Best Retail POS Software for 2020

Compare Square, Lightspeed, Vend, and other top retail POS systems. Includes ranking, pricing, reviews, and frequently asked questions.

Updated on March 31st, 2020

The SMB Guide is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Retail POS software assists in customer sales by logging the number of sales, tracking inventory and useful data, and helping with scheduling staff. Retail-specific POS software allows users to access the store's back office and digitally track inventory, put in orders, handle e-commerce, and more.

Our Pick

Square Point of Sale

Easy to Set Up and Use

Sign Up Free

Automatically tracks customer purchases.

Used by more than 2 million businesses.

Robust reporting.

Why We Chose Square:

Square Retail POS is a great all-in-one system that brings the storefront, back office, and online selling together in one place. It is very easy to use and has great features.

Square features advanced search tools for quick checkouts and easy returns and exchanges. Square's Online Store allows users to create professional websites that easily and quickly sync with the retail POS and offer easy shipping and in-store pickup.

Square features great inventory management tools which you can use to view your stock levels, send purchase orders, and create and print barcode labels. Square also offers detailed sales, projected profit, and cost of goods sold reports.

Square POS also integrates seamlessly with Square's invoice, payroll, gift cards, and marketing software.

Things to Consider When Evaluating Retail POS Software:

  1. Using an industry-specific POS system means that you won't have a lot of non-retail features (e.g. table management) while missing important retail-specific features, such as customer profiles and data.
  2. Look for software that offers quick and easy sales management with great inventory management to make accepting payments and restocking easier.
  3. Great retail POS software will assist with employee management and scheduling, as well as loyalty management and email marketing to promote your store.

18 Best Retail POS Software:

Rank

Name

Offer

Review

Learn More

1.

Square

$60.00 /mo.

Features in-store and online selling, inventory management, secure payments, employee management, and great hardware. Square is very easy to use and inventory management is simple.

Learn More

2.

Lightspeed

$69.00 /mo.

Features customizable POS systems, in-store and online sales, cross and up-selling, detailed reporting, and simple inventory management. Lightspeed is user-friendly software with great features.

Learn More

3.

Vend

$119.00 /mo.

Offers POS, e-commerce, integrated payments, reporting, and loyalty, customer, and inventory management. Vend is easy to use with great integrations and can be customized to suit different styles of retail stores.

Learn More

4.

ShopKeep

Quote only.

Offers customized rates with personalized retail POS systems. ShopKeep features transaction, refund, and returns management, deposit or downpayment options, discounts, and employee time clocks.

Learn More

5.

Revel Systems

$99.00 /mo. /terminal

Offers built-in CRM, stock room management, employee management, and a great Insights App for accessing sales data, managing labor, and getting forecast reports.

Learn More

6.

Shopify

$29.00 /mo.

Offers simple and intuitive POS software with fully integrated hardware for managing in-store and online sales, managing inventory and transfers, and easily accepting payments. Shopify features customizable apps to meet any business's needs.

Learn More

7.

Clover POS

$14.00 /mo.

Features real-time inventory updates, low-stock alerts, quick payments, and promotion, deals, and discount management. Clover is easy to implement and integrates well with third-party software.

Learn More

8.

Epos Now

$39.00 /mo.

Features an easy-to-use POS system with reporting, back office management, security, stock control, loyalty management, and employee management.

Learn More

9.

SalesVu POS

$15.00 /mo. /terminal

Offers free iPad apps for specialty retail stores that help users manage shifts, offer refunds and exchanges, pre-print receipts, and apply discounts. SalesVu is budget-friendly and suitable for any size store.

Learn More

10.

Retail Pro

Quote only.

Features integrated inventory and customer data, mobile capabilities, promotion management, and loyalty management. Retail Pro is a great platform with excellent customization options.

Learn More

11.

Erply POS

$49.00 /mo.

Features employee timeclocks, layaway options, in-store pickup options, returns and refunds, and sales and inventory tracking. Erply has great inventory and reporting capabilities.

Learn More

12.

Cin7

$299.00 /mo.

Offers integrated stock control, inventory tracking, order transfers and shipping, loyalty management, and promotion and sales management. Cin7 is a capable tool with useful features.

Learn More

13.

Talech POS

$49.00 /mo.

Features order management, customer management, returns and exchange options, discount and promotion management, and integrated gift cards. Talech is a good system with great reporting tools.

Learn More

Square Retail vs. Lightspeed Starter vs. Vend Light:

Square for Retail, Lightspeed Starter, and Vend Light are all plans that are best suited for a single location. All three offer basic POS software with integrated e-commerce. In the case of Square, it is also the only pricing option they offer.

Square for Retail is an all-in-one POS system that includes credit card processing at a flat rate with a free magstripe reader. However, extra hardware, such as the Square Register or the Square Stand and Reader, requires an extra purchase. Vend Light, on the other hand, requires integration with one of Vend's partners or a non-integrated solution, which means users would have to pay the fees for the third-party on top of Vend's monthly fees.

Some of Vend's hardware requires an extra purchase but they do include one register per outlet with all of their plans. This may account for the higher monthly fee when compared to Square, which only offers a free mobile card reader with their retail plan. Additional registers can be added to the Vend plans at an additional $59.00 per month.

Lightspeed Starter offers basic reporting features but, like with Square and Vend, hardware requires an additional purchase. Also similar to Square, Lightspeed features credit card processing at almost the same rate as Square. However, Lightspeed has a higher monthly cost and lacks accounting, reporting, and loyalty features in their Starter plan.

Lightspeed does have a Basic plan priced at $79.00 a month, but the Basic plan lacks the e-commerce integration available with the Starter Plan. The reason behind the higher cost when compared to Square may be that Lightspeed includes a free terminal with the purchase of one of their plans where Square only offers a free mobile card reader.

Square is our clear winner for the best retail POS solution since it offers lots of features for a competitive monthly rate.

Square Retail vs. Lightspeed Starter vs. Vend Light Comparison:

Offer

Square Retail

Lightspeed Starter

Vend Light

Pricing

$60.00 /mo.

$119.00 /mo.

$119.00 /mo.

Transaction Rate

2.5% + $0.10

2.6% + $0.10

Requires integrations.

Users/Location

1

1

1

Integrated eCommerce

Yes.

Yes.

Yes.

Hardware offered

Free mobile card reader with plan. Additional hardware available.

Free terminal with plan. Additional hardware available.

Free register with plan. Additional hardware available.

Support

Live phone support.

24/7 support and setup help.

24/7 phone and online support.

Lightspeed Standard vs. Vend Pro vs. Lightspeed Advanced:

Lightspeed offers 6 pricing tiers in total, each offering a certain function. Lightspeed Standard is recommended for growing businesses that need to automate their accounting while Lightspeed Advanced is recommended for businesses with a growing customer base to offer loyalty and rewards programs.

Vend, on the other hand, offers 3 pricing tiers for different sized companies. Vend Pro is recommended for established businesses or multi-location retailers. Both Vend Pro and Lightspeed Standard offer integrated accounting software. Lightspeed Standard integrates with Sage, QuickBooks, and Xero and Vend Pro integrates with Xero and QuickBooks Online.

Vend Pro also offers advanced promotions and gift card functionalities which users can only access with the Advanced plan from Lightspeed. Lightspeed Advanced's loyalty program includes a rewards program, a marketing tool, and customer insights. However, Vend Pro's loyalty program is customizable and includes customer management, gift cards, an email marketing tool, and store credit.

Another key difference between Lightspeed and Vend is that Vend Pro offers advanced reporting and analytics, a feature that is only available in Lightspeed's Pro plan.

Lightspeed Standard vs. Vend Pro Comparison:

Offer

Lightspeed Standard

Vend Pro

Lightspeed Advanced

Pricing

$139.00 /mo.

$159.00 /mo.

$189.00 /mo.

Transaction Rate

2.6% + $0.10

Requires integrations.

2.6% + $0.10

Integrated eCommerce

Yes.

Yes.

Yes.

Accounting

Yes.

Yes, with Xero and QuickBooks.

Yes.

Advanced Reporting and Analytics

No.

Yes.

No.

Loyalty Programs

No.

Yes.

Yes.

Lightspeed Pro vs. Vend Enterprise:

Lightspeed Pro and Vend Enterprise are both suitable for multi-store use. The systems will keep track of inventory, customer information, and business analytics across multiple retail stores.

With Lightspeed Pro, users will have access to the advanced business reporting and analytics that are already available with Vend's Pro plan, whereas Vend Enterprise users will have access to a dedicated account manager.

Lightspeed also offers a quote-based Enterprise plan suitable for high-volume merchants and large businesses. However, this plan is customizable depending on the client and requires a consultation with a Lightspeed representative.

Lightspeed Pro vs. Vend Enterprise:

Offer

Lightspeed Pro

Vend Enterprise

Pricing

$259.00 /mo.

Quote-based.

Transaction Rate

2.6% + $0.10

Requires integrations.

Integrated eCommerce

Yes.

Yes.

Advanced Reporting and Analytics

Yes.

Yes.

Multi-Outlet Retail Management

Yes.

Yes.

Dedicated Account Manager

No.

Yes.

FAQs:

What is the best POS system for a small retail store?

What is retail POS software?

Retail POS software is the software that is used to record financial transactions in a retail store. It can be used on a computer, cash register, or iPad and is generally used by cashiers and sales associates to input products, calculate the costs, and conduct the financial transaction. Retail POS software will also keep track of inventory as sales are made.

How do you use a POS system in retail?

  • Scan barcodes or search for items on-screen to add items to a sale.
  • Apply discounts to sales.
  • Take and process payments, gift cards, layaways, and loyalty programs.
  • Add any special notes to a sale.
  • Manage your store's inventory, do stock counts, and set re-order alerts.
  • Create customer databases and set up tailored messaging and promotions.
  • Create detailed inventory, sales, and product performance reports.

How much is a retail POS system?

Subscription fees for retail POS software cost between $50.00 to $130.00 a month per terminal. Some software requires upfront payment, which usually starts at around $900.00, and some vendors charge a per-transaction fee of between 0.5% and 3%.

POS hardware consists of tablets, terminals, iPads, barcode scanners, credit card readers, cash drawers, and receipt printers. You can buy any or all of the POS hardware, which will cost anywhere between $50.00 to $4,500.00.