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From contactless payments to online sales, point of sale (POS) systems improve the customer experience and make it easier for business owners to track inventory, sales, and employee performance. Moreover, your POS solution supports omnichannel experiences, which are seamless transitions between in-store, phone, and online sales.
In fact, 44% of retailers plan to upgrade or replace their POS, while 32% prioritize omnichannel experiences using their existing POS solution.
Selecting the best POS system for your small business is challenging. We researched more than two dozen POS solutions and compared them side-by-side. We judged systems on their ease of use, hardware and software options, customer service, features, and pricing packages.
The 6 Best POS Systems for Small Businesses in 2023
- Best Overall: Square
- Best Value: eHopper
- Best for Restaurants: TouchBistro
- Best for Retail: Vend
- Best for E-Commerce: Shopify
- Best for Inventory Management: ShopKeep by Lightspeed
- Our Top Picks
- ShopKeep by Lightspeed
- See More (3)
Best Overall : Square
Square provides flexibility for small businesses and plenty of room to grow.
Robust free option for online sales
Easily track inventory
Integrated payment system
Expensive processing fees for businesses with high volumes
Free option lacks advanced features
Extra fee for a loyalty program
Get 20% off your first Square POS hardware device with code DDSquare. Valid 4/3/23-6/30/23.
Founded in 2009, Square POS systems and devices are used in small businesses, from retail shops to diners. The platform’s versatility, combined with various pricing options, makes Square the best overall POS system for small businesses.
Square offers three plans, all of which provide integrated payments. You’ll pay credit card processing fees of 2.9% plus $0.30 for online transactions on the Free Plan and the Professional Plan charges the same rates, but costs $12 a month for extra features. The Performance plan also costs $26 for even more features, but charges the same fee for processing. Premium costs $72 and offers lowering processing fees of 2.6% + $0.30.
For most small businesses, you’ll want a Square register for $799. But the company also offers mobile square readers and iPad stands so you can customize your setup. All three plans come with standard features like:
- Barcode scanning
- Invoice and electronic gift card options
- Instagram selling capabilities
- View low and out of stock inventory
- Sales reports
- Time tracking
- Timecard reporting
Select from popular Square plans such as:
- Free: It’s free to sell online or in-person while tracking inventory, reviewing sales reports, and overseeing your employees.
- Professional: $12 a month and create custom websites without Square branding.
- Performance: For $26 a month you get advanced reporting, reviews, marketing features, and more.
- Premium: Costs $72 a month. It has a lower processing fee and performance features.
Square also offers integrations with your small business software. Just head to your dashboard to connect your POS system with:
- QuickBooks Online
Get more from your services by adding extra services like loyalty, email marketing, and payroll programs. If you need help with your Square POS system, you can contact Square support via phone or email or get answers from the seller community or support articles.
Best Value : eHopper
Inexpensive software with everything a small business owner needs to run a company.
Extremely affordable POS system
Built-in inventory management
Works with most tablets
No gift card management
Credit card processing fees charged to customers
For nearly 15 years, eHopper has provided an affordable alternative to pricey POS software. Its low-cost plans give entrepreneurs access to customer and inventory management tools, making it a clear winner in our best value category.
The eHopper POS system offers four plans, all of which include integrated credit card processing features. Currently, the merchant fees are passed to customers via a surcharge. With all versions, you’ll get features like:
- Inventory management
- Print or email receipts
- Tip management
- Reporting options
- Customer management
The company offers two plans to chose from, a free version, and a paid service:
- Essential: The free plan helps you easily adjust inventory, manage customer accounts, or create barcode labels for your products.
- Freedom: For $29.99 a month, you get employee time tracking options, low stock alerts, and QuickBooks integrations.
- Restaurant: It’s $39.99 a month for menu building, table management, and floor planning tools, along with standard POS features.
- OmniChannel: The regular cost is $39.99. This plan adds loyalty, e-commerce, and enables Meta sales.
With eHopper, you can use existing hardware or Android tablets, iPads, Windows PCs, and Poynt terminals. But, eHopper offers a variety of hardware options for sale, including:
- Hardware bundles
- Thermal printers
- Cash drawers
- Credit card terminals
- Stands and accessories
You won’t get many integrations with eHopper, but you can add an additional loyalty package to your plan. You can call, initiate a support ticket, or chat with customer service for help with your POS system. The company also offers an online knowledge base.
Best for Restaurants : TouchBistro
TouchBistro supplies restaurateurs with cloud-based analytics to boost their food and beverage sales.
iPad POS system
Integrated credit card processing
Must use mostly Apple products
Customer support isn’t always responsive.
In business since 2010, TouchBistro offers software designed specifically for the restaurant industry. TouchBistro is our top pick for the best restaurant POS system with restaurant inventory management tools and restaurant-specific hardware.
TouchBistro POS software licenses start at $69 per month. With a TouchBistro system, you’ll get various tools and features to support your operations, such as:
- Intuitive touch controls for table management
- Remote menu management
- Add recipes to manage inventory costs
- Access data and reports via the cloud portal
You can add services to get more from your restaurant POS, which are available through TouchBistro, including:
- Reservations system for $229 per month
- Online ordering for $50 a month
- A gift card program for $25 per month
Choose your own hardware or buy from TouchBistro’s hardware partners for equipment such as:
- Apple Mac Mini computer
- Apple TV
- AmpliFi MeshPoint HD
- Kitchen and thermal printers
- Cash drawers
- Networking hardware
- iPad stands
- Payment devices
TouchBistro integrates with many popular programs, including QuickBooks, Sage, and 7Shifts.
If you run into problems, TouchBistro provides plenty of self-service options. You can also contact them via email, chat, and 24/7 phone support.
Best for Retail : Vend
Trusted retail software that your employees will learn how to use in minutes.
No limits on products
Works offline (Limited functions)
Must buy the upper plan tp have comprehensive software
Gets costly when adding registers
Founded in 2010, Vend is a reliable provider of POS systems that are easy to use and compatible with many equipment types. With advanced inventory management and analytics, Vend wins our best POS system for retail.
Vend offers three plans that cover one register and one location, but you can pay to add extra registers and locations. All versions give you features that are easy to use and support your retail operations, 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
All three plans give you API access, integrated payments, POS, and 24/7 support. An overview of the plans and prices:
- Lean: For $69 per month when paid annually or $89 for monthly payments, this version contains all standard features.
- Standard: It’s $119 per month when paid yearly, or $149 with monthly payments. This package adds accounting and ecommerce features.
- Advanced: It costs $199 per month when paid annually or $269 per month when making monthly payments. This packaged adds loyalty, advanced reporting, and more.
You can choose from tons of hardware options or use your existing equipment. Vend offers bundles, and you can use Mac or Windows systems. This POS software integrates with nearly all credit card processing companies, along with top retail programs like:
- QuickBooks Online
Get the customer service your retail store needs with Vend’s responsive support systems, including 24/7 online or in-app live chat support, email, phone center, plus a full knowledge base.
Best for E-Commerce : Shopify
Oversee in-store and online sales easily from your mobile dashboard.
No extra transaction fees above interchange rates
Abandoned cart recovery comes with every plan
Only two staff members can access the POS with the Basic plan
Inventory location are limited
Since 2006, Shopify has provided e-commerce entrepreneurs with capable online shopping services that are easy for store owners to use and offer a pleasant digital customer experience. Its robust virtual features make it the best POS for e-commerce.
To use the Shopify POS system, you need to select a Shopify plan first. These programs cover your e-commerce website and blog, plus many features, ranging from $29 to $299 per month. Your Shopify plan determines your credit card processing fees:
- Basic: In-person rate is 2.7% and online rate is 2.9% + $0.30
- Shopify: In-person rate is 2.5% and online rate is 2.6% + $0.30
- Advanced: In-person rate is 2.4%, and online rate is 2.4% = $0.30
All plans include the Shopify POS Lite plan with features such as:
- Order and product management
- Customer profiles
- Integrated credit card processing
- Quick response (QR) codes
- Custom discounts and discount codes
If you opt for the POS Pro version for $89 per month per location, you can take advantage of added features like:
- Smart inventory management
- Unlimited registers
- Omnichannel selling features
- In-store analytics
Shopify offers tons of plug-and-play hardware, so it’s easy to customize your setup. Choose from complete retail kits, tap and chip card readers, and iPad stands. To get assistance, go through Shopify’s 24/7 support center or check out its vast knowledge base.
Best for Inventory Management : ShopKeep by Lightspeed
With advanced inventory tracking and a simple interface, ShopKeep by Lightspeed is a favorite among small business owners.
Low stock phone alerts
Unlimited inventory items
Inventory reporting features
Basic package doesn’t include online payments.
Can only accept gift cards with upper plans or by purchasing an add-on
Founded in 2008 and acquired by Lightspeed in 2021, ShopKeep by Lightspeed is a cloud-based POS system used widely by small retail stores, like specialty shops and cafes. However, its impressive inventory capabilities make ShopKeep the best POS for inventory management.
ShopKeep offers three plans, which all come with one free credit card reader for eligible merchants. Credit processing is included, and you’ll pay one flat rate of 2.6% plus $0.10 per transaction. All plans offer many great features, including:
- Unlimited transactions
- Customer payments via text message
- Unlimited inventory items
- Real-time sales data
- Matrix inventory
- Employee management and rewards
- Inventory reports like sales trends and inventory value
Ecommerce features are only offered in the Standard or Advanced plants. Each plan only covers one location. If you have multiple locations, you can contact the company for a custom plan.
To get the best prices, you’ll want to make one annual payment. You can pay monthly, but the cost is higher. Here are the plans:
- Lean: $69 per month paid annually or $89 per month paid monthly for all base features including integrated payments.
- Standard: $119 per month paid annually or $149 per month paid month. This plan adds accounting and ecommerce features.
- Advanced: $199 per month paid annually or $269 per month paid monthly. This plan adds omnichannel loyalty and advanced reporting.
ShopKeep sells equipment individually or as part of a kit. There is both hardware for desktop and iPad. For example, the retail kit comes with:
- Cash drawer
- Receipt printer
- Bluetooth scanner
- iPad stand
- Receipt paper
Customers can call, email, or look through the self-support resources.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is a Point of Sale System?
Your point of sale (POS) system puts all your transaction data in one spot. Many programs provide tools to track inventory, manage employees, and see revenue data in real-time. POS solutions go beyond traditional registers to offer you various ways to accept payments from anywhere in your store.
Small business owners use a POS system to better understand their sales trends, available inventory, and customers. Moreover, mobile solutions enhance the customer experience with quick checkout options and integrated customer programs.
What Does a POS System Include?
Today you can build a POS system that works for your store, so you’re not limited to just a cash register. Typical hardware for small businesses includes:
- A standalone POS cash register or an iPad system
- Cash drawer
- Receipt printer
- Credit card reader
However, you can add self-service kiosks, mobile units, and customer displays to enhance the shopping and buying experiences.
What Are the Types of POS Systems?
Although retailers still rely on standalone systems, many prefer iPad solutions, which allow you to place the iPad on a secure stand or carry it throughout the store. Mobile units or self-service kiosks are especially crucial for curbside sales or contactless payments, so many business owners incorporate these types of units into their existing setup.
Most POS systems place some or all features in the cloud. This gives you access to tools using different devices in your store or from home.
What Are the Expected Costs of a POS System for a Small Business?
POS systems come with a hefty monthly cost, and if you’re starting new, you’ll also spend quite a bit on hardware. Many larger POS providers offer financing or payment plans for bundled hardware kits along with month-to-month payment options for your POS software subscriptions. Prices ranges consist of:
- Monthly POS software: Free to $299 per month
- Basic hardware bundles: $299 to $899
- Payment processing: Interchange fee (small percentage of the transaction) plus $0.10 to $0.30 per transaction
How We Chose the Best POS Systems for Small Businesses
To find the best POS systems for small businesses, we reviewed several factors, including subscription prices and fees, hardware types and costs, payment processing options, and features. After searching through more than two dozen POS providers, we narrowed it down to winners in specific categories by the best POS systems for things like e-commerce, inventory management, and retail use.
Aptos. "2022 POS / Customer Engagement Survey."
Square. "About Square."
eHopper. "About eHopper."
Touch Bistro. "About Us."
Vend. "About Us."
Zippia. "Shopify History."
Lightspeed. "Lightspeed to Acquire ShopKeep."
Businesswire. "ShopKeep Acquires Ambur POS."