The 10 Best Retail POS Systems For 2018

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

Not every POS software program is suitable for every industry. If you’re running a retail business, you’re going to suffer from a system that’s designed for a foodservice environment. Not only will you be inundated with tools you don’t need (like table-mapping and check-splitting), but you’ll sorely lack the features that could make or break your business. Choosing the right point of sale (POS) system will make your life much easier, improve your retail strategy, and, in many cases, end up saving you time and money.

Imagine being able to access your store’s back office from anywhere or being able to keep track of your inventory digitally instead of on a clipboard. Many point of sale systems offer retail-specific features, including robust inventory management, purchase ordering, CMR, loyalty programs, eCommerce, and much more.

This article will discuss the 10 (primarily cloud-based) retail POS systems we recommend most often.

Visit SiteVisit SiteVisit SiteVisit SiteVisit Site
Best Choice ForSmall and medium restaurant or retail businessesSmall restaurant or retail businessesSmall to large retail businessesSmall to large retail businessesSmall retail businesses
PricingCall for quote$0-60/month$99/month +$99/month +$75/month +
Ease of UseEasy to useEasy to useModerate learning curveEasy to useEasy to use
SaaS or Locally-InstalledHybridSaaSHybridSaaSHybrid
Free TrialYesYesYesYesYes
Visit SiteSee ReviewVisit SiteSee ReviewSee Review
Best Choice ForSmall to large retail businessesSmall to large retail businessesSmall to medium retail and eCom businessesSmall, mobile retail businessesSmall to enterprise-level retail businesses
Pricing$99/month +$89/month +$29/month +$40$75/month
Ease of UseModerate learning curveModerate learning curveEasy to useEasy to useEasy to use
Saas or Locally-InstalledHybridSaaSHybridLocally-installedSaaS
Free trialYesYesYesNoYes

Note: The arrangement of these vendors doesn’t necessarily indicate ranking. It’s difficult to rank these systems since they all have high star ratings and will work differently with each business.

1) ShopKeep

  • Hybrid system
  • iPad or iPad mini
  • Call for an individualized quote
  • For small to medium-sized businesses
  • Inventory management, including matrix
  • Integrates with eCommerce and accounting
  • Mobile app
  • Offers 24/7/365 customer support

This software has been around since 2008 and continues to be one of the best POS systems for retail. ShopKeep (see our review) is easy to use and offers a great inventory management feature that includes matrix and the ability to keep track of the quantities of each item of your merchandise. You can also set reorder points and use a reporting function to designate what, how much, and from which vendor to order any low stock item. 

Other features include the ability to create your own barcodes, use different tax rates, create thousands of SKUs, CSV file import, and multi-store capability. While this retail POS system does favor its own in-house payment processor, ShopKeep Payments, it can be used with other credit card processors and is fully EMV integrated. ShopKeep offers unlimited 24/7 customer support for retailers, although premium phone support will cost you extra.

Read our full review of ShopKeep if you would like more information.

2) Square

  • Free (Square for Retail is $60 a month)
  • Cloud-Based system
  • Android and iOS compatible
  • Small to mid-sized businesses
  • Real-time inventory tracking with unlimited SKU count
  • Barcode and custom label printing
  • Purchase order creation and management
  • Custom discounts
  • Employee management
  • Free online store
  • Square Loyalty

Square (read our review) prides itself on its simplicity and convenience — but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in features. The free product features a robust package with strong inventory and employee management that’s particularly good for smaller restaurants and retail shops. Square for Retail narrows the product’s scope a bit, simplifying some aspects of the POS software while beefing up its inventory. Retailers can track inventory across multiple locations and create your own purchase orders. Square also features strong customer management (including loyalty programs), allowing you to easily edit your customer database.

ReadereCommerceRetailFood Service
Free App & ReaderSquare eCommerceSquare for RetailSquare for Restaurants
Get StartedGet StartedGet StartedGet Started
Free, general-purpose POS software and reader for iOS and AndroidEasy integration with popular platforms plus API for customizationSpecialized software for more complex retail storesSpecialized software for full-service restaurants
Always FreeAlways FreeFree TrialFree Trial

Square’s lack of an offline mode is still an odd hindrance but a major plus is how compatible it is with all forms of payment processing.

You can try Square for Retail free for 30 days and if you’d like to know more, read our full review.

3) ERPLYerply-logo

  • Hybrid system, locally-installed with cloud-based data retrieval
  • Any computer with an internet connection
  • Standard plan starts at $99/month/location and the Pro plan starts at $350/month/location
  • Enterprise option available
  • For small to medium-sized businesses
  • Robust inventory management, including matrix
  • Purchase ordering
  • Warehouse app
  • Offers lots of ERP (backend) features
  • Integrates with eCommerce and Accounting
  • Omnichannel

ERPLY (see our review) was launched in 2009; since that time, it has racked up over 100,000 subscribers. This system is a heavy hitter in the POS industry. As an on-premise POS solution, it boasts many advanced features that other tablet-based systems can’t offer. One of its strongest points is evidenced in the name: ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning. ERPLY offers a richer backend experience than your average POS system, specifically featuring advanced POS functions, HR capabilities, supply chain management, customer relationship management, accounting capabilities, access controls, a shipping integration, supplier database, customizable purchase orders, automated re-ordering, purchase reports, great inventory management, multiple tax rates, the ability to create and print your own barcodes, and lots of customizable reports.

ERPLY integrates with pretty much every credit card processor and offers both phone and email support. There is a bit of a learning curve to this feature-rich system, so that is something to take into consideration.

If you’re interested in this POS system for your retail business, learn more by reading our full review of ERPLY or by signing up for a free 14-day trial.

4) Vend 

  • Cloud-based system that works on Google Chrome web-browser
  • Lite plan $99/month, Pr0 plan $129/month
  • Enterprise plan available
  • SMBs
  • Inventory management
  • Purchase Ordering
  • Omnichannel
  • Integrates with eCommerce and accounting

Vend (see our review) is the world’s first web-based retail POS to use the offline cache capabilities of HTML5. It was started back in 2010 by Vaughan Roswell. Currently, it is used in 100 countries and has over 20,000 installations. Vend is intuitive and well-designed. It works on virtually any system (as long as you use a Google Chrome web-browser). Vend also offers an iPad app (pictured below).

Vend comes with the following features (and more): eCommerce, a loyalty program, customer management, inventory management, barcode creation, and price books that can be used to store different prices for sales. Vend is EMV and NFC capable and integrates with VantivPayPal, and Square for in-store credit card payments. One downside to using this system is that you will need to pay for tech support. Another downside is that it doesn’t allow for item modifiers.

To learn more about Vend, check out our full review. If you would like to take Vend for a test drive, sign up for a free 30-day trial.

5) Quetzal

  • Hybrid system
  • The standard plan is $75/month/location and the Advanced plan is $100/month/location
  • iPad app but can work on internet browsers
  • Only for small businesses
  • Focused on independent clothing and shoe retailers
  • Several unique features
  • Inventory management, including matrix
  • Integrates with eCommerce

This Ontario-based POS system, while it can run on an internet browser, was designed to be used on an iPad. Quetzal (see our review) was specifically created for small clothing and shoe retailers and is easy to use. Some of the features that Quetzal offers include graphic reporting, a loyalty program, tag cloud, front facing display, employee leaderboard, a daily sales thermometer, and an inventory system with clothing and shoe matrix. You can add up to 10,000 items and 2,000,000 SKUs.

Quetzal Review

Quetzal is EMV supported and integrates with Evo Payments International, Velocity, CardSmith, National Discount Merchant Services, and Vantiv mobile payments services. One downside to Quetzal is that it only integrates with Apple Numbers as an accounting integration. A QuickBooks integration is supposed to be released soon. Quetzal offers 24/7/365 email support, as well as live phone support from 7 am to 7 pm PST. Those who want advanced support will need to pay an additional $25 per month.

Read our full review of Quetzal or sign up for a free demo to learn more.

6) Lightspeed Retailrestaurant pos software

  • Hybrid system
  • Small plan $99/month, medium plan $169/month, Large plan $289/month
  • In-browser option or iPad app
  • Any size business
  • Inventory management, including matrix
  • Purchase ordering
  • Omnichannel
  • Mobile app

Lightspeed Retail (see our review) was created back in 2005 and is now used by more than 50,000 businesses around the world. This system offers a myriad of features including multi-tender options, the ability to create store credit, inventory management, the ability to buy items in bulk and sell them individually, purchase ordering, employee management, CRM, reporting, and multi-store capability.

Lightspeed Retail integrates with Vantiv Integrated Payments (Mercury)Cayan, and iZettle and has been EMV compliant since before October 2015. Lightspeed Retail offers 24/7 customer service support and live chat from 11 am to 8 pm EST.

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

7) BindoBindo POS

  • Cloud-Based system
  • Custom pricing ranging from $89 to $149 per month
  • iPad
  • Small to large sized businesses
  • Inventory management with matrix
  • Purchase Ordering
  • Integrates with eCommerce and accounting
  • Omnichannel

Bindo (see our review) was founded in 2013 and now has over 3,000 subscribers. One of the best POS systems for retail, Bindo offers a wide array of retail management features including purchase order management, employee management, CRM, a loyalty program, a wide variety of reports, and customized gift cards. Bindo offers an amazing inventory management system with features like low stock tracking or SST (simple scan technology). To use SST, simply scan a manufacturer’s barcode and Bindo will automatically retrieve a photo, title, and description of the product from the company’s database of over 10,000,000 products.

Bindo works with 99 percent of credit card processors and is NFC-capable and EMV ready. You can contact customer support 24/7/365 via email or live chat or you can call in from 9:30 am to 7:30 pm EST. Some users have found this software to be a bit buggy, so that is something to take into consideration.

Read our Bindo review for more information or test it out with a free 14-day trial.

8) Shopify POS

  • Hybrid system
  • Basic Plan $29/month, Shopify Plan $79/month, Advanced Shopify Plan $299/month
  • Enterprise option available
  • Small to Medium businesses
  • Integrates with eCommerce and accounting
  • Mobile app

Shopify POS (see our review) is used by over 150,000 businesses and has been around since 2013. This system includes features such as the ability to accept split payments, the ability to grant refunds and store credit to customers, barcode support, gift cards, customizable receipts, order histories, CRM, detailed reporting (including reports on bestsellers), and inventory management that is able to sync both on and offline.

Shopify review

Shopify integrates with its own in-house merchant services processor, Shopify Payments. If you would prefer to use a different processor, Shopify offers a large selection. If you purchase Shopify’s Card Reader, you will be able to accept EMV and NFC payments. Free 24/7 customer support is offered via email, live chat, and phone. Some points to consider when it comes to Shopify are that the inventory feature does not offer a low stock alert and users are not able to properly issue store credit.

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

9) Ring It Upringitup-logo

  • Locally-installed with cloud-based capabilities
  • A one-time payment of $40
  • iPhone or iPad
  • Small on the go businesses
  • Built-in scanner
  • Reporting
  • Mobile app

Ring It Up (see our review) is an inexpensive POS software system that offers some pretty robust retail features, especially when you consider the price. Just make a one-time payment of $40 and you’re ready to go. Ring It Up offers features like unlimited transactions, purchase ordering, customizable invoices and receipts, built in barcode scanning, signature capture, and multi-store capability. With Ring It Up, you can import your inventory via a CSV file and back all your data up through Dropbox.

When it comes to credit card processing, Ring It Up works with the following third-party solutions: Phone Transact, Inner Fence, Swipe from App Ninjas, Redfin’s PocketPOS, iPay POS Tek Tango, and Paypal Here. Customer support is offered in both Spanish and English. This system has a very specific target audience, so if you need a more advanced system, Ring It Up will not be right for you.

For more information, read our full review of Ring It Up.

10) iConnect

  • Cloud-Based system
  • $75/month/location/terminal
  • Does offer multi-location
  • iOS, Android, and Proprietary hardware options
  • Small to Enterprise sized businesses
  • Inventory management with matrix
  • Purchase Ordering
  • Integrates with accounting
  • Offers ability to create your own website
  • Mobile app

iConnect (see our review) has been around since 2011 and is easy to use. Features of iConnect include, but are not limited to, inventory management, SKU creation, CRM, over 55 reports, and the ability to create your own website.

iConnect is EMV capable if you use First Data, TSYS, Heartland, and North American Bancard. iConnect also integrates with Elavon, Global East (Global Payments), Vantiv, Evo, WorldPay, and Chase. A downside to iConnect is that 24/7 customer support will cost you an additional $65 per month.

If you would like to learn more, please read our full review of iConnect. You can also sign up for a free 7-day trial or a free 10-minute demo.

Final Thoughts

To break it down for those of you who skipped to the end…

  • ShopKeep is for SMBs that don’t mind paying an additional $30 a month for phone support and would like an in-house credit card processor.
  • ERPLY is for those interested in a system that offers ERP capability for a lower price.
  • Vend is for those who like browser-based systems and don’t mind paying for customer support.
  • Quetzal is for small independent clothing and shoe retailers.
  • Lightspeed Retail is a hybrid system designed to be used by businesses of any size.
  • Bindo is for boutiques and small retail businesses looking for an impressive inventory system.
  • Shopify is for those looking for with a great eCommerce system and an in-house credit card processor.
  • Ring It Up is for small mobile businesses which need an inexpensive but capable solution.
  • Square is for businesses that value convenience and a simple pricing structure.
  • iConnect is for any sized business which doesn’t mind paying $65 a month for customer service.

Hopefully, this article has given you what you need to make an informed decision about the POS system you will choose for your retail business. The right POS system can make your life easier — and improve the experience for your customers — while the wrong one can really set you back. If you have any other questions, feel free to leave comments below.

Looking for cash drawers, barcode scanners, cash registers, or receipt printers for your retail business? Check out our complete guide to choosing POS hardware.

LogoPromo DescriptionCTA
Grow your business with $300 in Free Yelp adsStart Now
LogoPromo DescriptionCTA
Get a complete POS hardware bundle for free! For new customers only, while supplies last. Act soon - expires 9/30/2018.Get Started
Matt Sherman

Matt Sherman

Point of sale writer at Merchant Maverick
Matt Sherman has been immersed in point of sale systems for over a year now. Previously, he spent 14 years in the newspaper industry, the majority of which was as the sports editor for a pair of weekly newspapers in suburban Portland, Oregon. He is a graduate of the University of Oregon where he majored in English because he knows where the money is. Matt is the father to a pair of energetic boys and can easily be distracted by Netflix, Amazon and HBO Go.
Leave a 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.

    Priyanka Gupta

    Thank you.It was very informative.keep sharing.


      Cheers on the breakdown! ;^”)

      Leave a Reply

      Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

      Your Review

      Comment moderation is enabled. Your comment may take some time to appear.
      Please read the "User Review and Comment Policy" before posting.