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Best POS Loyalty Programs To Grow Your Business In 2021

    Shannon Vissers
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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.

Are you looking to build a loyal customer base, encourage repeat visits to your store or restaurant, and increase customers’ average spend at your establishment?

One of the easiest ways to do these things is to implement a loyalty solution using the tools available through your POS system.

Some POS systems have built-in loyalty, while others integrate with a third-party loyalty app. Whichever type of setup you have, the benefits of a POS linked with loyalty cannot be understated. Customer loyalty software is proven to attract loyal customers who return to your business time and again, thanks to enticing rewards, as well as the relationship-building benefits of this type of software.

Whether you are a first-time loyalty program buyer or are looking at switching from a different POS or loyalty software, it’s important to evaluate your best options before deciding on a system. In this article, I’ll list the POS systems with the best loyalty programs, and also explain what type of business each POS system caters to. 

If you’re shopping around for a POS with a solid reputation and strong loyalty and marketing solutions, keep reading!

Learn More About Our Top Picks

CompanySummaryNext StepsSummary
Square POS

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Best for low-volume businesses in any industry.
Best for low-volume businesses in any industry.

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Vend by Lightspeed

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Best for small retail businesses.
Best for small retail businesses.

Visit Site

Read More

Lightspeed POS

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Best for retail with eCommerce.
Best for retail with eCommerce.

Visit Site

Read More

Toast POS

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Best for full-service restaurants.
Best for full-service restaurants.

Visit Site

Read More

Loyverse

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Best for new businesses in any industry.
Best for new businesses in any industry.

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Read More

Read more below to learn why we chose these options.

The Best POS Loyalty Programs

Small businesses can use POS systems with customer loyalty software to attract repeat customers. Loyalty programs also encourage customers to spend more, and business owners can even use loyalty program data to make smarter business decisions. The following are the top POS systems with integrated loyalty systems.

1. Square Loyalty Program

Square POS



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Square is another excellent free POS with an in-house loyalty program. Square is especially popular for quick-serve restaurants such as cafes, but it can be used by businesses in any industry. Most notable about Square is that its simplicity and ease of use are unsurpassed, much like the iPads that it runs on (though you can use any other device you’d like, Android, Windows, or otherwise).

Like the POS itself, Square Loyalty is intuitive and easy to use, with a clean, uncluttered interface. Square is set up so that the core POS functions are free, and you only pay for whichever advanced functions you need, including loyalty. You only pay for how much loyalty functionality you use as well — pricing is based on how many loyalty visits you receive each month. Square Loyalty runs $45/month for 1-500 loyalty visits per month and goes up from there.square loyalty program

Square’s digital loyalty program has businesses enter a customer’s phone number, and the customer receives automated texts about their reward activity every time they make a purchase, either in-store or online. There’s nothing for customers to download and the texts they receive are arguably more attention-grabbing than an email (case in point: I currently have 35,000 unread emails and 0 unread texts). Businesses can then track their loyalty program’s success using reports which show how much they’ve earned from loyalty sales versus non-loyalty sales; according to Square, customers who enroll in Square Loyalty spend 37% more.

With its integrated flat-rate payment processing, Square is best for newer and lower-volume businesses; established, high-volume businesses may find better payment processing rates by getting their own merchant accounts.

Pros

  • Free POS
  • Easy to use
  • Reports let you measure the ROI of your loyalty program
  • Integrates with entire Square suite of business products

Cons

  • Must use with Square credit card processing
  • The monthly cost can get expensive if you use multiple Square add-ons

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2. Vend

Vend by Lightspeed



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Vend is an affordable POS for iPad, Mac, and PC that’s made especially for retail. Fashion boutiques, in particular, like Vend for all its retail-centric features, including strong CRM and retail inventory management. Vend also has an easy-to-use in-house loyalty program.

Vend provides an inclusive, customizable loyalty program to reward customers. Vend Loyalty is included in the $129/month “Pro” package (billed annually). This package actually includes all the system’s advanced features, including gift cards, advanced inventory management, advanced reporting, promos, API access, and more.

Vend prides itself on its ease of use, and its loyalty program is no exception. With Vend Loyalty, customers are automatically added to the system when they make their first purchase. Rewards are calculated using dollar ratios that can be set on all items or for just qualifying products. The program can also be set up to offer bonus dollars as well as promotions and VIP offerings. It’s also easy to view and search your customers’ loyalty stats to see your top customers. Though this probably isn’t as important as its awesome functionality, Vend also has a sense of humor and doesn’t take itself too seriously, as evidenced in the video below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJsCFbC7VWk&feature=youtu.be

As for its other features, Vend does not include in-house eCommerce or in-house payment processing, but it supports integrations for both. For example, you can set up eCom with Shopify, BigCommerce, or WooCommerce, and set up payment processing with Square, PayPal, CardConnect, WorldPay, EVO, or others. Vend may not have the capabilities to serve an enterprise-level organization, but for any small retailer, it can provide excellent loyalty capabilities as well as other useful retail features.

Pros

  • Affordable POS
  • Affordable in-house loyalty program
  • Can use your own merchant account
  • Retail-focused

Cons

  • No in-house eCommerce
  • No in-house payment processing

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3. Lightspeed Retail

Lightspeed POS



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Lightspeed Retail is a premium retail POS for iPad and desktops that makes it fast and easy to sell in-store and online. Lightspeed’s loyalty program is included in the $169/month “Advanced Package,” which is admittedly a little pricey for a cloud POS, but also includes Lightspeed’s excellent in-house eCommerce program, which integrates seamlessly with the Lightspeed POS and Lightspeed Loyalty.

Lightspeed Loyalty is a points-based loyalty program with flexible reward tiers and built-in marketing and CRM. Retailers can also use the program to auto-segment customers based on purchasing habits, categorize rewards according to these customer groups, and use a branded loyalty app to send promotions as well as one-time deals. Customers can then redeem their rewards either in your retail store or on your integrated online store. Lightspeed Loyalty also makes it easy to create automated campaigns for text and email using a drag-and-drop tool. If you currently use a different rewards program, Lightspeed can transfer data and balances from your existing program to Lightspeed Loyalty.

lightspeed retail loyalty program notification

In addition to its strong eCommerce and loyalty programs, some more things to like about this powerful retail POS are its multi-tender options, inventory matrix, purchase order management, and deep reporting feature.

Lightspeed Retail integrates with Lightspeed Payments which has a flat rate of 2.6% + $0.10 for in-person payments (the same rate offered by Square) and includes a free Verifone P400 terminal (swipe, dip, or tap). Lightspeed Retail does integrate with outside payment processors but you will have to pay a premium to use an outside processor.

Pros

  • Retail-specific POS
  • Excellent built-in loyalty program
  • Built-in eCommerce
  • Free payment terminal with Lightspeed Payments

Cons

  • Expensive for smaller retailers
  • Has a somewhat steep learning curve

Get Started with Lightspeed POS

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4. Toast

Toast POS



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Toast is an Android-based POS system with pretty much any feature a restaurant could ever need, from ingredient management to delivery and takeout modules to table management for in-person dining. Toast has incredibly strong employee management and reporting features, as well as smart CRM features that include a built-in loyalty program. Overall, Toast is an excellent POS if you want a system specifically for restaurants with in-house loyalty.

With Toast Loyalty, guests receive points with each purchase. After the email opt-in, guests automatically accrue points with every purchase, meaning they don’t have to sign in each time. The rewards program allows restaurants to customize sign-up bonuses, set accrual and redemption rates, and offer birthday rewards. Loyalty program reporting gives you insight into who your regulars are and how much they spend.

toast pos loyalty program

Toast starts at $0/month, but the monthly cost goes up if you want add-ons for advanced features, including the loyalty program, online ordering, and gift cards. The POS software can get a little pricey if you use multiple add-ons. However, being Android-based, the hardware is relatively inexpensive, and there are even options for purpose-built tableside ordering devices for your waitstaff. All of the hardware is designed to withstand a restaurant environment, so it’s spillproof and drop-resistant as well.

Pros

  • Restaurant-grade hardware
  • Complete restaurant POS
  • Easy loyalty onboarding
  • Android-based

Cons

  • Must use with Toast payment processing
  • Requires long-term contract (two to three years)

Get Started with Toast POS

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5. Loyverse

Loyverse



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Loyverse is a free mobile POS that includes an excellent built-in loyalty program—also free! You can use Loyverse on a smartphone, iPad, or Android tablet, and process payments using CardConnect, Worldpay, or SumUp. Best of all, it can be used in any industry: restaurant, retail, service industry, you name it.

So what’s the deal with Loyverse’s free, built-in loyalty program? When customers download your loyalty app, they can start to earn points, which they can redeem for discounts on your products or services. You can also use the app to send messages out to your customers. On the back end, you can add information about your customers and view their rewards activity:

loyverse customer information screen

The Loyverse POS itself is intuitive and easy to use, though somewhat basic, particularly in terms of its inventory features. Still, for newer merchants looking for a basic, free POS program with free loyalty, Loyverse might have all you need.

Pros

  • Free POS
  • Free loyalty software
  • Suitable for any industry
  • Can use your own merchant account

Cons

  • Basic functionality
  • No software integrations

Read our in-depth review

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5 Effective Ways To Use Your Loyalty POS Program Data To Boost Sales

If you want to get a good return on your investment in a loyalty-enabled POS, you need to do a little legwork to configure your system so you can regularly communicate with customers using the program. Here are some specific tactics to boost the effectiveness of a loyalty program.

  • Incentivize Loyalty Signup: The most important first step of building customer loyalty is getting customers signed up for your program in the first place. By offering a reward or incentive for customers to sign up (for example, a free drink or 50% off coupon), you’ll be able to onboard a higher percentage of your customers.
  • Integrate Text & Email Marketing: Most loyalty programs have text and/or email marketing capabilities that let you send special offers, promotions, and of course, rewards. Make sure you take advantage of this integration so you can get the most out of your program.
  • Let Customers Redeem Rewards Online: If customers have more than one way to redeem rewards, they have more opportunities to spend money at your business. A POS with eCommerce lets customers redeem loyalty points online, thus encouraging purchases on your website (or app), as well as in your physical establishment.
  • Offer Gift Cards As A Reward: Like loyalty programs, gift cards also encourage customers to return to your business, and to spend more money when they do so. When a gift card program is combined with a loyalty program, the effectiveness of both programs is enhanced.
  • Incorporate Social Media: Social media marketing can boost awareness of your loyalty program and give customers more opportunities to interact with your loyalty program. Some POS systems even allow customers to purchase right from social media, without even requiring you to set up a dedicated website (e.g., Square, Shopify).

How Do I Choose The Right POS Loyalty Program?

If loyalty software is built into your POS system, use it! Even the simplest of programs can be an effective tool for building customer relations for your business. The great thing about POS loyalty solutions is that they’re designed specifically for your software, and they are often more intuitive than a third-party software solution. If your system does not offer any kind of loyalty functionality, I would strongly recommend switching to one that does.

There are a few more things to consider, such as the fact that some POS systems may charge an additional fee for their loyalty software. In those cases, I would consider the value in terms of features, customer service, and necessity; you might also consider using a third-party loyalty software integration. You can check out our loyalty software comparison chart for more details on third-party loyalty software. It’s important to test out a POS and/or loyalty solution before buying it, so be sure to request a free trial or demo before you commit.

Further reading on loyalty programs for small businesses:

In Summary: The Best POS Loyalty Programs

  1. Square POS: Best for low-volume businesses in any industry.
  2. Vend by Lightspeed: Best for small retail businesses.
  3. Lightspeed POS: Best for retail with eCommerce.
  4. Toast POS: Best for full-service restaurants.
  5. Loyverse: Best for new businesses in any industry.
Shannon Vissers

Shannon Vissers

Expert Analyst & Reviewer at Merchant Maverick
The former editor-in-chief of SteelOrbis, Shannon has been researching and writing about small business software and financing since 2015. Her retail and personal finance expertise has been cited in numerous publications, including Reader's Digest, MSN, Yahoo Finance, and GOBankingRates . She has also published articles for LIVESTRONG.COM, eHow, Life'd, and other websites. Shannon attended San Diego State University, graduating in 2005 with a BA in English.
Shannon Vissers
View Shannon Vissers's professional experience on LinkedIn.
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1 Comment

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.

    Stephen

    Thank you very much for this blog. We have been searching for a POS with loyalty and were not finding credible solutions. We agree with you Vend is da bozz!!

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

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    Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity. The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone.

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