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The Best POS Software Options For Your Boutique Or Clothing Store

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Advertiser Disclosure: Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity.

Much like the word “artisan,” a lot of people seem to be using “boutique” as an adjective these days, creating strange-sounding business descriptions like “boutique hotel” and “boutique consulting firm.” Used in this way, “boutique” means … tiny and expensive? (I’m not really sure; that’s just my best guess.) But if we’re talking about boutiques in the traditional way—as small fashion shops dedicated to apparel, shoes, and accessories—these are the hip little businesses that keep local communities thriving; small retailers have a major impact on the national economy.

An alternative to big box stores and online retail Goliaths like Amazon, boutiques offer unique products and a friendlier shopping experience. Cloud-based point of sale systems help boutiques accentuate these strengths, giving shopkeepers the ability to do things like look up customer purchase histories and track which items are best sellers. But which cloud POS system is the best for your boutique biz? In this article, I’ll investigate and evaluate the top 7 POS systems for boutiques.

Learn More About Our Top Picks

CompanySummaryNext Steps
Best for: Boutiques with large inventories and online sales

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Best for: New boutiques and specialty boutiques with smaller inventories

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Best for: Established and multi-outlet boutiques

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Best for: Square merchants who need more inventory features

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Best for: Boutiques looking for an "all-in-one" POS system

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Other Featured Options:

  • Shopify POS: Best for: Boutiques that need eCommerce and mobile sales
  • Quetzal: Best for: Small, hip clothing boutiques and shoe stores

Read more below to learn why we chose these options.

8 Reasons To Get A Specialty POS For Your Boutique Retail Shop

A POS that’s designed to work for retail boutiques is important because it offers specialized features that allow you to not just ring up sales, but also manage your customers, your inventory, and even your online presence:

  1. Inventory Management: Manage your entire inventory with features like purchase order and vendor management, easy returns and exchanges, item variants, and matrixes for different sizes and colors.
  2. CRM/Loyalty: See who is shopping with you and encourage repeat business by rewarding loyal customers.
  3. Sales Reporting: Find out what is selling well and what’s profitable. 
  4. Gift Cards: Sell and accept branded, customizable gift cards with your POS.
  5. eCommerce Integration: Spread your brand by selling online as well as in-store. Give customers the option to pick up their online purchases at your store.
  6. Mobile Functions: Take your POS anywhere so you can sell at pop-up events, local markets, etc.  
  7. Marketing: Send promotional emails using the customer information collected by your POS and also share to social media channels.
  8. Employee Management: Set employee permissions, track employee hours, and report on employee register activities.

7 Super-Stylish & Super-Functional POS Systems For Retail Clothing Stores & Boutiques

The following cloud-based POS systems are specifically designed for retail businesses such as retail boutiques. These boutique POS systems are highly rated on our site and are some favorites of ours for any kind of clothing, apparel, or shoe store, as they have some especially useful and nuanced features for fashion retail. They’re all quite user-friendly as well, making it easy for you to set up your system, train your staff, and start selling boutique clothing!

1. Lightspeed Retail

Lightspeed POS



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Pros

  • Advanced inventory management that syncs online and in-store inventories

Cons

  • Many features only available at higher price tiers

Cost: $69 to $229/month (billed annually)

Lightspeed Retail was created back in 2005 and is now used by thousands of independent businesses around the world. You can run this hybrid system either on an iPad via a dedicated app, or with a desktop PC in a web browser. This system offers myriad features including multi-tender options, store credit, advanced inventory management, purchase ordering, employee management, eCommerce, CRM, and multi-store functionality, as well as 24/7 support.

Lightspeed features some unique inventory features like customizable tags, an inventory matrix, and the ability to manage bulk items that are being sold individually. You can create your own purchase orders and complete them across multiple vendors, and keep your online and offline inventories synced with built-in eCommerce. Lightspeed comes with fairly advanced loyalty functionality as well, allowing you to store information on customers and offer specialized discounts. It also integrates with MailChimp and MailSync for marketing,

In terms of payment processing, Lightspeed Retail offers in-house flat-rate payment processing with Lightspeed Payments (2.6% + 10¢), and also integrates with Vantiv (Now Worldpay), Cayan, and iZettle.

Lightspeed is a truly robust cloud POS system for clothing stores and is offered at a very affordable starting price. With that said, some features such as analytics, accounting software integration, and loyalty are only offered at higher plan levels. eCommerce functionality is included the $99/month plan (billed annually), though, which is a pretty darn good deal for boutiques that need this capability.

RestaurantRetaileCommerce

Lightspeed Restaurant

Lightspeed Retail

Lightspeed eCommerce

Premium Restaurant POS

Premium Retail POS

eCommerce Integration

Get Started

Get Started

Get Started

$69/month

$99/month

$59/month

14-day free trial

14-day free trial

14-day free trial

No commitment

No commitment

No commitment

No credit card required

No credit card required

No credit card required

If you would like to learn more, read our full review of Lightspeed Retail or sign up for a free 14-day trial.

Get Started with Lightspeed POS

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2. ShopKeep

ShopKeep POS



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shopkeep for boutiques website screenshot

Pros

  • Comprehensive register and back-office features

Cons

  • Not suited for large businesses

Cost: Call for quote

ShopKeep is an affordable, easy-to-use POS system that runs on iPads, Androids, and Clover hardware. This POS offers responsive 24/7 customer support and competitive interchange-plus credit card processing fees via its in-house payment processor, ShopKeep Payments (though you also have the option to use an outside merchant account). ShopKeep has an amazing register, and the software also includes useful inventory management features, in addition to employee management and customer management. You can also view real-time back-office reports from any web browser or on your mobile device with the ShopKeep Pocket app. 

Here are some more great things boutiques can do with ShopKeep:

  • Use the intuitive register to add modifiers, split tenders, apply quick discounts (item and order level), and issue easy returns and refunds
  • Generate detailed sales reports (item- and department-level) that help you determine which best-sellers you should stock
  • Capture customer information at point-of-sale to analyze purchase patterns and create tailored marketing campaigns
  • Use with MailChimp, QuickBooks, BigCommerce and AppCard
  • Sell and accept gift cards
  • Manage thousands of SKUs and import via CSV
  • Print barcodes for any item for easy scanning at the register
  • Sell food items as well as merchandise

ShopKeep’s register can only host up to 3,000 item buttons (the rest of your inventory can be rung up by barcode scanner or manual search) so it’s really aimed squarely at small, specialty businesses. But if you have a new or very small business processing less than $5K/month, ShopKeep even has a limited free plan that may provide everything you need as a newer, smaller business. 

Learn more about this boutique POS in our ShopKeep review.

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3. Vend

Vend POS



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vend on iPad

Pros

  • Great value for multi-location retailers

Cons

  • High entry price for smaller retailers

Cost: $99 or $129/month (billed annually)

Vend is another popular apparel POS that you can operate from a web browser or an iPad app. Vend also integrates seamlessly with your Shopify online store (as well as WooCommerce and others), making it a good alternative to Shopify POS if you like your Shopify e-Store but aren’t crazy about Shopify POS.

Like the other cloud POS systems on our list, Vend is very easy to set up and get started with, and you may be able to use it with your existing POS equipment and preferred merchant services provider. Vend also partners with Square and PayPal for payment processing (among other processors), and current Square or PayPal Here users might consider adding a Vend subscription to beef up their “fashion boutique software” tools. Vend also offers 24/7 support in case you run into any issues.

Vend is scalable for businesses ranging from very small boutiques to multi-store outlets, though it is especially aimed at small retail boutiques. Some features boutiques enjoy include:

  • Super easy to add, edit, and remove products
  • Retail-centric register features like store credit, layaway, gift cards, and discounts
  • Product catalog includes images, prices, variations (by color, size, etc.)
  • Real-time inventory and sales reports
  • Customer and inventory management
  • Lots of software integrations for accounting, inventory control, staff management, and more

Vend’s starting price point is a little pricey at $99/month, but if you upgrade to the Pro plan at $129/month (billed annually), it’s a pretty amazing value, as this plan includes all features and add-ons, as well as unlimited turnover and multi-location inventory syncing (additional registers are $49/month apiece). Read our Vend review to learn more about this clothing store POS.

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4. Square For Retail

Square For Retail



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square for retail with square stand

Pros

  • More advanced inventory features than Square POS

Cons

  • Con: Not as mobile as Square POS

Cost: $60/month

Square for Retail is a retail-centric version of the Square POS app that charges a $60/month fee and is only available for iPad. Square for Retail adds inventory features, as well as Square Team Management, which costs $35/month per location if you’re using the free version of Square. Square for Retail users also receive a 0.1% payment processing discount off Square’s standard pricing, bringing the fee down to 2.5% + 10¢ per transaction.

The main difference between Square for Retail’s and Square POS is its enhanced inventory features. Fashion retailers will appreciate features like real-time inventory tracking, unlimited SKUs, bulk importing, and PO management. It’s just as simple and easy to use as any other Square product, and could be a smart upgrade from the standard Square POS if you need more inventory features for your boutique.

Additional registers are only $20/month, and considering the free employee management and processing discount, Square could be an especially good value for higher-volume retailers that already use Square’s employee management add-on. A downside is that unlike regular Square, this app only runs on iPad, so it won’t work for mobile boutique sales from your smartphone or on Square’s proprietary Terminal or Register hardware.

Find out more about this iPad POS in our Square for Retail review.

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5. Clover Station

Clover POS



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clover website with flex and mini prices

Pros

  • Customizable to any business need

Cons

  • Must purchase with First Data merchant account

Cost: $29/month through Clover

Clover is an all-in-one cloud POS system that combines hardware and software in one sleek package by First Data. Clover is a customizable system that can be used by any industry, including fashion boutiques, thanks to the plethora of retail apps available from the Clover marketplace.

Some features retail boutiques like about Clover include its advanced inventory management, mobile gift card functionality, loyalty program, and real-time mobile app for iPhone and Android. Clover offers several different countertop hardware options, including the Station, Mini, and Flex—all/any of which you can mix and match for your perfect setup. You can also sell on the go at events using the Clover Go app and card reader.

An important thing to keep in mind is that Clover systems are always sold in conjunction with a First Data merchant account. Clover is also sold by a number of resellers, not all of which offer the best contract terms or prices. Depending on your provider and how many apps you use, pricing for Clover can get pretty expensive — and some sub-par providers rely on leasing agreements that are absolutely horrible.

For the best experience, we recommend purchasing your system (and its associated software services) directly from Clover.com. Clover offers a $29/month “Register” plan for retail that includes the following bundled apps: Orders, Register, Promos, Rewards, Employees, and Reporting. Keep in mind that adding additional apps can drive up the monthly price. Payment processing with this plan is 2.3% + 10¢ per transaction. Plus, if you go through Clover, you can buy your hardware outright with 0% financing.

Read our Clover POS review, to learn more about what this super-customizable POS is capable of.

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6. Shopify POS

Shopify POS



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shopify pos website screenshot

Pros

  • Excellent overall value for online retailers

Cons

  • Limited offline functionality

Cost: $79/month or $299/month for Advanced Shopify

Shopify POS is definitely among the most popular mobile POS software systems for retail. More than 500,000 businesses in 175 countries use Shopify POS, though many of these may only use it for eCommerce, sometimes in conjunction with another on-premises POS, such as Vend (more on them in a bit). But in addition to hosting your online storefront, the flexible, retail-centric Shopify POS can power your brick-and-mortar store sales. Shopify also provides competitive credit card rates via its own in-house payment processor, Shopify Payments with flat-rate processing (2.5% + 0¢ at the $79/month plan—which is lower than the fee charged by Square, PayPal, or Lightspeed), and can integrate with outside processors as well, for an added fee.

The typical Shopify POS setup uses an iPad, Android tablet, or PC with a web browser, but you can also take your boutique on the go—to farmer’s markets, pop-up shops, etc.—selling and accepting payments from your Android or iPhone. Some features of Shopify POS that make it great for boutiques include robust inventory management with online and offline inventory syncing, customer sales profiles, accounting software integration (QuickBooks and Xero), and detailed reporting.

Shopify is also quite affordable, and the $79/month plan includes almost all features for up to five store locations and unlimited devices—there are also cheaper plans if you just want to sell on your mobile device without a cash register or any other peripheral equipment. All plans are billed monthly, so you don’t need to make a long-term commitment in order to try out Shopify.

One downside of Shopify is its limited offline functionality—you can’t process credit card transactions without internet, though you can still perform cash transactions. Find out more in our Shopify POS review.

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7. Quetzal

Quetzal



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quetzal pos screenshot with iPad register and apple watch

Pros

  • Designed specifically for clothing boutiques

Cons

  • Not many third-party software integrations

Cost: $75/location/month (or $60/month billed annually)

With an office in Ontario, Canada and another one in Temecula, California, Quetzal is a small, yet international POS company with a friendly feel and a limited specialty: it is the only cloud POS made specifically for independent clothing and shoe retailers. This sleek iPad POS offers cool features like a rear customer-facing display and the ability to “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” a customer in the system. You can keep track of everything a customer buys, along with vendor, size, color, and material, and then market to these customers with targeted email promotions.

Quetzal has very sophisticated features for its $60/month (billed annually) price point. Some of these include:

  • Clothing/shoe matrix
  • iPhone and Apple Watch dashboard
  • Built-in loyalty program
  • Shopify integration 
  • Ability to see your best customers by vendor, or merchandise type, or season
  • Colorful, graphical reports
  • 24/7 support
  • Up to 10,000 items and 2,000,000 SKUs

Quetzal does not offer in-house payment processing but partners with several big-name payment processors such as EVO, Heartland, TSYS, Moneris, Chase Merchant Services, and others. One of the only negative things about Quetzal is that it doesn’t integrate with too many outside business software programs. Also, it’s such a small company that there are not too many user reviews. However, you can find out more about this POS system for clothing store boutiques by reading our Quetzal POS review

Read our in-depth review

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The Bottom Line: A Well-Designed POS System Is Always In Season

All of the above boutique POS systems are easy-to-use, web-based systems that will cost you a lot less than the traditional on-premise, Windows-based software. The cool thing about cloud-based systems is that you can pay as you go and try out the software before you commit to purchase it. And because they often use the same (or mostly the same) equipment, you can usually use the same iPad, card reader, bluetooth scanner, etc., for another POS system if you decide you don’t like the one you initially signed up for (with the exception of Clover).

If you need more help choosing a boutique POS, we have more information on these and other retail POS systems in articles like the 7 Best POS Systems For Retail and the Top 3 POS Systems For Online Retailers. It might also be helpful to see our top-rated retail POS systems at-a-glance by taking a look at our retail POS comparison chart.




A Last Look At Our Top Picks

  1. Lightspeed POS
    Summary - Best for: Boutiques with large inventories and online sales
  2. ShopKeep POS
    Summary - Best for: New boutiques and specialty boutiques with smaller inventories
  3. Vend POS
    Summary - Best for: Established and multi-outlet boutiques
  4. Square For Retail
    Summary - Best for: Square merchants who need more inventory features
  5. Clover POS
    Summary - Best for: Boutiques looking for an "all-in-one" POS system
  6. Shopify POS
    Summary - Best for: Boutiques that need eCommerce and mobile sales
  7. Quetzal
    Summary - Best for: Small, hip clothing boutiques and shoe stores
Shannon Vissers

Shannon Vissers

Shannon is a writer and editor based in San Diego, CA. Shannon attended San Diego State University, graduating in 2005 with a BA in English. She is the former editor-in-chief of SteelOrbis, an online trade publication. Shannon has also published articles for LIVESTRONG.COM, eHow, Life'd, and other websites. She has been with Merchant Maverick since 2015, writing about POS software, small business loans, and financing for women entrepreneurs.
Shannon Vissers
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2 Comments

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the vendor or bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the vendor or bank advertiser. It is not the vendor or bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

    Yasmeen Khan

    I don’t have iphone or ipad, i have Androids phone Samsung 8 + and Samsung Tablet . If its not compatiable with Androids devices then it won’t work for me?

    Yasmeen Khan

      This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

      Jessica Dinsmore

      Hi Yasmeen,

      If you have android devices already, you’ll want to find a POS compatible with android, unless you decide to switch to iOS. You can find some android friendly POS alternatives here.

        This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

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