Franpos Review (Formerly iConnect POS)
- Multistore capability
- Good for service-based businesses
- Loyalty program
- eCommerce integration
- Buggy on occasion
- Can’t process payments offline
Starting as iConnect in 2011 and rebranding as Franpos in 2018, this Atlanta-based cloud POS company has established itself as a solid all-in-one system and is particularly useful in the salon world. Franpos specifically caters to franchises and service industry establishments with special feature requirements (booking, scheduling, checking in and out, employee-specific service rates, rentals, and recurring memberships). Spas, hair salons, gyms, and tanning salons benefit from how service industry features are incorporated right into the salon POS, thereby eliminating the need for additional software. However, in addition to the health and beauty industries, the POS can also support quick-serve restaurants and retail businesses, such as pet stores. Franpos has some other exciting things going for it as well, including inter-business messaging and an automatically-generated booking website.
The iConnect name may well have been confusing, as Franpos is available not just on Apple devices. Franpos has also shifted its focus to attract more franchise customers, and its client list includes several famous franchises, such as Murad, Gateway Newsstands, Chicken Express, Runza, and Pet Planet. The POS has a robust feature-set with a generous number of reports offered. It also integrates with gift card companies and has eCommerce functionality, meaning you likely won’t find many gaps in the system. Franpos’s inventory management leaves something to be desired, and its lack of offline functionality for taking card payments is less than ideal. However, Franpos is still a serious POS competitor in a rapidly expanding market. Continue reading for a better idea of what this franchise POS is capable of.
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Table of Contents
Franpos goes with a quote-based system, depending on how many users you need, which is, admittedly, a little annoying when you’re trying to compare prices quickly. After doing a bit of research, it seems like the software can run you roughly around $79 a month for a single user location, which is fairly competitive. But Franpos also specifically caters to franchises and can offer deals for businesses with multiple locations, so you’ll need to call the company directly for a quote.
Franpos also offers different hardware packages created specifically to pair with its product. The system is Android-based, and its website provides a list of compatible devices as well if you want to use your own. You can also test the software out with a 7-day trial that doesn’t require a credit card, or you can schedule a demo.
Cloud-Based Or Locally-Installed
Franpos is 100% cloud-based, and its servers store and secure all of your shop data and wirelessly transmit it to your devices when you log in. It is also app-based, meaning you can access all the necessary functions (the register, customer database, and booking module) even if the internet goes down. However, because all of your information must be downloaded from the cloud when you log in, you will not be able to process payments or credit card transactions if your connection goes down. This is one of the trade-offs that come with a cloud-based system, but as long as you have some kind of redundant connection or are in an area with a pretty reliable internet connection, you have little to worry about.
Franpos is ideal for retail environments, such as clothing stores, boutiques, and gift shops. It also has a competitive edge with service industry setups, such as spas, salons, gyms, and any business that involves rentals or appointments. Additionally, I’d feel comfortable recommending Franpos to most small, quick-serve food service establishments, such as fro-yo shops and fast food places. However, there are some more advanced food service features not included in the system (such as the ability to track dishes by their raw ingredients) and nothing approximating table mapping.
Specific Size Of Business
Franpos can be configured to fit most business sizes. Very small vendors may find the opening price point to be a little on the steep side compared to many of its competitors, but it does include a rich feature base. Franpos has also made a point of specifically catering to franchise establishments with features that help businesses operate across multiple locations, so larger enterprises could find the system appealing.
Ease Of Use
I find that Franpos has better introduction features than a lot of the other POS systems I’ve reviewed. After creating an account, the system automatically guides you through the basics of setting up a business profile, creating shop categories, creating products and services, enabling tipping and booking, and managing employees. The process only took about 15 minutes, and it runs you through the basics pretty effectively. The back office has similar functionality, with the bulk of the most-used reports and management features being easily accessible and simple to master.
Some of its features for more niche businesses, such as salons or hotels, will, understandably, take a little more getting used to. The booking features are extensive and impressive, but you will either need to do some significant training or hope that employees already have some experience in the field or with POS systems in general. Again, that’s not out of the ordinary, but don’t expect to master every feature in a matter of minutes.
One nit-picky problem I have is with the checkout screen. If you’re ringing someone up and you need to clear the register, you tap (or click) a little X button in the bottom corner of the screen. The button is out of the way, but on the iPad and iPhone, it’s right next to the button that suspends a transaction. I would hate to be going for the suspend button and accidentally press clear. From my experience working in retail and food service, I know how frustrating it can be to ring up a particularly long and complicated ticket only to press the wrong button and have it all disappear — especially when you’re working in a fast-paced environment. I would just like an “are you sure you want to do this” message before I accidentally give myself (and my customer) an ulcer.
Hardware & Operating System Requirements
Franpos features Franpos Register, an all-in-one POS bundle that includes a tablet with the software preinstalled on a specially configured Android tablet, along with the rest of a standard setup: an EMV reader, an enclosure, a scanner, and a cash drawer. From what I can tell (and this has been confirmed by a representative), the software is essentially the same whether you choose to run it on an independent system or Franpos’s proprietary hardware.
You can purchase the software through the Apple Store or Google Play Store, and there is a list of device and platform compatibility on the Franpos website. You’re welcome to piece together your system, but that may be a little more difficult to do with Franpos than with other POS systems on the market, so I would suggest going with one of its preset bundles.
Franpos has a lot of features that are worth checking out. You can visit the company website to get a full rundown of what the software can do, but I’m going to briefly highlight the features that really caught my eye.
- Booking Feature: Without a doubt, built-in booking software is one of Franpos’s strongest aspects. To have a multifunctional booking service built right into the point of sale software is rather amazing, especially when the booking features are quite robust. For all subscription levels, Franpos creates a simple online booking website for your business that features basic information about your shop and allows customers to create appointments. Once a customer has made an appointment, Franpos automatically sends out email and text reminders to help with retention. It’s possible to manage and review your full appointment list in the calendar view where you can book multiple appointments, add customers to a waitlist, and assign different times, rooms, and equipment to service providers. Franpos also offers a check-in/out feature to help track appointments.
- Service Management: Employees can be designated as “service providers,” and preset services can be billed at different rates according to the service provider. So if you own a hair salon, one of your stylists might bill a haircut at $50, while the other charges $75 because she’s more experienced. Franpos automatically handles these different payment levels. Salons that rent booths to stylists can also enable a “Direct Pay” feature that records sales at each booth without receiving the actual payment, which typically goes directly to the service provider. I also like the recurring billing feature — a great asset for businesses that offer memberships, such as gyms or salons.
- Inventory Management: When creating a service or product, the program will auto-generate an SKU number; you can use this number or override it with your own SKU. You can also enter separate product codes for easy searching if you’d like. Larger businesses with lengthy, fast-moving inventories and multiple locations can also take advantage of the stock transfer feature. I will note that there isn’t an option to specify the unit of measurement you’re using for inventory items. It’s up to you to remember whether you have ten bags or 10 pounds of french fries in your inventory.
- CRM: Tracking customer information is simple since you can assign each customer a unique code, log email addresses and phone numbers for marketing purposes, and enter a “preferred service provider” if they’d like their work done by a particular employee. As far as marketing goes, you can enable a built-in loyalty program that works on a customizable point system, allowing you to establish the rate at which customers earn points and the exchange rate on those points. Also, Franpos has built-in text messaging, emailing, and push notification marketing capabilities (through Mailchimp and Twilio).
- Reporting: Franpos offers a generous number of standard reports. Sales reports include deleted tickets, detailed sales by product, sales by a vendor, sales by customer, tax reports, and more. There are similar options for products, including a reconcile report, cross-selling report, rental/membership charge reports, etc. Of course, you can also run reports by location with specified date ranges and various filtering options. One of the most convenient features is the ability to add your most commonly used reports to your favorites list for easy access.
- eCommerce: With Franpos, you can create and personalize a website, and the basic software includes this functionality. You can sell your items online through the eCommerce function and even allow customers to book appointments online. This feature also allows you to link to your Facebook and Twitter pages, which can help keep you connected to your customers.
- Online Ordering (For Restaurants): Franpos also offers mobile-enabled online ordering for restaurants. It’s very easy to set up — if you have the online ordering add-on on your account, simply choose to enable online ordering in your back office, then choose from a few options, such as whether to enable delivery and/or pickup.
- Loyalty & Gift Cards: Franpos’s loyalty program is built into the software, which is a nice feature. You can store customer information and allow them to accrue points to use at your business and set up either electronic or physical gift cards.
Integrations & Add-Ons
Right now, Franpos offers these integrations and more:
- QuickBooks: Franpos directly integrates with QuickBooks accounting software. You can link to QuickBooks by matching your ledger names right into the Franpos software.
- Mailchimp: Franpos also integrates with Mailchimp, an email marketing program that assists with newsletters and promotional campaigns. Mailchimp draws directly from your customer database.
- Magento: Franpos integrates with Magento for eCommerce needs.
- Text Messaging: Twilio and Clickatell are integrations that allow you to launch marketing campaigns through text messages and push notification blasts.
- Microsoft Power BI: Understand and breakdown your company data with Microsoft Power BI.
- Avalara: With Avalara, you can make sure to calculate your taxes accurately.
- Gift Cards: Integrate with either Valutec, Synergy Loyalty Solution, or Givex to sell and redeem gift cards.
In addition to these integrations, there are also a couple of add-ons within the system that you can utilize for an extra monthly charge:
- Walk-In, $25/Month: This is a customer-facing feature that allows customers to check themselves in for appointments.
- Kiosk, $25/Month: Another customer-facing feature that allows them to scan items and browse a product catalog unattended.
- Self-Checkout, $25/Month: This add-on allows your customers to ring up and pay for their food, services, merchandise, etc., through a stand-alone customer-facing device.
- Task & Goals, $25/Month: This is an employee-facing feature that allows you to post goals, deadlines, and reminders for employees.
- API Access, $50/Month: If you’d like to integrate any additional software or plugins with your POS system, you can always purchase access to the API.
You can visit the Franpos app store to find these and other Franpos add-ons and integrations.
Compatible Credit Card Processors
Franpos integrates with a handful of big-name processors, giving you plenty to choose from. You can accept payments by integrating with Square, Fiserv (formerly First Data), TSYS, Heartland, North American Bancard, Elavon, Global East (Global Payments), Vantiv, EVO, WorldPay, and Chase.
Customer Service & Support
Overall, Franpos does a solid job of offering tutorials and educational resources. Here are some ways you can learn more about the software:
- Email: You can email the company directly and generally receive a response within 24 business hours.
- Phone: You can reach Franpos directly Monday through Friday from 5 AM to 11 PM Pacific Time and Saturdays from 9 AM to 7 PM Pacific Time.
- Support Ticket: You can submit a support ticket to technical services from the POS interface.
- Tutorials: When you’re logged in to your account, you can check out the back-end tutorial area, which features a comprehensive list of video tutorials on key features. You can also find these videos on YouTube.
- Knowledgebase: There is a FAQ section and Support Center page with articles on general setup and hardware.
Franpos reviews are overall quite good, though the company is not accredited with the Better Business Bureau.
Negative Reviews & Complaints
Negative reviews are a little hard to come by, but here are a few recurring issues I was able to find:
- Software Issues: A few customers noted minor glitches in the system, particularly with inventory management. Routine glitches are to be expected and are somewhat unavoidable with any system, so I don’t think there’s much to worry about.
- Initial Support: A few people noted that when it came to significant issues, the company was slow to respond and not particularly timely at resolving the problem.
- Difficulty Accessing Back-End Data: A bit of a nitpick, but I did see this complaint more than once. Customers liked how much data the system can take and store but found that it could be unwieldy to sort.
Positive Reviews & Testimonials
Here are some positive things customers have to say about Franpos:
- User-Friendly: Several reviewers mentioned how easy Franpos is to set up and use. I found phrases such as “easy to start,” “beautiful interface,” and “very user-friendly and convenient.”
- Customer Support: Franpos gets a lot of kudos in the support department. There was a clear trend from reviewers who felt that the Franpos staff worked with them to resolve issues.
- Service Industry Features: Franpos has a vast range of distinctive service industry features that you won’t find in most other small-scale, cloud-based POS systems. A lot of thought has gone into developing an interface that meets the needs of service industry professionals.
Franpos seems to understand the need for evolution and adaptability in this ever-expanding market. With robust reporting features, extensive employee management, impressive marketing capabilities, and access to multiple customer-facing features that streamline the shopping and transaction process, it’s difficult to go wrong with Franpos. By creating an all-in-one POS solution, the company has made it possible for this franchise POS solution to accommodate most (if not all) of the changes you may experience, whether they are in size, product, service, or storefront.
Though Franpos is suited for virtually any retail business, it has carved out a niche for itself in the service and franchise industries. There aren’t many other cloud-based or locally-installed POS systems out there that have Franpos’s capabilities with booking and scheduling. If I were the owner of a salon, spa, gym, or a multilocation business, I would consider it a serious contender for my point of sale.
Test the customer service, build yourself an inventory, create and schedule a couple of employees, play around with the online booking feature, and let us know what you think. We’d love to hear from you!
We've done in-depth testing of each and confidently recommend them.
We've done in-depth testing of each and confidently recommend them.