What’s The Difference Between Square For Retail VS Square POS
Trying to choose between Square Retail or Square's free version? Check out this comprehensive guide before making your decision.
A Square For Retail vs. Square POS seems to be an unimportant comparison since both are built by Square, both have similar payment processing rates, and each has similar sales platform availabilities. No matter what way you look at it, Square is one of the best POS systems available for small businesses — no matter which one you choose. However, you’ll find that there are key differences between Square’s retail and Square’s general software package.
Keep reading our Square free version vs. Square For Retail comparison to help you decide which software offering is right for your business type.
Table of Contents
- Square For Retail VS Square POS Comparison
- Square For Retail VS Square POS At A Glance
- What’s The Difference Between Square For Retail & Square POS?
- Square For Retail VS Square POS Pricing
- Square For Retail VS Square POS: Notable Feature Differences
- User Reviews, Complaints, & Common Problems
- Which Is Best For My Business Needs: Square For Retail Or Square POS?
- Square POS VS Square For Retail: Next Steps To Create Your Business
- Square Free Version VS Square Retail: FAQ
Square For Retail VS Square POS Comparison
This Square For Retail vs. Square POS comparison shows that both software has free plans available, allow business owners to sell on multiple platforms, and pairs with affordable POS hardware.
However, Square For Retail is specifically geared towards physical item sales for retailers and has free/paid plans, while Square POS is free software that can be adapted to other business types. Additionally, Square POS does not allow you to manage multiple locations, while Square For Retail does.
|Square For Retail||Square POS|
Square For Retail VS Square POS At A Glance
Square For Retail and Square POS both allow you to sell in person, on your own eCommerce site, and on social media platforms. However, Square For Retail offers more physical item inventory management and multilocation settings, while Square POS can be adapted for any business type.
Benefits Of Square For Retail
- Free and advanced paid plan available
- Excellent physical item inventory management
- Multilocation inventory, employee, and sales capabilities
- Connects with Square’s suite of sales tools
- Most of Square’s best retail management comes with paid plans
- Square For Retail doesn’t work on Android phones or tablets
Square For Retail is a great option for individuals and small businesses selling physical items across one or multiple locations. Paid plans offer more inventory management and slightly lower payment processing fees, which, depending on your monthly sales volumes, can save you a great deal of money.
Benefits Of Square POS
- Completely free
- Unlimited POS software licenses
- Adaptable to most business types
- Connects with Square’s suite of sales tools
- Limited inventory management compared to Square For Retail
- No way to lower payment processing rates
Square POS is a very general free POS software that can be adapted for any business type. It’s a great option for businesses that want to sell different item types in person and online.
What’s The Difference Between Square For Retail & Square POS?
The main difference between Square For Retail and Square POS is that Square’s retail solution offers free and paid plans, lower payment processing on paid plans, multilocation management, and more advanced physical inventory management. Square POS does not have any paid plan options and can be adapted to different business types.
Both Square For Retail & Square POS Offer…
- Free in-person sales software
- A completely free online store builder that allows you to sell physical items, events, subscriptions, and more
- Social media sales on platforms like TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and more
- Sales via text message, virtual terminal, QR code, and hyperlinks using Square checkout links
- Access to Square’s suite of business management software, including Square Invoices, Square Payroll, Square Marketing, and more
- Digital and physical gift card sales
- Square’s built-in payment processor
- Affordable POS hardware that allows you to take payments from a phone, tablet, or proprietary Square Terminal or Square Register
Only Square For Retail Offers…
- Paid software plans with advanced inventory management
- Multilocation management and stock transfers
- Employee management tools
- Lower payment processing rates (on paid plans)
- 24/7 support (on paid plans)
Only Square POS Offers…
- App on Apple and Android devices
- Ability to pair with restaurant or appointment POS software
- Compatibility with most apps on Square App Marketplace
Country Availability For Square For Retail & Square POS
Square can be used in eight countries: the US, UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, France, Spain, and Japan. This is true for Square For Retail and Square POS.
Do Square For Retail & Square POS Restrict What You Can Sell?
Since Square For Retail and Square POS both use Square Payments, Square’s in-house payment processor, you have the same restrictions with both software products.
Square prohibits the sale of most “high-risk” products, including firearms, drug paraphernalia, internet pharmacies or pharmacy referral services, infomercial sales, and multilevel marketing schemes. Interestingly, Square allows you to sell CBD online and in person.
If you’re interested in selling high-risk products, you may want to look for a payment processor that fully supports these types of sales. Start with our list of the best high-risk payment processors to find a match.
Square For Retail VS Square POS Pricing
Square POS and Square For Retail both offer free plans and similar payment processing rates. However, Square For Retail offers a paid plan and includes lower in-person payment processing rates on paid plans. Additionally, on paid Square For Retail plans, you have to pay per device and per location.
You get a free 30-day trial on paid Square For Retail plans.
|Square For Retail||Square POS|
|Point Of Sale||
|Mobile POS||Included for Apple devices||Included for Apple and Android devices|
|Credit Card Reader||$49||$49|
|Online Transactions||2.9% + $0.30||2.9% + $0.30|
||2.6% + $0.10|
|Chargeback Fee||No chargeback fee||No chargeback fee|
|Refund Fee||No refund fee||No refund fee|
Square For Retail VS Square POS: Notable Feature Differences
Square POS and Square For Retail are very similar software offerings.
In general, Square For Retail offers more physical inventory management features like automated inventory tracking and item exchanges, while Square POS is a more general software app that’s focused primarily on taking payments.
|Square For Retail||Square POS|
|Industry-Specific POS Apps|
|Offline Capabilities (POS)||Strong||Strong|
|Integrations With Third-Party Payment Gateways (POS)|
|Credit Card Readers|
|Omnichannel Sales Features|
|Free eCommerce Website|
|Shipping Features & Discounts|
|24/7 Phone Support||On paid plans||(weekdays from 6 AM-6 PM PST only)|
User Reviews, Complaints, & Common Problems
For the most part, Square POS and Square For Retail reviews are very similar, with the majority of reviews (literally thousands of them) praising Square for how easy the company has made it for small businesses to start selling.
Two of the only recurring complaints are about limited customer support on free plans and occasional issues with WiFi connectivity.
A few sellers are also unhappy with the payment processing fee structure, but you’ll have to pay processing fees no matter which POS provider you work with, so it’s a largely unavoidable expense that comes with running a business.
Square For Retail Common Complaints
The only complaint that is unique to Square For Retail is that the free plan is limited in terms of inventory management. However, most retailers also report that it’s worth paying for the monthly Plus plan.
Square POS Common Complaints
The only complaint unique to Square POS is that users wish they could use Square POS for both retail and restaurant purposes rather than having to choose a Square product for one industry or the other.
This is especially true for hybrid businesses such as restaurants that sell merchandise or recurring subscription products/services (e.g. your coffee shop offers a monthly coffee bag subscription.) You can set up your inventory to handle these situations, but it would be nice to combine both retail and restaurant management features in the Square admin dashboard.
Hybrid businesses with complex needs should consider a POS system like Revel Systems POS or Clover POS, which both provide more customization capabilities.
Which Is Best For My Business Needs: Square For Retail Or Square POS?
Unlike many other POS systems, it’s easy to tell which POS system is best for your business. That’s because Square has designed specific solutions for businesses in different industries.
Choose Square For Retail If You Need…
- Physical inventory management for a retail business
- Multilocation retail business management tools
- More thorough sales and inventory reports (and are willing to pay for them)
- Vendor, purchase order, and other advanced inventory management features (and are willing to pay for them)
Choose Square POS If You Need…
- A free general-purpose POS system
- To take payments quickly on the go
- To sell another form of product besides retail items
- A very easy user experience that requires the least setup out of any POS system on the market
Note: We do recommend that you consider an industry-specific version of Square if you want to use Square at a restaurant, for a service-based business such as a cleaning business, or if you run an appointment-based business (e.g. you’re a wedding photographer.)
Square POS VS Square For Retail: Next Steps To Create Your Business
No matter which Square product you use to take payments, you will get an affordable POS software and hardware package, plus straightforward payment processing fees and no long-term commitments.
Square For Retail is a great option for retail-centric businesses that are on a budget. If you need more from your retail system than this software can offer, check out more of our best retail POS systems for more customizable options.
Square POS tops our list of best free POS systems, and we highly recommend it for any newer or low-budget businesses, especially ones that take payments on the go.
You can try Square’s online store builder, inventory manager, and user dashboard, all without entering any business information or a credit card, and we highly recommend doing this before dedicating yourself to any POS system.
As for the next steps to starting (or accelerating) your business, we recommend that you get a business bank account to keep your personal and business expenses separate. If you don’t already have one, these are our best business bank accounts for small businesses, plus documents you need to open a business bank account. If you’re a freelancer, check out our list of best business bank accounts for freelancers.
Finally, if you need to expand your business but don’t have the capital to invest, read our post on how to fund your business for both standard and more creative ways to find the money you need to grow a company.