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7 Best Retail POS Systems

These popular POS systems for retail offer inventory management, loyalty features, and even eCommerce options.

    Nicolette Kier
  • Last updated onUpdated

  • Matt Sherman
  • REVIEWED BY

    Matt Sherman

    Lead Staff Writer

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

The best POS systems for retail allow business owners to accept payments, sell online, manage inventory, start marketing campaigns, onboard employees, and get financial reports to better understand overall company performance.

We evaluated several of the best POS systems for small businesses based on pricing, ease of use, retail POS features, and software contract terms to help you find the best retail POS system for your business.

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  • Best free retail POS system
  • $0-$60/month/location
  • Monthly contracts, no termination fee
  • Best free retail POS system
  • $0-$60/month/location
  • Monthly contracts, no termination fee

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  • Best inventory management for single and multi-location businesses
  • $69-$399+/ month
  • Monthly and custom contracts, early termination fee
  • Best inventory management for single and multi-location businesses
  • $69-$399+/ month
  • Monthly and custom contracts, early termination fee

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  • Most customizable POS software, hardware choices, and contract options
  • $14.95-$64.90/month or custom pricing
  • Custom merchant agreements
  • Most customizable POS software, hardware choices, and contract options
  • $14.95-$64.90/month or custom pricing
  • Custom merchant agreements

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  • Best for a hybrid online/offline retail business
  • $5-$399+/month
  • Monthly/annual contracts, no termination fee
  • Best for a hybrid online/offline retail business
  • $5-$399+/month
  • Monthly/annual contracts, no termination fee

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  • Best for B2B and custom order businesses that use invoices or recurring card charges
  • $0
  • Monthly contracts, no early termination fee
  • Best for B2B and custom order businesses that use invoices or recurring card charges
  • $0
  • Monthly contracts, no early termination fee

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  • Best for niche and multi-location businesses
  • Custom pricing
  • Standard three-year contract, early termination fee
  • Best for niche and multi-location businesses
  • Custom pricing
  • Standard three-year contract, early termination fee

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  • Best for high-risk businesses
  • $59+/month
  • Monthly contracts, no termination fee
  • Best for high-risk businesses
  • $59+/month
  • Monthly contracts, no termination fee

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Table of Contents

What Is A Retail POS System?

A retail POS system is software that, combined with a credit card reader, allows you to take digital payment types at your retail store or on the go.

A POS for retail also helps business owners manage POS inventory, create customer profiles for targeted sales and coupons, and allows you to sell on your own website, on social media, and/or on marketplaces such as Amazon and Etsy.

7 Best POS Systems For Retail Businesses

The best POS systems for retail are easy to use, affordable, and offer great inventory management, online sales functions, marketing and loyalty program features, employee management, and business reporting.

These are our top choices:

Compare The Best Retail POS Systems

Pricing Payment Processing POS Hardware Cost Online Ordering Free Trial
Square $0-$60/location/month 2.5%-2.9% $49-$1,959
Lightspeed $69-$399+/month 2.6%-2.9% $299-$329+ Essential plan and up
Clover Custom Custom $49-$1,799
Shopify $39-$399+/month 2.4%-2.9% $49-$459
Helcim $0 Custom $99-$349
Revel Systems Custom Custom Custom Extra fee
KORONA $59-$69+/month Custom Custom WooCommerce integration

Square For Retail: Best Free Option

Square For Retail

Total Rating 4.6
Pricing4.2

Ease Of Use5.0

Features4.8

Customer Service4.8

User Reviews4.7

Pricing

$0-$60/month

Contract

None

Equipment Cost

$0+

Get a free card swiper from Square at no cost when you create a free account. Claim your card reader.

Pros

  • Free in-app social media selling capabilities
  • Free online selling for pickup or delivery
  • Affordable POS hardware
  • Free virtual terminal, invoice, and subscription payments

Cons

  • Occasional fund holds
  • Square For Retail not currently available on Android smartphones

Square For Retail POS interface on iPad

Square For Retail POS register interface on iPad.

Why We Chose Square As The Best Free Retail POS System

We believe that Square is one of the best free POS systems because the in-person and eCommerce POS software is completely free for retail business owners with one location or mobile-only sellers. You can sell just about any physical or digital item with an unlimited number of POS devices and a highly affordable credit card reader on the free plan. Square's paid plan for multi-location businesses is also highly affordable.

Note: Square's free plan is completely free to use, with no special conditions or limitations. Square's paid plans come with a 30-day free trial.

Square POS Pricing

Square For Retail Plans Price  When To Use
Free Plan $0/month (2.6% + $0.10 processing fees) You have a retail store with basic inventory and reporting needs
Pro Plan $89/month (2.5% + $0.10 processing fees) You have a small to mid-sized retail establishment with advanced back-end needs
Premium Plan Custom pricing (2.5% + $0.10 processing fees) You sell more than $250,000 a year

The free plan is completely free to use forever, can be installed on an unlimited number of devices, and you can start using Square immediately. Paid plans are billed by device and location.

Retailers may also want to consider these popular Square add-ons:

Square Retail POS System Features

Square For Retail Features Availability
Multi-Store Support
Contactless Payments
Multi-Channel Selling
Gift Cards Add-on
Customer Loyalty Add-on
Marketing Tools
Online Ordering
Inventory Management
Reporting
Menu Management
Delivery Management
EBT Acceptance
Employee Management
Text Messaging

Square offers an extensive amount of free POS system features for retailers, including:

  • Free Square online store builder and Square online checkout links to sell online, with or without a website
  • Free employee time clock, scheduling, and reporting
  • Unlimited number of POS registers on the free plan
  • TikTok social media selling and Instagram shoppable posts
  • Free invoicing and online appointment setting
  • Free Square gift card sales management

Square POS for retail online store page builder

Square retail POS for clothing store website.

Square’s online and social media sales capabilities, plus straightforward inventory management, make Square one of the best POS systems for a clothing store.

Paid plans offer more inventory features such as the ability to link vendors to products in your item catalog, which makes reordering items easier. You can also manage inventory and employees in multiple locations on the Square Plus plan. Square’s marketing and loyalty programs come as separate paid add-ons.

Square is flexible enough to work for most smaller single-location businesses that don’t need intensive inventory management functions.

Hardware Cost & Options

Square best POS system hardware

Square Terminal, Square Register, Square Stand, and Square contactless card reader.

Square software works on phones and tablets, and there are several Square hardware options available. You get a free magstripe card reader to start, but you should purchase at least the $49 Square Contactless + Chip Reader (or the $69 second-generation Square card reader) so you can take chip cards and NFC-based payments such as Google Pay and Apple Pay.

The Square Stand, an iPad stand that includes a built-in physical card and contactless mobile wallet reader, costs $149.

The Square Register, which includes the proprietary Square Register and customer-facing display, costs $799, while full countertop register bundles, suited for businesses that accept cash, range in price from $619 to $1,959.

Other hardware accessories, such as receipt printers, do not need to be purchased from Square. Just make sure that the hardware you buy is compatible with Square software.

Note: The $69 second-generation Square contactless card reader, made publicly available in July 2023, has a longer battery life, enhanced security features, and better connectivity.

Payment Processing Costs

Square Payments, Square’s in-house payment processor, charges the following per-transaction payment processing fees:

  • In-Person: 2.5%-2.6% plus $0.10
  • Online: 2.6%-2.9% plus $0.30
  • Invoice: 2.9%-3.3% plus $0.30
  • Manually Keyed-in: 3.5% plus $0.15

Your payment processing rates decrease as you increase your monthly subscription level. Businesses with larger transaction volumes should consider a higher-level plan to spend substantially less per month on payment processing.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

Square subscriptions are month-to-month, and you can cancel your merchant account anytime without consequences.

If you damage your Square hardware within your hardware warranty period, even if you didn’t purchase the hardware directly from Square, the company will send you new equipment. Don’t forget to send old pieces back to Square within 14 days of getting your new hardware, or you will be charged for the new equipment.

When To Choose Square For Your Retail Business

You should choose Square for your retail POS software if you’re looking for:

  • Free, easy-to-use retail POS software that works on any device
  • A free online store builder with local pickup and delivery options
  • Low-cost multi-location retail POS software with simple inventory management

You should consider Lightspeed Retail as an alternative if you need better inventory management or multi-location management features. Helcim is a good retail POS alternative if you like the free software but want better payment processing rates.

Get Started With Square For Retail

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

Lightspeed Retail: Best Inventory Management

Lightspeed Retail POS

Total Rating 4.1
Pricing3.7

Ease Of Use4.4

Features4.3

Customer Service4.1

User Reviews4.0

Pricing

$89-$269/month ($69-$199/month billed annually)

Contract

Monthly, annual, and custom

Equipment Cost

$199-$329

Pros

  • Excellent inventory management
  • Lots of third-party software apps available
  • B2B and B2C retail product sales
  • Integrated eCommerce

Cons

  • Advanced features cost extra
  • Must use Lightspeed Payments

Lightspeed Retail touch screen POS system

Lightspeed Retail touch screen POS system.

Why We Chose Lightspeed Retail For Retail Inventory Management

We believe that Lightspeed Retail is one of the best POS systems for retail inventory management because the inventory manager is both highly customizable and easy to use once you have your admin dashboard set up. Department stores, wholesale businesses, and even stores that offer rental items can easily upload and categorize items. You can also create purchase orders and automatically complete them across multiple vendors, which will help midsize to large retailers save a lot of time on ordering.

Note: Lightspeed Retail offers a 14-day free trial, no credit card is required.

Lightspeed Retail POS Pricing

Lightspeed Retail POS Plans Price  When To Use
Lean Plan $89/month ($69/month billed annually) For single/multi-location retail business looking for strong inventory management and a customizable POS interface
Standard Plan $149/month ($119/month billed annually) For single/multi-location retail businesses looking for eCommerce and accounting features
Advanced Plan $269/month ($199/month billed annually) For single/multi-location retail businesses looking for a strong loyalty program and advanced business reporting

If you want Lightspeed’s customizable loyalty program builder but don’t need the highest-level plan, you can get a lower-level plan and talk to Lightspeed about a Lightspeed Loyalty add-on.

Note: With each new location, you get another register. For example, if you have two locations, you’ll get two registers, one in each location, but will only pay the added location fee. If you purchase a third register license, you’ll pay the added location fee and an additional $59/month.

Lightspeed offers several proprietary add-ons such as Lightspeed Subscriptions and Lightspeed Workflows. The company also offers third-party integrations like Booxi appointment scheduling software and Hubtiger rental software.

Lightspeed Retail POS System Features

Lightspeed Retail allows you to offer several ways for customers to shop, including purchasing online for in-store pick up with Lightspeed eCom, layaway purchases, purchasing wholesale or by individual item, and shopping item bundles for a discount.

Shoppers can also fill out inquiry forms to get a custom quote, log into a wholesaler account for a bulk discount, and start returns/exchanges online.

Lightspeed Retail POS system purchase order quote in Lightspeed admin

Lightspeed Retail B2B order quote.

The unique inventory matrixing system makes it simple for retailers to sell items in singular departments or across departments, add inventory tags to items, and attach items to a vendor. When you’re running low on something, you get a low-stock alert, and then you can look up a vendor and order several things at once. If you want to use Lightspeed as a rental POS system, Lightspeed has an app that monitors rental windows, fees, and more.

Multi-location businesses will especially appreciate these special Lightspeed features:

  • Stock transfers across locations
  • Pricing modifications that are dependent on location
  • Master inventory, purchase order, and item performance dashboard
  • Lightspeed Loyalty program cross-location sync so customers can earn points no matter their location
  • Buy online, pick up in any store

Lightspeed Retail loyalty program customer group

Lightspeed Retail loyalty program customer group settings.

Hardware Cost & Options

Lightspeed Retail POS hardware

Lightspeed Retail iPad POS, iPad stand, PC admin dashboard, and barcode scanner.

You can purchase a Lightspeed Payments-compatible WisePOS E-card reader for $299 and an iPad for $329.

Lightspeed offers accessories such as an iPad stand for $199, a cash drawer for $129, a barcode scanner for $199, a label printer for $124, and a receipt printer for $399.

Payment Processing Costs

With Lightspeed Retail’s in-house payment processor, you will pay the following fees:

  • In-Person: 2.6% plus $0.10
  • Online: 2.9% plus $0.30

US and Canadian business owners must use Lightspeed Payments and purchase a $299 card reader from Lightspeed.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

Lightspeed offers monthly and annual contracts for retailers. Annual contracts cost less per month. However, we suggest starting with a monthly contract, since an early termination fee can get pretty high depending on how long your contract term is.

Also, you must verify that you have received your Lightspeed hardware within five business days of receiving it, or you do not qualify for the 30-day warranty (14 days for Apple products).

When To Choose Lightspeed Retail For Your Business

You should choose Lightspeed Retail for your business if you want:

  • Thorough inventory and purchase order management
  • Cross-location inventory and loyalty program management
  • Several niche third-party software apps to create a more specialized POS system (such as a consignment shop POS system)

You should consider Shopify as an alternative if you plan to focus more on eCommerce sales than in-person sales. Revel Systems is a good alternative if you want a completely custom-built enterprise-level POS system that can work for franchises.

Get Started With Lightspeed Retail POS

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Clover: Most Customizable Option

Total Rating 4.3
Pricing4.0

Ease Of Use4.8

Features4.5

Customer Service4.4

User Reviews4.1

Pricing

Starts at $0/month

Contract

Depends on merchant services provider

Equipment Cost

$49-$1,799 per device

Pros

  • Several payment processors to choose from with no added fee
  • Customizable feature set
  • Several POS register and accessory options to choose from
  • Quick and easy setup

Cons

  • Expensive startup costs
  • Potential for scams from Clover resellers
  • Average eCommerce features

Customer paying for purchase using Clover Mini that is plugged into Clover Station

An employee checks out a customer on Clover Station while the customer pays through Clover Mini.

Why We Chose Clover As The Most Customizable Retail POS System

We appreciate that Clover is the only retail POS system provider on this list that allows you to choose your own payment processor without paying any additional transaction fees so you'll pay the least amount possible to accept payments. You also get to mix and match registers and accessories from Clover's proprietary line of POS hardware, choose between two retail POS software plans, and install any of the 450+ add-on apps from the Clover app market.

With all these customization options, you can choose the right software, hardware, and payment processing setup for your retail business.

Clover POS Pricing

Clover POS Plans Price  When To Use
Clover Payments $0/month If you only need to process payments and don’t need any POS hardware
Clover Essentials $14.95/month If you have a small retail/service-based business and don’t take returns
Clover Register $49.95/month If you have a small to mid-size retail/service-based business and need more POS features
Clover Counter Service Restaurant $54.95/month If you have a quick-serve restaurant, cafeteria, or mobile food service business
Clover Table Service Restaurant $84.95/month If you have a full-service restaurant or bar

The Clover pricing above is for business owners who purchase their POS hardware upfront from Clover.com. We recommend the Clover Register plan to most retailers.

If you decide to enroll in Clover’s “pay monthly” plan so that you can pay for your hardware over time, you’ll pay one monthly fee for both your hardware and software. That fee will range from $60/month to $185/month, depending on your hardware package.

Additional devices are $9.95/month/register if you have all your registers in one location. If, for example, you have two Clover Minis in two different stores, you’ll have to pay the full Register subscription cost for both Minis.

Clover Retail POS System Features

Clover POS Features Availability
Multi-Store Support
Contactless Payments Depends on hardware choice
Multi-Channel Selling
Gift Cards
Customer Loyalty
Marketing Tools
Online Ordering Depends on software plan
Inventory Management
Reporting
Menu Management
Delivery Management
EBT Acceptance Add-on app
Employee Management
Text Messaging

Clover retail software itself is a pretty straightforward offering, with an online ordering page for pickup or delivery, in-store discounts and promotions, physical and eGift cards, and an offline payments mode so you can still check out customers even if your store’s Wi-Fi stops working.

Whatever advanced or specialized features you want will come in the form of a Clover app. There are 450+ apps available in Clover’s app store for any function, from accepting EBT payments (great for a convenience store POS system) to scanning IDs (great for a winery POS system) and more.

Clover is also special because you can get a merchant account with one of several Clover hardware/software resellers, meaning that you can find great payment processing fees and contract terms (so long as you get your Clover setup from one of these best Clover merchant account providers).

Hardware Cost & Options

Clover POS hardware

Clover Mini countertop POS system, Clover Flex handheld POS system, barcode scanner, cash drawer, and card reader.

You may purchase your Clover system from Clover or one of several Clover resellers. These are the options you have, along with pricing if you purchase your hardware from Clover.com:

  • Clover Go: $49 for mobile contactless card reader
  • Clover Flex: $599 for a handheld POS system with a built-in receipt printer
  • Clover Mini: $799 for compact countertop POS system with built-in card reader and receipt printer
  • Clover Station: $1,699 for full register setup with cash drawer and receipt printer or $1,799 for register with connected Clover Mini

Clover POS software only works with Clover hardware.

Payment Processing Costs

If you purchase your devices from Clover, you must use Fiserv as your payment processor. Fiserv charges the following payment processing fees:

  • Card-Present Transactions: 2.3% + $0.10 (Clover Register plan) and 2.6% + $0.10 (Clover Essentials plan)
  • Card-Not-Present Transactions: 3.5% + $0.10 (all plans)

Card-not-present transactions include online sales, phone orders, orders from third-party shopping platforms, manually-keyed-in card payments, and anything else that is not a chip/tap/swipe card payment, cash, or check.

If a huge chunk of your sales happens online, consider a different Clover reseller or a different POS provider altogether to avoid the relatively steep card-not-present payment processing fees.

If you purchase your device from a Clover reseller, your fees and fee payment structure will change. Large retailers may save on payment processing fees if they choose to work with a Clover-authorized reseller.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

Clover offers 36-month and 48-month contracts with early termination fees should you cancel your contract early. There’s also nothing you can do with your Clover hardware if you stop using Clover POS software since Clover hardware is proprietary. The company won’t fix hardware that you obtain from any source other than Clover.com.

If you work with a Clover reseller, you are subject to that reseller’s terms, so do your research before committing. Read your contract and other customer reviews of your potential merchant service provider to avoid Clover scams.

The bottom line is that no matter where you get your Clover hardware, buying expensive proprietary hardware is a big commitment. So, make sure Clover is right for you before shelling out the money for the fancy POS hardware.

When To Choose Clover POS For Your Retail Business

You should choose Clover POS for your retail business if you want to:

  • Use a third-party payment processor and pay no additional monthly fee or transaction fee
  • Customize your POS software with easy-to-install software apps just like you customize your smartphone
  • Choose from a line of durable, sleek POS hardware

You should consider Square as an alternative retail POS system if you’re looking for a low-commitment option with more affordable upfront hardware costs. Shopify is a good alternative to Clover for businesses that like Clover’s large app market but want a more polished omnichannel sales software.

Get Started With Clover POS

Read our in-depth review

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Shopify POS: Best For Omnichannel Sales

Total Rating 4.3
Pricing4.3

Ease Of Use4.9

Features3.9

Customer Service4.8

User Reviews4.4

Pricing

Starts at $29/month

Contract

None

Equipment Cost

$0-$500+

Pros

  • Strong retail-centric features
  • Mobile app works on iOS and Android
  • Huge app store for add-ons
  • Scalable POS option

Cons

  • No offline payment processing
  • Potential for transaction fees
  • Some features cost extra

Shopify retail POS app on Android

Shopify retail POS app on Android example POS interface.

Why We Chose Shopify For Omnichannel Retail Sales

We believe Shopify is one of the best POS systems with eCommerce for retailers because the software allows you to sell in person, on a highly functional online store, on social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram, and on marketplaces like Etsy and Amazon. Shopify POS software comes with every eCommerce store, and the company's POS hardware is affordable, so even if you sell mostly online and only occasionally at fairs or trade shows, Shopify POS is a worthy investment.

Also, where other POS apps like Square For Retail, Revel, and Lightspeed primarily (or only) operate on iOS devices, Shopify is one of the best Android POS systems available for Android smartphones.

Note: Shopify offers a three-day free trial, no credit card is required.

Shopify Retail POS Pricing

Shopify POS Plans Price  When To Use
Basic $39/month ($29/month billed annually) If you have a growing eCommerce business with occasional in-person sales
Shopify $105/month ($79/month billed annually) If you want additional reporting and reduced payment processing fees
Advanced $399/month ($299/month billed annually) If you want advanced reporting and additional discounts on processing fees
Shopify Plus $2,000+/month If your high-volume or large business needs an enterprise-level solution

Shopify eCommerce pricing plans range from $39/month to $399/month. You get 25% off if you pay for an entire year upfront. Each eCommerce plan (that comes with a full store) offers the “Shopify POS Lite” app for free.

For more retail features, such as store pickup and unlimited staff accounts, you’ll need the $89/month/location Shopify Pro subscription, which you can add to an eCommerce plan.

Alternatively, Shopify now offers its POS Lite app and POS Pro apps as separate products. However, the $5/month POS Lite plan has such high transaction fees (5% instead of 2.6%) that paying for a Shopify eCommerce plan typically ends up being a better deal. The POS Pro app without the eCommerce plan is good for companies with most sales coming from a brick-and-mortar store.

Your payment processing rate decreases on higher-level plans. Businesses with larger transaction volumes should strongly consider upgrading to save money in the long run.

Additionally, while there are many free Shopify apps on the company’s app market, some require you to sign up for a paid subscription.

Shopify Retail POS System Features

Shopify POS Features Availability
Multi-Store Support Supports multiple inventory locations
Contactless Payments
Multi-Channel Selling
Gift Cards
Customer Loyalty
Marketing Tools
Online Ordering
Inventory Management
Reporting
Menu Management
Delivery Management
EBT Acceptance
Employee Management
Text Messaging

Shopify includes these best omnichannel sales features:

  • Buy online for in-store pickup, local delivery, or ship-to-customer
  • Dedicated online store using beautiful Shopify store builder
  • In-app Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, Twitter, and WhatsApp sales (so you can sell directly within static and video posts)
  • Etsy, eBay, and Amazon marketplace sales
  • Dropshipping and wholesale purchasing

Shopify POS for retail

Shopify POS integration with TikTok for in-app social media sales.

Shopify’s in-store sales features include the ability to take partial payments/deposits, schedule discounts and generate digital coupons, put items on layaway, and take custom payment types.

Shopify retail POS purchase order form

Shopify retail POS purchase order example.

Most of Shopify’s best features will come in the form of an app from Shopify’s app market. The market has over 8,000 apps, with more being added every day. With a Shopify add-on app, you can do anything from creating your own product catalogs to starting an email marketing campaign to selling memberships. There are even apps to turn Shopify into a thrift store POS system.

Hardware Cost & Options

Shopify POS hardware USB-C terminal with connected card reader

Shopify POS hardware USB-C terminal with a connected card reader.

The Shopify app itself runs on most phones and tablets and there are several Shopify hardware choices available.

The Shopify Chip & Swipe Reader, which is the bare minimum requirement for taking card and mobile phone payments, starts at $49. The most expensive hardware is the $459 POS stand for USB-C tablets with a connected card reader. The card reader features a customer-facing display.

Payment Processing Costs

Shopify integrates with its own in-house payment processor, Shopify Payments, and charges the following payment processing rates for individuals on the Basic, Shopify, and Advanced plans:

  • In-Person: 2.4%-2.7%
  • Online: 2.4%-2.9% plus $0.30

Percentage fees vary depending on your pricing plan.

Businesses that want to use a different processor and ones that do not qualify for Shopify’s in-house payment processor have several payment processing options. For example, you may integrate Shopify with a third-party payment processor or a merchant services provider. However, you will have to pay a 0.5%-2% transaction fee per order.

Note: If you use the $5/month Shopify POS Lite app instead of the Basic plan or higher, you will pay a processing fee of 5% on all transactions.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

Most Shopify requirements surround payment processing. To use Shopify Payments, you must purchase a card reader directly from Shopify. To use a Shopify-approved third-party payment processor, you must use a card reader sold by that payment processor.

When To Choose Shopify POS For Your Retail Business

You should choose Shopify POS for your retail business if you want a:

  • Well-designed eCommerce store for taking online orders for in-store pickup and shipping
  • Customizable retail sales software that works on Apple and Android devices
  • Sales platform that connects in-store, social media, online marketplace, and eCommerce store sales

You should consider Square as an alternative if you like Shopify’s omnichannel sales capabilities but want a totally free online store builder. Lightspeed Retail has more comprehensive multi-location inventory management, so consider Lightspeed Retail if you have multiple locations.

Get Started With Shopify POS

Read our in-depth review

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Helcim POS: Best For B2B & Custom Order Businesses

Helcim POS Review

Total Rating 4.1
Pricing3.8

Ease Of Use4.8

Features3.9

Customer Service4.5

User Reviews4.0

Pricing

$0

Contract

Monthly

Equipment Cost

$99 - $329

Pros

  • Free POS and online store builder
  • Custom quote/estimate/invoice builder
  • Works on all device types
  • Excellent retail/service subscription manager

Cons

  • No built-in loyalty program
  • Not many integrations

Helcim retail POS register interface on iPad

Helcim POS link existing customer and/or invoice to order at checkout on an iPad register.

Why We Chose Helcim For B2B & Custom Order Retail Businesses

We believe that Helcim's easy-to-use customer account manager, invoice/quote/estimate designer, wholesaler accounts, and higher-level card information storage vault make it a great choice for retailers that offer both B2B and B2C sales, as well as businesses that offer custom retail products and/or services. The card vault also has unique features well-suited for subscription retail businesses.

Note: You can make a Helcim account for free using information like your business's operating name and tax ID. You will not be charged until you start accepting payments.

Helcim POS Pricing

Helcim POS Review Plans Price  When To Use
Free Plan $0 If you need free in-person POS software, an online store builder, subscription manager, and/or customer account manager

Helcim’s POS software is completely free to use. You only pay Helcim’s payment processing fees, which are transparent and fair.

Helcim’s free features and transparent interchange-plus payment processing are what make this POS provider one of the best credit card processing companies.

Helcim Retail POS System Features

Helcim POS Review Features Availability
Multi-Store Support
Contactless Payments
Multi-Channel Selling
Gift Cards
Customer Loyalty
Marketing Tools
Online Ordering
Inventory Management
Reporting
Menu Management
Delivery Management
EBT Acceptance
Employee Management
Text Messaging

Helcim’s free POS system offers all standard POS functions, and it’s easy for employees to add products, discounts, and tips, and automatically generate customer accounts during transactions. You can also sell individual items and sell to businesses using customer portals and large catalogs.

Helcim’s custom order invoicing, customer management, and recurring payment features are what sets Helcim apart from the other providers in this list when it comes to large retail/B2B sales. Helcim’s invoicing features include:

  • Custom drag-and-drop invoice creation and payment settings
  • Start by generating a quote or estimate, then convert it to an invoice for online payment through a payment portal
  • Set full and partial invoice due dates
  • Send reminders to customers about upcoming and overdue invoice payments
  • Set recurring invoice payments with a card or account on file
  • Create automated and manual tax settings for invoices

Helcim POS invoice deposit request

Helcim invoice designer request deposit for B2B wholesale order.

Helcim’s subscription manager allows you to easily create plans with free trials, initial setup fees, preset and unlimited billing cycles, and a subscription account portal so customers can add onto or cancel their plans if they want. If a customer cancels their subscription, you can get feedback that will help you understand why they canceled to optimize your subscription business. Additionally, customers will get an automated email when their credit card is about to expire so there is no lapse in billing.

You can package physical and digital products or services together with Helcim’s subscription manager. This is great for retail businesses such as art supply stores that offer something like a monthly subscription paint box and digital tutorial, or dog groomers that offer a recurring grooming service and supply package.

Helcim works very well for custom retail orders because the POS allows for custom item creation, notes, and line items on the spot, while Helcim web pages (which include checkout carts, subscription signup, approvals, and client portals) can be built with a drag-and-drop builder. You can build custom pages to ask for the custom information types you require for custom orders, and allow for custom orders to be created in person at a register.

Hardware Cost & Options

Helcim POS hardware

Helcim POS on a smartphone, tablet, and desktop, plus Helcim card reader.

The Helcim app is compatible with just about all smartphone, tablet, and desktop devices. To take credit and debit card payments in person with lower card-present payment processing rates, you’ll need at least the $99 Helcim card reader.

Since our last update, Helcim has released a new mobile POS system. The all-in-one Helcim Smart Terminal handheld POS system, which includes a built-in POS register, card reader, and terminal receipt printer costs $349. It allows you to create orders and invoices, and add retail items to an order on the spot. It’s also similar to the Square Terminal and Clover Flex in terms of shape and functionality.

There are also a few compatible receipt printers available.

Payment Processing Costs

Helcim offers interchange-plus payment processing for all businesses, small or large. There are no minimum sales volumes or transaction numbers. This is highly uncommon among POS providers.

The company offers a sample “find your custom rate” tool on its website. As an example, if a retail business makes less than $50,000 per month and has an average transaction size of $250, with an even split between in-person and online payments, the business can expect to pay a processing fee of 2.24% plus $0.08 for in-person payments and 2.73% plus $0.25 for online transactions.

Note: B2B business owners may choose to enter Level 3 card data into orders for added security and to lower credit card processing fees.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

Helcim offers very flexible month-to-month contracts with no early termination fees, much like Square does.

When To Choose Helcim POS For Your Retail Business

You should choose Helcim POS for your retail business if you:

  • Sell to individuals and businesses using detailed invoices
  • Make at least $5,000/month or $250/order and are looking for lower payment processing fees
  • Sell subscriptions, memberships, and/or services in addition to retail items

Consider KORONA POS as an alternative if you have a high-risk business, as there are several business types that Helcim does not work with. Revel Systems is a good alternative if you want an enterprise-level B2B management system.

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Revel Systems: Best For Niche & Multi-location Businesses

Total Rating 4.0
Pricing3.6

Ease Of Use3.9

Features4.7

Customer Service4.2

User Reviews3.8

Pricing

Quote-based

Contract

Three-year commitment for lowest rate

Equipment Cost

Call for quote

Pros

  • Retail and restaurant POS in one software package
  • Great multilocation/franchise management features
  • Custom-built packages tailored to your business
  • Open API access

Cons

  • Expensive for smaller retailers
  • Early termination fee
  • One-time implementation fee

Revel Systems POS register in liquor store

Revel Systems POS register in a liquor store.

Why We Chose Revel Systems For Niche & Multi-Location Businesses

We appreciate that Revel can be customized to fit virtually any retail POS need, from kiosk shopping to delivery management to integrated eCommerce. With its advanced and flexible features, we often recommend Revel for very niche markets, including a golf course POS system and a garden center POS system. Plus, the company packages together its retail, restaurant, and service/appointment business management software, so you can run any type of business from the Revel platform.

Revel's open API (application program interface) means this versatile system can integrate with virtually any other business software you use. Midsize and larger retailers with multiple locations will find everything they need in a custom-built Revel solution.

Revel Systems POS Pricing

Revel POS Plans Price  When To Use
Revel plan Quote-based: three-year commitment for cheapest plan Use if you are committed to the product and have a need for high-end features.

The above pricing only applies if you agree to Revel’s three-year, two-terminal minimum requirements and a commitment to Revel Advantage for payment processing. However, Revel recently stopped advertising this plan in October 2023, instead requiring all business owners to get a quote.

Most businesses will require more than Revel’s basic POS offering though, as they will want to add on products like multilocation management, online ordering, and local delivery/shipping management.

It’s important to note that Revel provides very customized software for midsize stores and franchises such as Drinks & Co, Handpicked Wines, and Feathers & Bone.

Revel also charges a one-time implementation fee that starts at $674 and covers onsite hardware installation and a detailed software setup.

Revel Retail POS System Features

Revel POS Features Availability
Multi-Store Support
Contactless Payments
Multi-Channel Selling
Gift Cards
Customer Loyalty
Marketing Tools
Online Ordering
Inventory Management
Reporting
Menu Management
Delivery Management
EBT Acceptance
Employee Management
Text Messaging

Specialty stores such as gourmet grocery stores and international stores with perishable items for sale will appreciate Revel’s perishable inventory management, sales by weight, and the ability to create menus for any made-to-order items. This is why Revel is one of the best grocery store POS systems.

Specialty stores that sell services in addition to products, such as hardware stores and retail makeup stores, will find it easy to sell items and schedule services with Revel.

Businesses that plan on opening several locations or franchising should strongly consider Revel, as the system offers excellent multilocation inventory and employee management, as well as franchise royalty calculations and franchise owner system permissions.

Revel Systems POS for retail

Revel Systems stock transfer between business locations.

All Revel users will enjoy these unique Revel features:

  • Offline payment mode so you can take payments on the go
  • Online ordering with delivery tracking
  • Intelligent reporting suite (on labor versus sales, employee activity, etc.)
  • Real-time inventory tracking, including a mass inventory matrix
  • Open API (application program interface) access to connect Revel to any app you want

Hardware Cost & Options

Revel POS hardware

Revel iPad POS register, iPad stand, iPad customer-facing display, cash drawer, receipt printer, and card reader.

Revel works on iPads, which you can buy independently or from Revel. You’ll have to contact Revel for a quote on hardware like card readers, printers, and cash drawers.

Payment Processing Costs

Revel offers its own in-house payment processing solution, Revel Advantage. Revel no longer advertises a definitive flat rate fee, meaning that you’ll get a custom quoted fee based on order volume, average transaction size, and mix of payment methods.

If you choose to work with a third-party payment processor (which you cannot do on the three-year plan), you will pay a higher monthly subscription fee.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

Revel requires a three-year processing agreement and a two-terminal minimum if you want the most cost-effective pricing.

However, the company charges a high early termination fee if you cancel early, so it might be worth it to pay a higher monthly price if you’re not sure whether Revel POS is right for you. You can switch to a long-term plan later on for lower fees.

When To Choose Revel Systems For Your Retail Business

You should choose Revel Systems for your retail business if you need:

  • A fully custom-built retail POS software
  • To connect any third-party software or database to your POS using open API
  • Strong inventory, employee, and franchise royalty management over several locations
  • Your own payment processor (and you’re willing to pay an added monthly fee)

You should consider Lightspeed Retail if you’re looking for multi-location management and niche software integrations but want lower monthly costs. Clover is a strong alternative if you want to use your own payment processor without paying added monthly fees.

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KORONA POS: Best For High-Risk Businesses

Total Rating 4.4
Pricing4.9

Ease Of Use4.1

Features3.7

Customer Service5.0

User Reviews4.4

Pricing

$59-$69/month

Contract

None

Equipment Cost

Contact for quote

Pros

  • Compatible with high-risk payment processors
  • Lots of POS hardware compatibility
  • Several loss prevention features
  • Equipped for regulated item sales

Cons

  • Interface is slightly dated
  • Lacking some popular software integrations

KORONA touch screen POS self-checkout

KORONA self-checkout kiosk with RFID tagging and automated scanning.

Why We Chose KORONA POS For High-Risk Businesses

We like that KORONA offers flexible monthly plans and allows you to choose your own payment processing service provider, which is great for high-risk businesses such as cannabis shops that won’t qualify for providers like Square or Shopify.

KORONA also offers great loss prevention features like forced till counts and blind stock takes, plus highly custom employee and manager restrictions so only certain people can change prices, void items, make returns, and change anything in your back office setup. This is why we consider KORONA one of the best POS systems for convenience stores and one of the best POS systems for liquor stores.

Note: KORONA offers an unlimited free trial, no credit card is required. You sign up for a paid plan once you’re ready to accept customer payments.

KORONA POS Pricing

KORONA POS Plans Price  When To Use
KORONA POS Core $59/month Basic business operations
KORONA POS Retail $69/month Advanced inventory needs

KORONA offers two monthly plans as well as the following best retail POS system add-ons:

  • Plus: $20/month/terminal; includes advanced inventory management features like order level optimization and the ability to create different product pricing for each location
  • Invoicing: $10/terminal/month; includes features like quotes, rentals, and invoicing
  • Ticketing: $50/month/gate; includes features like ticket tiers and printing, customer management, and entry gate management
  • Franchise: $30/month/franchise; includes features like automated royalty payments and consolidated inventory management
  • Integration: $45/month/integration via KORONA’s open API

Other features, such as self-serve kiosk hardware and software, require a custom quote.

KORONA Retail POS System Features

KORONA’s most unique retail POS features are its loss prevention features, affordable inventory management, and franchise capabilities.

You’ll get these loss prevention features with KORONA:

  • Forced drawer closing, blind till counts, and restricting cash drawer access to open only when they make a sale
  • Require manager approval for item voids, price changes, item returns, and inventory changes
  • Run cash drawer reports at any time, at the end of shifts, and set maximum allowed balance differences
  • Cashier balance and time tracking reports
  • Restrict which cashiers can grant permissions to other cashiers (used for managers who need to be able to use registers but will also need to create new cashiers and associated cashier permissions)

KORONA POS system cashier permissions settings

KORONA POS system cashier permissions.

KORONA offers great inventory management capabilities for its price point, and even general businesses can appreciate these features:
  • Set reordering levels with preferred vendor/warehouse reordering sources
  • Pack to single item conversion (great for selling items like cigarettes and liquor bottles)
  • Product performance reports, including slow sellers, product movement, and reorder optimization level recommendations
  • Stock difference lists and product discrepancy reports
  • Inventory app so you can send purchase orders, receive items, and scan barcodes from your phone (Plus plan and higher only)

KORONA best point of sale

KORONA POS system sets inventory item reordering levels.

Franchise owners will appreciate the ability to create portals for franchisees with restricted user permissions. You’ll also get franchise revenue reports and a royalty collection setup.

Hardware Cost & Options

korona pos hardware

KORONA POS compatible barcode scanner, PC, tablet, and card reader.

KORONA does not list pricing online but is compatible with hardware from Epson, PartnerTech, PAX, Genius, Dejavoo, Econduit, Aures, Honeywell, and more.

Payment Processing Costs

KORONA does not offer in-house payment processing but instead integrates with several payment processors, including Merchant Warehouse and Merchant Payment Systems.

You can also integrate KORONA with several merchant service providers through PAX and Dejavoo payment devices.

The company offers excellent self-checkout systems. KORONA is one of the best touchscreen POS systems because of its specialized self-checkout systems that reduce theft.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

KORONA offers month-to-month contracts with no early termination fees. You can pay for an annual contract and get one month free.

The provider also offers an unlimited free trial so you can try out the software for as long as you need to before committing to it.

You do have to be careful about your merchant agreement and make sure the terms are fair for your business. High-risk business owners should expect to pay a little more for payment processing than other lower-risk business owners.

When To Choose KORONA POS For Your Retail Business

You should choose KORONA POS for your retail business if you:

  • Run a business with a lot of internal or customer theft and need loss prevention features
  • Want to use any payment processing provider and hardware and you can build most hardware/software connections on your own
  • Want highly secure self-checkout systems and RFID tags

Clover is a good alternative option if you need a POS system that works with high-risk businesses but you want more well-developed software and hardware.

Get Started With KORONA POS

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Methodology

Merchant Maverick has been researching and reviewing POS providers since 2012. Our writers have tested over 100 different point of sale systems, evaluating pricing, features, ease of use, customer service, and user reviewers. Read more about how we rate POS providers.

When comparing different POS software systems, we consider many data points, including relative pricing, the depth of niche features offered, the price of hardware, and any associated payment processing fees. Our lists of the best providers include only apps we’ve deemed worthwhile from multiple vantage points. The POS vendors we pick share qualities such as widespread availability, accessibility, user-friendliness, and reasonable pricing. We also look carefully at niche features, such as check-splitting, inventory management, eCommerce, loyalty programs, gift cards, and more.

We spend an average of 10-15 hours researching and updating each one of our lists, making sure the providers included meet our internal standards for quality and reputation.

80+

Vendors evaluated

65+

Attributes assessed per vendor

20+

Features weighed

30+

Combined years of experience


How To Choose A POS System For Retail

To choose a POS system for retail, consider your POS system cost, the features you need, and what to expect from your POS contract.

POS System Cost

Your retail POS system cost includes:

  • Software Fees: Your software costs may vary depending on the number of POS software licenses you purchase, add-ons such as online ordering, and third-party software integrations.
  • Hardware Cost: Tablet POS systems are typically cheaper than proprietary custom-made POS hardware, but they’re not as durable or sleek-looking.
  • Payment Processing: Payment processing fees are per-transaction fees. If you have a smaller business, flat-rate payment processing of around 2.6% for in-store purchases and 2.9% for online purchases are good rates. If your business has larger sales volumes per month, interchange-plus payment processing is typically a better deal.

POS Features

Important POS features to look for include:

  • Inventory Management: Depending on your product offering, you may need only basic inventory management. However, if you have a large inventory or custom/complex products to sell, you’ll need more thorough inventory management features.
  • Online Ordering: Depending on what you’re selling, you may want to sell online for in-store pickup or delivery. Also, if you sell items like crafts or vintage items, you may want to sell on marketplaces like Etsy, eBay, or Amazon.
  • Store Management: Your store management features will vary depending on the number of staff you have, whether you need theft-prevention measures, and whether you have any niche needs such as appointment management or invoicing.
  • Customer Management: Most POS systems allow you to store customer data to use for future marketing efforts. However, you may need extra customer management features if you accept custom orders, work with businesses, or regularly invoice customers.
  • Marketing: Key marketing features include a customer loyalty program, email marketing, and discount sales. These marketing features may not be useful for your business type, but you should consider them when developing a plan to gain and retain customers.
  • Hardware Options: Depending on what you sell, you may need a POS system that’s compatible with a barcode scanner, weight scale, security cameras, an ID scanner, or another hardware accessory. If you want to use your own payment processor, your POS system must be compatible with external card readers.

POS Contract

When looking at your POS contract, consider:

  • Free Trial: Get a free trial of your POS software whenever possible. If that’s not an option, then make use of demos and software walkthroughs from customer representatives. Do not purchase POS software without seeing it in action first.
  • Contract Length: We generally recommend starting with a smaller contract length, just so you can easily switch to another POS provider with minimal financial consequences. However, if you’re set on your POS system and it’s cheaper to get a long-term plan, then go for it.
  • Hardware Leasing/Warranties: We recommend purchasing your POS hardware outright over leasing when possible. It’s typically more cost-effective in the long run. However, if you’re not sure whether you should purchase proprietary hardware from a provider like Clover, a rent-to-own agreement may be the right choice. Also, look out for hardware warranties.
  • Early Termination Fee: Many POS providers charge an early termination fee, and it often depends on the length of your software contract. This is another reason why we recommend starting with a short-term contract.

What To Avoid When Shopping For A Retail POS System

To get the best deal on a retail POS system, you should avoid (whenever possible):

  • Long software and payment processing contracts (over one year)
  • Companies that do not consistently update their software offerings
  • Leasing POS hardware (it’s usually more expensive in the long run)
  • Companies with poor customer service reviews
  • Contracts that are confusing or not transparent
  • Software that is too difficult to use or too simple to work for your retail business

If you get a bad software contract or go through the entire setup process just to find that it’s not the right software for you, it could be a huge waste of time and money.

Which Retail POS System Is Right For Your Business?

The best POS system for retail will not be the same for every business owner.

We recommend buying any POS hardware upfront instead of leasing your equipment, as it costs less in the long run. If you’re struggling to come up with the money upfront, look into equipment financing.

If you decide to work with a POS provider that offers custom payment processing rates and merchant agreements, this is how to negotiate a good merchant agreement to get the best contract terms possible.

FAQs: Best POS System For Retail

What POS system is easiest to use?

Clover and Square are the two easiest-to-use retail POS systems, but most tablet-based cloud POS apps are intuitive and easy to use.

Can you sell retail and wholesale at the same time?

You can sell retail and wholesale at the same time if you get POS software designed for both B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to customer) sales.

Lightspeed Retail, Helcim, and Revel Systems are POS systems equipped with wholesale POS capabilities.

What is a mobile POS system for retail?

A mobile POS system for retail combines cloud-based POS software with wireless card readers so you can check out customers and accept cards and contactless payments. Mobile POS systems offer a low-cost way for retail business owners to start taking payments.

Some of the best mobile POS systems include the Square contactless card reader, Shopify mobile card reader, and Clover Go card reader.

Do all POS systems charge per transaction?

Most POS systems charge by transaction. However, some POS systems, like Helcim, allow you to start a cash discount program to avoid per-transaction fees.

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Nicolette Kier

Nicolette Kier

Senior Staff Writer
Nicolette began writing on small business topics in 2020. After hundreds of hours researching, testing, and assisting small business owners with web building and point of sale software, she is now an expert on all things eCommerce and point of sale. She has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Pittsburgh and resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Nicolette Kier
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