain accurate inventory records and streamline operations.

Cons

  • eCommerce Integration Lacking

Some users find that Lightspeed’s eCommerce capabilities are not as extensive or intuitive, requiring additional third-party solutions to meet their online selling needs.

  • More Expensive Than Competitors

While it offers comprehensive features and robust support, some businesses may find the cost prohibitive, especially compared to other POS solutions with similar functionalities at a lower price point.

Pricing

Lightspeed Retail POS has a tiered pricing structure with three plans available:

  • Lean: This is the most basic plan, starting at $69/mo. It includes all the core features you need to run your store, such as basic inventory management, checkout registers, and payment processing.
  • Standard: This plan starts at $119/mo and includes everything in the Lean plan, plus additional features such as accounting and eCommerce.
  • Advanced: This is the most comprehensive plan, starting at $199/mo. It includes everything in the Standard plan, plus additional features such as omnichannel loyalty and advanced reporting.
an infographic illustrating 'what is a complete pos system?'

How To Choose the Best POS

  • Identify Your Business Needs

Assess your business requirements, including industry-specific features, scalability, and integration capabilities, to determine the essential functionalities your POS system must-have.

  • Consider User-Friendliness

Choose a POS system with an intuitive interface that is easy for your staff to learn and use effectively, reducing training time and minimizing errors during transactions.

  • Assess Integration Options

Look for a POS system that integrates seamlessly with other software solutions you use, such as accounting software, eCommerce platforms, or inventory management systems, to streamline operations and data synchronization.

  • Evaluate Hardware Compatibility

Ensure that the POS system is compatible with the hardware you already have or plan to use, such as tablets, terminals, or card readers, to avoid additional costs and compatibility issues.

  • Review Reporting and Analytics Features

Select a POS system with robust reporting and analytics tools that provide valuable insights into sales performance, inventory management, and customer behavior.

  • Consider Payment Processing Options:

Evaluate the payment processing capabilities of the POS system, including support for various payment methods, EMV compliance, and transparent pricing structures. Determine what processing fees your provider charges, and/or whether they allow flexible third-party processing.

  • Review Pricing Structure

Compare pricing plans and pricing structures of different POS systems, considering upfront costs, monthly subscription fees, transaction fees, and additional charges for extra features or services. Find a solution that aligns with your budget and offers the best value for your business.

  • Prioritize Customer Support

Choose a POS platform that offers reliable customer support through various channels, such as phone, email, or live chat. Response times should be prompt, and knowledgeable support agents should provide useful assistance in case of any issues.

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Best POS Frequently Asked Questions

  • Which POS brand is the best?

The best POS brand depends on your business needs, industry requirements, and preferences. To determine the best fit for your business, it’s essential to thoroughly research and evaluate different POS brands based on features, user-friendliness, integration options, and customer support.

  • Which POS machine has no monthly fee?

Several POS machines, including Square, offer a pay-as-you-go or transaction-based pricing model without monthly fees. Remember that while these solutions don’t charge subscriptions, their processing fees are higher than other point of sale options.

  • How much does a good POS system cost?

The cost of a good POS system varies depending on factors such as features, provider, and business size. For small businesses, basic POS systems can range from free (with higher transaction fees) to around $50 to $200 per month, while more enterprise-focused solutions for larger businesses may cost upwards of $300 to $1,000 or more per month.

Conclusion

In the quest for the best POS system, it’s crucial to consider not only the immediate needs of your business but also its long-term growth and adaptability. Businesses can make an informed decision that aligns with their objectives by thoroughly evaluating factors such as functionality, ease of use, integration capabilities, and customer support.

Remember, the right POS system isn’t just a tool; it’s a strategic investment that can streamline operations, boost efficiency, and drive profitability. Carefully research all options to select a POS system that propels you toward success confidently.

With it’s in-depth analytics and automated inventory functions, KORONA POS offers an excellent solution for retailers. Learn more by clicking the link below.

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Writen By

Michael Chalberg

Michael has long focused his writing on the world of retail and small businesses. He''s been a part of the KORONA POS team since 2018 and loves helping entrepreneurs find ways to adapt and succeed. In his spare time, you'll likely find him hiking somewhere in the Southwest.

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