The Best Alternatives to Revel POS
There aren’t too many powerhouses in the cloud-based POS industry. Though it is now increasingly popular among franchises and mega-chains, app-based point of sale technology was for a long time considered too unstable and unreliable to take on the role traditionally held by an expensive legacy systems. Instead, these cloud POS systems were squarely aimed at small to mid-sized businesses looking for a low maintenance and cost effective means of processing sales and performing basic reporting functions. However, as technology advances, the suite of features once found only in archaic locally-installed systems has become increasingly commonplace in the world of cloud computing.
One of the most popular all-in-one POS systems on the market is Revel Systems (see our review). Busting out of the gate in 2011, Revel reached profitability in just one year and now boasts 20,000 active terminals all over the world. Growing from a Bay Area startup to a multi-national contender with over 400 employees in just a few years, Revel quickly became an international sensation with its long list of advanced features, equally long list of third-party integrations, and overall intuitive design.
However, Revel is not going to be the best fit for every business. Most small businesses should rule it out right off the bat, simply because Revel is so feature-rich. There is no point wasting a lot of time and money setting up and paying for functions that you will simply never use. If you’re anticipating substantial growth in your first one to three years in business you could probably justify purchasing Revel, but your average mom-and-pop shop will probably want to look elsewhere.
Another element of Revel’s software that tends to scare people away is the substantial time and effort that goes into setting up the extensive feature suite. Naturally, if you’ve got a system designed to handle a complex, multi-faceted business with retail, food, and service-related needs, you’re going to have to spend quite a bit of time making sure all the settings are configured properly. This is to be expected of any feature-heavy software worth its salt, but it is fair to say that Revel may take the prize for most complex setup process.
Lastly, some take issue with Revel’s one-size-fits-all approach. Since it is a pretty comprehensive all-in-one POS system, it doesn’t specialize in any one industry and may not offer the customizations necessary to properly equip merchants who need a lot of industry-specific functions.
Though none of these factors should necessarily scare you away from a great system like Revel, we realize that it’s not going to be a perfect fit for everyone. With that in mind, we’ve prepared a cursory look into the top five alternatives to Revel Systems POS: ERPLY, iConnect, SalesVu, Bindo, and Toast.
If you’re a merchant looking for all the functionality that Revel offers with a more industry-specific focus, ERPLY (see our review) is probably your best bet. Designed to alleviate the concerns of small to mid-sized business trying to compete with franchises and mega-chains, ERPLY—as its name implies—is a POS system that comes equipped with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) functionality, which basically means that it is the powerhouse of data management in the retail world.
Launched in 2009 from the tiny European country Estonia (also the birthplace of Skype), ERPLY has grown from 200 subscribers in the first year to over 100,000 paid subscriptions. ERPLY is certainly not the cheapest solution, but with real-time operation, POS functions, HR capabilities, supply chain management, customer relationship management, accounting capabilities, and access controls all built directly into the interface, it is suited to accommodate even the largest enterprise and franchise operations.
What Makes ERPLY Better than Revel?
- More sophisticated inventory management features.
- More tools for supply chain management, including a warehouse app designed to streamline supply chain management.
- Advanced customer management that allows for the collection of business info, webpage URL, loyalty card codes, bank name, bank routing info, special discounts, credit limits, overdue penalties, etc.
- More extensive and customizable reporting suite.
- In-house eCommerce and accounting modules available for seamless integration with your POS.
- Overall, ERPLY has been better received with fewer customer complaints than Revel.
iConnect (see our review) is one of the more unique POS systems and has laid claim to an area not many other solutions have ventured into, namely the service industry. Though iConnect is also well-suited for retail environments, its service-specific features—booking, scheduling, employee-specific service rates, rentals, and recurring memberships—make it especially appealing to spas, gyms, hair salons, tanning salons, etc.
Forward-thinking founder Subodh Gupta created iConnect in 2011 with a specific vision in mind. He was hoping to create a cloud-based point of sale solution that would be able to accommodate the increasingly technology-centric and customer-centric purchasing experience. I would say he has succeed thus far, with a system that is fully equipped yet exceptionally usable with only a few minor hiccups to be found.
What Makes iConnect Better than Revel?
- More advanced booking features out of the box, including customer wait lists, a check in/out feature, and the ability to assign different times, rooms, and equipment to service providers.
- More advanced service management—bill preset services at different rates per employee, rent booths to other service providers, and use Direct Pay to record sales by booth even if payment goes directly to service provider.
- Competitive pricing on preconfigured EMV-enabled registers.
- Easier to setup and less feature-heavy, making iConnect more accessible to smaller merchants.
SalesVu (see our review), established in 2011, is most similar to Revel in terms of its appeal to virtually every merchant, regardless of industry. The main difference between the two is that SalesVu is more module-based, meaning that you can select the bundle that has the features you need, leaving out the ones you do not. In this way, SalesVu is able to cater to a wider swath of business sizes, from the huge multi-location operations that need a feature-rich setup to the small mom and pop shops that just need a basic POS.
What Makes SalesVu Better than Revel?
- Competitive pricing for all levels of business–modular system means you don’t have to pay for the features you won’t use.
- Free advertising and online ordering at TownVu.com.
- Optimized for use in remote businesses like pizza delivery, cleaning services, and food trucks.
- Supports incremental pricing—great option for hourly professionals or for those selling products by weight, length, etc.
- Flexible hardware options—choice of iPad, iPhone, and PC.
If you’re looking for something more retail-centric but aren’t in love with ERPLY, Bindo (see our review) is another great option. Like ERPLY, Bindo was created with the intention of helping smaller retailers square off with their larger competitors. However, Bindo is more accessible to smaller merchants since it doesn’t come with an overwhelming amount of features. That isn’t to say that it wouldn’t be just as well suited for larger operations as for smaller ones.
Premiering in 2013, Bindo is still a relative new-comer on the POS stage. Having processed over $30,000,000 in transactions so far, Bindo is used by over 200 merchants, and is committed to sustaining communities by helping local businesses stay afloat as they compete with franchises and chain stores.
Why Is Bindo Better than Revel?
- Bindo is industry-specific with more retail-oriented features.
- Sophisticated inventory management, including great matrix functions and an exceedingly intuitive data entry process.
- Favorites grid allows you to quickly access the most popular items in your inventory.
- Advanced purchase order management, with all of your information stored in a safe and centralized “virtual vault.”
- Free access to Bindo Marketplace—an app that allows customers to see what you have in stock and make orders online.
Toast (see our review)—despite its nonsensical name—is an
industry favorite among food service establishments. Used in 42 states already, Toast’s POS solution has become increasingly popular since its launch in 2012, partly because of the system’s high functionality and usability, but more notably because of the company’s commitment to customer satisfaction.
The only system to run on Android tablets, Toast offers a slightly different experience than its Apple counterparts, allowing for greater form factor and more choices when it comes to selecting your preferred device. Though certainly not the least expensive solution, Toast comes with all the features you’re paying for with great usability to match.
Why is Toast Better than Revel?
- Runs on Android operating system—lower hardware costs and better device selection and form factor.
- Because of its general ease of use, reasonable pricing, and robust feature set, Toast caters to both small and large businesses.
- Advanced restaurant-specific functions, including check management, table layouts, modifiers, and menu configuration.
- Great support offerings and customer feedback.
- Best cash management features on the market, designed to handle high volume cash flow.
Which Revel Alternative to Choose?
Just as a reminder, here’s an overview of the best alternatives to Revel Systems POS:
- ERPLY – The powerhouse of retail iPad point of sale software.
- iConnect – iPad POS for retail and service industry businesses of all sizes.
- SalesVu – Modular all-in-one POS designed for scalability and customization.
- Bindo – Retail-centric iPad solution with advanced inventory management.
- Toast – Android-based POS with sophisticated restaurant-specific features.
In the end, it’s difficult to go wrong with a system as comprehensive as Revel, but it is certainly not for every merchant. It is important to find the point of sale software that best suits your specific business needs, and even if none of these great alternatives seem quite up your alley, there are many more out there to explore.
Still feeling a little overwhelmed by the selection process? Shoot us a message and we’ll provide some personalized insight into the POS world. Let us show you around.